Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tribal Patterns Run Amok!

This morning I decided to put on layers of all of the black and white "tribal" patterns I own.
It got funnier as I went, adding layers. My husband decided that we needed to do a photo shoot.
So, I'm letting you in on our fun.  

There is an necklace of antique Lewis & Clark beads. 

The bracelet is from the Himba people of Namibia, who no longer have access to ivory or animal bones. “This community wanted to hold on to a particular style of adornment, so they innovated and started creating [bracelets] made of PVC pipe that was just left lying around. This is a recycled jewelry that has its roots in an historical art form but that is also suited to this contemporary age, where recycled art of all kinds is very in.” Carmella Padilla, International Folk Art Alliance, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The rebozo (shawl) is a lovely ikat piece purchased in Guatemala.

Those ikat boots are from Siamese Dream Design on Etsy

The knit dress, leggings and long-sleeved thermal shirt were all thrift store finds. 

I was ecstatic when "tribal" patterns came into popularity several years ago, because these are the patterns that I love. How convenient that they became mainstream!
Back in 2012 Laverne Waddington and I did an exploration at a local trendy shop in Santa Cruz, California, looking at patterns and identifying them according to where they came from. She and I are both big fans of ethnic textiles and recognized many of the motifs. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tres Estrellas Design in Taos

Earlier in the year, while teaching a class in Taos, I took the time to visit a gallery that I had heard of, and what a treat it turned out to be! Tres Estrellas Design features handwoven textiles, New Mexican furniture, pottery, antique guns, Fur Trade Era collectibles, Southwestern art and more.
I had a nice long visit with the owners, Chris and Carla. (She was busy at the loom while we talked).

The name, meaning Three Stars in Spanish, was chosen to "celebrate the three cultures that colorfully define northern New Mexico: Native American, Hispanic New Mexican and Frontier American."
It's a place where "Taos' past meets the present. A time capsule of 19th Century Southwestern Americana, showcasing material culture from each tradition."

The building itself is a historic adobe with wooden floors and small doorways. When you enter, you might just get the feeling that you are being transported back in time.

 "Classic Rio Grande blankets have become iconic expressions of Hispanic New Mexican artistry... Tres Estrellas’s weavers are bringing back the unsurpassed aesthetic of pre-1860 textiles that feature natural light and dark churro yarn, hand dyed with indigo, cochineal and other native dyestuffs. All yarn is subtly age tinted to reflect the rich palette of 19th century textiles. Our designs are transposed from historical blankets that have been painstakingly examined and documented to ensure authenticity down to the warp & weft count." The attention to detail is evident in their work.

The loom in this photo, is showing some of the "coyote" warp, dark and light churro wool plied together. As this warp finishes a new one is tied directly to it to start the next piece. The second warp is indigo-dyed wool. 

In the photo above, you can see Carla knotting the warp ends on a piece just taken from the loom. I think this gives a clear idea of the scale in which she works. And that impresses a band weaver like me who can weave multiple pieces in a day. Her work takes a commitment of much yarn and time. 

 A collection of Navajo and Pueblo traditional sash belts collected and displayed in the gallery.

Chris took a liking to my guitar straps and agreed to carry some in the shop and show them to all his local musician friends as well as visitors from far and wide . Since Taos is becoming know as a hotbed for live music in this part of the country, I was eager to  have a shop represent me here! Read about the Taos Music Scene here:

 Chris built a  nice little wooden wall hanger to display the straps, and has been successful in selling them. I am thrilled to have them displayed alongside the other finely crafted works in this gallery.
You can visit the Tres Estrellas page on Facebook to see more of their lovely gallery and works.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Color & Pattern Packs

Inkle weaving is my passion. I love to play with color and pattern combinations!!
Not everyone enjoys the color selection process as much as I do.  
This is why I developed "Color and Design Packs". The yarn that I use most often in my straps is Omega Sinfonia. It is thicker than other commonly used crochet cottons,
 and thicker than a #3 perle cotton. 
It's a 6-strand cable, fairly firm and durable. It comes in many pretty colors!

Each pack includes 4 skeins of yarn and a page illustrating a dozen patterns which could be used with this combination. Using this yarn the patterns will produce 1" bands. 

Wider bands could be inspired by the designs, however. 

The designs could also be used with other color combinations. 
They are meant to help beginners or those who struggle with color.  
I encourage the use of these designs as a way to get started, but they can also 
give you ideas for developing your own designs.

The packs are for sale here in my Etsy shop: ASpinnerWeaver on Etsy

So far, there are 8 combinations, but I will keep adding more since I have so many great colors to choose from. 

Below is one of my all-time favorite designs which looks good in many combinations of colors. 
This is what the warping charts look like in the pattern packs. I also have a new way of showing the draw-down so you can actually see what the pattern is going to look like when woven. I'm excited about this method as it will be super useful to illustrate the designs in the book I'm working on!
Look for that in 2017.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Inkle Weaving Classes

I love my house in the woods! 
It is spacious enough that I can now have classes here!

The very first one will be for beginning inkle weavers. I'll share my enthusiasm for plain weave bands. There is no end to the beautiful patterns you can create using plain weave! 

 I have looms that I can loan for the day and will have my favorite yarn for sale in 25+ colors.  
It's on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 1PM-4PM.
Cost is $35. 
Location is near Albuquerque, New Mexico.


If you are interested in attending, please send an email message to:
If you can't make this one, email me anyway to get on my list. I'll notify you of future classes.
There will also be classes in pickup and 3-color pickup.