Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to the World, Ruby

Of course I always thought I was a GREAT aunt, but now, as of last Thursday, I am actually Great Aunt Jan. What's even more amazing is that my little sister is a Gramma! My Mom is a Great Grandmother.

Last week, the youngest person in our family was my almost 16 year old niece. Now we have a baby again! A new generation has begun.

Unfortunately, we'll have to admire Ruby Dawn from afar, because she lives in Alberta, Canada, 2,050 miles away.

So welcome to the world, Ruby! I hope we get to meet you in person soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Making Woven Marks

The other day I was trying to make a row of tiny dots in my tapestry, but they looked more like dashes – you know, kind of long and skinny instead of short and round.

So I thought, I’ll just wrap the weft around the warp backwards, and the next thing I knew, I was doing backwards soumak. Non-locking soumak in case you’re an expert! I think it would be hard to do the locking version backwards.

I felt like I’d reinvented the wheel!

It’s easy. You just carry your weft around the back and pop it up just PAST the warp you want to cover, then loop it back over and continue on your way. It makes more of a dot than if you just weave. In this case, I was using one strand of Paternayan Persian, with 2 strands of black sewing thread, so you you mainly see very thin black lines.

IMG_1943I’ll have to try it with a solid black.

Here it’s just the small dot in the middle.

For more information about soumak see page 184 of Peter Collingwood’s amazing book “The Techniques of Rug Weaving.”