Peggy’s Weaving Snippets in CD Cases

CD Case 1

CD Case 3My holiday gift shopping is done! My first weaving teacher told us to keep every scrap weever wove. I sort of have–at least saved the sheer scraps I’ve woven. I put them in CD cases and voila!  I like to have the pieces seen from the front and the back so you can see through them, but you could put a paper behind them as a mat. I found an inexpensive easel. They can stand alone or be hung on a nail on the wall.

CD Case 2


Another Weaving Tour – This Time to Italy!

In a little over a week I’m going to Italy on a Textile Society of America tour: Velvet in Italy: Florence, Zoagli, Venice. We are going to see ateliers where they are handweaving velvet on huge, old looms.

Seems like there are always tons of things to do to get ready for a trip. I’m ticking off my lists every day. I’m working on getting photos of my work on my mini iPad to show people I encounter on the tour.
iPad Translation App
Today I mastered the use of this iPad app translator.   I can speak English and hear the Italian translation. How neat is that?

Velvet Weaving > click to enlarge
Velvet Weaving
> click to enlarge

Here is a picture of the velvet piece I wove after the class with our tour leader, Barbara Setsu Pickett in 2006. We made our loops with 2 brass bars and cut the loops using a blade passing between the two bars. I loved playing with cut and uncut areas and voided velvet areas where all the pile threads were incorporated into the foundation.

My Rose Hips in a Frame

Weaving with Rose Hips #2 - Peggy Osterkamp > click to enlarge
Weaving with Rose Hips #2 – Peggy Osterkamp
> click to enlarge

Here is one of my rose hips pieces in its frame. The frame is deep and I think the almost white mat and the narrow black frame really enhance the piece. Now it really looks like something where before it was just a piece of fabric that I held in my hands. I especially like the shadows the stems make.

Sheer Silk Weaving on a Monk’s Prayer

Weaving and japanese page
This is my first piece using one of the books I got in Japan. It is falling apart, so I don’t worry about taking pages from it. I understand it is a book of Monks’ prayers—or it may be just one prayer, I don’t know. I used two adjacent pages for this piece.

I wanted to show how sheer my pieces are. There are two that overlap in the center. The top piece was partially wetted to collapse. The upper part shows how it was woven.

Creating Again: Finally

Pieces on Blue Runner
> click to enlarge

I haven’t created anything since before my trip to Japan in May. In June I had a knee replacement-so finally, I got into my studio yesterday to play around. I’ve been wanting to use scraps of my sheer fabric, but not sure what I would do. I played around, wanting to show how transparent the pieces are. I pinned them up on my wall where my blue table runner was hanging to see what my composition was like. It really looked good on the runner, so I sewed the pieces in place with a few tiny stitches. I had to use the thread I wove them with because sewing thread was too heavy.

I have loved this runner for a long time-finally it can be shown. (It did win a competition many years ago and was in an international show.)

It’s woven with two linen warps used together as one in a dense, warp faced twill. I ironed it very flat using a rolling pin on a breadboard when it was damp from the washing machine. This took me a while as, for some reason, it felt a lot wetter than what my clothes usually feel when I get them out of the dryer. I don’t know a lot about washing machines, but I hoped that this wasn’t a sign of it breaking because I hadn’t taken my friend’s advice when she told me about getting a home warranty plan with a site like and I didn’t want my decision to fall back on me. Thankfully, it didn’t take me too much longer to iron it flat, and yes, I am definitely thinking about getting a home warranty plan because I don’t want to give myself such a scare ever again. I think you can see the flattened threads when you click to enlarge. I was inspired by Lia Cook’s flattened textiles she made years ago. I think I made this in 1982. (Yikes! That’s over 30 years ago!) It was to be for my mother-in-law but I knew she wouldn’t appreciate it so I never gave it to her!

