Tag: handbag

And the beat goes on…

Did you know that when you pull the beater bar forward, squashing the yarns together in the fabric, that’s called, “beating”? And there’s your trivia for the day! (I know you’ve been holding your breath just waiting for that little nugget!)

The woven landscape...
The woven landscape…

Last we chatted, I was weaving in yarns and pieces of recycled neckties to create a lovely bolt of fabric that will be turned into handbags! And guess what? This week, more of the same – just pinkier! (This is immensely funny because of all the colors in the whole, wide world, pink is my least favorite! Turns out, I can stomach the dark pink colors better. But still, the coincidence is not lost on me!)

Yes, please!
Yes, please!
Making progress!
Making progress!

With this loom, I can typically weave about 6″ before I have to forward the project – and that’s a nice amount of space! If any of you plan to do a bit of loom shopping in the near future, my suggestion is to specifically ask about that dimension since every loom is built differently. And if you don’t have “loom shopping” on your list of things to do, I highly recommend it!

Adding in more purple!
Adding in more purple!
It's a bird's eye view!
It’s a bird’s eye view!

As I go along, I am taking out the dark purple yarns and replacing them with bright magentas and pinks. The goal is to gradually morph from one hue to another. I love it when colors seem to ease in and out of each other – especially with yarn, because I know each one is a solid color. So, I find it magical when they look like they’re changing in front of my eyes! (Can you tell I spend a lot of time thinking about this?)

Shuttling along...
Shuttling along…
Just makes me happy!
Just makes me happy!

And let’s not forget about the neckties! I’m using ties that blend in fairly well. So, at times, you just sense that the texture is different versus actually being able to pick out each tie. But, that’s OK with me. The joy of being an artist is deciding what you want your product to look like – picking which elements are critical and which ones aren’t.

See how the fabric changes?
See how the fabric changes?

The end is coming quickly! Next week, I’ll finish up the weaving fun and cut this puppy off! And then, who knows? Don’t you love the delicious, agonizing minutes in between projects? It’s something to look forward to! Talk to you soon…

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If you "weave" me now…

The title is a play on a song by the band Chicago! (Please note, I didn’t say it was a good play! Just that it popped into my head when I needed a title!) Who out there is singing, “oohoohooh-oohoh! Baby, please don’t go!”? Ah, the hard core fans in the group… love it! And now, on with the show!

And we're weaving!
And we’re weaving!

So last week, I kicked off the project with light blues. Now, I am slowing easing into darker colors. Occasionally, I’ve been throwing in a strip of necktie to provide some additional texture, as well as incorporate something fabulously re-purposed!

What would we do without rag shuttles?
What would we do without rag shuttles?
The ties blend in better with the darker colors.
The ties blend in better with the darker colors.

I own a small handful of different types of shuttles. There are lots in the entire universe, I am sure! But, the versions that I love to use are the rag shuttle (great for holding either fat yarns, or a handful of different yarns together), and the boat shuttle (which holds a bobbin that you can wind very quickly). Those (2) are my go-to pieces of equipment, great in nearly any project!

A tie is joining the party!
A tie is joining the party!
Occasionally, the ends try to escape!
Occasionally, the ends try to escape!

Because this will be used as fabric to make handbags, I don’t worry about the ends of the yarn. I just let them all hang out! They will simply get cut when the bags are being created anyways. This is huge time-saver!

And then there are the ends of the weft!
And then there are the ends of the weft!
We're getting darker!
We’re getting darker!

I love the process of subtly changing the colors in the shuttle. Usually, I’ll swap out one or two yarns in the bunch each time I load it up. That way, I can avoid a drastic change and instead, aim for a smooth transition from color to color. The challenge of figuring out how to best accomplish that makes me so happy!

See the ties hidden in the fabric?
See the ties hidden in the fabric?

And the weaving goes on! I won’t have too much fun without you – promise! We’ll talk soon…

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And the finished product is…

Now we have handbags! It’s pretty rare that I finish a bolt of fabric and have the bags back in time to show it consecutively on the blog! So, here’s a sample!

A group of Mini Bags!
A group of Mini Bags!

I have about 4 different sizes of bags I produce. For this project, we did the Mini Bag, which is a 6″ x 6″ cross-body big enough for the essentials, and we did the Messenger Bag, which is a larger version meant to hold pretty much everything!

Check out the handmade button!
Check out the handmade button!

