Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Card Weaving Holiday Bands

Here are some holiday bands that the Weavers' Guild of St. Louis' Long & Skinny study group designed and wove.

It isn't too late to create some fun card woven trim for you tree, or bands to wrap presents in, or bands as presents!  Included are the card weaving drafts to weave them yourself.  If you need a refresher in basic card weaving instruction, you can check out my instructions at www.malarkycrafts.com.

Santa Claus by Marilyn Holtzer
Snowmen by JoAnn Treumann
Wreaths by Dale Goad
Snow Trees by me.


Three Kings by Marilyn Holtzer


Christmas Trees by Luise Hoffman

Rudolph by Dale Goad

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wool swim trunks?

I created some swim trunks for the "Look Ma No Sleeves" garment challenge that Handwoven sponsored last Spring.  I started late which was the inspiration for a small garment, and I used weave-it looms to make squares that I could travel with rather than try to get yardage woven on a floor loom in the allotted time.  They also had a category for using knitting yarns, and I thought that would be just perfect.

Unfortunately, as creative as I thought I was being in not submitting another vest, the judges did not construe swim trunks as a sleeveless garment, so I did not get selected as an entrant.  Fortunately, they were enamored with the trunks enough to publish them in Handwoven anyway because of their creative construction.

So here is a little more information on those wool swim trunks.  And no, I haven't actually gone swimming with them yet, but I hope to soon!  They are superwash, so they shouldn't full and shrink on me, right?

The yarn was Fiesta Yarn's Boomerang superwash wool sock yarn that I had 3 skeins of hiding in my knitting yarn stash.

Here I was trying to play with the layout of the squares to maximize coverage and figure out just how many squares I was going to have to weave.  Three to five squares per night, weave the bands on the weekends, I might just be able to do this!

A big shout out to Dale Pessin.  Without her help I never would have gotten this thing sewn together.  I bought a sewing pattern for boxer shorts figuring I could just use that and ignore the opening that usually accompanies boxer shorts.  She was so helpful in sizing the pattern to fit me.  That led to one or two embarrassing moments however as her husband Bud caught me running around their basement in my underwear.  Good thing we're good friends!

After the squares were sewn together, I ironed fusable interfacing to the wrongside so the squares wouldn't unweave as soon as we cut them.  Dale was very helpful here as well pinning and ironing seams as I feverishly sewed. We then began to realize just how short these trunks were going to be.  Not my original intention.

Each panel was one leg and required 12 6x6" squares and 10 4x4".  So that was a total of 24 6x6 and 20 4x4 for the entire thing.  If I had had time I would have added another row of the 4x4 to the bottom to give the trunks some much needed length.

The waistband had to be hollow in order to run a cord through so I could have an adjustable waist band.  And as heavy as these trunks were going to be wet, I wanted to make absolutely certain they stayed on in the water!

By putting the cards on their points you get two sheds and can weave two inkle bands joined at the selvedges.  Just make sure not to cross the threads or the two bands will be joined forever.

 We had a lot of fun having various family members try on the shorts to see who was going to be my model for the pictures I had to send to Handwoven for the competition.  My niece said she would try them on if her brother would thinking that that was a safe bet because I wasn't going to be able to talk him into it.

Well, she lost that bet, but we decided my nephew's chicken legs and lack of butt (much like myself) were not very flattering.  So this picture didn't make the cut.

Her's was so cute that she got the honor of representing the trunks at Handwoven.  (Shhh, don't tell anyone, but you can see I only had the band sewn onto one leg at this point.)

The trunks were a complete success!  Everyone who sees them smiles and chuckles.  The perfect response to something as whimsical as wool swim trunks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekend Fun

Last weekend was one of those rare weekends where I just got to play with fiber with good friends all weekend long!  I loved it!  Thanks so much Vicki and Dwight, Amy and MJ, Craig and Carolyn.

This is the wonderful living room:
The default fiber fun was spinning, and who wouldn't want to with this wonderful space.

But spinning wasn't all we did:

I caught up on some beading.  Yes, I am beading now, and unfortunately enjoying it immensely.  Curse you Charlene and Amy for getting me involved in yet another interest!!

Ply Splitting by Vicki.
Puzzle making when any of us got bored with fiber.

And of course, lots of food.  This particular dish is an Italian Frittata I made for Sunday brunch.  I don't cook!  Cooking for me is freezer to microwave.  I can lift a phone and order delivery as well.  That's John cooking!  But with much assistance in chopping and consultation I surprised even myself by producing this.  Of course the cat is out of the bag, and now my reputation as a kitchen bumbler is completely ruined.

Speaking of cats, this little guy was one of my students a couple of weeks ago at the Midwest Folk and Fiber Festival.  Georganne had to feed the little guy every two hours, so an all day class required this little guy's participation.  Michelle (who is a cat person) took one look at him and commented "Hmm, cat food."  Everyone got a good laugh out of that, but we took it one step further, and decided that would be a great name for the little guy.  So meet Cat Food.

He must have learned something in class because when he got home, he decided to show the rest of his family how to card weave as well!  Thanks Georganne for the fun picture!

Many thanks to Franklin Habit, and Jacey Boggs for making the festival a very enjoyable event!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Even Experts...

First I want to thank everyone at CNCH who took my classes.  You were all spectacular!  I can't believe how enthusiastic everyone was to learn new card weaving techniques!  The conference was very smoothly run, and I think everyone had a great time.

So, I've been teaching card weaving for about 4 years now, been doing it twice as long.  And I've seen all of the mistakes my students make.  Several I used to make myself frequently.  Evidently, I'm still very capable of making those same mistakes.

This little self-admission is out there to give confidence to all you new card weavers that even when you have 100s of bands under your belt (that's a strange image), you can still really screw up if you aren't paying attention.