Loot from Japan #2

Japanese Books
I found two old books in a book store in an arcade in Kyoto, I think, and I loved the first one I saw because of the beautiul worm holes that were in the pages. Then I found some more at another book store in Tokyo. I had begun thinking of using the glorious pages for mounting my sheer weavings on. The thick book is a collection of accounting books bound together and came from the Kyoto flea marke. There are hundreds of beautiful pages. I don’t know if I dare take any pages out, but I might. They are wonderful to look at as is. (I don’t know if they are right-side-up or nort in the photo.)

Peggy’s Weaving Studio Update

Peggy Osterkamp’s Weaving Studio

I got 15 small collapse pieces back from the framer in New York who makes may special plexi shadow boxes and had to do some rearranging in the studio to get them on the wall. If you like how they look, let me know and I can give you his contact information.

We decided they would look better with a black background so up went the felt pieces I had and I think they look really nice. They are the small pieces on the black background.

While I was at it, I thought I’d share pictures of the studio as it is just before I leave it for 3 weeks while I am in Japan.
[click first photo for slideshow]

Weaving with Rose Canes

Rose Canes Woven in Silk Peggy Osterkamp - click to enlarge
Rose Canes Woven in Silk
Peggy Osterkamp
– click to enlarge

I have wanted to combine thorny rose canes with the sheer silk from the beginning of this warp. Kept trying fleeces with no luck and finally I got back to my original idea. I found nice, thin, curvy stems and a few dead blossoms in the bags of cuttings I got when the gardener pruned the rose bushes in January. It looks nice on the wrong side when you see the curved lines through the sheer cloth. From the right side the twigs look fairly thorny and wild. I think it has the feeling of a black and white line drawing. Of course it is a tube.

Woven Bookmarks by Peggy Osterkamp

Woven Bookmarks  - Peggy Osterkamp - click to enlarge
Woven Bookmarks
– Peggy Osterkamp
– click to enlarge

Here I am again with more tubes. I needed gifts for my upcoming trip to Japan and wanted to use the warp I’ve been working on. This time I wove in horse hair. I tried black but liked the creamy white better. I also have brown horse hair but didn’t think I would like it. The challenge or inspiration was how to make bookmarks when the warp is about 4 inches wide. Each one is woven about 2 ½” high. The supplementary warp holds the horse hair inside the tube and it floats inside when not securing the horse hair. What fun it was when the inspiration struck when I had 5 minutes of quiet in our hot tub just before water aerobics class.

My New Weaving (part 2)

Peggy Osterkamp - Rose Buds - click to enlarge
Peggy Osterkamp – Rose Buds – click to enlarge

More things I’ve inserted in my weaving. The rose buds and canes I collected when the gardeners pruned the roses where I live. The buds were dried on the stems.

Peggy Osterkamp Pomegranet Twigs - click to enlarge
Peggy Osterkamp
Pomegranet Twigs
– click to enlarge

The twigs were trimmings from a pomegranet tree. I thought the lichen on the stems went with the pink sewing thread wefts.

More tubes and supplementary warp. This type of supplementary warp I learned to call “split broche”. The threads lie in the middle of the sheds just like floating selvedges do. You put the shuttle over the threads if you don’t want them on top of the cloth. You put the shuttle under them to put them on top. And I usually weave with them in the middle of the layers and only bring them up when needed for tie-downs.

I wanted to try some color and thought the pinks would blend with the white warp threads. I used light, medium and darker pinks to try to create depth in the cloth–a la Randall  Darwall.

My New Weaving (part 1)

Rose Hips 2
Peggy Osterkamp – Rose Hips – click to enlarge
Moire with Rose Hips - click to enlarge
Peggy Osterkamp – Moire with Rose Hips
– click to enlarge

Finally I’ve woven something I like! After my show in January, it’s been hard to get going again. I’ve been trying to weave “out-of-the-box” and for February and March nothing pleased me. I was trying to incorporate locks of fleece. Everything was ugly–oh, one small part looks all right but it isn’t a composition…yet.

