There is a Long Winter Ahead

I’ve been thinking about the long WI Northwoods winter ahead, and what weaving I would like to do during the coming months.  This is a preview, I hope, of what will be appearing on this blog.

Warp and weft for the Glimakra Regina.
Warp and weft for the Glimakra Regina.

I enjoy trying and learning about new areas of weaving, while continuing to explore current interests.  Tapestry is something I’ve wanted to learn the basics of for the past 2-3 years.  I had started a year or more ago, but the timing wasn’t working out with commitments I had made, so a new attempt is underway.  I’m hoping with a few months of winter ahead, I’ll have more time to give to it daily.

To that end, I signed up for Rebecca Mezoff’s “Warp and Weft:  Learning the Structure of Tapestry: (all-three-at-once!), almost two weeks ago, and since then have been working through the reading and videos, and ordering warp and weft which just arrived two days ago.  Now, it’s time to make a warp and learn how to beam a warp on the Glimakra Regina,… very exciting!

Harrisville Highland in autumn colors.
Harrisville Highland in autumn colors.

At the time the yarn was ordered, we were at peak autumn color, and those are the colors I ordered.  Autumn went by so quickly I decided capturing it in a tapestry sample would extend the season.

Marks Mattgarn.
Marks Mattgarn.

Just over a week ago I had a phone call from an area TV news program reporter, asking if she could come visit and interview me.  I was a bit hesitant, but agreed, and the day and time were set.  She didn’t know until later, but the interview was the morning of my 65th birthday!  The video can be found here.  A couple days after it aired, I received a phone call from a gentleman whose (late) wife was a weaver,… would I be interested in purchasing some yarn.  He arrived a couple days later, and I added 33 skeins of royal blue, red, and evergreen Marks Mattgarn to my weaving yarn stash.  I’ll think of you, Alice, when it is woven up.

Woven shibori, in progress.
Woven shibori, in progress.

Woven shibori continues on my countermarche loom, currently 10 shaft/12 treadle, straight draw twill, 100% Bockens cotton.  This particular scarf is planned to be an infinity scarf.  After that, I believe I’ll change the tie-up for longer floats.

First scarf off this twill warp.
First scarf off this twill warp.

This scarf still needs to be washed, pressed, and have fringe twisted.  I like the slightly meandering lines.   This warp needs to be woven off, or re-threaded and new tie-up as I have a custom order to do and I want a different look for the borders.  After several more scarves for Artistree Gallery, and after I have my online shop finally up and running, the next warps will be for my first attempts at woven shibori garments.  I’m looking forward to this and expect a lot of trial and error, and learning.

Woven shibori.
Woven shibori.

This woven shibori was meant to be a scarf with hand-twisted fringe.  Unfortunately, I ran out of warp just before the end, no fringe for the end, so it will be used in sachets, part of a cushion, or other work.

Single-unit drawloom, waiting for this weaver.
Single-unit drawloom, waiting for this weaver.

In the studio, the drawloom has been sitting neglected for a long, long time.  I have a deadline coming up for a sample exchange so a lot of time at the drawloom, every day, will be needed, starting tomorrow.  (Tonight I hope to finish up the Medicare Maze/decisions.)

Handspun Coopworth (roving).
Handspun Coopworth (roving).

I wrote about Spinzilla 2015 in the previous post.  When I went to ply the yarn on four bobbins (into two skeins of 2 ply), the plying head driveband was nowhere to be found (and is still missing). However, I wasn’t going to wait to find it, and a new one is on the shelf.  I need to place each skein on the yarn swift and re-fill the bobbins, then do the plying.  Then back to occasional spinning (there is quite a bit more roving left).  I’m hoping the yarn won’t be too bulky for a sweater; if it is, then a knit or woven shawl.  Someday this project will be done.

Homemade valances for the kitchen.
Homemade valances for the kitchen.

One last small home project the past three evenings has been picking the hems out of seven valances and the linings, so 14 panels in all.  I had these in the kitchen a few years back and want them up again this winter, but shortened by a couple inches.  Two left to do, then I can rotary cut the couple inches off each, re-pin, and machine sew.  They should be up in a few days!  Living in a log home in the woods, curtains have never been needed, especially in summer with windows open. But in winter, that added color makes the kitchen feel even more cozy.

Being thankful for the blessings in my life, I like to contribute to programs that speak to me.  KIVA microloans is one, Adopt-A-Native-Elder is another.  A month or so ago, another program crossed my path, The Tibetan Nuns Project (website), and TNP Facebook page, and I have made the commitment to sponsor a Tibetan nun for a year (it will be more!), and have been learning about their lives, struggles, and goals.  We can add happiness to our lives in many ways.

I had thought previously about giving a percentage of what I earn to a cause or program, and a few days ago decided The Tibetan Nuns Project would be the one.  In addition to my sponsoring the young woman, 10%+ of what I earn will go to either sponsoring another nun, and/or towards the needs of the nunneries that TNP are working with.

The Tibetan Nun Project in Shuttle Works Studio.
The Tibetan Nun Project in Shuttle Works Studio.

So, as a positive reminder, a photo of the nun I sponsor along with her information, and a 2016 TNP Calendar are posted on the bulletin board over a work table, near the loom I spend the most time at.   I’m looking forward to an occasional letter exchange with her, reading newsletters and updates about the nunneries and program, making TNP another reason to keep on weaving!

Oh yes, all that isn’t enough, I have a few sock orders to do, Artistree Gallery wants socks, and Louise (friend) and I are planning a first attempt at warp painting in November, before it gets too cold.  It’s good to keep busy with things we enjoy doing!

POSTSCRIPT!

I had emailed The Tibetan Nuns Project to see if there was a photo I could use, without breaking copyright.  Later in the day I did this blog post and had not yet heard back from them.  Well, I have heard back, and a photo was sent, and here it is!

Tibetan Nuns Project photo, provided by and used here with their permission.
Tibetan Nuns Project photo, provided by and used here with their permission.

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