June is the last formal program for the guild year and it will be another Zoom meeting. The usual raffle, auction and sale will have to wait until we can meet in person.
The September Black Sheep Guild program will feature Carol James, expert in sprang and the would-have-been keynote speaker from CNCH 2020. She’ll talk about the fascinating structure that is sprang. There will be a live demonstration and examples of the tremendous variety of clothing and other items that can be made with the versatile technique. She’ll include examples from history and modern applications.
Carol James has been playing with strings for a long time; she learned to embroider and to crochet before she entered kindergarten. Since the 1980s she has been exploring a wide, flat, braiding technique known in North America as fingerweaving. In the mid 1990s she was introduced to sprang. She is now a world-recognized teacher. She has spent the past 20 years rediscovering textile forms that had been considered lost, resurrecting these ancient techniques and making them accessible to everyone through her publications, books and workshops. Carol believes that textile creation is part of our human heritage. Textile is an amalgamation of threads interconnecting with each other, just as humans work together in order to create the fabric of society. The method used to create fabric in disparate communities around the world is often quite similar. This is a common language of humans: the construction of fabric. Woven together we are stronger.
Carol James’s website may be found at
Carol writes about the image on the right: “I made myself a new sprang shirt, using a 5/2 mercerized cotton from Lunatic Fringe, leftovers from other projects. Inspired by the stitch pattern in a Ukrainian belt, I made vertical stripes in the body. I inserted a weft along the shoulder where front and back meet, it gives stability to the shoulder, bearing the weight of the sleeve.” More information about this piece is on the blog at Carol’s website.
Kathy S: Work in progress
Turned Taquete project done in silk 20/2 warp and 60/2 weft.
Jodi: New work off my loom
Ulla: Dear friend Gisela Evitt remembered, weavings of her beautiful stash
Last week was a week for finishing projects. I had a long warp of linen curtains for our corner bay windows on the loom for a couple of months. 48″ wide, 24 epi and 50/2 linen from Gisela’s stash of Knox linen. This linen comes in small spools with about 900 yards per spool. The curtains were to let in the light and provide us with privacy. I wanted the fabric to be quite plain but with some small point of interest. I saw John’s place mats in 6 shaft spot weave and loved the meeting of “hands” the spots suggested to me.
The other project I finished was two Tallits for family twins who are to Bar Mitzvah in October. The boys are identical twins and have since birth been identified by the color blue and green. The Tallits are in silk (from Gisela), a grey warp and I dyed the weft. My daughter who loves to cross-stitch sewed the initials for the two boys.
Betsy: Experiments using Abaca fiber.
I tried using the Abaca fiber from you to make bottle brush crafts… a tree and flower… I need to work on the technique… but it may give you some ideas.
Barbara: Burning Bush: Conflagration but not Consumed.
Rediscovered and finally finished, here are three handwoven ikat silk squares with gold leaf (or gold textile paint?) shibori motif. Only one of them had the painted flames. I matched the paint and did the other two to create a series called Burning Bush: Conflagration but not Consumed. Hung with tiny magnets painted to disappear. Hung above the bed in my new studio.
Johanna: Color and Weave/Shadow Weave shirt and skirt.
Here is my Color and Weave/Shadow Weave shirt and skirt I originally created in 1991 with the guidance of Cyrena Wilson (Guild member). It is a pattern from Margaret and Thomas Windeknecht, p. 149 of their Color and Weave Book. While I first made it into a dress, I never did wear it, so I had it re-created into a shirt and skirt just today and do hope to get more use out of it.
Gail: 4-shaft Crackle scarf in process.
Vest warp is all of my blue and green sock yarn oddballs and leftovers; weft is Zephyr, woven in a plaited twill. Sleeves are knitted from DK weight MCN.
John: Sashiko-ori and the 12-shaft Countermarch loom in action
I successfully wove sashiko stitch. It turns out there is a name for this: sashiko-ori. I will try again with some changes to see if I can get better at it.
I assembled my 12-shaft countermarch loom and it seems to work well. I still need to tweak the tie-up to get a clean shed.
Johanna: Pillows matching a painting
These pillows were created on my 8 harness loom and it is a Strickler Plaited Twill pattern all in cotton. The pillows were made for my couch in the living room where the painting my girl friend made for me is displayed nearby.
Anonymous: Mystery warp, mostly 20/2 cotton, some linen
Betsy: Jacket and Vest
What you see is a “jacket” made from some weaving and knitting I must have picked up at an estate sale. (Or maybe someone in the guild did it. I have no idea where I picked it up.) The assembly – and colors – are mine; the knitting and weaving belong to someone else. The body is plain weave, probably done on a rigid heddle (about 20″ wide), and the colors make a wonderful plaid. The sleeves are moss (seed?) stitch, and when this yarn is knitted, it comes out as stripes.
