Thursday, June 3, 2021

Announcing the Birth of a New Book



Back in 2016, I wrote a tutorial on a Baltic-style weaving technique that I called 3-Color Pickup.
At that time, I had no way to chart patterns for it. Now, with the use of my favorite free online tool, the Pattern Editor, I can! This inspired me to draw up patterns to share with other weavers, along with an expanded description of the technique. Just published, "Three-Color Pickup for Inkle Weavers" is a 138-page book. It's available now as a PDF and in mid-June, will also be available in a spiral-bound paper book. Find it here on TaprootVideo.com.


Unknown to most modern weavers, this is an older technique for which pattern books have not been readily available until now. I learned about it from the book, Lithuanian Sashes, To weave this variation, it's essential that you have a working knowledge of regular Baltic pickup. 

Beginning with 33 pages of text and illustrations, the book introduces you to the pattern charts and information specific to 3-color pickup. This is followed by a catalog of 100 individual interactive patterns. A few sample pages are below. Click on any page to enlarge it. 







The 100 patterns range from simple to complex. You can choose from narrower or wider options, long or short ones, asymmetrical or symmetrical ones, traditional Baltic designs, or a variety of motifs inspired by many other sources. As you will know, Baltic pickup uses diagonal lines to form pattern motifs, but it's interesting to see how many ways you can use diagonals. 

Each pattern is displayed on its own page where you are given a warping draft and a pickup draft, a full-color photo of a woven sample, and a data sheet with helpful details. The patterns are interactive because each one has a link to the online Pattern Editor where you can enlarge it for easier viewing or print it in a larger size. You can also edit it there in any way that you choose.




Saturday, February 13, 2021

Sharing Love

The reason I began this blog was to share something I love, inkle weaving.

Staircase on Canyon Road in Santa Fe

But, there are many things that I love, including love itself and the many ways we as humans share it. 

I enjoy stories of love in action, how people help each other out. 


 http://drawaheart.com/about/

When someone captures a beautiful image and shares a photo, or draws, paints or crafts something beautiful, they are sharing what stirs their hearts. I particularly like heart art and always snap an image when I find one out in the world. Click on any image to enlarge it. 

And, if you have lovely heart art, feel free to add a comment to this post! <3


"Paint the Street" an annual event in Springfield, Illinois 
                                            www.springfieldart.org/paint-the-street.html

Santa Cruz, CA 

Detail of a hand-hooked rug

Blown Glass Hearts Inside the Pink Store, Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico

Detail of a Mural in Tucson, AZ


Someone Left a Message on a Hiking Path in my Neighborhood


Tucson, AZ

When I was a teenager, I loved the visionary art of Joseph Parker
and recently rediscovered it. Wowza!
I still love it just as much! 




What I really wanted to share with you on this Valentine's Day 
is this pattern which I recently created for Baltic-style pickup. 
I'm including two slightly different variations because I couldn't decide which one I liked better.  

Links are given below each so that you can open them in the Pattern Editor where you can edit, 
save or print them to use. 

FU5

FUM



And in case you have never seen it, this is a sweet inkle project from my friend Jennifer Williams. She wrote a tutorial for weaving this heart from inkle bands


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How to Use the Pattern Editor

Recently, I wrote a set of instructions and a made a video about my favorite, fantastic free online tool, the Band Weaving Pattern Editor, created by Jeff Bigot.  I hope they will help users to take advantage of many of the cool features of the program. They only cover plain weave designs, although the program also has the ability to create pickup patterns as well. When new functions are added, Jeff writes about them along with other tips here on his blog. This is where the instructions can be found. They are in PDF form, so you can download the document and keep it handy when designing.  http://www.raktres.net/blog/2020/06/29/basic-instructions-for-using-seizenn-%e2%88%92-band-weaving-pattern-editor/

You can watch the video here  or on my YouTube channel: 


This week I've been working on camera straps (1.5" wide) which are a little bit narrower than the guitar straps (2" wide) which is what I am often making. The main yarn that I use for all my straps is Omega Sinfonia.  Jeff has made it really easy to match my yarn colors by creating a list of codes for the yarn colors. You can find that here: http://www.raktres.net/blog/list-of-yarns/

