Since returning from my travels, I've been busy writing patterns, and making samples. I sent pieces to the Hermitage and to the British Museum, giving them pieces for others to handle.
Here is a photo of a piece in the British Museum collection, and the matching pattern I've been working on. I'll be teaching sprang at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale, Calif, in February 2018. Once people get past the basics, I'll be happy to share these and other patterns. Anyone interested in this class should contact Kim at the Lace Museum, by emailing kim at wire lace dot net, or calling 510 565 0994.
Over two years ago the weaving guild in Grand Forks BC invited me to teach them sprang and fingerweaving. At last the date has arrived.
Flying in an airplane from Winnipeg to Grand Forks, BC, took me right over the Canadian Rockies. I love looking out the window of an airplane.
Grand Forks is surrounded by mountains. It snowed most every day I was there. It looked like Christmas.
Three days of class. Fingerweaving the first day, then two days of sprang. The students were keen and eager, completed a number of projects, exploring these braiding techniques.
Thank you to Sue for organizing this, and to all who contributed to the lovely lunches, the setup and takedown.
I taught a class in sprang at the invitation of Odile Boone, of La Boone Ferme. Odile raises angora rabbits. She sells the fibers, and also sells finished products such as sweaters and gloves. Always looking for something new, she thought she'd try sprang.
Odile gathered some friends, and we held a class.
We made cellphone bags, to explore the basic stitch, then dabbled in making holes on purpose (lace patterns) cables and more.
Getting ready for another round of teaching, I'm preparing warps. I special-dye them, to ease the learning process. My daughter hosted the dying. We used the leftover dyestuff to color some knitting yarn. It was perfect weather to hang the skeins to dry.
My daughter has helped me make a new website. In honor of what people have been calling me lately, "the sprang lady" the website has a new name as "sashweaver and spranglady".
The Saskatchewan Handweavers held a Shindig, and invited me to come, to teach sprang, and to give the Saturday evening keynote address. The drive across the prairies was a stark contrast to the sights of earlier in the year, the giant redwoods of California, and the Rockies in Colorado.
The Saskatchewan handweavers asked me to teach a sprang class, and to give the Saturday evening Keynote address.
Participants in my class were eager to learn. The organizing committee hired photographer Sparkling Medusa Creative Services, Angela Reddekopp to take photos.
And later the next week, Jenny sent me photos of projects completed in the days following the class.
Back to the folks in California. Janet recently posted a photo of a sprang vest she made, using her handspun cotton. Well done Janet!!!!
Here I am, on a 3-city teaching tour of Colorado. Spring weather is living up to it’s reputation, sunshine, rain, snow, sleet, and then sun again.
I am teaching classes in Montrose, Boulder, and Colorado Springs.
Everyone works on her own frame, creating several sample pieces. In the introductory class, we explore the basic interlinking stitch, and then some variations. You learn the basic stitch, some finishing techniques, and then how to start from ‘scratch’.
My hostesses to date have been lovely. Many thanks to Bobbie, Mary, Janet, Sue, and Cheryl. I’ve been treated to a tour of Black Canyon of the Gunnison Park, and a drive through the Rockies, from Montrose to Boulder. Looking forward to a tour of the Schacht Loom factory.
In-between teaching, I’ve kept myself busy working on some Coptic designs, working out the pattern, and then testing them by making sample pieces.
I always learn things from my students. Today Janet taught me about dealing with sticky warps. She is exploring the circular warp technique, and set on a warp using her very own handspun. All by herself she came up with a great technique. I had recommended spacing the threads out sideways. She decided to take the shed sticks and push them two at a time. That way they stay spread out as she moves them around. Here are some photos of the technique in action.
Pushing the pair of sticks up
Pushing further up the back side
And over the top. Smooth as silk.
We will call this the Janet Finch technique for dealing with sticky warps.
Here I am back in California in February. I started out at the Lacis Museum of Lace in Berkeley. I hung out there for two days, teaching.
I then travelled to Aptos, where I met with the Santa Cruz Handweavers. Some of the students from last year wanted more. Some were new to finger weaving and sprang. Here are photos of some of what they produced during the workshop:
Such a pleasure to be working with individuals so eager to learn and spread the good word about these amazing techniques.
In my spare time between teaching engagements here in California, I continue to work on mapping out the patterns in those pieces I saw at the Kelsey Museum, in Ann Arbor, Mi, last May.
IMAGe(Twined patterns from the collection at the Kelsey Museum, in Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Hoping to publish a set of twined patterns, following up in the idea of the sprang lace book of last year. Sprang is such an amazing, adaptable textile technique. The historic record is exceedingly rich in ideas.
Working on a new vest. A friend allowed me access to her stash, two boxes of yarn skeins, a pallet, varying from green to red.
I set the yarn on my frame, false-circular warp, and the colors blend nicely, one into the other.
And here it is, partially done. I worked in some twined stitching, dragging colors along into other color zones. We’ll see what it looks like when it’s finished.
The white string is because I'm working a 'False Circular' warp. The white strings hold the initial loops, which will eventually become hemline at front and back.
A week later the cloth is now finished. How to form the neckline? Sometimes the V neck stretches stitches, causing a less-than-desiralble pattern. I’ve decided this time to try cutting threads near the center line. Two inches up the front side I cut threads in pairs, so I can tie them in knots. At the back of the vest, I tied the knots right there along the center chain line. On the front I unravelled a center thread to form the slit down the front, and then sewed it partway back up toward the chain line. This thread I tied with a partner thread. The other threads I tied at intervals to create the V neckline.
Cut threads unravelled and tied in knots, forming the neckline.
Pick up and knit stitches (rib pattern) around the neck to form a nicely finished edge.
I find this method makes a much nicer finish at the back of the neck.