Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's About the Journey

Transitions, moving into the unknown. This is my life and my work. I moved my studio from Virginia to Denver in 2000 and ended up traveling around the West in an old RV for a year or so, taking my studio out on the desert to see where it might lead me next.

Transporting a rented loom in my little convertible.
Weaving on the desert somewhere in
Southern California 2002
This has been the story of my life, following the "invisible thread" wherever it might lead. And then I landed in Roswell, New Mexico with the perfect little stucco studio.
Orange flag was my open sign
Warm and cozy studio.
And it's here I learned to spin
And I faced my fears and taught my first weaving class. Which opened up a world of new opportunities!
Thank you Roswell for encouraging me.
It's been a great five years with lots of good memories. But the time has come to move on. To where? I don't know. I'll be traveling once again in an RV with my husband and dog. The RV is a much newer model this time towing a Smart Car instead of a convertible.

For awhile my studio will travel with me until we find another place to land. And there will be many more adventures along the way. So the journey begins again. After all, it's not about the destination, it is about the journey. 

Follow my journey on Facebook ZoZo FiberArts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Judi Vest

Since I first started teaching weaving on the rigid heddle loom, I've wanted to  create a garment pattern for those new-ish weavers who are tired of weaving scarves and table runners and are limited to a 15-inch rigid heddle loom. The most common size purchased by new weavers.
I decided to offer the pattern as a class to help test the idea with my students. Their vests all turned out so beautiful, don't you think?

And now the pattern is up on my Etsy store. Included with the pattern are worksheets to help each person customize the sizing and calculate exactly how much yarn they will need for the project. There are lots of photos to walk you through each step of the process from warping the loom to taking that first cut into your new fabric and sewing the simple pieces together. I used the lovely Tandem yarn by Tahki Stacy Charles with 3/2 Cotton. Cotton Classic, by Tahki could be substituted for the 3/2 Cotton. Next up will be a version of this vest for multi-harness weavers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Zoom Loom Garments using Tahki Stacy Charles Yarns

It was just last summer that I designed the Harlequin Vest using Zoom Loom squares.  I attended The National Needle Arts Trade Show in Phoenix in January of this year wearing my vest, you can imagine my surprise when I was stopped by none other than Stacy Charles himself of Tahki Stacy Charles Yarns asking me if my vest was made using their Filatura di Crosa Tempo yarn. Well of course it was!

So he challenged me to design more garments made with the Schacht Zoom Loom using TSC yarns. There's nothing I love better than a challenge. And trying out new yarn is always a welcome treat. Before long I had four new designs ready. Currently they are all in my Etsy store available as PDF downloadable patterns and most of them are also available as a kit packaged with full color printed pattern and yarn; or a kit which also includes the Zoom Loom.

Harlequin Vest with Filatura Di Crosa Tempo Yarn


 Lacy Vest with Stella and Flora Yarns



  Tabbard Vest with Nina Yarn

 Spring Jacket with Portofino Yarn

Since most everything I weave ends up as something to wear. I imagine there will be more to come in the future. But in the meantime, check out these patterns and kits. They will be perfect to pack along on a summer vacation or an ideal way to while away those upcoming hot summer days sitting on the porch with a glass of ice tea and your Zoom Loom.

So Zoom away . . .

Photos by Stephanie DeFranco Photography

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Free Pattern - Stellar Cowl with Zoom Loom and Tempo Yarn

I love that I can take my Zoom Loom from Schacht anywhere I go including the local coffee shop here in town, Stellar Coffee Company where my Tuesday afternoon knitting group meets.

Last week I headed over to Stellar Coffee to meet my knitting group thinking I'd just relax and have a coffee.

At the last minute I threw in the squares I'd just woven on my Zoom Loom using the fabulous Tempo Filutura di Crosa by S. Charles yarn in one of this season's newest colors, Tangerine Dream.

I wanted to do something quick and easy with no thought needed. As I l laid the squares out and started to stitching them together, a cowl evolved. Even better, it was made from only one ball of this fabulous Tempo yarn. 

This cowl can be worn many ways. Spread it out wide or fold it in half. It's short enough that it doesn't interfere with your work. Best off all, it's fun to wear. 


And now it's available as a FREE PATTERN at Schacht Spindle Blog. So buy some Tempo yarn, grab your Zoom Loom and head on down to your local coffee shop and make a Stellar Cowl.

Thanks to Alice, Barista at Stellar Coffee Co. for modeling my new cowl.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sisters In Craft: The Natural Dye Project

I was asked to design a garment and towels for a kit for rigid heddle weavers. I would be using the very same packaged yarn as the Friendship Towel Kits, sold through Cotton Clouds. This is where women in Guatemala learned to dye the yarns with natural dyes through the support of Mayan Hands' Natural Dye Project. Right now these kits are only for 4-harness weavers. I immediately loved the idea! Being a part of this amazing project to help support the women in San Rafael, Guatemala, makes me happy and I'm so honored to be a part of it. 

But oh my, I wasn't prepared for the impact this project would have on me. In each step of my process with these hand-dyed yarns of beautiful natural colors, I found myself wondering about each one of these Guatemalan women; who are they, what are their lives like and whether they thought about us, the women who would receive their kits and make something beautiful from their yarn? I felt an amazing kinship and connection. It warmed my heart to think of them as "sisters in craft" so to speak.

Direct warping method for the vest.
So for my first project, the vest, I used my favorite method of warping directly on my 15" Flip loom. I love color and this warp did not disappoint. For weaving, I chose a simple warp and weft pick-up pattern from Jane Patrick's Weaver's Idea Book, for texture. Really, this vest is so simple to make and the construction requires minimal cutting and sewing. You just add some fun buttons and it's ready to go.

See how happy this vest makes me!
And then there were towels to make. In my 20 years of weaving, I've rarely made towels. Those who know me, know I love to make things to wear. And my sister would tell you I'd do anything to get out of the kitchen at dish drying time. So you get the picture, domestic chores are not my favorite things to do. Oh yes, did I say I love clothes? But I dutifully designed and wove the towels.

By the fourth towel, I couldn't help but think how wonderful this fabric would be as a jacket. So, I cut the towels off the loom and hemmed them and then I couldn't help myself. I started pinning the towels together and there it was, a jacket. Because, after all, who wants to be in the kitchen when they can be trying on clothes, right?

Very versatile and one size fits all.
And it has pockets too!
So now, there are three options for rigid heddle weavers; a vest, a set of four towels or a jacket. Not only are you making something wonderful for yourself but also supporting our "sisters in craft" in Guatemala. What could be better than that! Order your Towel KitJacket Kit or Vest Kit now from Cotton Clouds, who is selling these kits at near-cost so that the profits will go to help these women of San Rafael, Guatemala earn a fair living wage. 

Jacket pattern will be coming soon to my ZoZo FiberArts Etsy Store