All posts by janicezindel

Challenges Come Along

Ready to pin under a goo light.
Ready to pin under a goo light.

A couple months ago, or more, I was trying to finish one of those never-ending warps, and I had what I hoped were two  scarves, Because I hadn’t made notes, and didn’t remember if I’d left warp for fringe at the beginning or not, I mistakenly didn’t on the second end, of both, Wrong!  I ended up with two cowls, which is fine, not everyone likes the longer scarves or fringe, even when nicely finished with hand-twisted fringe.   The almost-cowls have been waiting a long time so tonight, very late, I sat down and took care of the seams, my variation of a flat-fell seam.

Edges are off-set.
Edges are off-set.

After machine-stitching both edges, about 1/8″ from the edge,  to prevent raveling, and wrong sides together, I off-set the two, and machine stitch about 1/8″ from cut edge.  If they were lined up, I would have to trim the one down to 1/8″ inch, this way I don’t need to use scissors close to the handwoven. threads.

Fold over fabric and pin.
Fold over fabric and pin.

Now the fabric is folded over, enclosing the raw edge, and is stitched down.  Then I open the scarf, lay the seam down and machine stitch again (sorry, forgot to take a photo).  It makes a nice seam, three layers of fabric, not including the little bit of raw edge that is enclosed.  On these two, I did not give it a half-turn, mobius style.

 

Cowl, ready to be worn.
Cowl, ready to be worn.

I was going to add small beads to the edge of one of these two cowls, but my cataracts have gotten worse and threading a needle has gotten to be a challenge.  Beads will have to wait a few weeks.

The cataracts are one of the reasons I haven’t been doing much weaving recently.  My right eye is worse than the left.  I’ve had to enlarge print on my laptop screen again, and can’t really read print on the TV screen (Netflix program descriptions, for example). Because things are blurry, I was getting little loops on my formerly nice selvedges.  I couldn’t see those little loops unless I took my glasses off and looked closely, not easy to do while weaving.  Thankfully,  surgery has been scheduled in early February, and I’m hoping the second one will also be in February.  It will be nice to see more clearly again.  I’m told I will still need glasses since my right eye has a “wrinkle” on the back side, but I won’t complain about that.  I just want to see again to get back to my weaving, be able to read, thread a needle, and all the things we take for granted.

I know these photos are a bit blurry, too.  Between using my tablet to take them, a bit of shakiness, and the cataracts, I end up taking many photos of the same thing, then going through them and choosing what looks to be the clearest to my eyes.

Growing stack of indigo dyed swatches.
Growing stack of indigo dyed swatches.

Before immersing my handwoven scarves and cowls in the indigo vats, I “test” the color with small swatches of PFD cotton.  These (above) are what I have left after using several for sachets.

Shades of indigo.
Shades of indigo.

I try to get various shades of indigo, some solids, some mottled, by scrunching the fabric up in my gloved hand and immersing it once or twice, different lengths of time.  They are being used for smaller items.  When I have more specific ideas and plans, I’ll do some proper shibori.

I’m finishing  weaving a warp, hoping it is long enough for a scarf and fringe, so I can hand-stitch a design on, then indigo dye.  Hopefully I will get it completed before the cataract surgery and show it here.   If I do an overall free design instead of just on borders, it will take longer to stitch/gather/tie before dyeing.   I’d like to have a new warp on the Glimakra Standard before the surgery, too, so when I can see well enough, I can sit an weave again.  So that warp and ideas for the scarves are in the planning/sketching stage.

If you have followed my blog for three years or so, you know I have a lot of Coopworth roving that I was spinning during two Spinzilla’s. With that, I knit a cowl for myself.  About three weeks ago, I looked at a partial ball of that 2 ply yarn, wondering what I could do with it. A hat!  I’d o the same “pattern” from the cowl pattern but make a hat.  I started it, making it up as I went alone, and it was a little too small, so unraveled and started over.  Now, it might be a little too big. If that is the case, I’ll have the pleasure of knitting it twice.

Coopworth roving, spun into 2-ply, becoming a hat.
Coopworth roving, spun into 2-ply, becoming a hat.

I knit until I ran out of yarn, and need to search my studio to see if there is another skein of this 2 ply.  If not, I’ll be spinning more and plying more.  Yes, there is still more roving.  It was a big, clear, trash bag filled with beautifully coiled roving.  I’ve enjoyed working with it so much that I bought a Coopworth fleece a couple weeks ago.  Lighter in color, I need to wash it to find out exactly what it will be, and the staples are 3″ to 3.5″ in length so I’ll be able to hand card it before spinning.