I was warping just 10 cards to weave some shoe laces I wanted to bring on a driving trip this Memorial Day weekend.  Granted I was in a bit of a rush, but so are most of my students.  I noticed on the second card that the first card hadn't followed the same path on my circular warp as the second which was correct.  Okay, I can fix that.  Seven cards in I noticed while checking my Zs switching to Ss that in the sixth card I put half of the threads in Z and the other half S.  Never done that before!  Untie, rethread, continue.  Um, why does card eight and nine have the same colors in the same holes?  Well, they don't, I threaded eight with colors from draft card 9.  Rethread!

Needless to say, I finally finished warping that mess. Gee, only 30% of the cards were put on incorrectly the first time!  And no, no wine or other substances were imbibed before this debacle.

So yes, even experts really screw up sometimes.  I guess the difference between an expert and a novice is that I quickly saw, before continuing too far, that there were mistakes and immediately knew how to repair them quickly.  But that's just experience folks, so keep those cards turning and you too will become experienced!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today was a big day.  It was SOAR registration day.  This is my one conference where I just get to play!  No teaching, no card weaving, just spinning with friends.  I can't wait until October now.

You have to understand that since they went to the electronic registration, everyone sits by their computer refreshing their browser frantically, waiting for that magic "Register Now" button to appear.  Then it is a mad rush through the preliminary registration process until you get to the workshops and retreats, and then you pray that the ones you wanted are still open.

I did very well this year.  Finished registration in the first five minutes and got everything I wanted.  In case you are curious, here's my list:

Workshop: Kate Larson's Colorwork Knitting Traditions

Back to the draft with Jacey Boggs,
Three wild downs with Judith MacKenzie (my first Judith class!)
Plying for Colorwork, with Kate again
Jeannine's Grab Bag which was just too fun not to do again.

Hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Madness

While my partner is going nuts with college basketball this month (GO JAYHAWKS!), I've been going nuts traveling all over the country teaching.  This is actually a good thing as I'm generally a sports widow during the month of March especially if Kansas is doing well in the tournament.

First was the Cuyahoga Weavers Guild in Cleveland OH.  Thanks so much to Nora for putting me up.  We had a great time discussing politics with her husband Tony.  And I do mean a good time in spite of the fact that we have very different views.  Thanks Tony!  The guild was great fun!  And many tablets were turned.

Then it was off to Hartford CT with the Handweavers Guild of Connecticut.  We had fun discussing all of the different things you can do with bands.  There are only about a million!  While there I decided to zip over to New Jersey and visit with Daryl Lancaster.  I got to take an inkle weaving class with her and I continued to needle her on the superiority of tablet woven bands over inkle bands.  She has put up a challenge on her blog (our ongoing Battle of the Bands), but I haven't had any time to weave a response.  Just you wait Daryl, your inkle band's day will come, and my tablet woven band will kick its warp!

We had great fun in the class, and I learned I don't hate inkle pick-up nearly as much as I thought I did.  Daryl does classes through the internet through Weavolution.  Check it out sometime.

Just last week I was teaching for SWIFT (Spinners and Weavers of Indiana Fibers and Textiles).  We did a project based workshop, and by gumby we actually got projects finished!  Thank you Susan for putting us up at the Trading Post for Fiber Arts

Dog Collar made by Ericka

And next weekend, the last in March, I'll be in Iowa City visiting with Vicki Tardy having a quiet fiber weekend of spinning and conversation and going to a William Elliott Whitmore concert.  I'm a groupy!

He's playing with Justin Townes Earle as part of the Iowa City Mission Creek Festival.

Thankfully, April is looking to be a very quiet month here in St. Louis.  Then in May it is off to Oakland for CNCH!  Can't wait!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Forest for the Trees

Our Long & Skinny study group (the study all things woven that are long and skinny!) in the Weavers' Guild of St. Louis has been working on converting boundweave patterns from a beautiful tapestry into tablet weaving designs.

In the past there was a practice of converting tablet woven designs into boundweave patterns, so fair is fair.

I got Evergreens and Orange Groves.

Here is my interpretation of the Orange Grove:

You can download the draft OrangeGrove.pdf

I also did Evergreens.

That draft is available as well.  EvergreenForest.pdf

Keep those cards turning!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Crimson Kimono

Getting ready for exhibits has been the next great challenge.

This kimono was a community project.  It started with the band.  My friend Amy Norris said it looked like a gold ribbon flowing in and out of the band.  We decided it needed a garment, so she volunteered to weave fabric for it.

The band is a simple repeating double-faced design.  The background was Bambu 7, and the pattern was 2000ypp rayon chenille.  It was one continuous band woven on a floor inkle loom.

Amy wove the fabric with Bambu in a 16-shaft twill.  The warp was red, and the weft was actually the same blue as in the band.

Then Carolyn Hart volunteered (was coerced?) to put it all together.  I know she is still cussing me.  She did an incredible job however.  The left overs were two strips of fabric about 4" by 10" and about 10" of band.  That's talent!

Hopefully this will be accepted into the Convergence fashion show.  If you are going, maybe you'll see it there!

Diving anyone?

Another passion of mine (other than card weaving that is) is SCUBA Diving.  My brother and I just got back from Key West FL for a quick weekend of diving.  I'm still working on combining the two passions.  Anyone for underwater card weaving classes?

We saw a shark, yikes!

Lots of fish (and one brother)...

And we dove the Vandenberg wreck. It was intentionally sunk 2 1/2 years ago for artificial reef growth.  The deck was at about 90ft.  Very fun, and a little creepy!

Three foot barracuda!

Lots of places to swim through.
And really fun structures!