Saturday, July 20, 2019

What have I been doing since December; everything and nothing.  I still feel "off", but I set the May trip as my turn around point.  Now that the trip is over, I'm starting the health things I should have been doing for a while.  My knees gave out during all the walking on the trip, I had a panic attack because of them, but now I am able to see it is time to make the life style changes to get me on track.  Eating better could help my low energy problem and help me get back on track.  I have a couple of doctor visits coming up and I am watching my food intake, I need to stay healthy and able to enjoy my life.

But, you know, if I wait for things to "slow down" I will never get to anything.  And I have been doing things.  January found me overwhelmed by the cold and no desire to get out of bed.  I worked on getting Christmas decorations down (I did get it all down by February).  I also wove some samples to see what sett I could use on some cones of yarn that I have had for quite a while.  I probably have several pounds of each color, so could I make lightweight scarves, or denser fabric for towels?  After washing the samples, I found that there was rayon in the yarn and I don't like rayon in towels, they get "limp" after washing.

I taught a six week overshot class and my beginning weaving class in Januay, Feburary and march and I tried a Beginning Plus class for those students who had taken the beginning, but wanted more help before they jumped into an intermediate class.  It went quite well and I will probably offer it again.  

I got a color gamp kit as a gift for Christmas and decided that it was a good one to demonstrate warping for my class and then I would have a good color example to go on the walls in the studio.
The colors are pretty good but the cool colors are quite dark.
The kit had 30 threads per color and in my haste to get it on the loom I sleyed the reed at 30 epi, it should have been 20 epi.  I re sleyed (I had warped back to front so the heddles were fine).  The color gamp worked well, I wove one in plain weave  and one in twill.  There was enough warp on that I wove a towel using a gray linen that I found in the cupboard.  I had to triple the yarn to make it fit, but I like the towel.  I hung them up in the studio, so i will try to get a picture of the finished items.

April was busy.  The local guild brought Jennifer Moore for a workshop.  I have done a lot of double weave, but the workshop was not filled and I love spending three days with my weaver friends.  She threads her double weave different than the straight draw that I learned from the Tidball book, but I think it makes designing a little easier.  She converted me and I need to change all my handouts to teach her method.  (She uses a parallel threading, check out her book to get some great information and project ideas.)
We did her color mixing blocks and I used the dark color kit from Cotton Clouds.  I had a couple friends that dyed the yarns to use and others ordered the regular rainbow or pastel rainbow colors.  There were some interesting pieces.  I was wanting some fringe between these pieces so I just wove in a few shots of weft to hold it, that is why it has the watermark look.

My mother loves butterflies, so the siblings took her to see the new exhibit at Thanksgiving Point.  We took a great picture of Mom and the five of us, but I guess that was put on facebook and I can't get to it.  

They flew all over and sometimes landed on people.
The last weekend in April, I got to take a five day Shibori Dye class with Ana Lisa Hedstrom.  I have followed here work for ages, so it was great to get to take a class from her.  I got some great results with the arashi (pole wrapping) technique.  I am thrilled and have plans to do several more.  I can't believe that I can't find pictures of my dyes.  I guess I'd better get them documented.  I'll try to remember to show you later.

May, of course, was taken up with travel.  My DH and I spent three weeks in Florence, Italy. 

 I feel so blessed to be able to have gone.  Just like every time I do a BIG trip, I feel blessed and don't expect to be able to again.  This time my knees were bad and I was not able to walk as much as I would have liked.  However, I did get to see a number of places that I had not seen before and I had a wonderful time.  Both of my children were able to come over and share some of the time with us.
I managed to get a tour in a velvet and brocade workshop and see the looms in action.
Velvet loom in the foreground and a student working on her project on the loom behind.

Velvet is the queen of woven fabrics.  If you look carefully you see a blue warp running horizontal and through the lease sticks (the ground of the fabric).  Then you see some gold and blue threads running diagonally from the lease sticks behind the shafts and down to rows of spools.  Each thread is weighted separately on the spools and this is the warp pile threads.  I loved watching the weavers and just looking at the old looms.
Jacquard head with the pattern cards.
Each loom had one or two jacquard heads on the top of them (about 6 feet up) and that is how the pattern was done.  You can see the white threads coming down from the jacquard head to lift the shafts.  One of the weaver's told me that when then get a hold of another jacquard, they have to manufacture the parts to get it going.  They had ones that controlled a one hundred thread repeat and some that controlled a four hundred thread repeat.  I didn't get enough pictures, after a while I was just walking in awe of the equipment and workmanship.

