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Indigo, Bamboo, and collaboration April 15, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Sewing, Weaving.
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Here in my basement weaving studio things can get pretty solitary. I listen to radio and podcasts while I work to bring some human voices into my space, but weaving isn’t a collaborative type of art.

That’s why this current project I’m working on has been so fun, and so challenging. I sent some yarn off to Chicago, to be naturally dyed by the excellent artist Grace Rother. It started like this:

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and came back like this:

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The pressure was on for me to make something worthy of all the combined work and creative energy in this yarn.

I started with the linen. napkins with the earth-tones and place-mats with that featured highlights of indigo-dyed blue.

tablesetting

Next the bamboo yarn

I decided on a slightly more interesting pattern than when I’ve been doing lately. It seemed okay to spend some extra time on making these scarves because I really want these specially dyed things to be right, almost perfect.

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one long scarf, one short one, with fringe. I think they’re okay.

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Someday I’ll learn to be happy with what I make. Maybe?

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Full time/part time April 8, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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I’m full time at my day-job again!

This may mean less-frequent blogging again, but I’m hoping I can keep up with everything. I’ll be posting my spring market schedule soon……

So, full time office work/part time weaving for the foreseeable future!

So here’s a cloth napkin I finished and photographed recently:

blue napkin

 

Happy Spring!

 

 

Monday after the time-shift March 13, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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I’m very sleepy. Losing an hour doesn’t seem like that much on one hand, but it really really made me exhausted over these last few days.

I just finished some place mats and napkins that I’m really excited about. I am using the natural dyed yarn that my cool Chicago friends dyed with avocado skins and indigo and other plant matter.

I want to write more about this project and what I’m hoping can come out of it, but right now I’m very tired.

Here is my pretty picture from my photo shoot

tablesetting

Have a lovely night!

Just a quick note February 19, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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To say hi!

I haven’t been feeling great this week/weekend so I haven’t been weaving as much as I’d like. But I did manage to get a warp for 6 bamboo towels on the loom today. I’m a third through weaving. I sorta wish I could call in sick to work tomorrow so I could just weave all day. Too bad I have bills to pay and a conscience.

Here’s a throwback to that time I decided to weave a tablecloth in college:

Cotton Tablecloth w/ Lace 2007

Cotton Tablecloth w/ Lace 2007

and added some hand done lace while it was on the loom.

I had so much time and energy for challenges then. I miss that.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday Morning February 12, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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I’m currently working on some cotton napkins and decided that they could use a little decoration. So I added a Swedish Lace weave to the plain-weave fabric.

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Unfortunately I can’t tie-up my loom’s treadles like most weaving books assume, so I end up having to translate the patterns back into the form I need.

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Hitting two or three treadles at a time isn’t the end of the world, but someday, when my ship comes in, I’ll have a lovely 8-harness with all the treadles and tie-up possibilities.

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Back in the weaving saddle February 5, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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Two weekends ago I didn’t weave at all because I was in Chicago!

But boy am I making up for that weaving hiatus this week!

I made this pile of clothclothpile:

 

And there’s more coming off the loom tomorrow!

And these were in a store over the holiday and didn’t sell so I’m just getting them back now. It’s like belated Christmas. sort of.

Goodnight and happy making!

overwhelmed in the basement January 28, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Weaving.
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My weaving studio is located in the basement of the house my studio-apartment is hosed within. As studios go, it’s pretty basement-y and a little cold in winter. I threw my loom and everything in there last year and haven’t really considered the space much since. All through autumn I was too focused on producing at break-neck pace that I didn’t notice how cramped and inconvenient and, well, stark the space was.

So, this last week or two have been full of terrible things in the news and as much as I’ve been trying to keep informed and active, so much of it makes me want to get in bed and stay. But I have some weaving time scheduled and so instead of bed, I retreat to my basement studio to listen to music and focus on fiber.

