Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Message in the Cloth


Here is a picture of a recently completed "woven word" scarf. Last month my 16 year old niece came to visit for 10 days. While she was here I used your woven word technique to plan a scarf for her. Using Courtney's words: Happy-Independence-Calmness in the warp with her chosen colors of 10/2 cotton. I used ribbon as the spacer between words. I threaded the project in 4 shaft Swedish lace. I wove in a few words of my own into the fabric. The weft was a mixture of threads, cotton, tencel & silk. I kept the ribbon as the spacer in the weft as well. I am continually amazed at how this technique makes me use new colors and they always seem to work together.

Thank you,

Karen Driscoll

A note from Bonnie: Oops, I forgot to put in the close-up detail, and every time I try to add a picture after I have already up-loaded pictures---well the first pictures disappear.

Another note: At the same time I was winding a warp using Karen's idea---Karen was weaving using my idea---pretty cool

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Martha's Masterpiece

When I signed up for Bonnie's horoscope shawl workshop, I was both excited and intimidated. I had taken some classes from my very good friend to learn to weave and had woven a couple of scarves before becoming enamored with weaving rag rugs. I did not feel confident that I knew enough of what I was doing to participate in this workshop. Warping my loom with so many different colors and more than 1 warp string per reed was all new to me. And I LOVED it. Taking the workshop, and soaking up all the knowledge that I was exposed from Bonnie and the others in the workshop was exhilarating! and I had been hungering for a better understanding of color and I got to learn some about that and I learned many new tips. Now I have this beautiful shawl that has given me tons of ideas about how colors play together and I have already made another piece based on my favorite part of my horoscope shawl. I found Bonnie to be a great new weaving mentor in my life and not the least bit intimidating. And I feel more confident now to weave more fine pieces than I had before.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Gift to Myself

The horoscope shawl was a present to myself for my 50th Birthday. I somehow thought that it would help me understand myself at a deeper level and provide closure to a period of ill health. At the same time I am not in the habit of giving to myself. It proved to be quite an experience. I am a novice weaver and had never worked with such a draft as my experience of weaving had been limited to some scarves in tabby and twill. However, I like a challenge and undaunted got to work on the draft which Bonnie had sent me . Warping was interesting and a beautiful experience. I decided on 3 warps of 120 each and labelled them as such as I had only ever worked with 1 warp on my Ashford Table loom. Then there were simply not enough heddles on the loom so had to order some more and master that process. Putting on the warps proved tricky as I had inverted one of them so it had to come off and be repositioned. Next I wound on the warp with the help of my husband and it simply looked too slippery and slack on the loom so rewound it and rewound it again. I had put it under the beam at the back instead above and the same in the front so had to untie and restart. 3 attempts followed to put it through the heddles as I had not centred it well enough and 2 attempts at sleying the warp. I am not one to give up easily but when I wound the warp up again back and forth the threads started to break at the sides and I was close to tears. My weaving teacher offered to come and have a look and told me I had made a classic beginners mistake of not having my piece of paper wide enough so that the threads on the outside were under more tension than those on the paper and thus the threads would break. After some reassurance and winding the warp through the reed and tying the ends on each end, it looked about ready to weave. I had spun red tussah silk for the weft and was finally ready to weave. Weaving can be a reflection of life and weaving my horoscope shawl had many similarities to how my life had played out up until that point. The shawl is a bit shorter than I had planned and has a few frayed ends but that is a fair reflection of me. I love wearing my shawl and what it has brought me so far. Something I learned over the years: happiness is within, so take care of yourself and find peace within. The rest will take care of itself. If you address the outside before the inside, the outside will only reflect the imbalance within. People comment so much on the beauty of the shawl that the whole experience and its challenges has definitely been worth it.

Anne Howe

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Gift from Shelley to Winston

Hi Bonnie....Well, here is a picture of my husband, Winston Quan's scarf. I am wearing it as he takes better pictures than I do. I will eventually send you a picture of him wearing it , as he is an interesting character being partly Chinese and partly Cree Indian. I would not let him model the scarf as he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt which clashed with the scarf. He is of the opinion that men do not wear enough color and has made it his mission to wear as much color as possible. I , for one, am sick of his Hawaiian shirts and like to confiscate them whenever they get too worn and then weave them into placemats.

Well, here it is....

All the best to you!,


NOTE FROM BONNIE: above is the complementary draft that Shelley received after completing her own horoscope weaving.