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.
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.
I cut "Fish Story" off the loom this morning. It was a good piece for warming up the new warp, and as always I loved collaborating with Karl. He draws with such clarity. Here's the piece on the ironing board, waiting for hems and a few repairs. It's double plain weave.
Now for a rather longer piece. I've been working on the file for a few weeks. I can't really tell you much about it, as it's a secret. Please don't tell. Here's the hem and the first inch or two of the bottom border. This is also double plain weave. I'm enjoying working with the structure; quite a bit different from double twill. More graphic, somehow.
Now that my daily weaving quota is finished (I like to quit before I make too many mistakes), I'll settle down to some serious spinning. Although I'm not officially participating in the Tour de Fleece, I am taking the opportunity to make a dent in my fleece stash during the Tour de France. Watching guys in spandex and making yarn—great combination.
I've known Connie Lippert almost since I first moved to South Carolina. It has been a pleasure to watch her growth as a weaver. Her focus and attention to her art are amazing - she has stayed with the technique of wedge weave with hand-dyed yarns and refined it to an incredibly high level. Her exhibition (in partnership with Brian Kelley, photographer) at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History, closes February 10; I was lucky enough to get there the next-to-last day. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful gallery installation. For closeups of Connie's work, go here.
And while we're in South Carolina, my adoptive state, let me share with you a hilarious video that Mimi sent me. It perfectly reflects some of the snarls I have gotten into with Southern speech.
I have been glued to my computer screen watching the live cameras on the Chilean mine rescue. The images of the miners half a mile underground waiting their turns in the rescue module are compelling. They reminded my of one of my favorite operas, Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. In the opera, the nuns sing as they approach the guillotine, and one by one the voices drop out as each singer is beheaded. In the mine rescue, there is a crowd of miners in the chamber at the beginning, and as each one leaves the group gets smaller and smaller, until only a few remain. Actually, I think the mine rescue story would make a wonderful opera!
Another thing that caught my attention while watching the rescue was the blankets draped over the miners as they were put on stretchers to take them to the triage unit. The blankets looked so wooly & cozy, and sported a handsome block pattern. Textiles are so important at key moments in our lives. I like to think that the miners derived some comfort from this small detail.
More images: this afternoon we went to see Bruce's photography show at the Upcountry History Museum. Bruce did many of the photographs for the museum's permanent exhibits, and it is fitting that he is honored with an exhibition of his work this fall. This show features black and white photos of locations in and around Greenville—the historic, the quirky, and the just plain beautiful.
And here's the photographer his own self. You can see more of Bruce's work here.
And on a completely different topic—do you love books about books? I do. I just came across this reading list. I thought some of you might enjoy it.