I cut lots of rose hip stems and really like them. In the second piece I was interested in the shapes of the stems–then I looked at it from the back–voila! Lovely shadows plus the moire that I’ve been trying for.

I’m still weaving tubes on my 4-shaft loom. I have a supplementary warp that is threaded between the heddles. Those are the threads that hold the rose hips. They are weighted separately so I can slip extra things under them as needed.

I love making the tubes and only using 4 shafts. For the moire, I need certain shafts for the top and bottom layers. When I want one side to be a different color from the other I use other shafts for the top and bottom layers. 4 treadles: I just dance a different dance.

My Thoughts about Color Wheels

screenshot.02-04-2013 15.43.36A color wheel that was introduced to us in our guild program on Optical Mixing is the first one shown here. It is called the Magenta, Yellow, Cyan (turquoise) color system or color wheel and the one more suited for weavers. Our speaker told us it was better to use this one than the one we all learned and are familiar with which is the Red, Yellow, Blue system or color wheel (which is for mixing light). This is the second one shown here.

 If you look at my previous post screenshot.02-04-2013 15.44.02showing my own stash of colors, you won’t see anything like on either wheel. That’s because the color wheels show us intense colors. In real life, most of us don’t stick to only those intense colors—we darken, or lighten, or dull them, or mix them optically with other colors.

 So, how do you use a color wheel if the colors aren’t what you like? The colors on the wheels are NAMED. That is what is important. You need to name the colors or read them first. For example, red and red-orange and red-purple are names of three colors (officially called hues). Then you can use the wheel for relationships of the hues to one another or to put together color harmonies. For example, harmonies might be hues that are opposite one another or beside each other on the wheel. THEN when you know the names of the hues you are looking for, you can “doctor” them us (so-to-speak) so they aren’t so intense and to my mind, more beautiful or interesting.

 You can change a hue these ways:
Change the value,
Change the intensity
Change the temperature

 That’s how you get nice interesting colors that don’t look like kindergarten colors.screenshot.02-04-2013 15.48.20

 One of my teachers, Cameron Taylor Brown, had us make different color wheels. We named the colors from the regular color wheel we were used to. Then made these: one color wheel with all the hues being light in value (pastels), one with all dark hues, one with duller hues, etc. You see, we named the hues but then made up color wheels (like pallets) with the same hues but changed in the ways I listed above: value, intensity and temperature. There were some I liked screenshot.02-04-2013 15.49.00better than others. Using the yarns from one wheel makes your work look coordinated: to add punch, she suggested adding something from a completely different pallet (color wheel).

 For our talk on Saturday about Optical Mixing, we will be talking about value. Threads that are of the same value will blend or mix.

 One important thought: You don’t need to have all the colors in the wheel—just work with the ones you like or have.

 Use what you like and used the color theory color when you are stuck.

 My mentor, Helen Pope, always used to choose what ribbon for her pony tale by using a color that was one step from the opposite of the color of her outfit. In other words she used the harmony “split complementory”

A New Wrinkle for My Ruffles

When I was ruffling up the tube for the ruffle for the Room Art Gallery show, I got an idea for the next one. I like this photo of the ruffle–not so tight. Maybe I’ll make one “loose” like this that would be a sculpture and sit on a pedestal in a plexi-glass box (called a vitrine).

Peggy Osterkamp's Sculptural Ruffle [click to enlarge]
Peggy Osterkamp’s Sculptural Ruffle
[click to enlarge]
I loved the look when the ruffles were tight together. My idea for another one is to make it tight so it would be a sculpture and sit on a pedestal, rather than hang from the ceiling.

