Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Studio

Here's a bit of what's been going on in the studio these last few weeks...


A new scarf.

It's a blend of the four cotton and tencel yarns shown above.

This is the first time I have ever worked with tencel. Tencel is a natural, man-made fiber from wood pulp cellulose. Similar to rayon, yet different, it's known for it's great drape-ability and durability. As with the debate over conventional cotton and how it is processed, tencel has it's pros and cons in regard to it's impact of both positive and negative on the Earth. For the most part it gets good marks, being that it is fully biodegradable and made from trees managed for sustained harvest, and is considered an eco-friendly fiber. As for it's weaving qualities, I am very pleased. It has a lovely luster, and really does add a great drape and luxurious feel to the cloth.


I love the pointillism effect of all those dots of color!

And from a distance all those dots of color create a very subtle ikat effect...


Because it's got such a nice drape to it, I made this one extra long, (100" not including fringe) as sometimes I appreciate a scarf that I can wrap around me several times, but still have a nice length of scarf tails hanging down. I thought that others might like that, too. This fits the bill very nicely.


This extra long, cotton and tencel scarf, is now available in my shop, here.

I am continually floating between a love of bright color and a love of neutral colors, and have always been attracted to the look of vintage, European linen table runners...


So I let that be the inspiration for this woven linen, silk and cotton runner


 Featuring a twill weave design and both vertical and horizontal stripes of a lovely aqua blue cotton, it also has a lovely drape and very subtle sheen from the silk.


This linen, silk and cotton table runner is also available in my shop, here.

And here's a peek at what's on the loom now...


Anyone familiar with this blog knows of my love for shot cotton. So, is it any wonder that I would want to try my hand at weaving some shot cotton of my own??? 

I picked a soft blue for the warp and a bright spring green for the weft. As they intersect, they blend together and make a third color. Looking at the photo above, do you see how there is a slight difference in the color of the upper section compared to the bottom section? That's one of the things that I adore about shot cottons... those color shifts! (I'm curious to try reversing the order, a spring green warp and soft blue weft. How close or how different will the final two woven colors be?) 



Along with shot cottons, I also love the look of patches on my quilts, as many of you know, so why not incorporate some patches in to the shot cotton? By keeping the weave on the open side I can needle weave in small blocks of "patches" here and there. I'm using a variegated blue thread, (some of that lovely Sulky Thread that was gifted to me).

And by the way, did you ever wonder why it's called shot cotton? It's because every time you throw the shuttle back or forth, laying down a new weft thread of yarn, it's called a "shot".



Here you can see a couple of the woven patches. Once the fabric is off the loom, I'll wash it in hot water, which will close the weave up a bit. Curious to see what the final outcome will look like!

And last but not least... 


I have hit the half century mark! The big 5-0 came a few weeks ago, and as with all my birthdays, I take it with a big dose of sheer thankfulness. It definitely feels like a milestone though. 
Here's to those 50 years going up the hill, and here's to the next 50 going down.
Going down is always less of a struggle then going up, yes?
I'm looking forward to the new vistas and vantage points!
xo
(And just for the record, I have yet to ever dye my hair... the grays are just now starting to appear!)


28 comments:

Brenda said...

wow! great wovens here -- I'm almost tempted to buy a loom and weave! Happy Birthday -- 50 is more than nifty -- it's a nice smooth ride!

Jane S. said...

Happy Birthday! I remember 50 very well. I was "Queen for a Day" with a fancy gold dress-up crown to wear, fancy tea with sandwiches and cakes for supper. It was fun!

Just in the last year I went completely grey but it isn't pretty yet. When it gets to that nice silvery-white I'll never put another drop of color on it.

It was neat seeing what's on your loom. Thanks for the insider's view. :)

Nina said...

Many Happy Returns of the Day! You look 30-something in that photo, and I (actually 30-something) am very envious of your non-greying hair!

Jackie said...

Seriously? That is you at 50? Man, you look freakin gorgeous! And all that talent..happy birthday is all I can say to that=)

Jenny M said...

Such beautiful colours that you are using to create your woven items.
Best wishes for your 50th...lucky you, you have saved a fortune, on not dyeing your hair over the last few years.

