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.
A new wall hanging in progress. The brocade wefts are both handspun; the lighter one is a singles of finn wool & silk noil combined, and the darker is a 3-ply merino, corriedale, yak, and rose fiber (!).
Apparently rose fiber is a recycled byproduct of the florist industry.
Another brocaded project, another design. There are two handspun wefts in this iteration; the light one is the same as in the previous project, but the dark one is new. I continue to try to spin irregular singles. I find it very challenging!
This morning the petals of my favorite dogwood were all over the ground. I was sad that I had waited so long to photograph them—they were beautiful while still on the tree—but they also make an interesting pattern on the ground. If I were looking for a new starting place for a random design, this would be it:
Random designs can also come from the bowels of the computer—here's one such, with a little prodding from me:
This one's proceeding slowly, as I'm using stick shuttles for the handspun brocading wefts. A few hundred picks is a good day's work.
As I work, I have the strange feeling that someone's looking over my shoulder.
It's my new dress form, modified to more closely conform to my own measurements. When I see her out of the corner of my eye, she looks a bit like my own Granny. That's OK, Granny had very clever hands and she would be a good guardian angel for anyone's studio.
It works! Using handspun bumpy singles as brocading yarns is producing an effect I like in this abstract design on the TC-1. The ties for the dark yarn are black and the ties for the fawn colored yarn are off-white. The tabby yarn, barely visible between brocade picks, is green 20/2 cotton. Warp is black & natural 16/2 cotton @60 epi.
Here are a couple of pictures from this week's holiday preparations. Catalina is chopping apples & walnuts for charoset, using my grandmother's chopping bowl and knife (very carefully).
For a brocading project with sharply contrasting areas of dark and light in the design, I spun two different singles yarns, trying for more lumps & bumps than I usually spin. These two yarns will appear mostly on the surface of the cloth. They're a mixture of wool, silk, and bamboo prepared on the blending board.
Too much Olympics, no doubt. I get a lot of spinning done in front of the TV, but you've seen a full bobbin before. So how about the latest loaf? Part sprouted wheat flour, part unbleached all-purpose flour.
And the defining moment:
Always time for a few more variations of the current draft. The first one is a pseudo-plaid, and the second? This all depends on the yarn & sett, of course.
Yesterday I cut off a project from the 16-shaft loom. Into the washer & dryer it went, and after the rain stopped this afternoon I was able to take it outside for a quick snapshot.
While on the loom it was stiff and scratchy, but after its bath it bloomed into a lovely drapable textile. Warp is cotton, ground weft ultra-fine pima & merino blend, and brocade weft 2-ply shiny silk. This one is for me, a lightweight "restaurant shawl." I think I've met my goal of a brocade textile with a light and airy hand.
I hate to leave a naked loom, especially with visitors coming soon, so I wound a new warp to tie on to the old one:
And with any luck, I'll get it beamed tomorrow & start the tying on. It's only 300 ends, so it shouldn't take too long.
Another book cover in brocade. These will all be coated on the reverse side with acrylic matte medium when the time comes.
The idea here was to have the circles peeking out sometimes from behind the white strands & sometimes from behind the beige strands. Kind of a seaweedy effect. One brocade weft is beige bamboo, the other is stranded white Japanese cotton. The ground weft is fine pale green silk, barely visible.
And in keeping with the circles theme (also in tune with today's color palette), I hereby present the daily loaf:
If you thump this one on the bottom, it has a good hollow "clunk."
As this will be a wraparound cover for a longstitch book, I tweaked the lines into a curve in the flap area. It's one of the perks of working on a jacquard loom. Photoshop's liquify filter is one of my best friends.
Warp is black cotton, ground weft fine pale green silk, brocade wefts red lyocel and natural handspun tussah silk singles.