Friday, July 31, 2015

International Flavors

   It has been the summer of discontent around here.  No weaving mojo, and no time to do anything about it!  I think my Friday blog posts have reflected that!  Sometimes, I must admit to rushing around trying to do something blog worthy, which is not good for my creativity at all.
      However, for the last couple of weeks you may have noticed a different tone, a bit of enthusiasm even, returning to my creative time.  It has caught me by surprise, really it has.  I  thought I was creatively stagnant because there was so much going on, and that my joy in weaving was being squashed because I just didn't have any time to devote to it!
   It turns out that I was just plain bored to death with it!  I have begun to doubt I will ever be a production weaver.  I couldn't even make it through 120yds of baby blankets, 40yds of bread cloths, or 16yds of the same placemats without losing my enthusiasm.  I may eventually find something that can hold my attention, but then again, I am not trying to fill a booth at the fall shows by myself.
  The first thing that peaked my interest as you all may guess, was Kumihimo braiding.  As I told you several weeks ago, it literally did a ninja move, and crept up on me in the guise of kids friendship bracelet set from the thrift store.  It wasn't until I had the little foam looms loaded that it dawned on me what I was doing!
   I borrowed a real Kumihimo loom that I knew was getting little use in the weaver's annex at the Center, plus some really fine shiny yarn, and the rest is history.  I purchased some Tama bobbins to get the full experience, the sound they make tapping against the loom reminds me of wind chimes somehow.

Here is my latest braid, I found this 20 bobbin pattern on You tube.  There is a woman, in Russia I believe, that has made a couple of videos for You Tube and this was one of them.  I believe this one may be my favorite so far.  Once complete, this will become bracelets for the fall shows.

(Be sure to click on the picture so that you can see the braid up close.)

I was looking through you tube videos to get more braiding ideas, when I stumbled across a video that showed Swedish Sami bands.  This is a weaving on either a Swedish band loom, or a backstrap type of device.  Of course there was someone who had taken it a step further and used their Inkle loom. (I have one of those!)
      I had just this week, cut off a very dissappointing project.  You know that project that just had too many strikes against it.  It was in fact, one of those projects that I had thrown onto the Inkle loom to have something to blog about.  The yarns were wrong, the width was too variable, and I had messed up the pattern.  (Three strikes and you are out!)
   I scoured the library at the weaving Center on Tuesday looking for more information about this type of narrow band weaving, and I came up empty handed.  I went back to You Tube and found a woman that had several videos, and she also had several books out.  Susan Foulkes is her name, and after a little searching I found a copy that I could download for a very reasonable amount.  It is a very basic tutorial called "Sami Band Weaving".   I looked through the book and I really liked the Swedish patterns and bright colors that were used.
      I chose my pattern and and yarns carefully.  this time I used a 8/2 cotton yarn that I have in several colors that would work for these patterns, though maybe not as bright.   I also thought that 8/2 might stand up a little better in the weaving.

 The repeat in this pattern is fairly short so that I can see where I am going, and I am less likely to get lost.  Once woven, this band, I believe,  I may turn into bracelets too.
I thought that I didn't have enough time to be excited about my craft.  I was wrong!  I work on these two different flavors of weaving in odd moments throughout the day, first thing in the morning, before the sun peaks over the ridge, (listening to audio books or podcasts) while I am waiting for the dryer to finish tumbling, while I am talking on the phone, while the grand kiddos are here working on their crafts, while dinner is cooking, in short, just about anytime.  From a Russian woman weaving Japanese braids to narrow Swedish bands

I am sure that it helps that both of these projects are in the living area of the house and not up in the Studio, which is a little warm this time of year, but I know that expanding my weaving creativity, by adding International flavors, starting with  a Russian woman weaving Japanese braids to narrow Swedish bands,  it is possible that more flavors will be showing up in the upstairs Studio s well this Fall, as the temperatures moderate.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

1 comment:

LA said...

I love those bands....and I'm glad you've found your mojo again!!! We just need to stay open to new ideas!