Three weeks or so before that, I saw a Gotland fleece on a FB raw fleece sales group, silvery gray, and ordered it.  Before it arrived, another was listed, similar in color, by the same seller, an that was ordered, too.  I’ve never washed/carded/spun/knit with Gotland before so I’m looking forward to that.  There will be photos in future blog posts.

Tape Loom Weaving book.
“Handwoven Tape” by Susan Faulkner Weaver.

This book had been in my Amazon cart for months before publication and release near the end of December.  I wanted to learn about the history of tape looms, and because I’d bought a tape loom back in November because it was small and very portable.  It’s a lovely book, good history and photos of many different styles of tape looms, and I’m looking forward to reading it an putting it to use.

My Glimakra bandloom warp was finished about three weeks ago or so, and is in need of a new warp.  I recently added a warping trapeze to my weaving studio equipment so I will be able to warp my looms alone.  I recalled Becky Ashenden, at Vavstuga, had tied the uprights of her trapeze to the loom with handwoven bands.  I have one, now need another soon.   I know I can use clamps, or bungee cords, but prefer the idea of using handwoven bands.

Meanwhile, I am looking ahead to the weaving I want to accomplish in 2017, once I get past the cataract surgery, including a couple new (to me) directions to take my woven shibori in.  I’m very excited about the possibilities, and the learning curve!

Winter has also been keeping me busy, shoveling snow, clearing in front of my garage for doors that open out, not up, raking snow off the roof, and chopping inches of ice that has formed when it warms up.

I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are in the world, and are weaving up a storm!

Preparing for Winter

Woven shibori, indigo-dyed, two scarves nearing completion.
Woven shibori, indigo-dyed, two scarves nearing completion.

This photo is of the two scarves written about in the previous post.   Actually, they will be cowls as soon as I sew a flat-fell type seam on each.

Wood was cut and waiting for the log splitter to work properly.
3 loggers cords or more of wood was cut and waiting to be split and stacked.

It feels like a long time since I’ve done much weaving, partly because of fall/winter preparations.  I should have been splitting wood for the past month, but my log splitter has broken down twice, parts ordered, partly repaired, only to find not all parts were sent and one piece didn’t fit.  So, waiting on parts again.  I have the awful feeling I’ll be out splitting wood long after the snow finally comes.

Two double wood racks full, in the garage.
Two double wood racks full, in the garage.

We did manage to get these two double racks full of split wood, in my garage, and there is another single rack for kindling, along with three or four trash cans full of short ends and other small chunks.

There are oil lamps ready, candles, I’ll have extra food in the house along with drinking water for occasions when the power goes out, extra pet food on hand, too, for my three cats and one dog.

Time to clear the lakeside porch.
Time to clear the lakeside porch.

Hanging flower pots , lawn chairs, and my fleece washing pots have all been removed and stored.

The porch was swept, and this week windows will be washed.
The porch was swept, and this week windows will be washed.

Storm windows were put on all the windows,… this lakeside window is to my weaving studio.

Pine bough hanging pot.
Pine bough hanging pot.

While in town a couple days ago I saw hanging pots filled with pine boughs and brought one home to add a little winter cheer to my view from the kitchen window.  I’ll be picking up a 24″ wreath for the entry door, and a 36″ wreath for the garage doors, the day before Thanksgiving.  They add a nice, cozy touch to home/studio.

Tape loom by J.K. Seidel.
Tape loom by J.K. Seidel.

I’ve had a tape weaving book on the Amazon wish list for some time. The release date is Dec. 28, 2016 for “Handwoven Tape: Understanding and Weaving Early American and Contemporary Tape” by Susan Faulkner Weaver.  One evening I saw an email come in from WeavingSalesAds for a tape loom, so in anticipation of this book, I bought it.  It’s a lovely little loom, from J.K. Seidel Tape Looms. 

Cotton band woven on Glimakra bandloom.
Cotton band woven on Glimakra bandloom.

At long last, I finally wove off the cotton band I had originally set up on my Glimakra bandloom.  It’s time to design stripes for a new band using the same colors in a different configuration.  I’m going to be adding a trapeze to my studio equipment and will use the bands for tying the uprights to the looms.

