Category Archives: Process

The saga of cartoon-making

Drawing

Drawing for cartoon

Sometimes the weaving needs a cartoon, sometimes not. On strictly geometric pieces, I usually draw to scale on graph paper and just weave away based on my drawing. With ikat I always need a cartoon to put under the measured yarn as a guide for the ties. This upcoming tapestry needs a cartoon, which leads me to this saga of getting enlargements. The closest place for me to get these made is a FedEx store. When I first started getting these enlargements done, they had a young woman who was very talented in this area, and they came out exactly right every time. I really hated it if I went in there and my favorite person wasn’t. Sometimes, I’ve actually gotten home and found that the enlargement was as much as 6 inches off! Now I carry a tape measure and they probably hate for me to come in.

Friday I went to a different store. After waiting through several unsuccessful attempts, during which the employees spent their time laughing and telling jokes, perhaps flirting, I said thank you for your time, but I’m leaving.

 

cartoon on the floor

cartoon on the floor

So on Saturday, I tried my usual store. The young lady had the correct measurements in the computer, and it seemed that it should come out correctly, but it didn’t. One of the other employees suggested putting the file on a flash drive and taking that directly to the printer. Glory hallelujah! It worked. Even better, this means I can put my drawing on a flash drive, take it directly to the printer myself and print it out. I don’t have to take in a small drawing that they scan and enlarge manually. The file that I put on the flash drive can be the actual dimensions that I want the final cartoon to be! I can’t tell you how excited this makes me! Trying to not think about the fact that I haven’t actually tried this yet.

The weekend and less

Yarn

Yarn wall

Gosh, I really wish there was something exciting to relate! Alas, there is not. The weekend was full of driving. There was a family event way up in the northern reaches of Texas, 30 miles from Durant, OK. Toll roads all the way–a love/hate relationship there. After our guild meeting, I hit the road, following wherever the GPS took me. Since owners of Fiber Artz are retiring, they were selling out everything. Naturally, since I would be in Bells, Texas at Willowood Ranch, I decided to drive the 30 miles farther north to see the sale stuff. And buy. And buy I did. After all, 1/2 price. Someday I will have to start spinning again because I bought roving.

Drawing

Drawing for experimenting

Ikat-tree

Drawing for experimenting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding my way to Willowood Ranch via narrow tree covered country roads was a nice drive. The ranch is wonderful, quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. Quiet except for the auto racing that began at dusk. It was relaxing to visit with family around a table with plates of barbecue. It is Texas, after all. Plus, I am hopeful that my brothers-in-law have helped me solve my ikat ratio problem. After I dye and weave the above experiments (yes, I know, they are not very attractive), we’ll see if the ratio holds true. And what’s a Texas ranch without a cow over the fireplace?

Cow

Fireplace

 

A studio notebook

Smoke-the weaving has begun

 

Ikat Notes Studio

Ikat Notes Studio

Notes on measuring ikat

Notes on measuring ikat

Something new for me, a studio notebook. While measuring ikat on the board, I weighed each ball of yarn before and after. Then I wrote down the section number and how much yarn was used, hoping I would have a pretty accurate way of knowing how much dye to use. On the right is the weight of each section. I then plug this information into my spreadsheet to get all the dye formulas I need. The left side has notes made while doing the measuring part. You can even see my note from a phone call about a new crown! Exciting stuff, this! This method is working well for the dyeing, so far. At least I think so.

Smoke in progress

Smoke in progress. By the way, the top picture is more color accurate. The color is charcoal, not black.

I am now weaving, the fastest part of this process. I normally take some notes when I start, but usually on a notecard.

notecard

notecard

I record the date started, how I began (as in twining, knots, etc), so that I can end in the same way. Sometimes tapestry takes so long, I forget what I did in the beginning. Even though it’s not visible in the picture (the pen I used is almost out of ink), I also recorded the width in the reed, the width of the woven cloth with and without the temple. I’m really trying to get a handle on the ikat part, so as soon as one of the design motifs is done, I am going to record the size of the woven one to compare to the cartoon one. So, while I am writing all of this on my notecard, (duh!) it occurred to me that I should be using the same notebook with the measuring notes.

Any hints you could share about your record keeping? Do you keep a record of weaving notes? Or other project notes? What’s your method?

Sequence of events

Ikat tied and laid out in order

Ikat tied and laid out in order

The last batch of yarn is ready to be rinsed and untied. It takes me about an hour and a half to untie a section. I use my seam ripper to slit the tape under the knot, then unwrap the ikat tape. This needs to get finished or I need to find a neater way of doing things. The towel is there because I usually do this while the yarn is still damp, hoping to not have so much compression of the yarn. Not sure it works.

Ikat leavings

Ikat leavings

 

Dyeing

Yarns in dyepot

Untied

Untied

Balled up and ready to go

Balled up and ready to go. And, no, these yarns are not different colors.

Today’s task–start weaving, adjust the warp width multiple times until I find the “perfect” width, then weave another header and start weaving. And then there’s the bit about a visit to the dentist and a chipped tooth.