Flax field

Flax field

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring

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.
























Saturday, December 23, 2017

christmas

Christmas, end of the year, winter solstice...It's that time of year.  I find myself so emotional about everything; teary at commercials, sad (or happy) stories.  I wonder what makes me feel this way.

I feel that I have not got as much done as I should, my "work ethic" is not up to par, I just want to curl up in bed with the heater on.  I should be happier.


The lights are up, 

The advent days are counting by,

We even have some snow,

but it is such an emotional time.

I feel like I need a new start, a new direction, a new year.

I guess I do have one of those starting up...let's see if I can do something with it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beautiful Autumn

I wrote this several weeks ago and decided I'd add pictures later...

This week has been beautiful weather.  It is getting cool and the leaves are changing.  Also, my overbooked fall is also coming to an end, after this week my schedule has really slowed down, just in time for the holidays!

Today was the memorial service for a student and friend, that alone makes it a retrospective day, but the beautiful mountains also added to my calm.  

I had several great opportunities this fall and so I was busy making the commitments.  After a break of a couple weeks, I started the fall classes.  Then I realized that all my Saturdays in September and October we committed to different places.  I started the first week with a great Weaver's guild meeting the first week in September, we had a wonderful dye class.  We got 16 colors using 8 baggies and two dyes.  We used 4 different percentages of the first dye color and then we over-dyed with four percentages of the second dye color.  We then had a wonderful collection of related colors.  I shared the dye process, so I only have a small ball of each color, but I can knit a hat or weave a scarf from them.  Best of all I had a great time with my guild friends.  

The next week I was sitting a booth at the Farmer's Market for the Craft House and my beginning weaving class also started.  The Farmer's Market has been a great opportunity to get exposure for the classes the we teach at the Craft House, this Saturday, we even had a kick-wheel for demonstrating pottery!

Classes continued the next week and I had a booth at the Norse Fest at the local museum.  This is were I have a piece in their "hallway" show in conjunction with the Swedish Viking show.  I was explaining Viking weaving and showing my weaving and selling.  I had my Baby Wolf and we were VERY busy.  The museum got a larger attendance than anticipated.  It was a successful sell for me and I was very tired when it was over.  I got some passes and my sisters brought Mom to see me and the show.  There were several booths with various Scandinavian arts and crafts.  The next day I also had a commitment to sit a booth at the Gem Fair...it was a very busy weekend.  

Two days later, we headed out for vacation.  The four of us, me and hubby and the two adult children, flew back east to see some new country for us and visit family.  We flew into Boston and spend a day riding the "T" and walking around until we were dead tired.  We, of course, also ate all of the local specialties that we could and my husband and son got to see ships.  None of the four of us had spent any time in this part of the country so we all were excited to see everything and had only enough time to see a little.  


The second day, we went a little south to Plymouth, MA.  I was very interested in seeing the history and pilgrim life.  I really enjoyed the plantation (it has been there since 1950) and the food in the city was again great.  The city of Plymouth does not have any "chain" restaurants, so all the food was local and wonderful.  I had clam chowder that I really liked.  My clam chowder is great, but with fresh clams, this chowder was wonderful.  I need to "up my game" and find fresh clams here in the desert...it does not sound easy!

We then headed up to Vermont and New Hampshire to see the fall colors, unfortunately they had only just started changing and we mostly saw green.  We drove around back roads and found a bunch of covered bridges to take pictures of, but my photographer son said the light was not good and there were too many power lines to get good pictures.  I thought is was fun to see the bridges some very old and some new, but built to look old.


It was overcast and light rain the next day and we decided to travel back to Massachusetts to go to Salem.  My daughter was excited to see the "witches" town and as we were there in October...every weekend is a big celebration.  On the way to Salem, I got to stop in Harrisville, to see the mill, and in Lowell to see where the big mill towns started.  Both places were very interesting to me and even my family found it interesting.  At Lowell, there was a women explaining how weaving is done and, of course, my family had no need of that demonstration...they see it every day!  The old looms working were noisy and very fun to see.

The next day we reached the main reason for our trip, we got to Cape Elizabeth and got to visit with our niece and nephew.  We were able to spend several days with them and since we got there on a weekend, my nephew had the day off and they got to show us around a bit.  The place we stopped for Lobster Rolls, Red's, was crazy, they had a line around the block, so we skipped it and went to Booth Bay to see a beautiful coast town.  It was a tourist town, but not as busy as some and we had great food, walked around to see things and looked for treasure.  Their son is four, and is always looking for treasure and treasure maps (the tourist town maps).  The day was great and I was so happy to get to spend time with them.


By time we were flying home, I was tired and the five hours in the plane gave me a bit of claustrophobia.  I haven't experienced that for a while.

I got home just in time to teach a class at the Natural History Museum.  I ended up with over twenty students, but they were all adults...I had thought that I would have a mix of adult and children.  The class was good, but again I was really tired when it was over.  

That brings us to this week, it started off great with our first opera of the season.  They started off with La Boheme and it was a wonderful production.  I had three private lessons, and I started the beginning rigid heddle class Saturday.  

There really has been a lot happening, I guess there really is a reason why I was so stressed in August.













Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sorry, I have no excuse

I have not been keeping up my end of the deal.  I have not been posting what I have been doing.  I'm sorry...It is so easy to get out of the habit and then I have an empty blog.  

The summer has been a nice one.  I have suffered from being hot a lot of the time, but the evenings recently have cooled down and it is easier to sleep.  That seems so odd, because it used to be that August was the hot and muggy month for us.  July had the wonderful lightning and thunder storms and August was hot.  We really are losing our "normal."

This summer, I have been teaching and weaving...

