Spinning, Pt. 1: Art Yarn

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It’s been spinning madness here at Casa Marengo Studio. I’ve had my Louet S17 spinning wheel for over a year and I have been limping along trying to learn to spin. A couple of months ago, I bought the Art yarn Flyer accessory and took an online core spinning class @HowToSpinYarn. Things finally clicked. So, I then took the plunge and bought a drum carder, so that I could make my own batts to spin.

It’s been a game changer. As a painter, I find mixing fiber on my carder like mixing paint for a painting or assembling elements for a collage. Here are some of the batts.

And, here are a few more of the yarns I have spun. The great news is that people have actually wanted to buy them, so I have started curating and spinning small batch art yarns for my Etsy store. They are especially great for weavers and other textile artists that want to add a pop of color or texture to a project.

Needless to say, I am having a ball and I am quite addicted. I also have been spinning using various hand spindles and recently bought an e spinner. More about those in my next post.

 

 

 

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Handwoven Necklaces

Once again, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted on my blog. There has been lots going on in the studio, but for today I am just going to focus on the necklaces I have been making.

Most of these are handwoven on either an inkle loom or small lap loom. I have been collaborating with a lovely ceramic artist, Ann Cutting who has made the medallions for the necklaces. These pieces are primarily woven with linen, hemp, silk and/or cotton. The red necklace has a polished slice of tagua nut as it’s focal piece.

Tagua is a natural, eco-friendly, and non-toxic material found in Ecuador and other South America countries. The nut’s texture and the color are known as vegetable ivory. Wouldn’t it be nice if this alternative ivory reduced the slaughter of elephants? When the nuts are harvested, they are very soft and they can be eaten as a fruit. As it matures it becomes hard like animal’s ivory.

Each piece is unique and I rarely make duplicates. If you are interested in any of my pieces, please visit my Etsy shop.

So much going on in the studio…

that it looks like this is going to another mostly picture post. I’m trying to make work for my Etsy shop, so I’ve been pretty busy and not much time to blog, so photos with captions it is.

First up, I’ve been making many necklaces, both tassel and woven. I am also working on some bracelets, but don’t have a photo to post just yet since they aren’t quite finished.

 

Next up is clothing using a combination of weaving and sewing. I’m still working on a vest and camisole in this same yardage, then moving to a black palette.

 

This is a linen cross back apron commissioned by a friend some time ago and I finally finished it. I have one just like it and I love it!

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And, last, but not least, I found time to do a study for a painting for my Jazz Series. This one is based on Thelonious Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t.” I think it would also make a great tapestry, but that would  be challenging and perhaps drive me over the edge, lol!

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More to come soon!

 

Have a great day everybody!

WIP and misc.

Fabric_1Making fabric on my Saori loom for crop tops and vests. Mostly cotton and silk yarn with a small amount of wool, linen and acetate yarns.

 

Feltcoasters_WIPFelt coasters. Rust dyed, handpainted and embroidered.

 

Spinning_kalesaladMaking purse insets with yarn I hand spun from a hand pulled roving by atapestryofgrace. It is a combination of hand dyed wool, bamboo and flax. I’m a beginner, but I think it came out okay as an art yarn. I think it looks like kale salad.

 

And, lastly, here is my new box tape loom made by Janet of HandyWomanShop. I think it is quite beautiful. I am reading a book on tape looms which is more fascinating than it sounds. It’s filled with the history of tape looms including great photos. I also learned where the term “red tape” likely comes from.

Okay, that’s it for today, folks!

Time flies

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been months since I’ve posted. I think instead of writing a long entry I am just going to do a few photo posts of what I’ve been working on. It’s been a busy few months of scarves for a holiday sale and for gifts. The red one was for me -).

It was also the time for making #pussyhats. I think I made a total of 12 or 13. I lost track. Here are a few.

Enough for now. I work as a graphic designer all day, and I’m anxious to get to my weaving and sewing. Never enough hours.

Looms and more looms

I can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I blogged. I’ve been pretty busy with my graphic design, art, art project and weaving. I just refurbished a vintage Leclerc Dorothy tabletop loom (left). It was free and all it needed was a little TLC. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will soon.

I also bought a vintage Leclerc Nilus 45” floor room. It’s huge and my whole house is now officially studio. It was a great buy and came with a bench plus lots of extras. Plus, whoever had it before must’ve woven rugs because the beater is weighted. Yay! I am waiting for a new brake coil and heddles. I also need to clean it up and wash the aprons and then I will take it for a short run.

Last, but not least, I bought a spinning wheel. It’s much harder than looks, but I’m hoping with regular practice that I will get the hang of it. Now, if I could only spin straw into gold, so that I am able to pay for all these toys! 🙂

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Woven pockets

Here are two, not so great photos, of what I’m working on at the moment. The chambray peasant skirt with soari woven pockets is something I am developing for my Etsy shop. I love this skirt. It is super comfortable and very cool for summer. The only problem with this one is that the weave on the pockets is too thick for the chambray, so back to the loom. I am going to try weaving the pocket out of linen or cottolin. Maybe even some recycled sari silk.

The linen “elephant” pants are something I made for myself. They are kind of like very loose bloomers. I work at home, so comfort comes first. The pockets are woven out of strips of linen and wool roving with a cotton warp. I really like them, but I had to alter the the pattern I had adapted from an existing pattern. It had the crotch hanging very low. Kind of like the old M.C. Hammer pants. Not a good look or at all comfortable. These were a little more labor intensive, so not sure if I will have them in the shop or not.

I also am working on some slow stitch and block printed pockets. Will post pictures when they are done. If any of you sewists out there are interested in one-of-a-kind pockets for your sewing project(s), contact me: val@casamarengo.com.

Have a great day everybody!