Thursday, January 17, 2008

Embelishment

Ordinarily, I'm not in favor of embellishing my weaving with what I see as frivolity. Especially where glass beads are concerned, I think there are safety concerns which I as the maker need to keep in mind. But as a consumer, I'm not against a bit of trinket from time to time. After all, embroidery was my first textile-related hobby.

Back in October or November, I bought a couple of small bags of decorative "buttons", thinking I'd like to make my swatches into Christmas ornaments or tiny bags for Twilight Market, and adorn them with these. I never did, of course, (for one thing, my textiles looked so at odds with these decorations!) so I still have them in my sewing box.

At the end of last year, one of my yarn sources gave me a plain calico bag, and I think it was on Boxing Day, I couldn't help but to take out a few of these "buttons" and stitched them onto to the bag. The "buttons" I chose are distinctly Christmasy, so I knew it would be a little strange to carry this around all year, but never mind, it made the bag so cute and personal. I was very pleased with myself; ergo, the continuation of this style of embellishment as part of my stash-reduction sewing projects.

Because weaving, for me, is not something I do only when I'm working, but I think about designs and colors and possibilities all the time, towards the end of last year I was very aware of the lack of work/life balance, and wasn't sure how to deal with it. As a result, I felt as if I was on the clock 24/7 and was exhausted by the thought of weaving, though I wasn't tired of weaving itself. And I stayed away from fun, personal projects, because I thought I'd waste time when I could be weaving.

One of the ideas I'm toying around with is to have a few personal textile projects going at all times, so I can always escape to "my thing" and have fun. In other words, having textile-related hobbies once again. This would include re-learning to knit, because I think it'd be wonderful to have a huge piece of knitted square as a couch blanket, as our living room is dominated by woven ones at the moment.

Just a thought.

2 comments:

  1. The possibility of embellishing my weaving sometimes quite torments me. I have not yet done it but I think of it lots. Part of the problem is that I am not willing to use any of my "precious" handwoven for experiments........(grin!)

    And I too have fiber "hobbies," knitting being one of them. Spinning is another,but since I do occasionally weave with my handspun, it moves a tiny bit away from the hobby thing.

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  2. I've always woven warp ends as scrap material, Peg, hoping one day they would become something else. In most cases, I had vest fronts in mind, but other swatches are much smaller. Even that stash is getting bigger, but I've seen other weavers at my guild make little things out of them. Bonnie Inouye wore tops that, in some cases, just had a swatch of her fabric sewn on as a design, and Randy Darwall had, among other things, vests where he used his fabric on the back of the stand collar. Nice touch. The bag idea occurred to me when I saw what Curious Weaver did here. I can use even the smallest swatches for these.

    I've used glass beads in the selvedge and/or fringes, and on one occasion, in the middle of the design in a scarf, but I'm not big on embellishing. Which is just so strange because I quite like embellishments, the kind that used to be shown on the back of the Thread magazine. I've never understood the difference in these preferences.

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