Linen, transparencies and people living rent free inside my head …

What’s this, I hear y’all saying … what are you doing posting twice in one month, why aren’t you at the loom, and do you really having something interesting to say or interesting to show?

Well now, that all depends on your point of view ;0)

In order to kick off getting 33 items ready for the exhibition next year, I decided that I would start with transparencies.

It would seem, that in the beginning, I was terrified of linen because I let Guild members get inside my head where they lived rent free and fed my feelings of dread and terror with regards linen yarn. It wasn’t until another wonderful weaver, and I hope I may call her my friend, Kay Faulkner, came to visit, kicked me up the tuckas and told me to stop being a baby and get on with some linen weaving.

My very first foray into the wonderful world of weaving linen transparencies came with Kay’s guiding hand.

There was an immediate eviction of the Guild members from my head, and I fell in love with this very simple weave structure. It is such a joy to weave and can result in some amazing cloth.

Fast forward to this month, and I put enough warp on the loom for six transparencies.

What to weave – well – my first thoughts were of butterflies, bumble bees and dragonflies. But how to weave them. Stylised of course. I started with several drawings, and over the days I kept simplifying/stylising them until they were “weaveable”.

Butterfly Transparency June 2016

If you look closely, you can just see the bumble bee peeking out from under this butterfly.

dragonfly July 2016 v

Mr dragonfly.

Now it was at this point that I had spent countless hours with these drawings, changing angles, adding lines, deleting other lines, and I was beginning to think that I had totally lost the plot.

In order to check whether or not other people actually thought that they looked like the critters they were supposed to be, I posted them on FaceBook. Thankfully the responses were positive.

However, in addition to all the positive comments, one FB’er suggested that perhaps I do another butterfly, but this time, a side on view. Here we go again – another person living rent free in my brain for a two week period. Granted, I would not be complaining if she gave the old skull a quick dust and polish, but no, Diane just sat in there whispering “side on butterfly” over and over again.

Can I just say – I am so thankful that I have lovely weaving friends, and that Diane actually put this thought into my head, because in order to get it out of my head, I had to weave it into the linen.

Da da …… “Diane’s Butterfly” …. and, it meets with her satisfaction …. whew !!!

Butterfly transparency July 2016

Now to mount them onto wooden frames so that they stand proud off of the exhibition walls.

I had been intending to weave two tree of life transparencies, but the warp was too narrow. So I am weaving off the linen into some towels, and once the loom is free (hopefully tomorrow), I shall be looking at threading it with some Tencel and weaving blocks.

Yeah – I know – I hear you ….. “where are the circles you keep promising us”, well, there are going to be some circles, but the blocks have to come out of my head first.

I have spent many wonderful hours in the evening drafting and designing. There have been a couple of times when my very limited weaving knowledge was tested, and I sent out a WID (Weaver In Distress) SOS to Eva Stossel.  I want to find the tallest mountain and from its height proclaim to the world what a wonderful person Eva is. She is so generous with her time and her willingness to help a floundering weaver. Just when I think my weaving flotation devices have been permanently punctured, Eva throws me a life line.

Hopefully, by the time I get these drafts off of the page and into woven form, I will be able to show Eva that there is a chance that I might just make a weaver yet ;0)

Here is a sneak peak of what I am hoping to weave into cloth …

draft 2 exhib

My very first piece of cloth which was woven on a floor loom was a twill very similar to this (above). However this time, I have not stayed with the same sized “boxes” but have used the Fibonacci sequence to add some interest.

Wanting to have boxes within boxes, I played for hours on the computer, but, hit road blocks each and every time. It wasn’t until I was playing with “free drawing” that I came struck gold.

Somehow, I had managed to get boxes within boxes of varying widths and heights.

There were shooting stars, a chorus of angels singing in the back ground and I had found weaving nirvana.

Bliss … well, at least until I shared this draft with a weaver on FaceBook. I was so darn proud and tickled pink that I had managed to achieve what I had set out to do. I had seen nothing like this, and other weavers had told me that it was impossible to achieve boxes within boxes as per my drawings.

Well people, it would seem that I really do live in a weaving black hole.

Not only did this particular weaver tell me that there is a weaver in Holland who weaves these types of boxes, she actually sent me a picture of one.

The only thing I can say that is a point of difference, is that the Holland weaver uses double weave when weaving these types of boxes, and I am using the Summer & Winter weave structure.

My bubble had been punctured, but I put a band aid on it and am moving on. I will be weaving these boxes within boxes, and hopefully they will turn out looking lovely …

draft 3 exhib

Circles you ask …. yes, I managed to create some Turned Taquete drafts with circles

draft 1 exhib

Now if I can only get these images out of my head and translated into woven cloth I will be a very happy weaver.

So I am going to bid you goodnight, go and check to see whether the house pixies have finished weaving the linen, moan and groan that they probably have not … have a heart attack if someone has been at my loom, and then make some hot chocolate.

Till next we meet, happy weaving y’all and respect the warp




5 thoughts on “Linen, transparencies and people living rent free inside my head …

  1. Don’t fret over simultaneous inspiration. Since there are so many weavers working for so many centuries, it’s really hard to invent something that someone somewhere hasn’t done something similar. I get crazy when I realize they didn’t waste as much time on getting there as I did. 🙂

    All your transparencies will enjoy much acclaim at the show. Consider all the ways lighting and contrasting backgrounds can show them at their best. Weave, weave, and weave some more.

    I still have about five yards of washrags to finish. Sigh. What was I thinking?


    1. LOL – I totally get where you are coming from. These blasted boxes within boxes have been driving me batty, but a dime a dozen, no one has spent close to a month trying to work out how to do them. Ah – for the sake of connected brain cells and more weaving knowledge. But I am chuffed that I managed to work it out …. eventually. No darn recipe reading this time :0) Once I get the transparencies mounted I am going to take one into the exhibition space and see where the lighting is, and how it will shine on them. If all else fails, I will bring in a couple of up lights to help with the illumination. Happy spa cloth weaving – not wash rags weaving ;0)


  2. Your transparencies are so beautiful. The butterfly design is simple and understated yet so lovely, “less is more” as the saying goes. Love your blocks too! Your motivation and enthusiasm are inspiring, you are a talented and wonderful weaver, and I’m always happy to help any way I can.


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