Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shifty, continued

Here is a photo of the dyed and now shifted warp on the loom. I wound the warp on using the shifting box to move sections of the resisted areas of the warp. I threaded the warp for a Spot Bronson weave and it is now ready to be tied onto the front beam.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Will hook for wool

I was paging through a book called Made in New York: Handcrafted Works by Master Artisans the other day. I am always happy to see books touting artisans working in traditional crafts, but I was surprised to see an entry for a "Hooked rug weaver". I have never heard any "hooker" (that's what we call ourselves) refer to rug hooking as weaving or refer to a rug hooking frame as a loom as in the book description. Definitions are so important and the fact that this book is not using the correct terminology does a disservice to rug hookers and weavers alike. And please, don't get me started on the entry for the actual weaver in the book. argh.

Here are some of the tools that rug hookers use to hook their rugs.

Rug hooking frame, this one is a Pittsburgh lap frame and rests on my lap while hooking. 

Various rug hooks (hand-turned by my original teacher Mamie Adair's late husband) and wool strips on burlap

Some hooking in progress on the frame, showing the hook pulling the strip of wool through the burlap. Strips of wool can be cut by hand or with cutters that have cutter heads designed to cut the wool into specific widths. I don't have a photo of my wool cutter here but it is definitely not the "fettucine machine" that the Made in New York book mentions.
Here is Rice Bag in progress, the olive background was hooked using wool yarn 

Saturday, February 9, 2013


In ikat (Malaysian term) or kasuri (Japanese term) weaving, portions of the warp or weft are bound and dyed. The resist created by the binding along with manipulation of the bound areas results in patterns in the woven cloth. In warp kasuri, the warp threads are bound and dyed and in weft kasuri, the weft threads are bound and dyed. There is also double ikat which involves using the bound and dyed threads in both the warp and weft of the weaving.

The warp, bound and ready to dye
Warp dyed and drying; small area unbound at lower right
In warp kasuri, you can also vary the pattern by shifting groups of the dyed warp threads. There are different ways to do this, but I am trying my hand at shifting my warp using this warp shifting box built by my husband, Jean-Francois. The metal rods you see in the center holes and on the floor are used to elevate sections of the warp while winding it onto the loom. I can choose the holes to put the rods in to vary the shifting of the resisted areas across the warp.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New year and my new blog


I'm finally sharing my adventures in fiber and making things online. It's hard to explain over distance how the things I make get made, so I've decided to put them out there for questions, comments and head-scratches.

I rug hook, weave, knit, spin, sew and generally make things fiber-y. Here are some photos as introduction.

"Rice Bag, 0% Fiber", recycled wool and yarn on burlap

"Lavender Haze", fulled handwoven wool

"American Night", tapestry, wool weft on cotton warp
And sometimes I've been known to make art out of food...


"Mona Lisa Gelatina"

I hope you'll enjoy following my creative journey. So glad you stopped by!