Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Tag: Retreat Page 2 of 4

Weaving Intensive

Lunch time walk to the lighthouse. Looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background. Look at the currents!

Last week was the March Weaving Intensive with Judith MacKenzie McCuin at Point Bonita (Marin Headlands). And what a glorious week it was. Yes, any week with Judith is glorious, but it was doubly so since spring had sprung with a vengeance in the SF Bay Area. The weather was in the upper 60s/low 70s the entire week. Simply glorious.

This is my 3rd year of weaving intensive with Judith; 4th in the series. (I missed the first year.) This year’s intensive is titled “Designing with the Reed.” I had no idea what it meant heading in, but willing to go along with whatever Judith presented.

In turns out, this year’s topic is cram and space. Our first project was with Judith’s own kettle dyed yarns.

I’ve seen scarves produced this way. They’ve never done anything for me. I have to admit that my heart sank a bit when we started weaving. 5 days of producing fabric that I didn’t want?

Oh well. Perhaps I can full this piece and sew it into a small accent pillow cover. I used this piece to experiment with color. How do I bring out the gorgeous colors in dyed yarn? As you can see from the picture, each color brought out different elements of the dyed warp.

I should have known better than to doubt Judith. This first piece was just the launch point for a whole category of fabric to be explored. Here’s a quick peek at what I produced last week, all based on the same technique.

a bevy of scarves

I’ll share the details of these projects over the next few days. In the meantime, let me leave you with another picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Weaving Retreat

Would you believe that I only took 2 pictures at the weaving retreat with Judith this past week? And they are both of the sunset. Both are lovely, but this one is oh so dramatic.


The first few days were windy, cold and drizzly, but then the sun came out.  The last day or so was down right balmy.  Coats were definitely optional.

Everything was wonderful except for the bunk beds. I forgot to bring a foam mattress to put on top of the camp styled bunk beds.  This body has gotten soft and missed my pillow top mattress.

Here’s a picture of my project sample.  (We wove another sample in the class, but it was just a 10/2 cotton sample and nothing spectacular.)

dbl-weaveMy warp consisted of Mountain Colors Silk and Ewe (50/50 wool and raw silk/noil, red/blue handpaint) and Mountain Colors Winter Lace (50/50 wool and silk, blue/green handpaint). The weft is 20/2 Redfish silk in charcoal.

I’ve decided that I really dislike the Silk and Ewe.  The noil was all over everything like bad dandruff. Albeit, colorful dandruff.  No, thank you.

But I really like the way the Winter Lace looks.  I’ve sampled with Winter Lace as both warp and weft and hated the pseudo plaid look.  It was too much like a school girl uniform.  But the Winter Lace with the 10/2 silk. Sigh. Absolutely lovely stuff.

I purchased enough to weave an airplane blanket. Something to snuggle up into on the plane without using the icky airline supplied nylon thing.  Something wide enough to cover me at the shoulders, with extra to tuck around, and long enough to cover me from chin to toe, including the extra cinch in at the seat belt.  Something light and squishable to tuck into any carry-on bag, but substantial enough to keep the draft from the overhead vents out.

Oh, and see that mis-threading of the Silk & Ewe just off to the right of the center band?  I really like how just that single line “pops” in there and gives the fabric a little oomph. (Yes, that’s a technical term.)  I have some more of it leftover to randomly tuck into my warp to give it a little extra zing.  Just to keep it from getting too boring.

Unfortunately, I have to wait until I get new heddles.  I have some regular old steel stamped heddles that came with my loom and it shreds my warp like nobody’s business.  I have ordered inserted eye heddles from Morgaine.  I’ll have to wait for it to arrive before I can put the warp on.  I need 800 heddles.  And I really need to replace the heddles for the other loom as well. Yikes!

I agonized over what I was doing that was causing my warp thread to shred, even while working on the  baby blanket. I was convinced it was something that I was doing.  I broke it down to how I was throwing the shuttle to the way I was changing my shed. But nothing seems to fix the problem with my shredded warp threads.  Judith took one look at what I was doing and immediately said it was my heddles.  Months of agony identified by Judith in under 1 minute.

Have I ever said how much I love Judith?

Gone Weaving

A little weaving retreat with Judith.

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