Here is my third “sweater” knitted during shelter in place. It is a vest made with Noro yarn picked up at Fengari in Half Moon Bay. I believe it is Noro’s pattern, too, although it may be Fengari’s.
Black Sheep has the tradition of caring for the environment. One small thing we can all do is to bring a mug to the guild meeting and avoid using a disposable cup. For many years in the past, members exchanged mugs and created mug carriers. Some people got very creative and matched the design with the given mug. To give you ideas here are some pictures.
John: Loom and scarf
I found this 12-shaft countermarch loom a couple of months ago on Craigslist and only just recently cleared out enough space to set it up. I just need more texsolv cord for the tie-up. Eventually I will expand it to 16 shafts and maybe make a DIY electronic dobby.
I’m taking Tien’s stash scarf online class.
The threading is similar to the broken twill threading in Carol Strickler’s book “8-Shaft Patterns” but not quite like anything in her book. It started out as a four-shaft broken twill, but spread out to eight shafts. I’m using the tie-up from Tien’s class. So the pattern is a mashup.
The weft is Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and the warp is various fingering weight wool yarns.
Kitty: Water bottle holder exchange with Sandra Rude
Sandra’s bottle holder is a double weave, padded for the shoulder, and has beautiful attention to detail.
Kitty’s bottle holder is Andean backstrap weaving with plain weave and a traditional motif in pebble weave.
Ann: 3 day online indigo workshop with Aboubakar Fofana
He had us work on creating 7 shades of blue from our vats.
Then taught us how to create even colors on large pieces.
Barbara S: Hex plaited Globe – 14 x 14 x 14″, dyed Sedori cane.
I hung it on the wall and like the view to the base. I am not sure just where this one will go next, but the shape is nice as it is.
Barbara O: I bought the Glimakra when I knew nothing about weaving – it was a good deal! It is wonderful to weave on once it is set up! But the counterbalance is much easier than countermarche to tie up. Glad I tried it!
On the loom is a shawl-warp in 8/2 cotton and weft is Zephyr – 50% Merino, 50% silk.
Cathy D: Felted Flower Bowl
Cookie: 9 Squares for Bojo Bag, a Tapestry, Back Strap Loom, a Pouch and a Scarf
Karen Donde weaves garments, fashion accessories and home textiles for sale and teaches beginning-advanced weaving classes and assorted workshops for guilds and conferences. Teaching credits include HGA’s Convergence 2012, 2014 and 2016 and 2020, Southeast Fiber Forum, the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association’s Workshop Weekend, Midwest Weavers Conference, Intermountain Weavers Guild Conference and Florida Tropical Weavers Conference. In Asheville, NC, she has taught at Sutherland Handweaving Studio, Friends & Fiberworks, Local Cloth and her own studio.
Photos are used with the kind permission of the copyright holder, Karen Donde.
Take a look at Karen’s website: https://karendondehandwovens.com
Long-time Fibershed source of inspiration, color-grown-in cotton developer and
biodynamic grower since 1982, and shepherd and farmer Sally Fox is our speaker for May, 2020. Sally will be presenting to us about her farming life, developing strains of colored cotton over the past four decades.
Check out her website at
Ange: Shadow Weave The warp is 20/2 cotton and some mystery fiber; weft is all 20/2 cotton, sett at 36 EPI. The pattern is copied from a shirt that Johanna had woven. I wove 3.5 yards 15 inches wide.
Gail: Wandering Vine in Honeycomb
Cookie: Intermesh Lattice Crochet
I’m refreshing my skills in lattice filet mesh using 2 colors that contrast from each other. Each row you start you work color A only in color A and color B only in color B. In other words, you don’t crochet on the opposing color each time you start a new row. I’m trying to design my own patterns or converting cross stitch patterns into intermesh crocheted designs. I’m doing a larger more complex square of leaves.
Cheryl: some of her work over the course of the quarantine
Sandy: Rep Weaving 5/2 perle cotton, 40epi. The loom is a 12 shaft Leclerc.
Kathy: Shadow weave scarf, Jaggerspun zypher
Sandy: Masks Made from my collection of yellow left-over quilt scraps.
Moving on to browns next. I’ve just completed my 203rd mask and haven’t even made a dent in my stashed fabric supply – think I have too much?
Betsy: Alpaca Bolero This is an alpaca bolero I just finished knitting, with yarn dyed by Andrea Niehuis and a pattern called, “Debby’s Bolero,” created by Debby Domm and sold by Andrea, as well. The yarn color is “Friends,” intended to reflect skin colors around the world. The range is chocolate brown into peach.
Gudrun: Napkins in 10/2 foxfibre colorganic When Sally Fox came to the guild last time I bought three cones of her 10/2 foxfibre colorganic yarn: white, green, brown. I wove towels and lots of napkins in a three color shadow weave pattern.