The Dallas Handweavers and Spinners Guild is dedicated to promoting the art of weaving and the craft of fiber work through education, member activities, and mutual support. The Guild promotes fellowship among members with meetings Sept. through May, educational workshops and community demonstrations.
The DHSG’s exhibits give each member an opportunity to show off their latest treasures. We invite you to join us and experience the camaraderie of our members and the interesting topics at one of our general meetings.
If you currently live in North Texas, or plan to visit our area, please join us at our regular meetings, or sign up for workshops or special events. Contact us for more details.
Guild members meet September through May on the first Saturday of each month at 9:30 am. We have met physically at The Point, Center for Arts and Education on the campus of the CC Young Memorial Home, located at 4829 West Lawther Drive, in East Dallas near White Lake, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are meeting virtually via Zoom. We enjoy friendships, old and new, and learn from speakers on a wide range of subjects and areas of interest to our members. Each meeting presents a different topic, many times a hands-on topic, and each year our program chairperson tempts members to experiment with a new range of ideas to explore.
Dallas Handweavers and Spinners Guild is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and our mission is to educate the community about weaving, spinning and the fiber arts. Please utilize the programs below to support the Guild. Thanks to these retail partners, whose collaborative fund-raising programs help to support our mission, and our communities.
Last year, Gloria Gatti presented a program on color blending that inspired us to further explore the subject of color in our study group. This year, two Guild Programs: Color In Cloth, by Cameron Taylor Brown and Showcasing Painted Warps, by Tien Chiu have also helped us focus on how basic principles of color theory affect our choices of color in weaving. Studies include: color gradients, color and weave, blending colors in spinning, simultaneous contrast, color gamp, iridescence and more.
I hope you will join us at the May Guild Meeting where you will see and hear about a variety of experiences given by the many competent and creative members of the study group.
We will be meeting at Hinke Schroen’s house. Program will start at 10 a.m., but arrive anytime after 9:30 to visit. Looking forward to seeing everyone in person again!
Inspired by our recent program with Catherine Ellis on woven shibori, I checked out her book from the library and was once again entranced by the beautiful shibori weavings. Her book, “Woven Shibori,” provides great encouragement to experiment, and experiment carefully by changing one thing at a time. So, I have started a modest experiment with woven shibori. It may not be in my capacity to change one thing at a time though.
Before I get into my choices for this experiment, let me set some context. I had recently woven a shawl and shawl width of fabric in rayon chenille. I had never done any weaving with chenille and wanted to avoid the dreaded “worming”, whatever that was … and looked around for advice. Some of the advice, like using a close sett, I imagined I was following! Long story, short … yep worms appeared after finishing. Even though the sett was close, it was maybe too close and didn’t allow me to achieve the density of picks I intended. The hand is lovely, the pattern is lovely, the colors are nice, and many (or several) parts of the fabric woven in a networked twill from Marian Stubenitsky’s book, “Weaving with Echo and Iris,” are without worms. But everywhere there is a networked warp float over 5 or 6 chenille threads there are floats. Woops! I have two choices: 1) wallow in frustration, mourn the problematic fabric and swear to never use chenille again (this was seriously considered for several days), or 2) jump back into the game and try again (which is what I chose to do).
But this time, I not only used a sett according to its yards-per-pound (ypp), I used a plain weave as the basis. Also, I chose a cotton chenille that I had in my stash. And since it is white (or beige) cotton and I like color, it needs to be dyed. How about trying out this woven shibori? Why not?
Every project throws me surprises. Does this happen to you? I know these surprises can be avoided, but I am kind of pig-headed about planning carefully. I prefer to use stuff in my stash, and not have to delay my weaving gratification while I wait for the delivery of an order. This project threw me a curve ball relative to my plans when the two cones of chenille were different weights. Oh well, I will use them anyway, alternating them and adjust the sett accordingly. Another surprise, I ran out of the heavier 500 ypp chenille. No worries, the rest of the warp will use two 900 ypp chenille to replace the heavier chenille in the alternating warp. I wound off the crochet thread for the shibori stitching separately. It all wove up the first piece beautifully and I don’t think there is any room for the chenille to worm. Maybe deep down I prefer the surprises – maybe a bit thrilled when I overcome the unexpected. It feels like a weaving superpower. Do you prefer to avoid weaving surprises or do you live dangerously?
Another surprise, I thought gathering the piece would be very easy, although maybe a little hindered by the fact that I put the stitching in the warp and the piece is about 50 inches long. I also think the chenille makes it a little tougher to gather. I am working carefully but have broken a couple threads already (this is part of learning … and not wholly an indicator of my impatience). This will take some methodical work (not always my forte), but I am excited to try dyeing it. I’ll keep you posted!
Another benefit of membership is having access to our wonderful library of books, magazines, periodicals, and equipment that you can rent! The screen to the right links to our digital library and randomly scrolls through our collection. See a book you’re interested in?
With your guild membership ID, you can reserve and check books out. Connect to a community that keeps growing and learning! Join today!