My winter sewing area.
My winter sewing area.

I have sewing to do!  Not only finishing on some handwovens, but there are valances/curtains to make, quilts begun many years ago that I would like to get back to, and I may venture back into making simple pieces of clothing.  All this, of course, is after the wood is split and stacked.

Preparing for winter is often practical things like those I mentioned,… wood, matches, candles, oil lamps, food, water, pet needs.  I have a long winter ahead of me,… building a fire every morning in the woodburning range in the kitchen, feeding it wood through the day and evening, carrying ashes out, shoveling snow, raking snow off the roof valleys and moving it, keeping paths open to the LP tank and the woodshed, along with the usual tasks.

Winter preparations also include my weaving, threads/yarns to weave with.  I’m nearly out of Bockens 16/2 cotton, but still have cones of 16/2 from Lunatic Fringe.  Fleece to process (two new Gotland fleeces just arrived) for spinning, not to mention several Icelandic fleeces stashed away.  I have some knitting projects half-done (or more) that need completing, before starting any new ones. Books to learn from are always good.  These are recent additions!

A book for learning how to spin for specific projects.
“Yarn-i-tec-ture.”.

My spinning so far has been hoping the yarn I spin will work for the knit project I want to make, so far, cowls.  It’s time to learn more so I can hopefully spin what I need for perhaps a sweater?  We’ll see!

"Circular Knitting Workshop."
“Circular Knitting Workshop.”

All my knitting in previous years was on straight needles.  I finally tried circular needles on the cowl pattern I have knit a few times. But I have questions and need answers.  Hopefully answers will be found in this book.

"Knits from the Heart of Norway."
“Knits from the Heart of Norway.”

My father had an aunt who, like his parents, emigrated here from Norway.  We met with her one day and I tape recorded the conversation during which she reminisced about life in Norway before they came to the U.S.  I recall that day she told us she had knit over 100 “Norwegian” sweaters.  That planted the seed in me to one day learn to knit Norwegian style.  So I added these two books to my growing stash of books on the subject.

"Nordic Knits."
“Nordic Knits.”

Good incentive to get those unfinished projects done!

"In the Company of Women."
“In the Company of Women.”

And for what I believe will be a good read, in bits and pieces, “In the Company of Women – Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs.”

I’m also reading “The French Chef in America:  Julia Child’s Second Act” by Alex Prud’homme, co-author with Julia Child of “My Life in France.”  Sorry, no photo.

Reading takes me longer these days, cataracts are becoming noticeable, particularly in my right eye.  They are interfering with my weaving, and I avoid any driving at dusk or after dark.  I’m hoping they can be removed before too long, must wait to see what the surgeon and insurance company have to say.  I do what I can, whether outdoor work, wood, weaving, reading, or getting back to decluttering and packing.  All in good time.  And if all goes well, I’ll be ready for another long northwoods winter with more than enough to keep me pleasantly occupied!

 

Missing the Studio,… I’m Back!

Woven shibori, fresh off the loom.
Woven shibori, fresh off the loom.

Last Thursday or so, another woven shibori scarf finally came off the loom.  I also found another, in a plastic bag, which had a pattern row treadling error.   The offending thread was removed, and a new plain weave row was needle-woven in.  Thank goodness for my Ott floor lamp with magnifier!  Cataracts are making themselves known and without the magnifier, I would not have been able to see well enough to replace that row.  Both were now ready for the next step in the woven shibori process.

The start of gathering pattern threads on first long edge of scarf.
The start of gathering pattern threads on first long edge of scarf.

Before dyeing, the pattern threads (green threads, above in pic) were gathered along one long edge, then the loops on that edge are clipped and tied into tight knots.

Gahters made, now tying knots.
Gathers made, now tying knots.

When one side was completed the same was done along the other long edge, making sure both gathers and knots were very tight, as that is the “resist” to keep the dye from penetrating through.  This warp is 10″ wide at the reed, but when ready to dye was less than 1″ wide.

Saturday morning, a new indigo vat was mixed.  It was made with warm water, causing it to produce a great amount of “flower” which I had to continually be removing.  In the video above, made tonight, there is less flower as the temperature has gone down, both outside and inside my home/studio.  I’m stirring it twice daily and it continues to have both flower and the green color that  you want in the vat.

Air-drying (with help of fan) after indigo dye vat.
Dyed scarves and squares air-drying (with help of fan) after indigo dye vat.

