Category Archives: Ikat

Just lazy

Not moving very fast

When I started stretching these yarns on the board, I wondered if they were too similar to the previous project. Both projects are shown here for comparison, and what I’m calling the magenta project is different enough, but maybe still a partner to the other.

However, since I’ve just been plain lazy, not much is getting done. I’m wondering if I need to just start something on the Cranbrook and go.

Magenta ikat started

Yarns on the ikat board

What to do

I think that part of the issue is that I want to branch out. But branch out where? Who knows? I am also-paradoxically-enjoying the beginning of my training as a victim advocate. Lots of new information. We visited a hospital with a SANE program last Tuesday night. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. 

As I sit in the training classroom, this is the carpet on the floor. Tiles like this one make up the whole. I can see using this swirl as a design sometime. The training is about 33 hours total. Some of the training is on really cold nights when I just really want to stay home by the fire.

Women’s Center Carpet

And speaking of fire, my area is constantly in high fire danger because of the wind and dry conditions. I love our native grasses, but they do burn, especially this time of year when they are so dry naturally. If you want to see these grasses moving in the wind, go here. The video deleted itself from my photos. Yeah, right. How’d that happen?


I ran across this image when I was going through some old SD cards. Wonder how I could use this?

Blue Chihuly

Experiments, first to last

This first picture is not really an experiment–yet–but it definitely has possibilities. After sitting at the table looking at some books at the library, I got up and noticed this carpet, which then led to losing my library card. Thank goodness someone found it and turned it in. Love libraries!

Library carpet

Hatching. Ignore what looks black above this image; it’s what was woven before and advanced on the beam.

Squares with hatching

Who knows?

Mostly neutral

The above experiments are mostly self-explanatory, just playing around with whatever yarns are on hand. Directly above was designed to use up the many neutrals on hand, colors that I don’t envision using very much. I ended up throwing in some red in bits all over the piece. Neutrals only can be tolerated for so long.

All cut off

The above pieces have been cut off and are ready to hem. Once they’re hemmed, we’ll see if they continue a life or become extinct.

Below is an experiment terminated. It didn’t fit what was in my head. Using the same colors, a different play on the design. The new weaving has begun, so we’ll see how it goes.

Greens gone bad

Below is the combination of mohair and wool in different shades of blues and purples, stretched on the ikat board. Ask me what I’ve learned about using a singles mohair yarn in this type of situation.

On the board

The same yarns after tying, dyeing, and partially untied.

After tying and dyeing

All the yarns have been untied and skeined. Looks nice, doesn’t it?

The tangled mess becomes a skein

During the untying and untangling process, the singles mohair broke and tangled up with the other yarns. That’s why I skeined the yarn. Now it is time to unskein it and start weaving. Why am I postponing that and continuing the small experiments? Maybe because I foresee more tangling. I don’t know, but by next week I will have a report.

Continuing education

Before I go into my new learning experiences, here’s what my weekend looked like.

Hanging on Thursday

Even for one wall, it takes a lot of time to hang a show. This is from my local art group, Fort Worth Art Collective. We were participating in These Are My Friends art party put on by Art Tooth. This was five hours on Thursday night.

Working on Saturday night

Then there was 3.5 hours working the “booth” on Saturday night. A group of interesting and eclectic people attended the party.

Then, finally!

I removed the ikat tape from my dyed sections.

My most of the day Friday

Here’s the way it looks with all the different colors of ikat tape removed.

Lessons, lessons, lessons

One of my goals is to end up with multiple colors instead of just two. So far in my ikat career (very loosely described, believe me!), I have started with one color and overdyed with another that is compatible with the first color. In other words, start with blue, tie a section, overdye with black. Eventually I will start with white, tie and dye, tie again, untie, etc. 

In the piece this time, I started with a yellow/orange. You can see the results below. I like the colors except the green. If everything had started as white, I could have had red/orange, red, and blue–or another such combination.

