Settling In

A busy summer of finishing my move, unpacking, and finding there is a lot more I will need to dispose of. I did manage to get warps on the Standard, Regina, and one band loom, and am currently working on a warp for woven shibori scarves.

The summer Northwoods Art Tour was in late July.

August was filled with DIL Char not doing well, doctor visits, and worries. Plus, an offer was made on my house in July, which I accepted, then after weeks of waiting for buyer, with house being off the market in prime time up here, and moving closing date up at their request, 24 hours or so before closing day/time, they told the realtor they had decided not to purchase. They were given another 24 hours, then I signed the cancellation document after no communication from them. I am seriously unhappy with all of this but at least the house is back on the market. No courtesy or integrity.

So now I am weaving again and thinking ahead to the fall art tour, October 11-13. I hope to be indigo dyeing again in a couple weeks.

I have the Mirrix Zach loom ready to warp, just need to watch the video again while warping it the first time. There is a postcard to weave and mail!

It is September 1st, summer is nearly over, autumn is on the doorstep, and a young buck that visits already has a thick coat. I am hoping that is not an indication of winter arriving early. Meanwhile, I will make it a point to enjoy the autumn weather and colors.

Moving Forward

Conover Home
Our Conover home for 23 years.

I had lived in our log home in the WI northwoods for 23 years, with my husband, who passed away nearly 15 years ago, and our children, who grew up and are now off living their lives, as they should.  Over the past few years it was too big a house to live in alone with just memories, and maintenance of it was more than I could continue doing.  Loneliness, depression, and sadness were taking a big toll.  I had stopped weaving or doing anything.

Suddenly, in April, things changed,… it was time to move, and move forward in life!

My daughter and daughter-in-law called and asked what I thought of moving in with them, an idea they thought would be good for all of us.  They had talked it over for three days, then called and made the offer saying they thought it would work fine for everyone.  I took two or three days to consider it, decided I had lost my mind, and accepted.

Then came serious downsizing, moving from a 2,600+ SF house to a bedroom in a small house and my weaving studio in a building across the driveway.  So began the packing, selling, giving, donating, and disposal of about 40 years of belongings.  I am still not done, there is now a storage unit full of stuff, but I am working on it.

Moving – first load was looms and equipment.

On Mother’s Day weekend I moved my personal belongings into my new bedroom/sitting room.  Myself, 2 dogs, and 2 cats, now living together with two other adults, their 3 dogs and 2 cats!  I need to continue paring down to essentials, and that will include selling 3 looms and a few other items.  The house will be on multiple listing today, so  hoping someone likes it enough to buy it and enjoy living there as we did.

Disassembled looms, shelves, equipment, everywhere!

The first truckload was all the looms, equipment, shelf units, and so on.  Looms were quickly reassembled after figuring out which would sit where, taking into consideration height requirements (ceilings aren’t as high here), ability to use a trapeze for warping, and so on.

New studio signs for all three of us!

The building was originally built by a potter, and what is loosely termed “the garage” was where his kiln was located.  Over the years there was also a sign business, then a real estate office.  The most recent reincarnation has been “Eagle River Gallery” owned and run by my daughter-in-law Char (woodworker, sign maker and more – Heirloom Custom Wood Designs) and daughter Sarah (stone jewelry maker – Celtic Wolf Studio).  And now home to Shuttle Works Studio!   Thanks to Char, we now each have our own sign hanging under the large Eagle River Gallery sign, at 836 W. Pine Street, (Hwy. 70 W.), Eagle River, WI 54521.

Gallery space for Shuttle Works Studio, Celtic Wolf Studio, and Heirloom Custom Wood Designs.

My looms and work area take up most of the building, but we are keeping the room you enter as the gallery space to display and have our own work for sale.

There is a tiny “kitchen” area.


The Library, showing a tiny portion of the weaving resource library.

In the studio portion I have a long workbench, part now used as the “office,” the rest for sewing, cutting, or other creative work.  There is a tiny kitchen, and a room now known as “The Library,” where my weaving/spinning/dyeing/felting/fiber art reference library lives.

Glimakra looms, all in need of warping and weaving!

The Northwoods Art Tour is coming up fast, July 26-28, and I have no weaving to display and sell!  Clearly I need to get the Glimakra Standard warped and some weaving done to have for sale.  The Regina tapestry loom and a band loom will also be warped and weaving in progress in time for the art tour.

