Circular Cooperations

Circular Cooperations

Do you remember a while back we released the online fibre creativity course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’..? And with it came the lovely wooden circular loom that we worked with Majacraft to create for the course? Well we are not the only ones enjoying this amazing little tool, and since then there have also been lots of non-Golden Fleece people who have picked up on this idea that circular weaving is really a great deal of awesomeness! Shall I tell you why? (cos I have made a little list) Its mega easy and fast to warp Your kids can also use it! Weaving on it can be as simple or as complex as you like Its a tool that fits in your bag and you can take with you to places where you usually (as a dedicated weaver) must endure watching ‘other’ people knit or crochet while your floor loom calls you from far away… With this you can also keep your hands busy in social situations and prevent excesses in other potentially less healthy indulgences Its light and really easy to handle There are a myriad of ways to warp it and things to create with it Ok that was just for starters 🙂 You know there will be more after I have consumed second coffee.. The point is, that this is such a versatile piece of weaving equipment, and its so easy to use, that it’s easy to get enthusiastic about it! We recently started a new Facebook group on Circle Weaving, and one of the first things I have noticed that makes this group such a pleasure to hang out in, is the sense of cooperation and sharing among the group members. I think this is encouraged by the very nature of the loom and the kind of weaving we can do on it, because it is FUN and SIMPLE and non-threatening. Its not something high-brow or elitist or specialised, things that sometimes lead to a high level of competitiveness and individualism. Nope our little circular loom is a humble wee thing, but just look what people are doing with it! It blows me away, AND the willingness of the Circle Loom group members to share their ideas. This has been the other spectacular thing I have observed (and taken part in) within the Circle Weaving group, the actual development of these ideas on the group page.   This to me is complete awesomeness, someone posts a question or an idea they are trying out, someone else posts to add more ideas that have sprung from the original one, suggestions go back and forth, its a whole cooperative creative process that actually gives us all the ability to...

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And the Circles go on

And the Circles go on

Its Sunday today, and I am not very well with some mysterious something that is making me shaky and feeling very blah. I dont get sick very often and when I do it easily sends me into the depths of self pity. So instead of that I decided to spend some time blogging instead 🙂 I shall attempt not to wallow in misery and find something much more interesting to share! Here is something I was working on last week and I am very pleased with the result. Remember a while back I shared my Neckwear Tutorial with you? (available now at Fiberygoodness). Since then I have been playing around with a bunch more circular loom stuff, and there is a big treat coming up! I can’t show you that yet, but I can show you something I made with a variation on the neckwear warp I shared in the tutorial. I am very pleased with this piece, and it has a story 🙂 Fond memories. I found this amazing paper yarn with a super fine silk wrap around it at Habu in New York on our whirlwind tour of the city (of course we stopped at the most important places!). Habu was amazing. It was inside what seemed like an office building, through the doors, up the elevator onto a fairly deserted floor. A few doors along the corridor and there was Habu, fairly non-descript, until you go inside of course and discover yourself in this treasure trove of fibery goodness! Its a smallish place, but the walls are lined with shelving thats full of stunning Habu products. Habu is a Japanese brand that creates yarns that are just incredible to weave with, although knitters and crocheters also find plenty to do with these yarns too. There were rolls of stunning fabrics with such beautiful prints on the tables in the centre of the room, baskets covered the floor, overflowing with fine mohair in every colour and the shelves were neatly stacked with cones of fine silks. It was impossible to decide on just a few things. But I finally narrowed it down to a few gorgeous colours of silk and this amazing paper yarn, which just fascinates me. There were a range of colours but I chose this one because it reminded me of woven flax, something we see often in New Zealand as flax weaving is a traditional Maori art. So I made this: This variation on the neckwear warp in my tutorial creates a shape that I think is more necklace like, its a bit finer and the clasp has to go at the back, while on the other design it could be either front or back and could...

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Weaving into Winter

Weaving into Winter

Its 9.20am and I am sitting here at my computer feeling the icy bite of winter creeping in, that time of year when it feels like all my bones are frozen and there is always that annoying gap at the back of my neck that my scarf didn’t cover, and the ends of my sleeves not reaching down past my wrists far enough. My nose is cold and I am resorting to huddling over my coffee to warm up. Yes, the heating is on, somehow I dont seem to be feeling it though. You might be asking yourself about now, ‘is this post going to be one long complain time about the weather?’. And while I would like to say, ‘why no, no it’s not, because I have other actual important things to tell you’,  in fact, if I think about it honestly, it really is all about the weather. Sorry. Here is more : well it would be if my fingers werent frozen to the keys. Ok I am exaggerating. I have been weaving this week, perhaps an attempt to create warmth in wooly cloth 🙂  What I have done this week is completed two woven objects, one an experiment in double heddle weaving on my Majacraft loom, which turned out to be really interesting to do and with results I really like! I will be writing some more about this in a later post, because, theres quite a lot to say that goes beyond just ‘double heddle weaving rocks’.   and the other, a circle weaving. Partly it was to test out the tutorial I have written to accompany the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Course. There will be a task at the end of the course for using the yarns created in each module, and I am hoping that most people are going to choose to make that a circular woven item to the guidelines we will be suggesting.  So I have made a little tutorial showing how I use my circular loom. I have added lots of photos, so I hope its clear! Here is the piece I made this week, complete with shinys and yarn with lots of angelina combed into it 🙂 This one I am planning on adding onto a bag, I think it would suit a nice rich brown leather, so I just need to find one to suit! I am really enjoying my circular weaving, its meditative, simple (or more complicated if I want it to be), its easy to pick up and put down and even take out places with me, something I have missed since I am not a knitter able to take my hobby with me in a...