I measured the bouts in sections of one woven inch, which is part of my learning experience. You can see where the green joins the red/orange that there’s a bit of yellow showing up. That doesn’t really bother me right now, but with some future project, it would. Next time I will measure in sections that weave up to be 1/2 inch–7 picks vs 17 picks.


Here’s what it looked like earlier.

If you want to compare this to untied

And I’m weaving!

Shuttles filled with ikat-dyed yarn ready to go

School suppliesMonday I went to a store that I seldom go to. Among the things on my list was a re-positional glue stick (I hear there is such a critter out there somewhere). Unfortunately, I found other supplies that just happened to make it into my basket. 

School supplies

The weekend

Razzle Dazzle hung at CAC

This is a crazy, busy week–storms, branches blown off trees, experimenting with my twice-dyeing ikat, guild show publicity, well, you get it. So, I’m sharing pictures of last weekend. Above is Razzle Dazzle hanging in the Texas Artists Coalition juried show.

Then there was the Denton weaving guild activity

This was really quite fun. We met in the fibers department building at the University of North Texas. I loved the huge posters of clothing they had hanging. 


Below are some stencils that were used. They are still on the fabric, but will be removed and then the fabric will be dyed. The bird on the left was on wool felt, and was not very crisp when the stencil was removed. The others seem to be crisp in the bit that was looked at.


And that brings us to this week

After first round of dyeing

First round of dyeing done

Under the red and green tape, it’s yellow/orange. Next steps are to tie the red/orange sections and remove the green tape. Then back to the dye pots for another round of dyeing.

Back on the boards

Back on the boards

Tying the red/orange with yellow tape. The red tape will be left as is. All the green tape will be removed for the next dye session. What color will replace the yellow/orange under the green tape?

August so far

I cut the piece below off the loom over the weekend. Still need to do the finish work. Instead, I cleaned up in the studio. It’s too embarrassing to post a picture, but believe me, it was a mess! I pull out lots of yarns, and once a decision is made, I don’t put them back before the weaving starts. Now the yarns are put away, the floor is swept, and I can breathe and work without distraction again.

All the trimmings

I have a white paper bag attached to my loom bench with tape. This is where I try to throw all the trimmings, although I sometimes forget, and in my haste, toss them on the floor. The bag is about 12 inches high and is full. I had thought to experiment with making a felt ball, but they may just all go in the trash.

Cut off

I still can’t get the vertical rectangles to resemble the color they are, but here it is in all its glory. ;)) The shot that show the color best is in another post.

Standing Tall

You might remember the piece I designed with color aid paper.

New ikat

And now on to the latest ikat experiment. A little translation of what you’re seeing–the sections tied in red are going to be the color of the yarn. The untied sections will be overdyed with scarlet, and will become whatever they become. The sections tied in green are not finished yet. They will be tied to their tips on the right, which will involve slipping a string into the loops around the pegs, tying that string to the pegs on the outside perimeter, removing them from their current pegs, and tying to the very tips. That whole section will be tied from top to bottom. Those ties will be removed at some point and overdyed with blue, and will become whatever it becomes. As I said, an experiment!

New ikat

The results are in

Piece that I cut off

First of all, if I EVER think about weaving two things at once, hit me over the head! Hard!

I cut off one of the pieces I was weaving, even though it was intended to be longer, much longer. Here it is in all its un-steamed glory.

Now, for the results of the ikat experiment 

As a reminder, I dyed the tied ikat section and then put it back on the board. You can see how it’s uneven where the two colors come together. That’s a problem to be solved for next time. I’m pretty sure how to do that.

Back on the board

second dyeing

This is where you can see the consequences of that unevenness on the board.

Two different colors

When I dyed the second time around, I didn’t tie all the green sections. The darker areas are where it was dyed over the green.

What will I do differently next time?

The main thing is to maintain the order of the threads more carefully. And if that doesn’t happen, to err on the side of overdyeing the green, so that there won’t be areas of white between the color sections.

