Weaving with Rose Canes

Rose Thorns, Close
Rose Thorns, Close

I want to weave in rose thorns in the sewing thread warp. I got the idea in the night Sunday. On Monday I asked when the men were coming to prune the rose bushes in the gardens where I live. They came the next day. I went down and gathered the rose canes before breakfast.

Rose Thorns, Closer
Rose Thorns, Closer

I’m thinking of weaving them in on the top similar to the horse hair pieces I showed in a post recently. In my area, January is when the big pruning takes place. I thought I’d mention it in case anyone else wants to get a supply before it’s too late.

Weaving with Marl Yarns

Weaving with Marl Yarns A
Weaving with Marl Yarns A

I’ve played with weaving with marl yarns over the years. A marl yarn is made by  twisting a dark and a light thread together to use as a single weft. Which way you twist makes a difference in the look. I made two shuttles–each one twisted in the opposite direction (S&Z). I alternated the two shuttles in the sections here (A).

Weaving with marl Yarns B
Weaving with marl Yarns B

This is meant to be one of my “pages” in my  Pages Series. Interesting how the diagonals are stronger when looking at the side of the cloth–and how it looked on the loom (B).

Weaving with Marl Yarns C
Weaving with Marl Yarns C

You can see how I had to practice to accomplish what I wanted (C).

Weaving with Marl Yarns D
Weaving with Marl Yarns D

I might not cut the two apart–maybe some won’t turn into pages at all (D). Putting a group of them together really looked interesting. I might mount them that way. Who knows? I’ve got lots more ideas. I just need the time.

My New Weaving


First Woven Page
First Woven Page (click to enlarge)

I’ve been weaving the sewing thread warp. My idea is to weave small pieces that remind me of pages in books. I won’t make books, but show just these “pages”. It’s such fun to see what I can do with only 4 shafts. The warp is 10 shades/colors of sewing thread. I think the sett is 60 epi. I can weave it as a single layer at 60 epi or as a tube at 30 epi. This really gives me flexibility.The supplementary warp is threaded between the heddles so it doesn’t take any shafts. I just put the shuttle below it in the shed when I want it to show on the top. I can have it on the back or in the middle, too.

Four Woven Pages
Four Woven Pages (click to enlarge)

What fun! Here is the first one and a group of four. I’m tempted to show the spools of threads again to show the colors I’m working with.

Sewing Thread Spools for Weaving
Sewing Thread Spools for Weaving

A Good Weaving Idea Came Today

linen ruffle weaving

Just after I sat down to weave the cloth for my new ruffle, another good idea came. The scrap of paper with the idea is on the top of my desk now–on top of many previous idea-scraps. This one is for a ruffle, too. But I’m thinking if I use a soft, supple weft, I can “ruffle it up” warp-wise and weft-wise. I tried it on my last wavy weft sample and think it definitely has possibilities. The warp is linen but I think it will still bunch up nicely.

Fiber Optics Progress Report

Orchid No. One

I’m working yet again on a fiber optics project. I’ve woven two new pieces to take care of the glitches (I dearly hope) in the one shown here. the glitch is that it didn’t light up enough. My collaborator, Rob Suttman, and I went to visit a geek last week. We decided we need stronger LEDs and will go to an electronics shop this week. That’s the next step. It’s just step-by-step at this point. I hope to have it working for our weaving conference (CNCH) in May. The topic is tradition/innovation. I have my fingers crossed that we can make something wonderful that will light up in interesting ways.

An Art Book Retrospective

I’ve had my work photographed recently and over the years and am working now on a book like a portfolio–sort of like a retrospective. Organizing the photos was the job for today–a big one. It will be hard to cull them because they are all my “babies”. The photographs look wonderful and I’d love to be able to include them all. The next job: titles. My thinking is to make a few copies that I will sell at cost. It’s really a way to see what I’ve done over time.

A New (sort-of-old) Piece!

Ruffle Number 1: Turn it horizontally

This is my first ruffle, maybe a year or two “old”. Today a special friend held it horizontally–it looked fabulous! I’m thrilled to be entering it in an exhibit where there will be mostly painters. I think it will hold its own in the show. There will be 144 pieces. I’ll keep you posted. Be sure to look at it horizontally (turn it 90 degrees).

Detail, Ruffle No. 1: Turn it 90 degrees.



About My Inspiration

Rulles, fine silk threads (click to enlarge)

More from Katie:  “Also wondering, what is your inspiration for your pieces? I searched around on your blog and found beautiful work but couldn’t find how you had decided to use certain colors or what motivated you to do certain pieces.”

Usually my inspiration comes from what I am trying to accomplish. For the silk pieces (see the gallery) I wanted to see if I could create sheer cloth.  I found the fine, fine silk on spools in my stash. They were easier to use than the silk skeins I had. Then I made several more warps with that silk after accomplishing the sheer that I wanted. I also tried to create moire. Now that the skeins are on spools, I want to work with them.


Often it’s the threads that I want to see what I can do with–or a weave structure. I wove many collapse and supplementary warp pieces, for example.

I like to get started on an experiment and see what inspiration then comes from within. I love it when an idea comes from inside my body. Often ideas start in my head, then the body comes in when I’m least expecting it.

It’s Off the Loom!

Yellow sewing thread warp detail (click to enlarge)

My sewing thread piece is off the loom and ready for action. Here is a detail. There are so many ways to manipulate the piece that I’m letting it marinate awhile (if you know what I mean).  The hand is very nice and there is a lot of transparent area–all this pleases me. Stay tuned.

Collapse Weave Lecture

"Chemise" (click to enlarge)

I’ll be teaching 2 seminars at the Northern California Handweavers Conference next spring (May 18-20, 2012) at the Oakland Convention Center. One subject is collapse weave–a technique I love and have experimented with a lot. Here are a couple of pieces mounted in plexi shadow boxes.

Pink Creature has been in a previous blog. Do a Search for it on the home page.

Another chemise