There were also several looms that were weaving silk brocade.
This month I will be going to the Intermountain Weaver's Conference and taking a class in sewing with handwovens.  I have several (boxes full) pieces of yardage that I would like to turn into clothing, wish me well.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Year

This year has been difficult for me.  Somehow I have felt out of "sync", like I have been a little off and not able to do anything.  I know that I have done some things, am I just doing less and that is the problem.  Am I not doing "everything" that I feel I should, so I feel like I do nothing?  It is a hard thing to face and to figure what I can do to bring myself out of it.

On the whole, I look at my life with a smile and so thankful for everything and everybody around me.  I am so blessed to have been able to do so much.  Why do I feel I am not able to do enough?  Do I have a deep down feeling that I need to do more to "repay" the world for giving me such a good life?  Am I just thinking too much?  Are the American politics just wearing me down?

When I was taking pictures and posting earlier this year, I seem to have been doing a great deal and having a wonderful time.  But this fall I have been slower at recognizing the joy in my life.  I need to get my joy back and enjoy life.

In September our season tickets to the Utah Symphony/Opera started and I have loved being able to listen to live music.  I have been able to hear pieces that are well known to me and be introduced to new music to learn about.  Utah Opera productions seem to get better each year.  Romeo and Juliet was not my favorite over the past couple of years, but the voices that they bring in are fantastic and I enjoy the sets and production.

In October I was able to take a workshop from Bonnie Inouye and it was fantastic.  She is so knowledgeable and I have been wanting to take a workshop from her for a while.  This one was Big Twill and she introduced a few things in ways I had never thought about before.  
Look at the cool movement in her sampler.
Her workshop was a continuation of the interest that I have in the "Echo and Iris" book and the techniques covered in it.  I had some classes and a workshop in Reno this summer that fell under that study heading and this workshop added to the knowledge I have acquired.  

I had two self study directions that I tried this year.  "Echo and Iris" was one and the other is crackle.  I have been working on a sampler exploring the structure of crackle.  I have woven it before, but I wanted to really understand the possibilities.  I am not sure that I have it down yet, but I will finish that sampler and move on to a couple of projects to try learning more  I plan to continue the crackle study next year and will be taking a workshop from Susan Wilson to help me learn more.  So one of the first things to do in the new year is to finish the crackle sampler.

I will also continue the echo and iris study line in the next year.  I have a couple of projects that I want to put one to extend my understanding of the four color work.  I want to understand a little about picking colors out to make the design look iridescent.  I worked through some of the book when I was doing some double weave this summer in the Spady class, but there is so much more in that book.  I hope to do a four color piece on the crackle sampler, I like the turned crackle and want to see how it can be done to give the iridescence.

I have worked to empty some looms.  The big push was to get the RH looms empty and put away.  I have three done and one to go.  I need to spend less time on the internet and more time on my weaving.  I have a lot of plans and need to work a little harder on "follow through".

This year, Christmas was the year of the bad lights.  I had one garland with the center lights out.  I replaced it with an led set.  I hope this garland lasts longer.  I have four garlands on top of three of the bookshelves/cabinets in the house and one on the stairs coming into the house. 

We have a couple of small trees outside by the front door.  This year the lights did this.

There must have been a short in that section of the tree lights, because every one of the bulbs was burned out.  My husband found the look very disturbing so he bought a small string of lights and wrapped them over the top of the tree.  The trees looked great for about a week, then the other tree did the same thing.  My DH bought another string of lights and wrapped them on top of that tree.  Now the bottoms of the two trees are out.  Like I said a bad year for lights.  I had my DH buy two additional strings of lights, so I can strip down these trees and relight them and put new colored ornaments on them.  The beautiful red ornaments that I originally put on these trees have faded to an orange color so it is time to re-do them.  So that is another project for me to do after the 12 days of Christmas when we take down the greenery.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Short Summer

As we ease into Autumn, I am trying to see what I did the past summer.  I know that things were busy, and I know there were some thyroid problems causing me to be a little down, but overall it was pretty good.
My daughter joined a local Cambodian dance group.  She was in long enough to do one performance.  I had fun going to the festival and eating well, then seeing my daughter with the dance group.
The only non-Asian in the group.
 I also went to the local Tulip festival with her.  I enjoy my adult children and I love flowers.

As a family we camped in Arches National Park.  This is an area that we have been to many times, but it has been several years since we were able to camp in the park.  It was a great time and being in the "red rock country" refreshes my soul. 
Our Campsite with the table, our tent and son's ten
We also checked out the Black Dragon Petroglyph in the San Rafael Swell.

My sisters took mom for a weekend away.  We visited her old family home, and a cousin that she grew up with.  It was a great time for her and I think we managed to not wear her out too much.

