Monday, April 07, 2008

attention to tension

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Tension is a word that a fiber artist uses a lot. Knitting requires an even tension. A Spinning Wheel has a tensioning device to tighten or loosen -depending on the type of fiber and twist needed. Sewing machines have a dial to set the tension of the thread for the fabric that will be sewn together...and I am now discovering weaving requires the right combination of tension distributed across the heddles and the warp and woof.

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I warped the Inkle loom with the help of a nice little tutorial by Ruth that I found on YouTube (with some great piano music btw). I am working on my edges and will try doing a few pick up patterns when I can master the correct amount of tension I need to make a decent edge. Grace taught me how to do the pick up patterns on the Double Hole Tape loom that Fred made. You should go and take a look at these beautiful patterns that she has woven on her tapes. I am almost finished with my first one, but I have a long way to go before I can find my "tension zone". When I look at the entire length of tape that I have woven, I can see areas that have too much tension (skinny)...and those with not enough (wide).

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There is another kind of tension in my life these days, it is of a stressful nature...(you know the type, we all do)...and I am trying my best to manage it...It is not as easy as managing the tension in my knitting, spinning or weaving.... Too much tension in our lives is definitely not a good thing. The key is learning how to relax. I relax by doing fiber arts. Sometimes my tension from real life, spills over into what I'm working on, and the article I'm working on contains the tension. It makes it visible to the eyes...I can see it in the bands that I have been weaving. I strive to maintain an even tension, it takes practice.

10 comments:

Cathy said...

Nodding in recognition. Love the weaving.

Leigh said...

I'm still trying to keep an even tension: both in my weaving and in my life :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Tension is one of the main reasons I cannot knit or crochet. My tension varies so much that the stictches look odd.

Joanne said...

Thank you for your wonderful note on my blog and the holiday wishes!:) I love hearing from you! I identify with you about the tension. Sometimes when I am stressed, even my knitting is stressful and tight. I hope you are taking time to walk with the deer, enjoy a hot bath, a cup of tea, and a talk with a good friend...or whatever makes you feel better, along with all the fiber art. The fiber art is beautiful--and of course, a stress reducer too! Be well, friend!

cindy said...

Although we all try to manage the stress in our lives, it does sometimes manage to seep into our creative lives. Luckily.....I'm a loose knitter.....lol......happy springtime!

Terry M said...

Your inkle weaving is pretty! I can relate to that awful tension thing (both in weaving and life). When the stress of the day job gets too overwhelming, I work on the rug loom - whack, whack, whack!

Sharon said...

Its a bugger we can't simply use a tension adjustment on our lives, eh?

adam brown said...
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fiberjoy said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post. So true.

Unfortunately weaving is most reflective of the state of tension in the weaver's hands. I believe that is one reason I seek weaving for relaxation - it forces me to take a deep breath, change focus and concentrate on the weft and selvage, and rhythm of hands and feet, not inner turmoils.

Artis-Anne said...

You sweetie :) HOW did you know that I have just purchased an old floor standing inkle loom and had been scratching my head to try and remember how to warp it up and WHY didn't I think of You Tube ?
Great weaving there :)
Still playing and learning with it but I used two shuttles to weave on my last effort and it gave such a lovely edge

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