A couple years ago, pre-pandemic, we bought a 24 Harness 40″ AVL A-Series loom from its previous owner on Long Island. It came with 2 x 1/2 yard sectional warp beams. After we got home and assembled it that we realized that it was missing the bottom back beam. We didn’t worry too much about it because we were spending most of our time repairing water damage and getting it up and running. Then, just about the time we were ready to start warping it, everything shut down. At that point it wasn’t vital that we had a second back beam because there wasn’t much to do...
As many of you know, we make the bulk of our living at fine craft shows, along with some wholesale work for farms, and the fashion, accessory, and home good industries. Since the Stay at home order hit here in New York State we have been radio silent while we try to figure out what to do next, as you can imagine it is a giant pivot for us, but luckily we are young, scrappy, and persistent.
Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work by Tien Chiu does exactly what the title states, it gives you strategies. I am the kind of student who likes loose guidelines to work within. Give me a general idea of what I should work towards, and I will work very hard to get there. I even stated in my Instagram post about this book that I wished I had this when I was in college.
Last weekend was a pretty surreal moment in my career. I was an exhibitor at the 2019 American Craft Show in Baltimore, MD. I would not have reached this point if it were not for a few major changes in my life.
I recently received an email from a weaver named Cindy, in regards to profile drafting and tie ups. She was curious about the ability to use 8 harnesses with a 4 block profile draft. And furthermore, how do weavers know which harnesses to assign for the tie up from a profile draft? Her questions were geared towards the particular structure M's and O's- so that is the structure I will be using to explain.
Sometimes, life gets a little too busy. When this happens, I like to take a step back and look at what I have been working on. Often I am so focused on what is happening right in front of me that I forget all of the work I have done. So today I'm going to share some work I have been making, designing, and sending out to the world. If you follow my Instagram account @comfortcloth you can also see some other behind the scenes footage of my work on the loom.
The journey and documentation to create a gift for a family that means so much to me. Images of the process on and off of the loom, showcasing the design.
Research and discussion in regards to a miniature coverlet. Get a closer look at the overshot structure and a summary of miniature overshot techniques.
A historical investigation into a pink overshot coverlet that was discovered at an antique fair. I explore the structure and the roots of it's unique color.
This year for a Christmas gift exchange I wove a few kerchiefs. I used a silk-wool blend for the warp and varying combinations of bamboo and wool yarns for the weft.
I wove a winter kerchief for my husband. Together we looked at many types of yarns and patterns and finally decided on using Malabrigo Rios a superwash merino yarn. This Malabrigo yarn was so neat to work with that we decided to make a little video to share our excitement about this new yarn we found.
I'm a talker. I like to share what I know and ask questions about what I don't know. I love to share things that I have made and also to share things that I find inspiring. So with that in mind, what do you want to hear?! We are looking forward to creating some cool little videos on things that we are excited about. Are you curious about a certain historical textile? Do you want to know how to do a certain technique? Are there certain yarns that you were afraid to try? Or do you just want to learn cool stuff?!
I am a self-proclaimed bibliophile. I love being surrounded by books and the information they provide. Weaving literature in particular are very inspiring to have mixed in with my cones of yarn on my bookshelves. Before my husband built me these amazing bookshelves I have, I thought I had quite the extensive library of textile books. Upon collecting all of these books in one place, I came to the realization that I have a pretty small, but varied collection in regards to the different information they contain.
This is the fourth year that I have attended the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York. I used to scour fiber festivals for that perfect fleece for felting, or those new knitting yarns- but now I go to see what colors are trending, what people are knitting and creating, and also what finished goods are selling.
Eric recently built me new bookshelves to store my yarn and my books on in my studio. They are amazing! The shelves themselves are adjustable, so I can accommodate for those extra tall cones and those short little ones too. They are deep, and I can finally fit all of my cones of yarn in one place.
Sometimes, the weaving process can be very stressful. It will make me frustrated and angry, and doubt myself as a designer and craftsperson. Part of this stems from my anxiety disorder- but a lot of it comes from me wanting to improve and make great product that people will want to have in their lives.
Moment of truth: Sectional Warping scares the living daylights out of me. It is not because it isn't a great method of warping- it is! It is because it is totally mystifying to me at this point in my career. I have a great little pamphlet called "Sectional Warping Made Easy" and it is a lovely little step by step about how to wind on a sectional beam. There are some key things that it misses, like how to treat the ends when they are cut to make it easier to thread. It is also a little dated so some new technologies that have been developed since this book was printed are missing.
My previous post I updated everyone on what I was accomplishing during my time of silence. I briefly touched on my latest project off of my new AVL loom. Today, I wanted to explain a little bit more in-depth in regards to the type of project that I made and why I decided on this particular project.
I overestimated the amount of free time I would have in order to write the blog, run the business, and to weave essentially full time on top of my retail gig. I had to pare everything down to two things: My full time job and my part-time weaving for a local fiber processor/spinnery.
I have two jobs. One is my dream job, creating handwoven products for others and for my loved ones. I love to be at my loom creating, designing, and being the one who creates. My other job? I am a store manager at a lifestyle and clothing retail store. It is demanding and challenging. I like it a lot because it makes me think critically everyday on how to talk to potential customers, employees and how to grow within a company. I love this job, because I get to be myself, and I also have the opportunity to learn.
Before the holiday break I wrote a post about developing ideas for weaving. Today I would like to talk about taking those ideas and translating them into actual draft designs. I let the term "geological nomad" settle with me for a while. I then began to play in my software with some different color combinations and different weave structures.
I often get asked "how did you become a weaver?" This conversation usually is a long and wonderful story. However, I do not really get a chance to tell the whole story due to situational circumstances (ie. talking in the elevator with a box full of weavings). So, here, on this blog, is the full story! (It is long, but each part is important to know)
This past year (2013) was an adventurous one for me: I moved from Western New York to the Southern Adirondacks. I finally set up my weaving business. And within a few months, got connected to a local mill and I have been weaving throws for farmers in my community.
My life is incredibly hectic right now. I'm not going to lie and say that I have been able to balance everything perfectly and find time to design. My design has been all over the board and without focus. So instead of staring blankly at the screen not knowing where to start, I have decided to share with you my process from the very beginning. The very raw and blank beginning.