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.
Today dawned sunny and a little warmer, so we decided to "get out of Dodge" and drive up the mountain to Asheville. First stop was the North Carolina Arboretum to take a look at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. Here's a view of the entrance area with an unusual striped shadow pattern on the trees. This picture is a complete stripe laboratory in itself!
I have always found the Blue Ridge Show to be intriguing as it is unjuried, and one has the opportunity to see the work of new weavers and emerging artists, not just the old hands. The quality of this year's show was unusually good, and the show committee did a fine job of displaying the large variety of work tastefully. Photography was difficult because of the close quarters and some very large windows, so unfortunately I wasn't able to take a lot of photos. But there were many show-stoppers, by some familiar names and also some new people. If you are in the area and have a chance to see the show, it is up until January 7. Here's an unusual piece that caught my eye: Ruth Howe's potholder combo! Now folks, this is a delightful demo of color & weave effects in two colors in plain weave. This says it all. Not flashy or showy, perhaps a little tongue in cheek.
After lunch at Pomodoro's we checked out the Members's Show, Southern Highlands Guild, at the Folk Art Center. The theme was Small World, and all the works had to fit within a 6x6x6 matrix. There was a great range of media, including fiber and books. I was pleased to see the red "sold" dot on the label for my piece, a book with jacquard woven cover and pages made of recycled brown bags from Trader Joe's. Unfortunately no photography allowed here. Another nice show, and plenty of good shopping opportunities on the main level of the Folk Art Center. Show up until January 18.
That's how cold it is. These are not exactly gloves, and I don't mean to whine, but we are a bit surprised by the weather. My studio is usually 10 degrees colder than the living quarters, which is lovely in the summer, but...
A closer view — it's weft-backed satin and will eventually be a casebound book cover. The icicle elements are appropriate to the season. Designed on my iPad. Click to enlarge.
Something else to warm things up. I found this in a dark corner when I was cleaning up last week.
There's a geological sandwich in this work-in-progress photo. The bottom layer is the lampas piece I was weaving over the weekend as a demo for Open Studios. I chose something with only two shuttles, to minimize the possibility of errors. The in between layer is a sample blanket of weft-backed 1/6 satins, three shuttles. The top layer is a tie-on stick woven in. I ran a line of fray-stop between the blanket and the stick, and when that is dry I'll cut off the woven parts and retie the warp to the cloth apron rod. Ready to go again!
The "in beween" is the really interesting part. I haven't worked with weft-backed satin in a while, and I thought I'd do a little sample blanket strip to work out a palette for my next woven book cover. I used pattern presets directly from chapter 11 of The Woven Pixel (see sidebar). The first three dots show a single weft on the surface, the second three show two wefts on the surface, the next dot all three wefts, and the final dot none. The weft sequence is bright pink, yellow, and green. For the really curious, the preset numbers are 3WB005-3WB012.
Open Studios has now come and gone, and a special memory is of all the neighbors who stopped by to say hello. I know some of these people by sight; we all wave at each other as we take our morning walks. But now we have put names and faces together, and chatted about our families and our hopes for them. So we have taken another step in building community, and it feels good.
Willy helped me set up the studio entrance as a friendly, welcoming spot. Bruce was as ever my number one support system, and incidentally inflated more balloons than I can count. The balloons & wall hanging are attached to the little hut that houses the air compressor for my TC-1, just beside the door.
And on the other side of the door is where we put a hanging I retrieved from deep storage, a double twill affair. W said it looked just right with all the autumn leaves, and he was right.
My friend Ellen sat with me and helped stitch up pincushions before things got too busy. She also ensured that guests remembered to record their zip codes (very important!!), and welcomed everyone with her distinctive warm greeting.
Here are some interior views of the studio while we were waiting for the first visitors. After they began arriving, there was no more time for picture taking.
The most thrilling moment of the weekend was when this bus pulled up in front of the house and disgorged the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Arts Council; somehow the entire crowd managed to fit into the studio!
Thanks family, friends, neighbors, MAC and all the other nice people who showed up. I love you all.
While I should have been vacuuming the studio and putting away the odd bits and pieces, it was much more fun to make three more pillows for Open Studios. Just under the wire! This double twill fabric of wool and silk was woven several years ago, but I finally got around to cutting it up. I thought there was enough fabric for two pillows, but lo and behold, I was able to eke out three. They are what you might call lumbar pillows, 14" x 24". I decided to do the third one reverse side up for variety. Here's the glamour shot, outside among the fallen leaves and acorns.
In preparation for Greenville Open Studios Nov. 7-9, the Metropolitan Arts Council hosted a show of representative works from the more than 120 articipating artists. In order to include as many works as possible in the relatively small space, MAC restricted the size of the works to 12 x 12, and the effect was fabulous!
You can see my piece on the upper right, the one with the birds.
If you're anywhere in the area of upstate South Carolina next weekend, please visit my studio. More info and directions here. I'll have lots of pillows, wall hangings, towels, and books, books, books!