After giving it time to work, I tested color with four squares of PFD cotton, followed by two woven shibori scarves.  I’m keeping those squares, setting them aside for a future, but as yet unknown, project.

Right after clipping knots on one edge, pulling pattern threads out from other side, revealing the pattern.
Right after clipping knots on one edge, pulling pattern threads out from other side, revealing the pattern.

When the woven shibori scarves were almost completely dry, they were opened to reveal the pattern. They are about to be washed, well-rinsed, then air-dry again, followed by pressing and finishing.  I am hoping one will be a scarf with fringe, the other will be a cowl.

I had let guild members know I would be dyeing that morning, and Deb and Liz dropped by to watch the indigo dye process, and Louise (friend and guild member) was here to also indigo dye a few pieces.

There is still a bit of warp left on the loom, which I am weaving off in plain weave for pieces to hand-stitch designs on, along the lines of dragonflies, bamboo, done previously.

Meanwhile, I am deciding on the new warp,… more scarves? Less width for narrower scarves?  Or a few inches wider for a first garment?  I’ve been collecting a few patterns, and researching width needed for panels, and decisions on design, and pattern(s), in other words, threading and tie-up, need to be made.

White phlox growing near the apple tree.
White phlox growing near the apple tree.

Meanwhile, outside the studio, it has been a fairly rainy summer and early fall.  The phlox were better than usual this year, their beauty and fragrance take me immediately back to my childhood, and the phlox my mother had in a flowerbed.

Toadstool, early autumn.  Poisonous I was warned.
Toadstool, early autumn. Poisonous I was warned.

Another result of these rainy weeks has been more than the usual number of toadstools this year.  I posted this photo on Facebook, and at least a couple people warned me it was poisonous.  I never pick fungi of any kind, not being a fan (except for  dyeing in future), and leave them for the wildlife that can safely eat them.

Speaking of wildlife, Wild Instincts called me last Friday evening, could I pick up (and possibly catch) a seagull with a fishing lure through its beak.  Certainly, and off I went.  Before arriving, a call came to let me know the gull had been caught.  Thankfully, Mark N., rehabber, was able to quickly cut the small curved end of the lure, pull the larger part out of the beak.  The gull was only slightly underweight, and it was placed in a cage and put in a quiet space to recover and be cared for.

And where have I been since February?  I was emptying cupboards, drawers, closets, boxes, going through endless amounts of “stuff,” over 35 years worth,… giving some away, tossing quite a bit, and packing boxes.  Two family members moved out in early June so then I had the adjustment to make of living alone, again.  I am not done going through everything, summer flew by, and the year is nearing its end.  The new plan is over the winter, finish going through things, packing, finishing up work on the house, and do my best to be ready to list the house by May 1st, 2017.

With all this, very little weaving was getting done, which was expected.  I had been missing weaving and dyeing, and will be making it a priority again.  I’ve joined ArtizanMade and will also be part of the ArtizanMade Market  so I’m looking forward to a more time in the studio.

And not is it autumn!  There is a woodburning range in my kitchen, providing about 60% of my heat from mid-to-late October through mid-April, except there is no firewood ready!  I had someone here last week to cut the 8′ lengths of wood (3-4 loggers cords) for me. Now it is my turn to spend a lot of time outdoors at the log splitter, and stacking wood in racks in my garage, and then the woodshed.  A year ago, our first light snow was October 16th!  That gives me very little time to get a big job done.

I’ll be back in a day or two with photos of the finished scarves, and the tiny bit of recent progress with the Regina loom.  See you then!

Life Changes

February Frost.
February Frost.

Changes are coming, I hope this year.  I can’t see them all clearly yet, but I’m moving forward, hopeful that things will fall into place, and new opportunities will be found.

The end of 2015 was approaching, and I had been making plans for the coming year,… the Northwoods Art Tour again, Artistree Gallery, and Art Gypsies.  I had just joined The Textile and Fiber Arts List, and my Shuttle Works Studio shop on Big Cartel had just opened.

And then the phone rang,… it was my Dad calling to tell me he had fallen and fractured his left arm radius and middle finger.  This was his second health issue in the past year.

The night before I drove down, the decisions began,… the first one, to finally put my northwoods rustic log home up for sale in the spring and move back to southern WI to be closer to my father.  I have spent these  past 24 years enjoying silence, the sound of wind in the trees, sights and sounds of the wildlife.  I am so thankful for the life I’ve had here.