The new instructions give some detail about adding colors to use in your designs. 
It's fun to choose colors to add to your Loom Color Pallet! 
Colors on the World Wide Web (and therefore this online tool) are represented by 6-character  HEX codes.
You can select any color using it's HEX code and add it into your yarn palette. Of of my favorite sites for color choosing is this, although there are many. : https://htmlcolorcodes.com/ 
You can even google the name of a color you want, for instance "turquoise hex code", find the code and add it to the color chooser on the Pattern Editor. 
 If you use DMC products, they provide a chart of their floss colors with HEX codes here: https://threadcolors.com/

It's easy to draw up a pattern using the Band Weaving Pattern Editor and then change it up in a myriad of ways. So, I can play around with different color combinations and preview the patterns before deciding which one I want to weave. The graphic preview of the pattern so closely represents what the woven pattern will look like that I've been using it to show customers when I'm creating a custom woven strap for them. 
 
The first two patterns below are the same, except for a change from red to dark red and a change in positions of the colors. (Below each pattern, I've shared the direct links. You can click on them to go to the Band Weaving Pattern Editor and use them as a way to edit and create your own pattern if you wish.) 

 
 
     http://www.raktres.net 4i                                http://www.raktres.net/l/2F



I changed the look radically by using different colors in the turquoise and purple one below left. 
And on the right, I shifted the elements of the pattern slightly before changing colors again.


 

  http://www.raktres.net 4v                                           http://www.raktres.net/l/2o


Here's my collection of camera straps so far. Most commercial straps have a patch of leather or vinyl which attaches the 1.5" strap to the 3/8" nylon webbing that fits to the camera. To skip this difficult part, I found a plastic piece that acts as a reducer. I've put it together as a kit and sell it in my Etsy shop here. https://www.etsy.com/listing/206025133/camera-strap-kit-do-it-yourself


The straps also show up also in this photo that I took last Saturday when I had a small weaving class at my house. As it seems like traveling to teach workshops will not be possible any time soon, I plan to join the new way of doing things and have committed to learning to use Zoom for online classes. I don't yet have a timeline for getting this done, but if you are interested, send me an email and I'll put you on a list for the future.  iweavestraps@gmail.com 




Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Although I own about a dozen inkle looms, it is the 5-6 Schacht looms that get constant use.

4 Schacht looms in action




















A couple of years ago, I became a Schacht dealer so that I can sell inkle looms to my students. Through that relationship, several very cool things have happened. When my book came out, I sent a copy to them for the company library and received a very nice email from Barry Schacht, founder of the company. He said "It's terrific", which pleased me greatly!

I was recently asked to write a piece for their monthly newsletter. Maybe you subscribe and saw it? If not, you can read it here: https://schachtspindle.com/newsletter-june-2020/
They asked me to talk about how I use color in my weaving, which is a BIG topic for me. Those of you who have seen my book know this, right?

It's great to have so many photos taken over so many years to share. I chose to include the ones below, because, in this instance, the color inspiration was direct and immediate. I follow Trujillo's Shoe Shop on Instagram. Marcos has an artistic eye and I enjoy his photos. He and his dad, Rey, have also done some fine repairs on my shoes and boots since I discovered them.

Even though my book has been out for more than a year, I still like flipping through it and looking at the illustrations. Of the 200 patterns charted there, some of them I had already woven and some of them I had not. This past week, I've used a few of them, changing them slightly according to the yarns I had on hand. Boy, that was fun! I'm trying out a new yarn, Knit Picks Curio #3. You can see it in the strap on the right, dark teal and turquoise. Other yarns that I used in the two straps include: Omega Sinfonia, Tahki Cotton Classic, Gedifra St. Tropez, and Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread #3. 

I had to add a stripe of black between the teal and gray, because
there was not enough contrast there. The trick worked perfectly! 


For the strap shown below, I used wool. The blue and gray do not have a lot of contrast, and the fuzziness of the wool makes the pattern less distinct. But, I like it that way.