I was excited to see my pillow in the hallway show at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Viking show from the museum in Sweden is fantastic.  It is interesting to see the real history after watching the TV version on the show "Vikings."  I will be teaching a class in simple weaving for them in October.


I finished weaving a commission that ended up being 42 scarves.  That is a lot of weaving.  I am glad to have it finished and there will probably not be another big commission for a while.  That means that I can get some of my projects finished and get some work done on re-doing the shelves in the storage room.

Pinwheel scarf warp

Twill scarf warp
One of the lace scarves
There really are some beautiful scarves in the group.

I did a four-wheel trail ride with my husband and son.  It was the Hastings Cut-off.  This is part of the pioneer trail where wagon trains traveled from the "civilized" east to the "wild" west.  The Hastings Cut-off is famous, because that is where the Donner Party traveled, took too much time there and because of that, they arrived at Donner pass one day late, they got snowed in and many died.

The trail ride was led by people that had studied the journals of the time and had great information about the troubles that these people faced on their trip.  Lack of water seemed to be one of the worst problems.  We were there in June and it was hot and windy.  They were there in August and traveling over the salt flats must have been horrible.

The salt flats are just that, miles of a salt crust over mud.
It was great to learn about some of the history of the state I live in.

June passed in a blur of classes.  At the end of the month we did our family trip, we stay at Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border.  We are there for three nights and four days and we just enjoy the sun and the water.  The days were warm but not too hot, and the evenings were cool and I slept well.  We did not have too many of Mom's great grand children, so it seemed a little quiet.  There were only about 20 or 25 of us in the group, but three generations.  Mom really enjoyed being with her family...at 92 I don't know how many more she will be able to go to.
Mom by an old church in Idaho

I spent a Saturday in July at the local farmer's market advertising the classes at Pioneer Craft House.  It was hot and sunny, I thought I would get sunstroke from being there.  (Last week when we had a booth again I was much more comfortable the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler.)

The end of July, I spend a great week in Durango, Colorado at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference.  I took a class on doing sprang and it was very interesting.  I only got a couple of small pieces done, but I now understand a lot more about the process.  There were some great workshops and it was so fun to see old friends and catch up.
Teacher's sweet sprang cap

The teacher's sprang shawl


I feel like I was much busier that that for the summer...








Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I've been Sick

My only excuse for not posting is having a bad cough with aches and pains the last few days and having overbooked myself for several weeks.  I know the "being busy" just feeds into the feeling we all have of "What's new?" 

My main worry was the video class that I had agreed to do.   I ended up putting off my regular classes until the video class was over, but it really overwhelmed me.

It was fun, I will probably do one again, I learned that I need to have more of my stuff organized and printed ready to go, and make sure that I don't plan anything else when you are getting ready.

I had planned to go on a camping trip the week before (my DS had reservations for the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park), but at the last minute I sent DS and DH to have a guys trip and I stayed home to get ready.  They had a wonderful time, and I mostly got ready...a good result all around.

One of the days that I was filming, I got a call (I didn't take it) to have a loom ready for a film set.  (I dealt with that after the filming was done.)

In the video set it was very interesting, these people really know what they are doing and I am glad to do a video with them instead of trying to do one on my own.  I do not want to learn the necessary things to get it right and they really had all that knowledge.
Setting up the cameras
They had overhead cameras and were able to do a pretty good close up on my hands and what I was doing.  I had my sister watch the show so that I would know how it looked.

Warping area and baby wolf loom

I still have some things to catch up on with this new way of teaching, but I think I can get it under control...or at least mostly under control.


As soon as the video was finished I had to figure how to get a loom dismantled just enough to get out of a three foot door and still warped enough to have it set up in a reasonable amount of time for the film set.  Since the loom was an old Hammet and not able to fold up, I spent some time mentally dismantling it and turning it on edge to get through the door.  The film crew bundled it up for moving and I followed them to the set to get it working.  It ended up looking good and I found time to go back down, dismantle it again and get it back up to the weaving studio.

The weather has been Spring...rain, sun, and snow all in a day or two.  My DH has been doing wonderful things to the yard.  We have a garden and lots of things coming up...I hope to have fresh peas to make some spring soup and maybe, french radishes for sandwiches.  Our radishes are often too hot, and the long french ones are great in sandwiches, so he planted some for me.  When we stayed in Aix-on-Provence, I had fantastic radishes from the markets and enjoyed sandwiches on a baguette.  I would love to have some of that here to remind me of that great time.

I got a call to have my Swedish art weave pillow in a show.  The dates that I thought I needed it done were in the fall, then a call comes that they need to pick up the pillow the first part of May!  It has to sit in a super freezer for a couple of weeks before they can put it in the museum!  The only problem was I had woven panels, but no pillows made.  I had made decisions about what I wanted the pillows to look like, I knew how the construction needed to be done and that the ultimate background fabric needed be black linen.  I had wanted to weave a small band to go above and below the panel, but now I did not have time to do that.  A quick trip to the local fabric store, and I found exactly the fabric that I wanted to use, then I spent four days sewing them up.  
All four finished pillows
After the first seams, I realized that the band would have been over-kill.  The patterns on the panels were busy enough.  I decided that the third pillow that I had woven was the one I wanted to put in the show.  It has all five of the patterns on it.  Next week is the opening and I am excited to see what else is in the show.
Pillow # Three

My cold is getting better.  Today I decided to not take any of the medications that I had been taking for it.  Yesterday the medications were making me fill groggy and worse than the cold symptoms.  Now I have a bit of congestion and an occasional cough...I can handle that with cough drops and ibuprofen.  I am still taking it easy, when I was working full time, my colds would last for months because I never gave my body time to heal.  Now I know better and have the ability to take time off.  An extra nap in the afternoon, and some quiet time reading each day to give my body what it needs...sounds like the good life to me.