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.
The past few days have been rainy, but before the weather closed in we did mange to celebrate Earth Day. A delightful trip to Walnut Grove raised our spirits.
The kitchen gardens begged for a panorama.
Back home, we noticed that the magnolia cutting, planted months ago, has finally decided to put out leaves. That bodes well for the future. I'm hoping for a very big tree. But that's a long timeline. We'll see...
In spite of the pouring rain, yesterday our intrepid guest drove us all the way to Old Fort, North Carolina, to the Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center, for a look at the wonderful photographs of local craftsmen by William A. Barnhill. The photos, a century old, were a treat. One in particular spoke to me—an entire family carding, spinning, and weaving on the front porch of a log cabin.
An unexpected surprise at the museum was the arrival of a group of musicians, who entertained us with two hours of bluegrass, old-timey, and folk tunes.
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!
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.
I have a lovely few ounces of green merino/soysilk/angelina roving I was saving for a special project, and began spinning it this week. I usually spin with a light-colored cotton towel in my lap for better visibility. The towel wound up in the laundry, and somehow there was still some roving rolled up in it. Well, you know the rest.
It's what I've always told my students: wool in the presence of water, detergent, heat and agitation = felt.
Today was the final session of the OLLI spinning class. Everyone is now spinning yarn! There are rumors of a loom being purchased. Always good to see new fiber enthusiasts in the making. Nice work, spinners.
Forgive this transplanted South Carolinian for going bananas over a snowfall. Where I grew up in New Jersey this was no big deal, but here it is an event worth celebrating. The first view out my kitchen window as I made the morning coffee:
I managed to locate my boots, which hadn't been worn in five years or so, and went out the side door.
Juggling sunglasses, gloves, and camera. Finally managed these:
Ampersand House looks good in any season, but it's absolutely magical in the snow.
For the rest of the day, multiple cups of hot tea are in order, and I have a nice new batch of wool/silk blend to spin. I hope you are keeping safe & warm, wherever you are.
This morning I came across a Dwell article about The Weavers of Lapua. If you can get beyond the highly styled photos and focus on the textiles, take a look at the weaving. Nice.
On a neighborhood walk I spied this bird on a wire. I wish I could tell you what it is -- all I can say is it was huge, about the size of my Thanksgiving turkey--but it did get me further into my black & white thinking. Keep in mind that this is an enlargement of a very small area of a phone snapshot, not a quality production. All identifications welcome.
Some leftover bits of gray Romney fleece found their way into my spinning basket, so I combined them & spun them up on a spindle, then plied & washed them. This is one of the yarns I just like to have around to fondle. It may not go any further.
Thinking ahead to more double twill on the dobby loom. First a structure drawdown, then a color version. Three wefts. These look better if you click to enlarge.
Have a good holiday, y'all. Be safe. Be generous with hugs. Happy weaving.
As I hadn't yet seen the Blue Ridge Fiber Show, and it's closing in January, we headed up the mountain today. The skies looked like this. We were undeterred.
This is always an enjoyable and varied show, with work by professionals and beginners alike. There's a good helping of weaving and felting, and I noticed a generous amount of very accomplished spinning this year. The garments were outstanding. You can check out a listing of award winners, but you'll need a magnifying glass to see the pictures. The conditions weren't optimal for me to photograph the work with my phone; however, I did manage to get a decent picture of this wonderful garment by Teena Tuenge:
Afterwards we drove to Teena's for a studio visit and I asked her about the very versatile structure she uses for many of her garments. She reminded me that she wrote an article about it in Issue #100 of the Complex Weavers Journal. If you're lucky enough to have this issue, look it up. It's a fascinating study.