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Weaving Psychology: The End of the Warp Phenomenon

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I’d like to make an observation – there's a question in there, too – about something you may have experienced in your own weaving practice. I certainly have.Why is it that, so often, something we weave at the end of a warp comes out really, really well? Sometimes even better than the first part of the warp that we planned and wove so carefully?
The photo above shows you one of my favorite end-of-the-warp toss-offs. I'm being honest -- and I hope it doesn't sound boastful -- when I say I love it! And it just sort of happened, with less than a yard to spare at the end of my warp.
I was weaving the fabric below, with Echo and Jin treadlings on 12 shafts. I had planned the colors for months, painting two warps of 20/2 silk and beaming them together on the loom; carefully designing the threading, tieups and treadlings; and dutifully weaving it all up on about 12 yards of warp, using a 60/2 silk weft.


So at the end of the warp, I had maybe a yard left over and I got a little lazy. …

Waves of Color: Double Weave with Echo Threadings

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"Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." Elizabeth Zimmerman
As usual, Elizabeth Zimmerman nailed it: Substitute "weave" for "knit" and that's some of the best advice I can think of in these troubled times. 
So let's look at one of the most beautiful techniques weavers have been focusing on lately (at least judging from Facebook and Instagram and texts I've gotten from friends).
There's this gorgeous piece, from my fellow upstate New Yorker, Amy Parker (first photo shows side one, second photo shows side two):


This is an 8-shaft double-weave fabric woven on 32 treadles with a variety of warp and weft yarns, according to Amy, all around the grist of 10/2 cotton. Each vertical section has 2 colors in the warp and 2 in the weft, so the back side of the piece looks different from the front.
The draft is by Marian Stubenitsky, who generously shared it here on handweaving.net. (It looks a little dark in this reproduction, but hopefu…

'A time to rend, a time to sew...'

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To everything there is a season -- and in this season of coronavirus, many of us are busy sewing face masks.

I'm selling my "fashion mask" pictured above -- using cotton that's hand-dyed with indigo using shibori-resist techniques -- on my Etsy page, with all proceeds going to benefit Feeding America, a national organization that works with food banks, food pantries and meal programs all across the country. (You can check them out at feedingamerica.org.)

The main reasons I've heard for distributing home-made masks is 1) to protect those who need them, such as first responders, hospital workers and essential-service employees and 2) in order to save the N95 masks for those on the front lines, such as doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms and ICUs, where they are needed most. Also, here in New York State, Governor Cuomo has mandated that everyone wear one, starting now (effective April 17).

I first learned about the idea from the folks at Sew Creative, a sewin…

Weaving in a Time of COVID-19: How About an Online Show and Tell?

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My show and tell piece: a 16-shaft Echo design using a 4-color parallel repeat.  10/2 cotton warp sett at 36 epi. 20/2 cotton weft.
Well, here we are: Confined to our homes for the most part, working online, washing our hands, even avoiding friends and family during this crazy time. Others are working in health care or serving the public or daily taking health risks in order to keep food on the table and because they are good people who believe in what they do. Hardship and worry. Toilet-paper shortages, even!
And yet... So many of us have much to be thankful for. I, for one, am able to wind warps and plan projects that I had no time for just last week. I'm communicating with weaving friends online rather than face to face, but it's better than no communication at all. Weaving matters to me and so do my weaving friends wherever they are!
Which brings me to the subject of this post. Because of social distancing, those of us in the weaving community aren't able to share and t…

Jin Is a Tonic

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Actually, you can't weave true tabby when you're weaving Jin on an Echo threading. It's more of a half-basket weave, but anyhow....

This post talks about the rewards of Jin, also known as Turned Taqueté, and why it's such a popular structure to weave with, especially when it's woven on an Echo threading.

[First, however, a few credits to share. Kathi Grupp, advertising and marketing manager for the Handweavers Guild of America, deserves applause for starting the meme above, because she was the one who came up with it during a workshop I taught in Atlanta. Thank you, Kathi!

And, since we're talking about Echo and Jin, let's extend thanks also to Marian Stubenitsky, Bonnie Inouye and Margaret Coe, all of whom have made enormous contributions to the storehouse of knowledge in this area -- ever since Alice Schlein first introduced and named the design known as Echo in Weaver's magazine back in the 1990s. To be clear, Jin is an ancient structure, dating bac…

Sampling with Deflected Double Weave -- and Loving It!

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Above is a 12-shaft Deflected Double Weave pattern using 10/2 pearl cotton in three colors in both warp and weft: blue, purple, and sage green. An unlikely combination, yes, but that's what I had in my stash -- and I tend to like unlikely combinations.

I've been weaving away on my 16-shaft Toika Eeva, which is a joy to work on because it's a compudobby and I can change the tieup and treadling with a click of a button for every sample I want to weave. This is all in preparation for a workshop for the Teleraña Fiber Arts Guild -- and boy did they do me a favor! I'm not just talking about inviting me. It's really about the request they made: I tend to use wool with Deflected Double Weave and the program chairs gently asked me not to do that. Fact is, they don't have much use for wool in Arizona, other than for rugs ;o)

So I had to wrap my head around designing Deflected Double Weave patterns that could be woven with cellulose fibers and silk, with a lot of pizazz…