Sad days

My last final critique was yesterday morning. I cried. A lot. One of the other girls in my class did her project based around her feelings towards weaving and her artist’s statement was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard written about weaving. It described every bit about how I feel and how much I LOVE weaving. Leaving the studio yesterday was really hard. I felt out of place and completely at home at the same time. I knew it was not mine anymore and I had to let it go but it hurts so much because that place has meant so much to me over the past three years.

I’ve met so many friends, been through so much, learned so much and saying goodbye breaks my heart. I shall never forget it and the things that I’ve learned or the people I’ve met. I didn’t think I’d be so emotional about this. I am ready to leave Tech, but the Craft Center is completely different. I love the smells of each studio. I shall miss the hallway behind the fibers studio. I shall miss the sounds of the weaving studio; squeaking looms, pounding beaters and the ever present clatter of a bobbin releasing yarn as it is thrown across a shed. I shall deeply miss the lined up tables of the surface studio. Each table representing someone and their work, unique and beautiful. I shall miss the bonding with people over working on projects together.

I shall miss walking down that long hallway and down those stairs to get to the wood studio. The smell of the wood studio is so comforting and familiar. Each wood has a unique smell. I shall miss being able to look down the window at the wood studio as I pass by and see what they are working on.

I shall deeply miss the clay studio. The smell of a cave, the ever present chill from concrete floors and cold, wet clay. I love the feeling of a ball of clay in my hand, just waiting to be molded or thrown into a shape or form. I have learned so much from the people of that studio.

I shall miss the feeling of being apart of a place so small but so special and unique. I shall miss the feeling of community, family and comradery.

I hope I can carry on in my craft and uphold the standards of craftsmanship and good design that I have been taught over these years. I hope I can be successful. I shall always look back at my time at the Craft Center fondly and remember how much it has meant to me. I shall miss it dearly.

~JoAnna

Sneaky Pete

I am a Sneaky Pete. I’m not even sure if that’s a phrase, but I just made it one!!

We’re still putting together our fabric garden for our final crit tomorrow morning!! I ended up weaving up about 11 yards of the cloque I mentioned in another post. Well…We three girls decided that we HAD to have scarves! But we didn’t want our professor to find out because she’d tell us to cut them up and make them into “moss”. 😦 Too sad. It was traumatic enough cutting up 7 yards of the stuff! (or however much it was after washing…I can’t keep track…)

It’s been chilly here for the past two days. I guess it’s one of those winters we get in the spring. Blackberry Winter, Dogwood Winter….I can’t think of anymore. I could just start naming off trees and berries and adding winter to them.
Anyway, I’m all right with it being chilly because it means I can wear my sneaky, secret scarf. 🙂 It’s not like I could wear a wool scarf in the summer!! Yay for one more chance to wear wool!!

So my plan for the tiny cut up pieces of cloque is to figure out some way of sewing them back together to make a blanket of some kind. It actually may not be enough for that but I’ll figure something out to do with it!! The girls have been so sweet about it and told me I could keep all the pieces. They were so excited about their scarves!! I’m happy I was able to weave it! 🙂

The girl that had volunteered to weave the 8 yards (which was an accident. We were never supposed to have that much) has a completely insane semester this spring along with not much weaving experience. I felt so bad and I wanted to help her out so I ended up weaving her portion. (which I was extremely happy to do!!) I hadn’t woven anything for a few weeks and I was itching to get at a loom. I wove up pretty much the entire 8 yards in one day. It didn’t really take THAT long in the scheme of things. I think it took me somewhere around 6 hours. (Not including breaks to help Ben glue up his table down in the wood studio and a Sonic run during Happy Hour to get a Lemon Berry Slush)

So I had this wonderful idea for what to do with my thrums! (The waste yarn after a project is finished) I was thinking about the concept of knots in the warp and how they are undesirable. No one wants to find a knot in a warp! Well I was going through the thrums barrel at school (because I’m just cool like that) and I found that one of the intro students had thrown their hand painted warp thrums in there! This really isn’t all that strange, but I’m a sentimental idiot and save everything so I saved my thrums from my intro class hoping to one day find something to do with them.