I taught another video classes with Curious Mondo.  I enjoy the classes, but it is a lot of work to get all the equipment set up and moved to the studio.  I am still working on emptying a couple of the four looms that I set up for the class.

July was two weeks in Reno with the weaver's conferences.  I had not been to Convergence for quite a few years.  I always enjoyed this conference, but it is expensive. For the years when I worked in the weaving store the manager would always go and I ran the store while she was gone.  Now that Convergence and Complex Weaver's are in the same city I can go to both.  I took a great workshop from Robyn Spady and it jump started my interest in parallel threading and "echo" weave.  I followed her instructions and then when I got home, I used the great book "Echo and Iris" to get some additional treadlings on the sample.  I want to continue my exploration in this direction.  My problem is that between teaching, commissions and life I don't seem to have the energy to do my own projects!  I always found the fashion show wonderful.  It used to be mostly wild runway pieces, but this fashion show had many pieces of clothing that we could wear in regular life.

Three conferences ago, I went to my first Complex Weaver's.  I loved this group of sharing women, and loved feeling like there was so much more I wanted to learn.  These women are doing some things that I don't have the equipment or interest in, but they challenge me to try new things and explore places in weaving that I hadn't tried before.  I decided at that first conference that I would try to attend it every time.  I may not be able to always attend, but I love that thought of going and learning new things, and looking at weaving in new ways.

This was a great experience that I had looked forward to for a few months.  I loved hanging out with several hundred weavers...my tribe.

We had a fall trip to Yellowstone National Park scheduled, but between Reno and Yellowstone, I had a commission to weave 19 rugs.

Four 3' x 5' rugs

Fourteen 2' x 3' rugs
I put 24 yards of wool rug warp on the Macomber loom at Pioneer Craft House and used a lot of it for these rugs.  I have an additional four rugs to weave for a second rug commission and that should use all the rug warp.  These rugs are alpaca corespun yarn, quite fast to weave because they are 4 to 5 ppi.

Our Yellowstone trip was fun, I had not been there of several years.  We decided to not worry about cooking all the meals, so we just planned to eat at the lodges part of the time..  That turned out to be a good decision, because we had evening and night rain a couple of days and no one felt like cooking in that weather.  There are so many places to eat there it was no problem.  My favorite was the Yellowstone Hotel, I want to go back and stay there.
On our way to breakfast after early morning bison watching.
Baby bison
We have been doing a lot this summer, but somehow I feel that I have not been keeping up with things that I am supposed to be doing.  I need to learn to enjoy what I am able to do and let go of those things that I don't get to.


Friday, August 17, 2018


Hooiser Lace

Sunday, April 29, 2018


April has been sunshine and snow.  It is funny to have a day when the temperature is 70 degrees and the next day it is snowing.  My daffodils got snowed on several times this year.
This one was just a light dusting
I have been working on some placemats with a variation of honeysuckle overshot.  She picked out the design when I showed her some of my work.  I was surprised to see that I wove that pattern in 1988.  I really like the look of it and I am surprised that I have not done any other work with it.  I often thought I would like to do some yardage with a fine thread using that design.

It has a lacy look and I am very pleased with it.

I also did some weaving for a woman who does baby wraps.  I have always wondered about weaving them.  It is a lot like weaving yardage, just the same thing over and over.  In this case the 8/2 was about 24 ppi and it took a while to weave a yard.  I was slower than I usually think about my weaving.  

It was pretty familiar to weave, because it was on a Macomber loom.  It was about 8 inches wider than mine, so it felt heavier, but I love to weave on a Mac.

I also took a class in tonder lace with the bobbin lace group.  I have always loved the look of point ground laces and I was interested in tonder.  I was a bit over my head.  I had not done lace for a few months and it took a couple of hours for me to get into the groove.  Tonder is done with 140/2 cotton and so after a six hour day, I had about a half an inch.  I took it apart a couple of times and I had to adjust to that fine yarn.  At first I was breaking it.
This is a piece from the more experienced students
The second piece that I got to start is a straight edge that this heart is based on.  It is really beautiful lace.  I am not sure if I like this better than Bucks point.

I am also working on getting my old stacks of stuff cleaned up and some of it given away.  I really think it is time that I pass around some of my "stash".  There are some projects that I will never get around to.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time Flys

My life continues like everyone else,  some days are good, some days are better than most and some days we are just getting by.

I started getting a list together of how much each of my looms have been doing this year, but it just got stuck and never made any progress.  So I abandoned the list, my looms have been working, but I don't know exactly how much.  

