Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quarantine eBook Special

I hope you are all doing well out there during this strange time!

Since my teaching tour in California got cut short by the Corona Virus Pandemic, I am working on some lessons which I'll share here on the blog and some that may be a future book or workshop. I'm also going to be exploring ways to teach workshops online in the future.

In the meantime, I thought I'd run a special on my ebook for the next week.
You can get it here in  my Etsy shop for $6.


Offer good until April 6th.
It's also available in print. Have a look at the Etsy listing for a peek inside.

The book has received some high praise from some special people in the weaving world!

Susan Foulkes told me in a recent email: "Looking at your book again is so inspiring.  The work you put into it is tremendous and the photographs are superb. Just the sort of colourful book to cheer us up in these difficult times." She also wrote a review and tested a pattern from the book on her blog here:

Sara Lamb wrote a lovely review in the March/April issue of "Handwoven".
She says "Annie MacHale has produced a beautiful and useful book for inkle weavers who want to understand color and proportion in their woven bands........This book is a feast for the eyes."
I love this especially because I've taken a color class from Sara and she knows what she's talking about!

In the Fall 2019 issue of "Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot", Gail Gondek wrote:
"Vibrant color paired with exceptional and unusual art direction in this book make it a rare find. Annie MacHale is known for her use of saturated color: anyone who adores color will be unable to resist it, as it is ALL ABOUT COLOR!"

In a personal email from Barry Schacht, he told me that "I just read through your Inkle book. It’s terrific."

This is one of my favorite pages! It shows the same pattern in 12 different colorways. Fun!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

My Mandala Craze

Mandalas are my new favorite thing! Please add a comment to tell me about any ways you have of making or exploring mandalas. I'm interested!

I just finished reading this book which neatly ties the forms of everything in the universe, sacred geometry, spirituality, and human behavior all neatly together in a circle.

"The mandala is an archetypal symbol of wholeness that is replicated on a cosmic scale, not only in manifestations of art, architecture, and religion, but throughout the natural universe. The concepts and primal patterns it represents are the base upon which all physical things are created. Thus, we are attracted to mandalas because they are at the core of who and what we are."

It raises lots of new questions and I plan to make more study time over the next few months.

One of the realizations that I came to was that, while I love all kinds of patterns, it's radials that I love the most. Radials are patterns that radiate outward from a central point in a symmetrical pattern. These include round stained-glass windows, kaleidoscope images, flowers, snowflakes, Islamic tile patterns, spider webs, cross-sections of plant stems, fruits and vegetables. For some lovely photos of snowflakes, check this out: Macro Images of Snowflakes

Since inkle weaving, my main creative pursuit, creates linear patterns, it doesn't give me too many opportunities to explore circular patterns. I have thought about various ways in which I could play with radials.

Did you know that the Spirograph is back and popular this year? Loved playing with this set when I was a young kid. Now that I'm an older kid, I'm going to do it again! Bought one yesterday!

I've also considered some fibery way of playing. Crochet mandalas? All the rage! If you used to call them "Granny Squares" get with the times. A Google search for "crochet mandalas" turns up so many results that it makes my head spin!   Would you like to see? Check this out. Crochet Mandalas

A while back, I played with some software programs that can turn a photo into a kaleidoscopic image. Starting with photos of my woven designs, this activity gave me hours of  amusement! I didn't find a program which allowed me to save my results at a very high resolution, however, so my hopes of saving and printing and sharing them were dashed. Maybe I need to look further. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy looking at a few of them. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Winter Special on Tutorials and Ebook in My Etsy Shop

This week in my Etsy shop, I'm running a special on all digital items.

This includes the following:

Full length ebook version of "In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color & Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers".

Inkle Weaving FAQ's and Answers

How to Weave Letters

3-Color Pickup


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Variations, Adaptations and Iterations

Because I love the design process so much, I don't choose to make copies of my designs.
I insist on creating a one-of-a-kind piece for my larger items like guitar straps and sashes.
Smaller things like key fobs or bookmarks may be created in multiples to use the loom's weaving length to my advantage, however.

So, while I don't make copies of a design, I might make a similar one. This is usually because someone asks for it or I fell in love with the design or colors. Do you do this, too?

It happens sometimes that a customer sees a piece that I've made and asks for one like it. I say "I can make you a similar one, but I intentionally don't ever make two exactly alike."

And sometimes, I just like a pattern or color combination so much that I decide to do a variation on it using the same pattern in different colors, or using the same colors in a different pattern. Below are some recent examples.

These two straps share the same colors in the same sequence. But do you see how I shifted the colored bar?
The strap on the left became a purse strap, while the one on the right became a guitar strap. 

This strap was made to go with a Pimentel Southwestern Guitar and reflect the turquoise and mother-of-pearl inlay.
It went to the guitar's owner, but then someone else asked for a similar one. It is shown in the photo below. 
The addition of the turquoise line on both sides of the central pattern area made the design pop a bit more. I also used a darker shade of brown, one of my favorite yarn colors. 

You can see the Pimentel Southwestern Guitar in this previous post. It accompanied me to the White House in July. Below is a closeup of the inlay work on the fretboard. 

Similar, are these three "Southwestern Diamonds" shown below. 

The design on the left came first. I liked it, so decided to try some other color combinations. Click on the photo to enlarge it. 

After making this wrist strap, I decided that I loved the color combination so much that I should use it again. Next came the guitar strap shown below. The guitar strap is twice the width of the wrist strap, so I created borders to add width. The central pattern is the same. 
 I talk about how to take a design you like and make it narrower or wider, 
and how to switch up the colors in a design. 

These two are just off the loom this week. The colors make me think of popsicles. Juicy!