The drawloom will be a “work in progress,” as I expect I’ll be making the upper and lower heddle “bits” for the maillons and lingos to hang on, then add the heavy counterweights.  Right now it is doubtful the drawcord and weaving warps will be wound and on the loom, let alone be threaded, but as I say, in progress.  I have samples here to show what can be woven on drawlooms.  By the fall art tour, Oct. 11-13, weaving will  be underway on that loom, too.  Spinning and sock machine demonstrations will also be available.

I still have some things to remove from the old house, but overall, that is nearly done.  I will be keeping regular studio hours, 10 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday through Sunday, giving me a couple days available for any appointments or necessary shopping.  Mondays and Tuesdays are by appointment or change, meaning, if the lights are on and Open sign lit, we are open!

I just heard the studio doorbell, turned around, and it was a guild member who knew I was moving but didn’t know the new studio location.  She also said she had someone in her knitting shop last week asking about weaving instruction, and that I should consider teaching.  And I am considering it,… weaving, spinning, wet-felting. and indigo dyeing.

Shuttle Works Studio new location, 836 W. Pine St., Highway 70 W., Eagle River, WI.
Flowers and old chairs for outdoor decor this year.
Welcome to Shuttle Works Studio!

I am really looking forward to regular daily hours in my new studio space, accomplishing a lot of weaving, and learning.  If you are in the area, please stop in and visit!

A Very Late Start

Fluids, lots and lots of fluids.

January in the WI Northwoods brings snow, ice, subzero temps, and occasionally, whatever virus is going around.  My family had a late (Jan. 7th) Christmas get-together with three grandchildren, who I found out later, had been sick over three weeks.  Within a few days of that gathering, four of the six adults present were sick.  I was the first.   For days my life was sleeping, sitting, water bottle, a little TV, kleenix, and cough drops.  It has taken me 17 days to get over this and finally feel almost back to normal, just a bit of cough hanging on.

16″ plus snow waiting to be shoveled.

During the time I was sick, it snowed three times.  My stepping outside the door was limited to taking the dog out 4-5 times a day,  So, there is currently a good 16″ of snow on my sidewalk that I am starting to deal with today.

One of my snow gauges, the stump from what was a beautiful red pine.
Icicles I had previously knocked down are back!
Single Unit Drawloom.

At the start of the new year I set a few new goals for the studio, including weaving on my drawloom, daily, even for just a few minutes.   On better days while sick I did manage to add a few rows.  There are new weaving habits to be created, and this is one.  Right now, it is a bit of practice, tweaking, deciding whether to re-sley.

Reorganizing weaving, spinning, felting, and other fiber-related books.

A lot of my weaving books had migrated up to the second floor living room over the past 4 months or so, and are now back in the studio.  To provide breaks from  chairs and loom benches, I’m reorganizing my weaving/spinning/felting/fiber books, keeping those I will want to refer to within easy reach.  Some will be packed for the move as I have run out of shelf space.

Time to get back to sorting, packing, tossing, and trips to the thrift stores.

So as I write this, it is January 26th, the month nearly gone, and I am so far behind on what I’d hoped to have done.  Looking ahead, I am planning my work, and aiming to keep a balance between creative work/studio, and work on home, deep cleaning, packing, etc.  Yard work will be waiting for me in spring.

Now, there is a warp to beam on the band loom, a new scarf warp to be made for the Standard loom, a warping trapeze to learn to use,  and a lot of weaving to do.  I’d best get to it!

P.S.  Right after posting this, a five minute phone conversation with my daughter-in-law left me once again with almost no voice, thanks to whatever has been ailing me.  Her last words were “Mom,… call someone!”  So I did, and was able to get in 45 minutes later.  The nurse practitioner is calling is bronchitus, and I returned home with an antibiotic and something for the cough.  I’m hoping in a few days this will all be a distant memory.

New Year, New Opportunities

Woven shibori in rinse water.

The old year went out not at all as I had planned, and I’m attempting to start this new year by making good on a few resolutions.

On Dec. 26 I received an email, which I didn’t see until the 28th, from Hand/Eye Magazine (online) asking if I would like to contribute a piece to be published.  My work had been seen on TAFA – The Textile and Fiber Arts List.  The deadline was January 2nd as the next publication date was  today, January 4th.  After my initial shock I replied yes, and the next day was thinking about what I could possibly write, followed by three days of rewrites, revisions, tweaks, and locating photos, all sent off to the editor just before 9 PM on January 1st.  My thanks to Rebeca Schiller, Hand/Eye Online Editor, for this opportunity!  The article is titled “Mystery Weaves.”  An exciting way to begin the new year!   Visit Hand/Eye Magazine at

I’ve spent days thinking about what I would like to weave and accomplish in 2018, what to continue, what new areas to try.  Lists are in progress, deadlines are on the calendar, and it is a matter of keeping it fun, interesting, and a healthy dose of self-discipline to make it all happen, something I was lacking last year.   It is time to change that!