I drove down and stayed two weeks to help out, do laundry, cook, and clean, went home for Christmas, then back down for another two weeks until he was pronounced nearly healed.

Thankfully, his arm is now healed and he is bowling again and looking forward to spring and golfing and gardening.  Dad also made the decision while I was visiting, that after I have moved back, he will sell his home and move in with me, a suggestion I’d made quite awhile back.

When my mother passed away four years ago, Dad, who will be 89 this year, was a little worried about what would happen to him.  I assured him I would take care of him.  He likes his independence, likes to come and go as he pleases, and pursue his interests – golfing, bowling, and gardening, so he continued living on his own as he wanted.      The two of us in one home will allow him to continue this.

The decision to move was quickly followed by others.  With no idea when my home will sell, when I’ll be moving, I couldn’t stay on the Northwoods Art Tour.  They print 50,000 brochures which are distributed all over WI and northern IL, and I could not, in good conscience, be listed on there with even a slim possibility of not being here for the summer and/or fall tours.

Given the amount of work to be done on the house, preparing to move, packing and so on, time for weaving will be limited, which meant leaving Artistree Gallery at the end of March 2016, and not being part of the Art Gypsies art show/sale this year.  Cutting ties with groups of people I have been part of for 16 years or so has not been easy.  I’m feeling rather adrift right now, leaving this life behind, and as yet, nothing to be part of at my future home.  I am looking at possibilities for 2017.  For now, my online shop will be the outlet for my work, and I’ll be adding scarves to it in a few weeks.

Kitchen updating in progress.
Kitchen updating in progress.

So, we are busy now, doing some work on the house, and I’m busy starting to clear out 40 years of stuff and clutter, determined to not take all of this with me.  Of course, I will be taking the looms, spinning wheels, yarns, fibers, books, fabric, and so on.   Don’t ask how many bins and drawers.  Let’s just say the movers won’t be happy!  Studio contents, a lot of books, and a few pieces of furniture I want to keep will be on the moving van, not a lot else.

I’ve finally begun the huge task of sorting through drawers, closets, bins, boxes, almost a lifetime of belongings.  Wondering how much I can let go of without experiencing a huge amount of guilt.

I’m keeping an eye on homes for sale, looking for one with plenty of “elbow room” for the two of us, and room for my weaving studio, not to easy to find.  Realtors show me homes with a small family room, “you could put your loom in here,…” they really have no clue!  Now, I have photos of my looms on my tablet so they can see them and understand the size of looms and space I’m talking about.

Time to move on and create a new life, move into a new future.

Old and New Challenges

"Bamboo 2," woven shibori scarf. (Sold)
“Bamboo 2,” woven shibori scarf. (Sold)

It has been a couple weeks of challenges,… design, dyeing, time, energy, mechanical, and more.

After the circle/cowl scarves were finished and delivered to Artistree Gallery, along with the sachets, it was time to weave the custom scarf ordered by a woman in WI.  She had seen a different “bamboo” scarf during the fall art tour, and after looking at a number of scarves, decided she wanted one with a bamboo design on it.   The photo above, “Bamboo 2” was just completed and mailed this week.

 

A closer look at "Bamboo 2."
A closer look at “Bamboo 2.”

Weaving was begun, hemstitching, the border with a center area for the design to be hand-stitched on.  Then the center plain weave, and repeat the border.  It takes awhile to hand-stitch the design, and even longer to gather/tie all those stitched lines.  While working on this, I was also reviving the indigo vat by placing it (in a 5 gal. stainless steel pot) on the woodburning range in the kitchen to warm it up a bit, and added more indigo and Thiox, stirring it well a couple times that evening and letting it work overnight.  I’d forgotten how long, and it was a very long day and late evening, and finally ready to indigo dye the next morning.

 

Indigo dye vat ready to go (flower removed).
Indigo dye vat ready to go (flower removed).

 

"Flower," set aside in a bowl, and returned to the vat after dyeing done.
“Flower,” set aside in a bowl, and returned to the vat after dyeing done.

