summer flowers

summer flowers

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Emotional Times

I had an interesting thing happen this week.  I was watching the last episodes of "Mad Men" on Netflix.  When the credits started on one of them, the music was "The First Time ever I saw your Face."  It brought back memories of over 40 years ago.  I looked up on YouTube and found Roberta Flack singing it in 1969.  I ended up listening to it several times and having tears run down my face.  It didn't bring back a specific memory, but mostly the feeling of another person that I was years ago.  

Afterwords, I wondered if I was crying for that person that I was, or the person that I am now, or if it just brought a release of the tension that I have been feeling with my DH's health and his status.  (Which is slowly improving, thank goodness.)  

It's amazing how hearing a song from the past can bring that kind of reaction.  It was not unpleasant, just interesting.  I do feel more relaxed about the things we have to face and the slow improvement of his health, so I guess it was a good thing...

I finally managed to get a picture of the "Cupcake" roving that I was spinning.  Just to remind you, I didn't like the color combination.  I usually love her dye colors, but this one came in a club I had joined and I got a variety of new rovings and batts to try.  
This was the original roving
This is a beautiful roving, but too "easter/ice cream" colored for me.  I looked at it for a while and decided to see if I could mellow the colors a bit so I would to like.  I decided to use it as a test, can I really change it enough?

I ran half of the roving through a drum carder to get a soft warm beige color.
First Ply
Then I split the roving on the other half, laid a couple of the split sections together and spun them.  I got some blending and some "candy cane" or "ragg" areas.
Second ply
The two ply yarn considerably softened or mellowed out the colors.  I hope my DD can knit something that she likes.
Finished 2 ply yarn
It was interesting to manipulate the roving to get something completely different from how it was dyed.  Too many times, I just end up with a yarn that adds nothing to the dye job.  Sometimes that works out well and I am happy with it.  But it is important to remember I can make it change to a different yarn.

I have been correcting the knots in the bumberet towels.  Since I was finishing up balls and cones of yarn, there were several knots that fell in bad places.  Also I had one broken end that I had added a completely different color replacement warp, because I did not have the correct color at the studio.

I found a couple of treadling errors in two of the towels.  I must have been distracted while I was weaving, or at least that is my excuse!

I was looking at the towels, and almost decided it was not worth the bother to correct them, it adds a lot of time and energy to the towels.  When I started looking at the problem, I had skipped a shot in most of the errors.  I ended up reweaving four shots in one and 3 shots in the other.  Only one of the corrections needed to have a thread taken out (I had treadled the wrong plain weave shot).  The others were just adding a shot.  and it was an easy shot, over three/under three across the piece.  
Correction in progress
On the right side of the needle, you can see the corrected shot; then on the left side, you can see the error.  Yes, it is subtle, but once it is washed it would have looked awful and I would not have been able to sell or give them away.  Now they are right.

And in the end that is what I feel good about, I made them look good.  I made the problem go away.  It is good that there are a few things that are under my control, and that I can fix! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Things are getting better

My DH is doing much better, but there still are problems that we need to overcome.  I hope his body is able to recover more as the time goes on.  I still have the guilty feelings that I should have known or should have realized that there was serious problems, but I am getting better about it.  One interesting side benefit is that he is upstairs with me all the time, we are talking more and reacting more like we did in France.  That has to be good for our relationship!

I had two classes start this past week and they are both going great.  I enjoyed spending some time with my Mom and "the Sisters" had our "Sister's Date".  Once a month I meet with my sisters and we do various crafts.  This month we talked about the up coming birthday party for Mom (it's her 90th!) and we planned a quilt.  

Mom found some quilt blocks that she had done years ago, both pieced work and applique.  We laid the blocks out and found an arrangement that we liked.  Mom had some left over print fabrics and I think that we will be able to put a narrow band of the pink print between the blocks and use the other colors to make the border.
24 beautiful blocks

Mom did such a great job on the blocks, the corners are cleanly done and the applique is beautiful.  I love the "Sun Bonnet Girl", I will have to get a close up shot of her.  I only took pictures of the lay out so that we could remember it.  

One sister took the fabric to cut into strips, but she said that she was not sewing it.  I figure that is our March Sister's date...bring sewing machines and work on the quilt top.  We need to decide if we want the quilt machine quilted or hand quilted.  I am leaning toward hand quilting because the blocks are so beautifully made.  Mom knows someone that will do it for hire.  None of the sisters want to hand quilt this big of a would take us years to complete!

And I emptied another loom...yeah.  This was my table loom that stays at the Craft House studio.  I was weaving the overshot samples that I showed last month.  I finished several samplers that I will use as examples for my class.
Four samplers
And I finished five examples of the overshot patterns.  I have these patterns on handouts for my students and it is good to have examples of the design so that they can pick out which one they want to weave.  

Five overshot patterns

Wow I should have changed the tablecloth before I took the pictures.  An indigo shibori pattern really makes a busy picture!

Last month, I won a guest towel on Susan's website,  I was so excited and because it is my birthday this month, I decided that this towel will be a birthday gift to me.  It is beautiful and feels so soft.  It is a cotton/bamboo blend and the bamboo makes it "silky".
New Guest Towel..or Towel for ME!
I love the beautiful detail on the hem, a double hemstitch and hem turned under.  Susan does wonderful finishing on all her pieces and I get great ideas about how I can make my pieces look better.
Beautiful finishing really makes the piece.
I continue to work on my bobbin lace edging when I watch TV, I am continually running out of thread on the bobbins.  It is really time to be done with this linen thread.  I am over three yards now, and there is still plenty of thread on the spool of linen, but it is a pain to constantly be adding bobbins.