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Wild Weaving Workshop N

Wild Weaving Workshop N

I know I know, I still havent blogged about the dye day workshop yet… like I had planned to do before today 🙂 Its TIME, it gets sucked into some black hole of time suck despite my best efforts at what ‘I’ think of as efficiency. I suspect this version of mine is not ‘real’ efficiency so much as wishful thinking efficiency. Apparently there is a difference. As in… it isnt actually efficiency. But the point is, here we are. Sunday evening and everyone has gone home. The room that has been filled all day with chatter and amazing yarns and looms everywhere and mini-stashes to ooh and aah over.. well its empty again, left only with yarn scraps, some stray coffee cups, and a few sparkly bits floating around. It was a very awesome day. So I wanted to share it with you while it was all fresh in my mind, because my kind of ‘efficiency’ often requires that some things fall out of my brain, I am preempting this by writing it now. And I have to admit to feeling rather smug about this 🙂 Patty and I had a pretty solid program written up for the day. We wanted to be sure that we would cover all the things that we found important to review and share in just one day together, which seems like plenty of time but you know, once you get started, its that time vortex again… So our day was split up into three parts, weaving basics, design, and hands on weaving. It was such a pleasure to see everyones looms arrive and check out the warps they had set up, all so different, all so beautiful 🙂 Sometimes the warp itself is such a visual delight its almost a shame to change it by adding weft! However as the day progressed we saw some incredible weaving happening.   One thing I was really pleased to be sharing was my developing approach to freeform weaving and what that means, at least to me. I am sure my approach to it is not new or unique, but at least for me it is, and the more I do, the more defined and concrete these ideas become as I consider how to best approach the problem of design and freeform. I say ‘problem’ here because, if you look at anything creative as a ‘problem’ it just asks for a solution! The ‘problem’ for me with weaving is actually the goal, so not a ‘problem’ as in there is something wrong, but as in a challenge, to which we can see the outcome we want, and the challenge (problem) is to find a way to...

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Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

A little while ago, we (Esther, Donni, and Me) started up our new Manic Dynamic Majacrafters Facebook Group especially for those of us lucky enough to have our own Majacraft Dynamic Heddle loom to play with, (and those aspiring to have one). Since we started this group it has grown and grown in a most splendid fashion! We are up to over 160 members, and the creativity I see within the group is just fantastic and so inspirational.  I love it that the pieces people are making are all so incredibly different, unique, and very diverse, everyone has their own touch and special approach to working on their looms. So I thought it was a very interesting thing to highlight this idea of individuality and uniqueness by setting up a challenge for everyone! And the challenge? Make a piece in which the focus was on texture and form, rather than colour, so using the same tonal range within each piece, and working on developing ways of varying the weaving through creating surface design. I thought this might really highlight the unique approaches to the constructions and techniques used when creating these works of art. The results were stunning! I have gathered up some examples here of work from our group members. Its eye candy. Its brain boost. Its simply manically marvellous 🙂 I love each piece!   First, a pic of the piece made by a special friend who lives here in Holland too, Brigitte. These are totally ‘her’ colours 🙂 and I especially adore the way she has used the coils to make texture in the weft. Next is an image of some stunning textural elements created by Mary of Fiber Creek Farm, theres a lot going on in this piece but that is balanced beautifully by her choices of natural shades. This next gorgeous piece is from Tracie , I just love the colour, its so light and dreamy, and her use of contrasting textures and open weave really adds to that quality.    Now here is a very striking and dramatic item made by Robyn Betts from some amazingly black Alpaca fleece. She has also used some wonderful texture contrasts, and made a diva of a drapey scarf. I could see myself wearing this one ALL winter. Ahem 😉   What follows now is another wonderful, made in Holland, piece from Karen Bruinsma, her ‘Waterfall’ scarf, which combines some beautiful aqua blue shades with some very pretty textures and her clever use of the little felted neps that she created for this too. I must learn how to do that! Its awesome. The next image is from Rahel Hecht, who is creating some really stunning weavings...

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