The dyeing was done, three dips in the vat, and after giving it plenty of time to oxidize, it was rinsed, water squeezed out, and draped over a wood drying rack in front of a fan turned on high.  By early evening, it was dry and I sat down with scissors and my new OttLite (LED with magnifier) which has been saving my eyesight, to very carefully snip the knots and pull the pattern threads out.  Then down to wash and rinse (multiple rinses), and let it dry overnight.  In the morning the scarf was pressed and I took it to the gallery to hand-twist fringe while I spent the day working there.  Mid-afternoon a lot of sleet came down, and after the rug hooking group left, I closed up and went home to finish the fringe.  Another pressing in the morning, and the scarf was mailed to the client.

 

Close-up of hand-stitched design.
Close-up of hand-stitched design.

I received an email from her, she is VERY happy with the scarf and will be wearing it over the upcoming holidays.   Enjoy wearing it, Jill!

I took a couple days off after the intensive hours on that scarf, and the other day set up the sock machine in the afternoon.  I had the machine ready, the lights focused down on the needles, the yarn standing by, the scrap yarn threaded, was about to turn the crank to start a sock, when,… the lights went out!  The timing was incredible.  It was all put away and I took a nap.

This morning I set it all up again, knowing I had to work on an issue with the tension knob,… the last time I made socks, the last two pairs ended up too big and were returned to me this fall (local guild member).  I’d made them the same number of rows, leg and foot, as I always do for her (repeat customer).  So I need to figure out if the whole knob had somehow been turned so the old setting wasn’t going to work?  If so, I’d need to figure out where it should be set to achieve the stitch size/rows for each size (S, M, L, X-L).  I wasn’t expecting the sock machine to have every problem it had ever had plus a new one.  The machine was taken apart three times today, cleaned, greased, reassembled, new needles swapped in for any that showed a problem.  But this new problem?  When I start the heel, the yarn doesn’t knit and all the needles for 3″ or so throw the stitches off, all in the blink of an eye.  I have no clue what is causing it and I can’t do heels/toes until it is resolved.  Tonight I described it on a sock machine list in hope someone might have an idea.  I’ll be back at the sock machine in the morning,… I think we need a little time away from each other tonight.

After those sock orders are finally completed and mailed/delivered, I’ll visit my father again for a few days.  We are hoping his two fractures will be healed by Jan. 4th, and he can leave the splint off, and return to his activities.

 

Glimakra Regina tapestry/rug loom in the studio.
Glimakra Regina tapestry/rug loom in the studio.

When I return home, I’ll be focusing first on the online tapestry weaving class I am participating in, taught by Rebecca Mezoff.  The next time you see a photo of this loom, my tapestry “homework” will be on it, something I am really looking forward to.  In winter, I like to stay home where it is warm and cozy, there are fewer distractions and outside deadlines, and it is a good time for me to delve into new areas of weaving or other fiber areas.

It will also be a good time to take woven shibori in new directions, and there are many ideas and plans for that.  And I’m not forgetting the Norwegian style weaving I need to get back to, including drawloom.  I have weaving to do for Shuttle Works Studio (on Big Cartel), Artistree Gallery, and for TAFA.  As part of the changes I expect to take place in 2016, I took myself off the Northwoods Art Tour, my participation in Art Gypsies and Artistree Gallery are undecided, and I am re-thinking my goals.  A couple days ago I went to one of those Facebook “game” pages where you type in your name and it gives a word for the coming year,… my word was CHANGE.  How fitting!

We are also going to be working on the house again,… kitchen cupboards and counters will be refinished, a new kitchen sink put in, and hopefully new lighting.  Upstairs, the floors will be taken up, planed, stained, and finished.  I turned 65 a few weeks ago (how did that happen!), and decided I need to simplify some areas of my life to lessen self-inflicted stress, make upcoming changes easier, and make my creative life more pleasant.

In late September I started sponsoring a 14 year old Tibetan nun through the Tibetan Nuns Project.  A couple weeks ago I began sponsoring a second Tibetan nun, this young woman is in her mid-20’s.  I am a firm believer in sharing blessings, and through TNP, these women and girls have safe housing, food, clothes, and are getting an education in an area of the world where very few females are provided that.  I am happy to give up a few extras each month to make this commitment to them and TNP, and I’m hoping we will be able to exchange an occasional letter.  For now, their photos and information hang on a bulletin board in my studio, where I see them daily.  They are a good reminder to be thankful for what I have, to give, and to stay focused on what is important in life.

There is much to look forward to in 2016!

Life is What Happens…

 

Woven Shibori Circle Scarves.
Woven Shibori Circle Scarves.

