Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I visited Susan Johnson's blog, "Avalanche Looms" earlier this week (link is on the list on the right of the screen) and found a post "Rags, Rags, Rags & More Rags," where she writes about her love of old rag rugs and a new book just out, "Finnish-American Rag Rugs" by Yvonne R. Lockwood. I emailed Susan and ordered a copy from her which I found tucked in-between the mailboxes today when I arrived home.

Eagerly tearing into the package I found a large 11" x 9" book, about an inch thick, and 249 pages, full of the rag rugs weavers of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you're like me and like to read not only about an art or craft, but the PEOPLE who do it, I think we will really enjoy this book. In addition to color and b&w photos of rugs and weavers, it looks like an interesting history/record.

In my brief look at this book, I saw photos of various Finnish and American looms, weavers at the looms, finished rugs, and so much more. I had to laugh at photos of their "stashes!

After finishing up this blog entry, I'll be upstairs in flannel PJ's, with this book in my hands, eagerly reading. The timing for this book was perfect for me, arriving while weaving my first real rag rugs!

Today was a work at the gallery day for me and I took a spinning wheel and basket of Coopworth roving to work on, along with the book "Damask and Opphamta" and printed out notes (emails) from several drawloom weavers offering suggestions for adjusting my drawloom. They enabled me to list everything I need to check and adjust on the loom to get it working properly. A good, productive day!

It is Art Education Month in WI and Artistree Gallery invited K-5 students, both from the Land O'Lakes Elementary School and Home School students, to create artworks to be displayed for a couple weeks at the gallery. Gallery artists removed their works from the big wall, the kids works were framed and hung, and a reception was held this past Saturday.

Their works are bright, colorful, cheerful and wonderful to enjoy. I had several visitors at the gallery today coming in to see them. Congratulations, Art Students and Teachers!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adding a Bit of ZING!

Three days ago, I started weaving again for the first time since my little incident with a rotator cuff injury. I'm back in the studio, and will now be back posting on my blog. I like to keep this blog focused, for the most part, on weaving and related fiber interests.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can weave off a rag rug in 45 minutes, like one weaver I know, not the months it has taken me. I'm still learning to love it, but it's coming easier now and I keep myself focused on what is happening with colors.

I'm also finding it easier to weave the rag rug while standing up, easier to hold the shed open while I "futz" (is that a word?) with the weft before beating, changing sheds, and beating again.

I love the colors in this warp, and the sheets/strips that are blending in nicely,
but decided it was time to add a little ZING, just a few rows, and used a brighter solid Copper or Burnt Orange color picked up from the plaid sheet just before it.

My "design," has the colors reversing at the center. I've redrawn my color plan and measured each color as well as counted the number of rows of each. I'm about 8" from the middle, and anxious to get to the second half of this rug (as well as the next two). There should be a photo of a completed rug on here before long! After several weeks of not being to weave or crank, I want to be DOing again. My upper arm still has a fair amount of pain, but I can use it again, and must, to keep mobility.

I may have mentioned it before, but the next warp will be 8/2 navy blue cotton, with 8/2 cotton in variegated blues. Hhmmm, solid navy warp, or stripe them for more interesting towels? Thinking I might want to get a bit of white, ivory, or a natural linen color (or both) to add in the warp as I have quite a number of large cones of white/natural cotton/linen blends to use, too. It's time to sit down with graph paper and color pencils and work out stripe warp options and see what I like best.

And now? Something has changed on Blogger, my photo shows on the compose page in code so I cannot move it. Posting this, but must find out what changes Blogger has made recently!