Woven shibori and embellishment possibilities.Years ago someone I knew told me I needed to focus on ONE area of weaving, forget everything else, create a body of work in ONE area, create my own style.  I’ve never forgotten that discussion, and that is what I’ve been attempting with woven shibori.  I will be continuing to explore that technique  in scarves/cowls and other items that I sell.  I also hope to take it in areas new-to-me, larger works, and continue that body of work on a new level.

I will also  be incorporating some Norwegian/Scandinavian weaving, into my year.    And by “Scandinavian,” I a using that word in a very broad sense.  Traditional and contem- porary are both of interest, as are the looms/traditions.  My drawloom has long been neglected and that must change.  And woven shibori can be woven on a drawloom!

A Rosepath table runner, I wove long, long ago.

This table runner was woven from a project/recipe in a Swedish weaving book.  It has a seine twine warp, and was woven with Berga wool weft yarn from Sweden.

Bandweaving, particularly Scandinavian, has become a stronger interest,… plain weave bands, inkle, Norwegian pick-up, Sami, tablet weaving, so many areas that can be explored over time, and again, can be used in combination with other types of weaving.  Right now, I need more plain weave bands to use in the studio.  For example, to tie the trapeze uprights to the loom to stabilize them, my preference over clamps.

New color sequence for a plain weave band, ready to beam.

At the same time, I rebel against being told to only have one interest and work only in it.  I have never been able to do just ONE thing!  I like to learn, and tapestry weaving has long been at the top of my list.  This may not go anywhere beyond learning basics , or may go into some depth, but until I try, I will never know if I could learn it, become competent.

Many, many years ago, knowing nothing about tapestry, I warped a Schacht tabletop tapestry loom with navajo wool warp, spun and plied the yarns, and wove two small tapestries.  That was the beginning of my wanting to  learn more.


Two tapestries woven on Navajo wool warp, using my own handspun yarns for weft.

I  know I’ve mentoned it on this blog perhaps  two or three years ago.  After years of searching I even found and purchased a Regina tapestry/rug  loom nearly three years ago,  signed up for Rebecca Mezoff’s 3-in-1 tapestry classes, began working through it, then put the entire thing on hold.  Some people just dive into new ideas and projects, I quite often seem to need time, often a large chunk of time before beginning.  I believe it is mostly fear or failure.  Well, the time has come to sit down at the loom and begin.  I’ll share the good, bad, and ugly with you.   I have added a medium Hokett loom and signed up for Rebecca’s Small Tapestry class.  Also a Mirrix Zach loom, so I have no more excuses.  Tapestry weaving will be for my own enjoyment and learning.

And now, it is time to make a warp for new woven shibori scarves, I have new ideas to try!


My Woven Shibori works, as well as Scandinavian weaving will again be available at Eagle River Gallery,  836 W. Pine Street, Eagle River, WI.   Please check this link for days and hours open.  The gallery will be on the Northwoods Art Tour in 2018,  July 27-28-29, and Oct. 5-6-7, 10 AM to 5 PM.  Gallery artists will be present on these dates providing demonstrations of their arts.

I will also have work again very soon in my online Shuttle Works Studio shop on Big Cartel.

I will also have five Open Studio weekend,… May 19-20, June 16-17, July 14-15, Aug. 18-19, and Sept. 15-16, 10 AM to 5 PM.  Shuttle Works Studio is a working weaving studio with several Glimakra looms, as well as spinning wheels, and a 1908 Gearthart sock machine.  Demonstrations will be available on those weekends.

The only thing that would remove these dates is if my home/studio sells, and I move during that time period.   When that happens there will be a big announcement on the Home Page, my FB  Page and more.  I suggest before driving any distance, just make a quick check to confirm the date you were planning to visit is listed.  Otherwise, I will be here, weaving!


Finding Focus

Home and studio, in Autumn.

My word, I’ve been away from this blog for a long time, so it is time to remedy that.   It is mid-October, getting to be late autumn in the WI Northwoods.

Autumn color.

After a couple brief periods of unusually warm temps for this time of year, we have now settled down into cool, crisp days, and frost warnings some nights.   The cooler temps are a reminder that snow is coming and there is outdoor work to be done,  including splitting wood for the kitchen woodburning range, before the snows arrive.

View from the lakeside porch.