It is the first week of December, and thewoven shibori scarves and sachets for the Artistree Gallery Holiday Art Bazaar were completed and delivered.  Saturday at the gallery was enjoyable, with great art, great food, music, and even a visit from Santa!

I had been moving along, making progress on the scarves, was thinking about adding small beads to the long edges, had muslin and indigo dyed cotton for sachets as well as a good supply of dried lavender and a lavender/rose petal mix,… and the phone rang.

My father had fallen and fractured two bones in his left arm, the radius above his wrist, and middle finger in his hand. I drove down a day or so later when the roads would be plowed (they had a good snowstorm 250 miles south of where I live), and spent two weeks with him, taking him to appointments for x-rays and a better splint, and a week later more x-rays to make sure the bones had started to heal.

Adding clear glass beads to the edges of one scarf.
Adding clear glass beads to the edges of one scarf.

So, in-between helping him with cooking, home, laundry, errands, and so on, I visited Michael’s and bought dark indigo colored and clear glass beads, and began stitching them to the scarves.  Two evenings before driving home, I could no longer see the holes in the small clear beads.  So on my way north, I stopped at a Michael’s and bought an OttLite floor lamp, LED lights around a magnifier.  What a difference that has made!

Dried lavender/rose petal mix for sachets.
Dried lavender/rose petal mix for sachets.

I finished sewing on the last dozen beads, sewed and filled the muslin squares, cut the woven shibori and indigo-dyed cotton squares for the sachets, assembled them, and hand-stitched them closed.  The fragrance is wonderful!

Fragrant lavender and lavender/rose petal sachets.
Fragrant lavender and lavender/rose petal sachets.

And they were finished!

Now, I’ve begun work on the custom orders, one woven shibori “bamboo” scarf, as well as several pairs of wool socks.  I have less than two weeks to complete everything and get them all in the mail.

My father!
My father!

Then I return to spend Christmas and New Years with my 88 year old father, visit the clinic again and hopefully x-rays will show his arm has healed and he can take the splint off.

I’ll return home early in January, sit down at the Regina tapestry loom, and do some serious weaving and learning,… winter is a good time for that!

There are changes coming up, big changes in 2016, and it’s time to make plans, detailed lists, declutter my home and life, and set new goals.  Exciting times ahead!

Exciting Events

There has been a lot going on in the studio the past two weeks.  On Nov. 3rd, I received an email with a pre-approved invitation to join the Textile and Fiber Arts List.  I sent the fee, and today sent the text and photos for my profile page which will be up soon.  I’m looking forward to participating in TAFA and am feeling quite honored by this unexpected opportunity!

Today, my online shop finally went live, another exciting event!  Shuttle Works Studio is on the Big Cartel site.  Two handwoven scarves were listed along with three sachets, and more items will be listed soon.  I hope you will visit!

Woven shibori mobius scarf, indigo-dyed.
Woven shibori mobius scarf, indigo-dyed.
Detail shot of the woven shibori mobius scarf.
Detail shot of the woven shibori mobius scarf.

My first woven shibori mobius scarf, with the ends sewn together with a flat-fell seam.  My daughter graciously modeled it for me (thank you, Sarah!).

Weaving continues, for Artistree Gallery, my online shop, and custom orders.  I’ll be spending a lot of hours in the studio over the next three weeks to get everything woven and finished.

Also coming up is Artistree Gallery’s upcoming Holiday Art Bazaar on Sat., Dec. 5th, 10 AM to 5 PM.  There will be refreshments, demonstrations, and opportunity to meet many of the artists.  I will be demonstrating on the Glimakra band loom that morning.  I hope to see you there!

Artistree Gallery Holiday Art Bazaar, Dec. 5, 2015!
Artistree Gallery Holiday Art Bazaar, Dec. 5, 2015!
Snow overnight, Dec. 12-13, 2015.
Snow overnight, Dec. 12-13, 2015.

Overnight Dec. 12-13, we received our first real snow, around 2″ by morning.  This was what I saw looking out my second floor window about 7 AM that morning.  It has melted now, rain comes and goes.  The forecast is colder but no snow yet which is fine as we still have around 5 loggers cords of wood to cut, split, an stack in the woodshed.  The wood burning range in the kitchen keeps us warm all winter, and to enjoy that, we have to do our part.  We’re running out of time so we’ll be out working in the woodpile in the next few days.  Coming back inside and sitting at a loom to weave is restful!