I have some super friends who also know me better than I know myself. A couple of them have asked me if my weaving studio was a good space to be in, considering that I spend so much time in it. And I admitted, no, it wasn’t awesome. I couldn’t get sticky-tack or even command-hooks to stick to the painted cinder-block walls. It’s a shared space (laundry in the other room, storage all around) so I don’t wanna drill into anything. So, these wonderful friends sent me a care package with supplies to help me find a way to cover those sadly bare walls.

I spent some time Friday night and Saturday morning switching back and forth between weaving and trying different options for decorating and arranging. I now have a clock and a poster on one wall, next up, hanging a sheet over the other wall so I can pin pictures up in a gallery-wall type-thing.

Good luck out there everyone!

Here’s a soft thing:

bea napping

Silk and bamboo are very different January 21, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Research, Spinning, Weaving.
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This morning I’m drinking tea and gathering my strength for this weekend. I’ll be marching in my hometown with the Women’s March sister-march just after noon. Then hoping in the car to drive to Chicago for one night to see a fancy Broadway show about american history. You’ll never guess which one…

But as I am getting ready I found myself checking on my Etsy shop and thinking about how my ways of thinking about my weaving have evolved over the last ten years.

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working on my Earlham weaving senior project. 2008

When I started in college I knew that I wanted to be conscious of the ways that I was doing a traditional craft. I wanted to deal with the fact that I was coming to this art-form as something to do as a hobby, an extra, something to study and learn just because I was interested in it, not because I needed the skills to survive.

My senior project looked at various ways that loom-shaped cloth had been used in societies and places where it was important not to waste any resources. Where woven cloth was precious and treated accordingly. Cut only sparingly, using every scrap, weaving to the exact dimensions needed to prevent any waste.

Senior Show with me

Me with my Senior Project, “Loom Shaped Clothing” in 2008

What I didn’t look at was the larger, zoomed-out picture. I wasn’t interested in how the yarn was produced, just how it worked in the piece. It has taken me years to grow my understanding, to appreciate the ethics of production, the toll of using materials that are mass-produced and harmful to ecosystems and the people making them.

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Bamboo Scarf 2016

 

I am still learning, still trying to find my place in all this. Lately I have gravitated towards bamboo because it has the “green” label, but it is far from perfect. I don’t know how much water and energy it takes to turn the bamboo plant into yarn, and if the renewable-ness in any way balances out the negative effects on the planet. I know that most bamboo is grown in China and so I can’t be sure, from a human-rights view, if bamboo is ethical at all.

Wool is the only fiber I can work with straight from the source. But I can’t only weave, purchase, and wear wool from animals that I know.

Spinning two 5-8-11

I don’t have answers, but I’m doing the best I can to question, and keep questioning the choices I make as a creator.

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Bamboo Scarf 2016

 

january slump January 15, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Shows, Weaving.
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The weather here in Michigan has been just icky. Hovering somewhere just between freezing and not, somewhere just between raining and slush falling from the sky is not my idea of a Michigan winter.

Fortunately my studio is in my basement and terrible weather is perfectly fine if you aren’t leaving the house!

So far this weekend I finished a scarf warp that I’d been putting off for months, measured and started warping a set of yellow-striped towels, and planned out the next few months of production weaving.

I got a few extra hours at the day job to get me through the winter months with no fairs to boost my weaving sales. I’m hoping to get lots of weaving done in spite of that.

I also hope to be updating here regularly. I’m gonna aim for Sundays since I usually have those days off. But next week I’ll be off in Chicago and probably not weaving at all. It’s good to take breaks sometimes (I try to convince myself).

I’ll leave you with a picture of the last market of the 2016 season

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Detroit Urban Craft Fair 2016

 

Finally! December 27, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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We made it all the way to the last week of the year! Way to go us!

Things have been quiet around here, I know. I’ll be here posting about the last few weeks pretty soon. But in the meantime…

Have a lovely New Year!