The yarns were not continuous (obviously) so I started thinking about what I could do to make them so. Tie them together!! This leads to the problem of knots in the warp. But I got to thinking, what if the knots were intentional and purposeful? What if the knots were a part of the design of the piece? I’ve decided to make a blanket out of all the thrums I have. 🙂 I actually may not have enough at this point. But I think it’s a wonderful idea. Ben thinks I’m insane because it takes so much time to tie all the little thrums together and then wind them into balls which I can then use for warp. It’s not about the expense of buying yarn for a blanket. I feel wasteful having to cut all that yarn off and throwing it away. It’s perfectly good yarn, it’s just really short. I’ve heard of people making coasters or place mats and other things like that, but I really think this blanket thing could work. I’ll have to sample, of course. I may end up alternating each end with a consistent size yarn. Like I’d put one thrum end and then one 5/2 cotton end from a full cone of yarn. That way the knots would be more spaced out and it would create a more consistent look across the width of the warp.

I think this is a great idea. I don’t plan on selling it because I’m the one that wants my thrums. And what else am I ever going to do with them? Thrums, for me, are like a photo album. I look at them and see the project that they came from and remember the joy and/or struggles of the project. It would be a lovely sentimental piece. 🙂

~JoAnna

Busy little bee

I wasn’t going to apologize for being gone so long…(AGAIN) But…I’m sorry. I haven’t had time to blog lately. Here’s what I was working on yesterday. Sorry it’s blurry. It’s from my cell phone. This is the beginnings of our fabric garden. The flowers are a variety of hand dyed and commercial fabric that have been cut into small petal-like shapes, gathered at the bottom and sewn together. That lovely piece on the ground is our “moss”. It’s a cloqué piece using wool, silk and Tencel. It has been washed, causing the wool to felt and shrink while the silk and Tencel do not shrink causing these sections to bubble. 🙂 I think I’ll probably end up keeping it as a scarf after it’s done being moss in the garden. I LOVE it.

I don’t have a picture of this, but I also did some low water immersion dyeing on 4 yards of silk cotton batiste to match the orange flowers in this picture. It came out beautifully. One of the girls working on the project with me dyed 4 yards of silk organza in a dark green to be used for Spanish Moss that we will be putting in the tree. It’s coming together! It’s due in two weeks. I’ll be sure to take many pictures of it. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to post them sometime soon after it’s finished.
~JoAnna

Easter!!

Happy Easter! I like those silly cards or pictures that are a picture of a bunny that says, “Hoppy Easter”. Cute. Anyway just a brief update:

I washed the scarves and the sock yarn scarf is even softer than before. (It’s wonderful) and the acrylic one didn’t soften up AT ALL. So it’s a bust. Mom said the yarn would probably be good for rugs. That’s definitely true…I could cut it up in squares and make a small rug out of it. Like a welcome mat or a bath mat or something. I’ll probably just stow it away somewhere for a long time and then do something with it later. 🙂 But at least I got to experiment.

Future projects:
I’d like to weave with more sock yarn. I really like that stuff. And it weaves up quick.
I would love to try honeysuckle overshot with red and yellow. I was thinking about making a set of place mats using those colors.
Towels. I wove some of the extra warp off into rags when I was weaving the place mats for my senior project and they are wonderful! I’d like to make more. I gots more yarn!!

More dyed warps. I’d like to experiment with “low water-ing” warps and see if I can make it work. I just hate solid shading and messing with laying the whole thing out and painting it on plastic. So perhaps I’ll try it this way.
~JoAnna

More scarves!

I don’t think I’m actually going to get back to blogging regularly until after graduation… (May 8!!!) I have been working on more stuff though. I wove up two more scarves in the past day and a half. 🙂 I wanted to try some different yarns. I had some acrylic(?) yarn on this HUGE cone and I’ve never used it before…mostly because it’s really scratchy, but I figured I’d try it and see what it does. I mixed it with my 6-ply rayon in the warp and weft both to try to soften it up a bit. I need to wash it and see what it does now.

I was at the fabric store buying some 2″ foam to upholster one of Ben’s chairs for a class he’s in (the chair is due Monday!!) and I wandered through the small yarn section they have in the store. (Bad plan for someone addicted to yarn) I ended up buying two balls of sock yarn to try weaving with. It’s wonderfully soft. I was a bit sad that it was 50% superwash merino wool (ick…superwash…), but that’s okay. It was weird weaving with something so stretchy!! The tension has to be a lot looser, but thankfully I had a little experience with wool/stretchiness from the cloque sampler we did in my weaving class this semester. Anyway, the sock yarn scarf came out really soft and wonderful. I can’t wait to see how it fulls in when I wash it. 🙂 The first images are of the acrylic/rayon scarf and the second set is of the sock yarn scarf.
~JoAnna