Back in February I had cataract surgery on my right eye, followed by a few restrictions, in the dead of winter,… no snow shoveling, no carrying wood, no chopping ice, which was then followed by inflammation and more drops.  This was over a couple months.  A new right lens in my glasses and I was told my vision was 20/20.  I could decide before the surgery where I wanted my focus to be, so I decided the fell line on the loom would be good, 16″ from eyes to that point.  Except, in the words of the opthomologist, “your eyes didn’t cooperate with our computer model.”  It ended up more like 10,” so I can read my tablet and books fine, up close, without glasses, but the fell line and beyond is fuzzy, and reading my laptop screen is a challenge.

The left eye wasn’t yet bad enough to change my vision/ability to see, so she wanted to wait.  I called regarding an October re-visit and was told she was leaving that clinic in two weeks, someone else would have to see me.  Then I was told I couldn’t get in to see him until late February.  Wonderful, because for the past month my vision is getting fuzzy again.  I tell you, getting two cataracts taken care of should not take up  1.5 years of anyone’s life.

So, I’d been procrastinating for months, needing time to think about my future, the rut I felt like I was in,  and trying to balance commitments with determining what I want in the coming years.   I am not young, and in another week will be another year older.  I had pretty much come to a standstill with everything in my life, but happily now getting out of that rut and back into the studio, ready, well, ready in a couple days, to weave and create again.

I’m having an open studio this weekend  (Sat. & Sun., Oct. 14-15, 10 AM to 5 PM) and the studio is nowhere near ready.  I’m expecting perhaps two people, if they want to make the trip down from the UP, a woman who wants to take up weaving and wanted to visit and see/try my looms.  I haven’t advertised it much, and tourist season is over in the WI  Northwoods.  I couldn’t  schedule it last weekend,  no one would have stopped by as it was Cranberry Fest weekend, I was demo’ing the sock machine at Eagle River Gallery for three days, and it was also the Northwoods Art Tour.  Hence, postponing it to this weekend, rain or shine.  Whether anyone stops by or not, I’ll be working at the looms, perhaps a bit of spinning, and there are socks to be made.

The loom is waiting.

Tonight, I’m finishing up some cleaning in my studio, wiping dust off looms, noticing that after this warp I’ll be taking all the heddles off the Glimakra Standard and giving them a wash and rinse in the kitchen sink, they have turned a not-so-lovely shade of light gray.  I’m also decluttering, … moving boxes that had been packed for a possible move next year, moving spinning wheels upstairs, leaving one in the studio.

Woven shibori, soon.

Tubes of 16/2 Bockens Cotton from Sweden, for more woven shibori scarves, which reminds me, I need to revive the indigo vats early this coming week.

Bags of fleece waiting to be washed, carded, and spun.

There are packages of fleece that I’ve ordered waiting to be washed, not to mention two big bags of alpaca that my younger daughter brought here months ago, possibly last year?  They all need to be removed, too, temporarily.

Henry’s Attic Yarns.

I opened a bin I’d moved to the studio, with beautiful Henry’s Attic yarns purchased in the early 1980’s, just as fresh, clean, and beautful as the day I bought them.  They are whispering, calling to me, and I have a project in mind.

Towels waiting to be woven.

This picture does not show the true colors of the navy and variegated blues yarn, that will become towels for MY kitchen.

More towels waiting to be woven.

A few years back I did a series of towels, using bleached and natural Swedish cottolin, 22/2.  Some towels were 100% cottolin, others, I used different wefts from those large cones on the top shelf.  There will be more of those towels, also for my kitchen, and likely some for the Eagle River Gallery next spring.  As you can see, there is a LOT of weft to use up!

Missing books.

Over the past few months, quite a number of weaving books migrated up to the living room, and now must be carried back down and re-shelved.

1908 Gearhart sock machine.

And last, but not least, the 1908 Gearhart sock machine seems to be workiing better again, though still a bit temperamental.  I did get two pairs of socks made this past weekend, so hopefully the sock-making drought is over and that will be more to accomplish this winter.

So, back to the studio, where, to finish the cleaning up and decluttering.  Then, I need to make a warp yet tonight (it’s 11:02 PM right now), that should have been on the loom a couple days ago.  I may be up all night, but whatever, I need to get these things done.   I ordered a warping trapeze awhile back, it’s time to give it a try, then get the warp threaded, sleyed, and  tied on, so I can begin more woven shibori scarves.

After that,  I am finding a new focus in my weaving, to  new-to-me areas, which I’m really looking forward to trying.  They may or may not work, but it’s good to try new things and keep learning!

It’s late, there is an entire night of work ahead of me, and a little sleep much later would be nice.  I’ll be back!

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.

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!


Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer