Spring Awakening

What a lovely weekend this turned out to be. While I didn’t make much money at the festival I was at, I got to spend most of the day with a fellow weaver and friend, Allison! We talked weaving the whole day and it was SO FUN!!! I didn’t realize how much I really need to talk about weaving to someone who actually understands what I’m saying. My husband is pretty much the most amazing man in the world. (Nope. You can’t argue. He’s totally awesome) and while he understands weaving, knows all the terms and is even extremely helpful with helping me work through ideas, he isn’t a weaver. So I still don’t quite get the same outlet as I do from talking to someone who is. It also helps that Allison and I went to the same school and had almost all the same fibers classes together. 😉 her work is absolutely beautiful and I am so impressed with the beautiful, quality craftsmanship that she displays in every aspect of every piece she makes. Not to mention incredible color sense!

On Sunday afternoon, my mother and I decided to do a little QCE dyeing (quick, cheap and easy). A friend of hers recently gave her a bag full of Rit dye. I had a white over sweater that needed to be not white and she had some silk scarves that also needed to be not white. So naturally, they all went into a pot of dye and off we went. Once we did the first pot, we started thinking about all these other things that we owned that also needed to not be white….so one small dye pot turned into a total of three dye pots! The great thing about Rit dye is you pretty much just add water and 20 minutes later, you’re done! The colors aren’t quite as brilliant, nor are they as colorfast as fiber reactive dyes, but if you just want something to no be white, they are just about perfect.

Working with my mom on fibers and textiles is just about one of my favorite activities. We each have our own style and taste but we work well together and get lots accoplished too. Not to mention that we always have fun! We both get excited about color and yarn and the feel of fabric. 🙂 I love reading about other people who also work with their moms on fibers and textiles. I love the idea of crafts being preserved and passed on from parent to child.

I think I hear my studio calling my name. I have to get a few more things woven up before the TACA fair in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait!
~JoAnna

On shuttles

I was reading an article today by the well known weaver and writer, Madelyn van der Hoogt. It was an answer to a question about end feed shuttles. Madelyn gave the pros and cons of using an end feed shuttle but at the bottom of her answer she said that she prefers using a boat shuttle simply because she likes the sound of the bobbin rattling as the yarn pulls off.

This resonated with me because I’ve experienced the exact same thing.  A few years ago I began researching end feed shuttles. Particularly Bluster Bay Woodworks end feed shuttles. The biggest problem that I found at the time was that they only made end feed shuttles in a 15″ size and I was weaving mostly scarves at the time and preferred 11-11.5″ shuttles. Then Bluster Bay began making mini end feed shuttles, 11″ size. I bought one with a gift card and was very excited to test it out! I will admit that I sturggled a bit with the tension hooks and have since decided I may prefer a spring loaded model. I didn’t mind it though. As I threw the shuttle, it pulled evenly and consistently leaving nice selvages. But I really just missed the rattle that you only get from a boat shuttle. Hearing that lovely sound helps me develop my weaving rhythm more quickly and brings back fond memories of the weaving studio in college. I loved the sound of many looms working, each with its own rhythm and pace. Each loom making its own music. Each weaver conducting the piece. Without the sound of the boat shuttle,  part of the music is missing. I’ve been told by several professional weavers that they use only end feed shuttles and that those are the only type of shuttle you really need but I just can’t bring myself to give up my lovely,  well worn LeClerc boat shuttles.

~JoAnna