I'm Alice Schlein, a weaver and book maker in South Carolina. Occasionally I write about Photoshop, Network Drafting, bread baking, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Thanks for stopping by! Comments are welcome.
Explorations in Double Twill Two-hour lecture at the Complex Weavers Southeast Gathering. June 17-18, 2017, at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room. For more information on the Gathering, click on above link.
Spin Your Own Yarn Jan. 17 - Mar. 13. Learn to use the simple drop spindle to spin your own woolen yarn for knitting, crochet, or weaving. This hand tool of prehistoric origin is inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. Create a mid-weight yarn suitable for garments, accessories, and household items. Pack all your spinning supplies in a lunchbag-sized tote and take it with you on vacation! Click on Winter Brochure 2017.
The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop® Co-authored by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek. 362 pages, many illustrations. Now available for free download on handweaving.net. The accompanying CD with 1400 pattern presets is not included with the free download, but may be purchased separately. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
Network Drafting: An Introduction By Alice Schlein. Break away from the block. Curves for your dobby loom. Originally published in 1994, now available as print-on-demand from www.lulu.com.
A Crepe Is Not Just a Pancake 52 pages of text, b&w and color diagrams, and drafts for multishaft tradle & dobby looms. Many color photos of actual cloth. Methods for drafting your own crepe weaves. Annotated bibliography. Pdf available for immediate download. $21. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
Echo Weave Based on the 1996 article in Weaver's, Issue 32. With brand new diagrams and high resolution scans of original fabrics. Pdf available for immediate download. $7. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
Home from Charleston and surrounding locales. We were fortunate to attend two chamber music performances at the Spoleto Festival. The programs are listed informally in the Memminger Auditorium lobby:
The music was heavenly and we heard the incomparable Charles Wadsworth's humorous and pithy comments before the concerts and also his piano interpretations. This is the 80-year old Wadsworth's last season at Spoleto. It's hard to imagine the festival without him.
We spent several mornings at the beach on Kiawah Island…
…and went exploring in the shrimping villages south of Charleston.
Weaverly has been plugging away at her new book. Shhh! Don't tell anyone—it's a secret. She is tired of staring at the computer monitor day after day, and is going en vacances for a little while. Internet access unlikely. So through the miracle of automatic blog publishing, there will be some pictures of DuPont Forest to entertain you until her retour. Au revoir.
DuPont State Forest is only 35 miles away, but I had never been there before today. What a treasure! Beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, and all sorts of other wildlife.
Here's one of the trails with rhododendron foliage:
…and the mountain laurel is just coming into bloom.
I was setting up my camera at Hooker Falls,
…when a guy in a blue kayak shot over the falls and landed gracefully at the bottom just as I pressed the shutter.
My kindly photographic companion pointed out an interesting notice in the June 2009 issue of Shutterbug. On page 34 I read the headline, Digitally Weave Your Photos, and further on in the article is the astonishing statement, "…lets you turn photographic image files into woven textiles." How could I resist?
As it turns out, Weave It! by PanosFX is not a substitute for the TC-1, the Jacq3G, or The Woven Pixel, but a free Photoshop Action (a little file you put in the Actions folder). You can apply it to a file, and it modifies your image to imitate something I can only describe as a basketweave bathmat with a photograph printed on top of it.
Do you need this? Well, if your holiday weekend is rained out (as mine is), it might be a pleasant alternative to computer solitaire. You'll find it here. And, to be fair, the website will introduce you to some other Panos products, which, I'm told, are pretty good.
Warning: this will not make you a better weaver.
Here are before and after pictures of my experiment with Weave It! As usual, click to enlarge.
Today I've been practicing my Photoshop masking techniques. I find that if I don't use certain aspects of Photoshop every day, I forget how to do them and have to relearn. That's OK. Every time I go through the process I discover something new! That's the wonderful thing about Photoshop; the program is so deep that there's always hidden treasure to be found.
Here's a layered file of a liftplan for a 40-shaft dobby loom, with weaves applied as Layer Styles. The image file is on the left and the Layers Palette on the right (actually, in version CS4 the Layers Palette is called the Layers Panel, but it's the same thing)…
…and here's the same file with a mask applied to Layer 1 (you can see a little icon of the layer mask in the Layers Palette; the mask has horizontal black and white stripes). The mask hides the parts of Layer 1 that fall under the black pixels of the mask and allows Layer 2 to show through.
Here's a new file with the top half woven with the original design as a liftplan, and the bottom half woven with the masked design as a liftplan. Click to enlarge in order to see individual pixels. This is what the fabric would look like if woven with a black warp and white weft, on a straight threading.
More information about using Photoshop for jacquard and dobby weaving design can be found in The Woven Pixel.
My friend Terry has a wonderful new blog, and her documentation of her work processes is fantastic. The May 5 post is especially good, and all of us who find it helpful to document the way we work should read it. She has a good summary of Process Art as an artistic movement, then takes us through the steps of creating one of her art quilts, then concisely states her observations and evaluation. Masterful!
On a completely different topic…in a catalog that arrived in my mailbox, I found the following product, de rigueur for animation geeks. It's a camera you plant in the ground to film your growing plants for time lapse videos. No, I'm not getting one, tho' I can't help but wonder…
Can't sign off without a picture. Same one as yesterday, pushed a little more. Weave-ready? Maybe.
I took two of the images from Brattonsville Plantation and played with them, then copied one on top of the other. Then I dialed the opacity of the top layer down to around 40%. Here's the result so far.
I used to do this sort of thing by accident, when I sent a roll of film through the camera twice. I do like being able to control the process a little!