I have a wonderful contact who makes handcrafted, ceramic buttons. It’s great fun to see them paired with the handwoven fabric! Makes me so happy!

Yum... brown....
Yum… brown….
Some purple for the fans!
Some purple for the fans!

I didn’t take a picture of the lining, but each bag has a white and black fine plaid suiting material that includes a little hint of sparkle! It’s a nice touch!

Messenger Bag!
Messenger Bag!

Next up… I’m not sure! How’s that for honesty? I have a few things in the hopper. I may have to do a little eeny-meeny-miney-mo to pick one! No matter what, I promise you it’ll be colorful! Thanks for tuning in! Talk to you soon…

Run 11 Mess 1

 

Parting is such sweet sorrow…

I’m at the end of the project! It’s time to cut the fabric from the loom!

Here goes nothing!
Here goes nothing!

When I cut the yarn, I make sure I leave a nice big tail so I have no trouble with making a knot. Then, I shorten it up so the tail isn’t in the way!

Cut, then knot, etc.
Cut, then knot, etc.
Almost there!
Almost there!

It’s always a little scary cutting the project from the loom. But, you can’t exactly start the next one if you don’t clear the decks, so to speak! So, chop it off, we will!!!

Ah, the unraveling...
Ah, the unraveling…

One of the most fun parts of the project is releasing the brake and just letting the fabric spin around into a big gorgeous pile on the floor! Sort of like giving the toilet paper roll a rip and letting it fly off!

Just yum...
Just yum…

Because weaving is a slow process, it’s great to look at the fabric you created in the beginning of the project and see how it progressed to the end! Makes me immensely happy!

Untying the fabric from the rod.
Untying the fabric from the rod.

To completely separate the fabric from the loom, I have to untie the front of the project from the rod.

Removing the yard sticks.
Removing the yard sticks.

The yard sticks have had a little bit of a journey! They started on the back, keeping all the yarns evenly wound on. Then, they traveled to the front to keep the fabric rolling on smoothly. Lastly, they were dumped on the floor and eventually moved back into the big bucket where I will then pull them out for the next project! And now you understand the reason I have no less than 40 yardsticks sitting next to my loom!

Taking out the TP.
Taking out the TP.

The toilet paper comes out from the front of the project and the fabric’s ready to go to the seamstress! I completely forgot to take a few photos of the fabric rolled out. But, I already have the completely bags back! So, I’ll give you a peek at them next time! Talk to you soon…

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Shuttle on!

And we’re weaving, we’re weaving…

Let's weaving something!
Let’s weaving something!
Adding a little more blue to the mix!
Adding a little more blue to the mix!

One of the things I did differently this time around was to change the spacing of the yarns in the loom. I tightened things up a bit. It’s an interesting experiment! You can see the warp yarns (yarns in the loom) better because there are just more of them! And on the flip side, you aren’t as aware of the yarns in the shuttle. I’m not sure I love it for this purpose. But, we’ll see how the rest of the yardage looks! You never know!

Here comes the shuttle!
Here comes the shuttle!
Making progress!
Making progress!

I really love the stripes! That will definitely go into my idea box for future projects! I think that’s the wonderful thing about creating! No matter what you try, there isn’t such a thing as a failure! A project may not turn out like what you intended. But, you can always learn from each attempt! (And that is your deep thought for the day… Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!)

A shot of parakeet blue in the mix!
A shot of parakeet blue in the mix!
It's a good bite!
It’s a good bite!

The fabric is turning out a little denser than normal because of the added warp yarns. This isn’t a problem for me! But, my seamstress may swear at me a little more than usual because it could be tougher to sew it into handbags. It’s a good thing she loves me! Most days…

A close-up, please!
A close-up, please!
Back & forth, back & forth!
Back & forth, back & forth!

When working on yardage like this, I tend to compartmentalize. I want the colors in the weft (yarns in the shuttle) to blend with the warp. But, they don’t have to match. Thus, the reason for a vibrant blue mixing in with the other yarns in the shuttle. A little pop of color is a good thing! Plus, once it’s off the loom and seen from a distance, it’s not as prominent. Just enough to say, “Oooh, cool!”. (At least that’s the goal!)

The view from below!
The view from below!

There is a bit of weaving left to do! Then, it’ll all come off and be shipped to my awesome seamstress who will magically transform it into wearable fashion accessories! Life is good! Talk to you soon…

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