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.
Molli, my Grandcat, is with me for the holidays. I've never had a cat, and it's been quite challenging to host Molli in a yarn-rich environment. She was especially interested in my knitting basket with its yummy handspun yarn.
By remaining vigilant at all times, I was able to finish a knitted shawl yesterday, and washed & blocked it.
Spinning is useful for the spaces in between—in between cooking, spending time with guests, folding things, putting away, all the business of life. Add the odd moments together and you get some serious yardage. Singles first...
Alarm signals coming in from my back. I'm putting a hold on weaving for a few days, and have picked up the knitting needles; this will be an opportunity to make a dent in the mountain of yarn that arose from World Series spinning.
I thought it would be fun to see some of the knitting up close in the scanner. The first one is suri alpaca I purchased in batt form. Turns out it had tons of second cuts and vegetable matter not evident on first inspection. It was terrible to spin—constant stops & starts to remove the offending bits—but I did get something knittable from it. Here's a scarf in progress at roughly 12x magnification (click to enlarge):
And here is a wool/silk blend plied with all wool. Click.
Everything's in a state of suspended animation today. It's very strange. I do plan to stay up to watch the election results, no doubt with my spinning supplies close at hand.
On my walk today I passed the church that serves as our neighborhood polling place (I already voted downtown a couple of weeks ago). The parking lot was full of cars. It seems to be a larger turnout than in past years.
On my way home I saw this little fellow on Yorkshire Dr. I moved him over to the grassy verge. It didn't make any difference to him, as he was long past caring, but I wanted to preserve his gorgeous plumage a little longer.
Back home and back to work...
I started a new panel today. More of the lighter greens in this one, and fewer of the reds. It's such fun to see the images emerge bit by bit. I'm really enjoying weaving this piece.
A productive morning at Southeast Animal Fiber Fair. I snagged a whole trunkful of wool (well, maybe just three bags full...), and had a glorious ride in the mountains, besides. Too busy shopping to take many pictures, but here's some wool/silk blend from Sue Dial that I'm going to enjoy spinning during tonight's World Series game.
It's been a busy week at the loom. The Double Twill project is underway. Here's a small bit of the first of six panels. Cotton & linen.
And here's a video from the folks at Hansencrafts that you must watch. I promise you that this is the best stop motion animation you have ever seen. Click on the link and prepare to be enchanted:
Halloween is on its way, in case you hadn't noticed.
It's getting close to freezing temp at night, but our camellias have gone crazy. These are the two bushes flanking the side door.
A Saturday out at the annual Euro car show brightened our spirits considerably. Automotive colors are very inspiring to me. For starters, here's red.
My beloved Cubs have me glued to the TV. I got a lot of spinning done during the playoffs, and there's more to come!!! This is the red portion of a graded roving that shades from purple through reds through yellow.
By the way, I've already voted. Age has its privileges.
The linen/wool blend I showed you a few days ago is all spun up and plied. Here it is under artificial light.
I skeined & washed it, and after it dried, it smelled like freshly mown hay. Not a surprise. It's a bit stiff and grassy looking, and you really can't tell there is any wool in it. The wool content was a big factor in making it easy to spin, however.
It's a deep pewter gray, a characterful yarn, and I love handling it. There are 284 yards, and I might have enough to knit a small market bag.
Hooray! Fall is finally here. The chrysanthemum display greeted me this morning at the supermarket. Recognize me in the picture?
Annual matzo ball production is underway in the kitchen. Here are the little fellas waiting to go into the boiling water.
And here they are cooked. Next into the chicken soup. That's for tomorrow. Shanah Tova, y"all.
In the Department of Fiber, I'm spinning up the intriguing bag of linen/wool blend I bought a few weeks ago at Gaspereau Valley Fibres. The linen has been chopped up into short pieces, and the 20% wool helps keep everything together. I plan to ply it. It's fun to spin and looks very hairy. Definitely not next-to-the-skin material. I think it will be a spectacular market bag; whether knitted or woven is still TBD.
Also in Fiber Dept.: studies continue in double twill. I'm now working out a version for shaft looms, with multiples of 8 shafts. Two warps, three wefts.
Back to the hanten. I placed the fronts & sleeves on the back piece, and then laid a folded black cotton fabric on top to judge the effect of a plain collar band. The commercial fabric was all wrong, I will have to weave another piece for this jacket. Not the same fabric, of course. I think it will be a plain weave in black cotton warp & weft, with a few random stripes of red & green placed in the warp--the red & green yarns are still in my stash.
The problem is that no looms are vacant. This hanten will have to go on the back burner for a while. In other words, another UFO.
A funny thing happened this week. One of my spinning wheels found a new home and I had to quickly finish spinning & plying this batch of gray wool in order to empty the bobbins. It was nonstop spinning for a few days, but I got it done.