I was disappointed that the yardage did not come off the Big Mac before the end of the year.  But a couple of weeks in I finished it.  I was not able to find any weft to continue the fabric, so I did a slightly different color for the last yard, maybe it will work for a companion piece or trim on the original.

Finished yardage, not wet finished
On the right side is the original stripe with the very bright handspun (about 2 yards) in the center is the coordinating fabric (about 3 yards and on the left is the extra fabric (about 1 yard).  The original two fabrics have a peacock yarn for the warp and weft, and the extra fabric ended up with bottle green for the weft.  I think it made a good fabric and I hope I can come up with a good piece of clothing.

I taught a rug class and a beginning weaving class for the winter session.  Both classes filled and were fun to do, but I sometimes want some time off to do my work.  (But when I do get that day off, I have so much on my mind to do that it seems like nothing gets done.)

I have started to be satisfied if I get two or three of the things taken care of.  I try not to feel bad if I don't finish the "To Do" list.  Instead at the end of the day I try to look at what I did manage to get done.  Usually I am very satisfied with the list I was able to do, and I try not to just look at what I did not get done.   

I warped my three rigid heddle looms for a video class, then decided I needed a fourth example and bought a Baby Cricket (10") and warped her up.  I have not got any of the projects off the loom.  But the one that did badly in the class, I resleyed it and got a good sample going.  I think it will be used for small zipper bags.  I need to get things done to try to have for sales.
I resleyed to a larger dent heddle
Now the boundweave is covering the warp!
I think I will be much happier with this structure.  I did some small bags with this type of boundweave on a rigid heddle loom years ago and I liked the look and feel of them.

I have been binge watching too much Netflix.  I think it is an avoidance technique.  But while I am watching, I keep my hand busy doing stitchery.  Things I have not done for a number of years.  It has been fun.  There are a couple of counted cross projects that I have started, but the things I have finished are quite an odd group.

A needlepoint ornament for my son

A needlepoint ornament for my daughter

A beaded sheep ornament for me
To top it all off, last fall when I was in Harrisville, I bought a pot holder loom.  You know, the kind we all made potholders from sock loops when we were young.  This is the Pro-sized and makes bigger potholders.  I made about 30 of them!

Bright Christmas colored ones

Multi-colored ones

Deep Christmas colored ones

Bright Kitchen colored ones.
I went crazy with color and weave patterns.  What am I going to do with so many potholders.  At our Sister's Date in January, I let everyone pick out a couple for them to use, so I am down about 8...but that is still a lot of potholders!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of the Year

Yesterday my husband changed the calendars.  I guess he is ready for the year to be over.  I wanted to wait, because I wanted to finish weaving the warp on my Big Mac before the year was out.  I have been weaving, but ran into a snag.

This warp has been on the loom for a long time, and for a while I just stacked things on top of the loom and was not weaving it at all.  (I have been weaving on a number of other looms.)
As you can see, it was a sorry sight.
I decided a couple months ago to clean around, on and under the loom, and clear space so I could sit down and weave.  It was a goal to get it off the loom before another year had passed.  I have been weaving and really enjoying using this loom again.  I finished a couple of yards with the handspun accent yarn, then started the yardage without the handspun.  This is a draft of a fabric from Linton Textiles and I think I had plans for a jacket and skirt.  
The plain yardage still shows the floats where the handspun was.
I always planned to make the companion yardage (to the handspun) with the same treadling so that the floats would give it texture.  I really like the way it worked out.  But I ran out of weft yarn.
There is at least a yard of warp left.
So where do I go from here?  Should I see if I can get another cone of the peacock color?  Should I weave it off in a different color to make something else?  I do have some of the handspun left and could use that with a different color weft.  I am at a stand still...I don't think I can come up with the answer before the year is out!  So this one will not get finished this year...

I have finished a large number of weavings, and I have started (and even finished) some sitichery pieces.  I did not knit so many socks this year, but have done knitting.  This summer I got a pro-sized potholder loom from Harrisville Designs and I have made more than a dozen potholders...it has been fun.  I need to get them to my family and have them pick their favorite...I can't use that many!

I have started some alpaca ponchos.  This is a test to see if I can make them cheaply enough to sell (I need to see if I can make them to sell wholesale to the grower).  It is tough to do, I keep track of my time for warping, weaving and finishing the projects then see if she feels that she can make money on it.  The fabric is beautiful, but it seems to be taking too much time.
This color looks a little warmer than the yardage is

This looks too green

I may need to check the white balance on the camera.  Both pictures are the same yardage, but taken under different light.

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope the love and the joy of the holiday season follows you throughout the new year.