I always twine the section with a warp thread on each side to maintain order, but that will need to be done more carefully from now on.


The piece from ???

Original cartoon

The original

Above is my original plan for the tornado piece. But as I mentioned, this was turning into the piece from hell. Too many incorrectly tied sections, and it was VERY long. So back to the drawing board. 

The changes

From the beginning, I changed the color blocks, reversing the yellow and red in the weaving. When I went back to my drawing, I cut off the section (in the drawing) that I had tied incorrectly and changed the size of the yellow color block. In my head, yellow at the top indicates sunshine that returns after the tornado, and red at the bottom represents the destruction from a tornado. Believe me, here in Texas we have lots of experience with that destruction!

More changes

Then I went to the drawing board with my compass and tried to figure out if the length would work, based on dynamic rectangles. I hit a wall there because I couldn’t remember how to do them at first. A little research and I’m merrily making away at dynamic rectangles, when my compass would not go wider.

Changed cartoon

Another wall

I had to actually get out my calculator and calculate square roots and see if my calculations matched up with any of my drawn measurements. They did! The actually did!

Off the loom

Saturday afternoon was spent securing the warp and preparing it for needle weaving back into the body of the piece, all while listening to old made-for-TV movies of Perry Mason. What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

In the meantime, I have tied the warp back on and started weaving a totally spontaneous piece, a mystery even to me.

Again and again

63 inches and counting

What’s that quote about insanity and repeating actions?

I’m insane, according to that definition, because I’ve done it AGAIN! Now whether this is really a mistake in my ikat-tying or another kind of mistake, I’m no longer sure. However, a lesson has finally been beaten into my head…I have to do a better job with the cartoon to make sure that the wrong sections aren’t tied or not tied.

Label, label, label!

I haven’t quite decided what the best process is for that yet, but it has to happen. The cartoon above is for ikat. The one below is for a tapestry. As you can see, they are black and white outlines. Should I label the ikat ones with color ID like the one below? Or should I color in the cartoon with felt tip pens?

Cartoon with color ID

I could use some ideas for a prevention technique.  Or maybe this piece on the loom really is the piece from hell, and all will be better with the next one. Whaddya think? (And did you know you can actually find many Google entries for that word?) Or should it be whatcha think?

Finally, weaving again!

Ikat yarn drying. Why do those whites look so yellow? 


Yep, section 3 has been measured, tied, dyed, balled up, loaded onto shuttles. Let the weaving begin! I did try a few picks, and it works! Here’s hoping all the other sections are correct. They were when I checked, but who knows if my brain was in the correct place. My only other news is below. Been a dull week full of “have-tos.”


Frustration, new starts, plus clouds

Section 3-again

Big roadblock

The piece on the loom was moving along at a pretty good clip–until I hit a speed bump! Section 3 of the ikat yarn was next, but it just wouldn’t work, no matter how I tried to manipulate it.


So, I got the cartoon out and compared the yarn to the cartoon, and guess what? The positive and negative spaces were totally reversed. Black was white, white was black. Believe me, I tried everything before reaching the conclusion that it would just have to be done again. No getting around it. I checked sections 4 and 5. Yes, they are correct. So, I started measuring the yarns.

While waiting …

The measuring and tying is done, so dyeing is next, maybe today. (I actually had a social event on Tuesday). But while not weaving on the big loom, the small loom inspiration is coming together in my head. I have several ideas to work on, including a few that go with a series I’m planning.

And then there are the clouds

Last week I was driving home after visiting my mother, when I looked up and noticed these really wonderful clouds. They were like waves across the sky, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I took the next exit and stayed on the service road so I could take pictures. Having not mastered the panorama setting on my phone, I just took individual shots and pieced them together in Photoshop, very obviously.

Wavy clouds

Then I took one bitty section and made it black and white.

Black and white clouds

And played around with ridiculous colors. 

Color, anyone?

Can this be turned into a weaving? What do you think?