Gloria Freshley Art and Design said...

Happy Birthday Victoria! I'm enjoying all your weaving. This shot cotton is beautiful. I look forward to seeing it after you've washed it. The patches are perfect. Love the tencel weave, too!

libbyquilter said...

happy birthday and I agree, you look wonderful~!

LOVE those needlewoven patches within your piece~!!!!!!~

:-)
libbyQ

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Happy belated birthday, Victoria! I love reading about your weaving projects. While teaching a class, I was just taking a tour of an arts and crafts assosiation's studio, and admiring all the woven items. Setting up the looms looked quite challenging though, needing at least two people to do it., and so that the several people could use the same warp, one after the other.

Gina said...

Beautiful work as always. And happy birthday for reaching fifty. Very hard to believe when you could so easily pass for thirty. I'm 55 and very grey so definitely look my age!

Angela said...

Those works that you are showing here today are as gorgeous as the rest of yours, I love them!

As for the 50, happy happy birthday. I already left those back a few years ago. Yes, it is easier to go down, but the knees suffer a little more, too, hee, hee.

patty a. said...

The woven patches are great! Your weaving is so beautiful! Happy b-day!

smazoochie said...

Happiness to you! 50 is nothing, you're only halfway there.
Love your weaving, so lovely & it must be therapeutic to do, but {I miss your patchwork}. :-)

Elizabeth's quarters said...

Have just discovered your blog, and love it! The weaving is beautiful, but I think I prefer the cooler tones and tweedy look of the second piece as it reminds me of a favourite Welsh blanket.

Esch House Quilts said...

What beautiful work you've been doing! The textures and colors are so wonderful I want to reach through the computer screen and touch their softness :)

Happy Birthday! You don't look any where near 50 :)

Cheryl Arkison said...

Happy Birthday!!!

It was only a matter of time before you started a weave that looks like your quilts. It is incredible.

Candied Fabrics said...

Oooh, those patches in the weaving are awesome!!!!!! Totally you!!!

Happy Happy 50 to you Victoria! I wish I were close enough to you to drop by with a lemon ripple cheesecake to celebrate!

brandeye said...

happy birthday! and the weaving is amazing.

CitricSugar said...

Happy Birthday! And wow! You look amazing…

Stephotography said...

Happy birthday, you look amazing! Thanks for sharing your beautiful weaving, your work is truly an inspiration!

Things Hand Made said...

Wow, you do not look your age. Knock 10 years off and everyone would believe you. The weaving is wonderful aswell.

Victoria said...

Many Thanks for all of your very sweet comments! xo

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Happy Belated Birthday! You look amazing!! I've got another 10 years to hit your milestone, but the grey on my head is fierce and WHITE! I've given up dyeing as it just doesn't work anymore...

Love the pieces you have been working on...gorgeous colours!!

Verte Adelie said...

I find it rather magical to see a person actually creating *fabric*, from scratch. Utterly fascinating!

Happy belated birthday, Victoria, and as everybody already said, you look so much younger than 50! (Ha, I think I got my first white hair at 20 :)).

Katrina said...

vcitoria! first off, happy birthday you beautiful lady, you. and secondly, the last time i came to your blog i had no idea you were weaving textiles. these are gorgeous. so gorgeous. i am doing a blog post about quilt resources and wanted to include an image of your "spring fling" quilt that i pinned from flickr. i'll link to you, of course. i tried to email but couldn't get the form to work so i'm peeking in here instead. hi you! it looks amazing over here. xoxo.

Stephie said...

Happy birthday Victoria! Wishing you health and happiness for the years to come :)

I LOVE your scarf, the colour is wonderful. And I learnt something too - I didn't know why they were called shot cottons!! (just assumed that it was because one colour was 'shot' with another - but now I know what 'shot' means!!)

It's wonderful to see you making patches on your latest weaving, connecting things. I love that.

x

sallgood said...

LOVE your weavings!
Happy 50th- I'm closing in on 59....which is a bit too close to 60 for me! :D

beth said...

Lovely blog. Lovely lady. INspiration aplenty!!!

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