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.
Intro to Tablet Weaving Two-day workshops July 20-21 or August 10-11, 10 am–4 pm. At Greenville Center for Creative Arts. With a set of 4-holed tablets and cotton yarn on a simple loom, weave intricately patterned bands that can be used as belts, camera & guitar straps, bag handles, clothing ornamentation, bookmarks, and more. For beginner adults or confident teenagers. Must have good eyesight.
Lampas Unleashed Complex Weavers Seminars June 16 – 19, 2016.
Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, IL
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.
Preparing a giant tablet for a demo. This one's 16" square, and will have holes the size of quarters and fat cords twisted on the Bradshaw cord maker. I want people to get the picture!
And then also some little tablets made of playing cards. I know it can be done, but I have never done it. If I am going to tell people it can be done, I should really do it myself. Now is the time.
I've run out of folded paper signatures, which means that before I make any more books I have to clear the decks and tear and fold. I have new paper on order, but until it arrives I'm folding some odds & ends of stock on hand.
And finally, after months of interruptions great & small, I'm back at the loom. You've seen this project before, but now it's advanced another inch. Hey, progress is progress.
But today's really big news, which heralds a change in everyone's attitude, and hints at possibilities, and lifts the spirit, is that after many days (4? 40?) the rain has finally stopped. There is the very slightest hint of blue. You may think it's gray, but I tell you it's blue.
And in the alter-world, the branches also stretch out, and an early street lamp glows green.
Tonight I will take the phone off the hook and watch a certain TV drama. January has its charms.
Still cleaning up in preparation for Open Studios. Yes, I know it's not until the weekend of Nov. 8, but the magnitude of the job demands extreme measures. And I am enjoying the newly uncovered work spaces and elbow room. And finding lost treasures. And I wanted the place to look interesting, not creepy, for the videographer who arrived to document me at work for a TV commercial promoting this year's event.
I did line up the yarn artistically on the shelves and arranged books and pillows, but Will Stewart was especially interested in the sounds of weaving for his video, so as I threw shuttles and plied the beater, he recorded the clinks, clanks, thumps, and shwooshes of a weaver at work. I can't wait to see (hear) the results.
As of last night, most of the snow had melted, and I settled down for an evening of watching figure skating from Sochi. All of a sudden—boom! Sounded like a tree branch landing on the roof. A result of the freezing precipitation, perhaps. But a few minutes later, this banner scrolled by on the screen: Breaking News: SC Earthquake.
It was only a 4.1, something my California relatives would turn up their noses at, but an Event Worth Noting in these parts. It has been reported that near Edgefield, the epicenter, a grandfather clock moved across the room. I would love to have seen that.
Watching the Olympics is a great way to get ideas for jump-starting new designs. The team uniforms and the costumes of the ice dancers are full of wonderful color combinations this year. I was particularly struck by a combination of black and dark blue, something I would not have thought of as beautiful, but on the ice it was gorgeous. It got me rethinking my tree design and I decided to reweave it with a dark blue weft instead.
I happen to have a small supply of dark blue roving, and I spun up a few ounces of dark blue to use as weft along with the gray handspun and the black lampas warp. I think this version is much more effective. Thank you, Sochi.
Those pink socks—been dragging them around for the better part of a year. Turned the second heel in Gloucester. Then worked on them a bit in the hospital. Finally kitchenered the toe last night while watching the Olympics. We all measure progress differently.
Spinning continues while watching the Tour de France. Yesterday's production: four ounces of Bluefaced Leicester dyed by Gale, in a colorway called Grape Vine, and four ounces of a blend of merino, firestar, and bombyx, from Laurie Sitkiewicz in Anchorage, Alaska.
The sparkly blend from Laurie is hard to photograph, but in the right light it looks like fireflies. And it's surprisingly soft.
Now here's a fiber that is definitely not soft—it's a gift of raw llama. I don't remember who gave it to me or when, but the time had definitely come to either spin it up or give it away. This is the raw fiber, posing on my Walt Turpening spinning chair.
I spun it during the sprints, using my "rough and ready" method, teasing as I go and taking the colors as they come, trying to maintain a modicum of evenness but not stressing over a lump or two. I don't know what the ultimate fate of this yarn will be, but alas, I'm not one of those organized spinners who spin with a goal in mind. This very scratchy yarn will eventually tell me what it wants to be.