Peggy Osterkamp's Pedistal Ruffle [click to enlarge]
Peggy Osterkamp’s Pedistal Ruffle
[click to enlarge]

My New Knitting Project


from "Ori Ami Knits" © 2010 Vanessa Yap-Einbund [click to enlarge]
from “Ori Ami Knits”
© 2010 Vanessa Yap-Einbund
[click to enlarge]
I’m having fun knitting this necklace out of the stainless steel/silk yarns (threads?) from Habu Textiles in New York. The pattern is from a book using Habu yarns: “Ori Ami Knits”. I had to learn to do “short rows” and it is fun learning something new (and easy). I had yarn left from my sweater then needed a second strand of another color for the necklace so needed another cone. I guess this is how a stash begins.

My Woven Art Pieces are on Exhibit

RAG Show Room
Peggy Osterkamp’s Woven Art Exhibit > click to enlarge

My exhibit is up and I’m very proud of it. If you can’t make it to the opening on the 8th, remember the show is up until the end of January and the gallery is open Tues.- Sat. from 11:00 to 5:00. I’d love to see you at the reception or maybe we can make a date to meet at the gallery and  have coffee or something. It’s in a wonderful location in downtown Mill Valley, California, across from The Depot and next to Pete’s Coffee. Here are a couple photos. I’ll have more of the reception.

Helen’s Double Weave Afghan

Helen’s Afghan and Joey on Peggy Osterkamp’s Couch
> click to enlarge

Another “Helen” treasure is this afghan she made for me. These were her specialty and she always made two on a warp–each as different as she could make them. They were always made for someone and given away. You had to ask for one unless you were family and got one automatically. She had these on her loom when I first knew her until a short time before she died–probably 40 years. She tied on the new warps and never threaded but the first time. It was really complicated; I helped her fix some broken threads once. It took 15 shafts.

Peggy Osterkamp’s Ruffles at the Room Art Gallery

My ruffles are now hanging in the window of the Room Gallery and they look great and are lit beautifully. They will be up for December and January. My own solo show will be for the month of January. The opening is January 8, 6-8pm. The gallery is at 86 Throckmorton in downtown Mill Valley, California. More details about the show to come.
[click first photo to start slideshow

Weaving the Ruffle

Weaving the Ruffle – Peggy Osterkamp > click to enlarge

Here is a close-up of what the ruffle I’m weaving is supposed to look like. Who knows, I may vary it, but this is the plan. I’ve woven ½ of it so far—74”. I’m enjoying it and the patience needed as well. I have to check for symptoms pretty often to catch a broken thread or let down the selvedge threads, etc. (I usually weight my selvedges separately.) The weft is so fine that it breaks when I pull the shuttle out of the shed fairly frequently. I thought about putting in a colored thread to mark all the weft breaks, but it became too cumbersome. I do repair the warp threads with a blue sewing thread. It gives a little variation, but it makes it so I can see what I am doing.

Peggy Weaving a Sheer Ruffle

Peggy Weaving a Sheer Ruffle – click to enlarge

The weaving is going along slowly. The fine, fine weft breaks, a warp thread breaks. But the warp is OK and didn’t tangle, thank goodness. There are 491 ends in about 5” width for 96 ends in an inch. The threading photo shows most of the threads treaded through the heddles. It was a 10-hour job. I was careful and there were no threading mistakes! Hooray! The 12-dent reed has 8 ends per dent. Repairing a broken warp thread is a serious issue. It would be impossible if I didn’t have the lease sticks in behind the heddles. They allow me to track where the thread belongs and find the exact heddle required.

Weaving with old Rag Rug Rags

Here is what I made of the tangled warp.I love the rag balls and determined while working with them that they surely were meant for weaving rag rugs.Such a pleasure it was to think of the woman who made them.Each rag was carefully sewn to the next and all were uniform in size and weight.They were nice and narrow so turned the corners beautifully at the selvedges.

The second photo shows all of the pieces I wove with the rags.They are about 25” long.I wove in something interesting at the tops of each of them.The third photo shows one of the horse hair pieces.The fourth, weaving with twigs that had little dried berries.The last photo is with rose hips and rose canes.What a pleasure to weave with some large wefts for a change.Now the loom is getting ready for the next project: more ruffles.
[click first photo to start slideshow]