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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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!
The Fall Northwoods Art Tour took place, Fri. – Sun., Oct. 9-11, 2015. Both attendance an sales were quite a bit better than the summer tour. Sharing my weaving interests and talking with visitors to Shuttle Works Studio is most enjoyable!
Studio visitors ask questions! When and where did you learn to weave? How long have you been weaving? How does the loom work? This is your studio, is it also your home? Do you live here all year? Wow!
Then visitors ask about what I weave, and how is it done? I keep a scarf and a sample, in progress, to help them understand the woven shibori process. The scarf above, is the third scarf I’ve done with a plain weave area that is then hand-stitched with a design, off-loom, before dyeing. A weaving friend purchased this scarf a few days before the art tour, and graciously allowed me to keep it in the studio until after the tour; it is in her possession now. A new customer liked it so much, she ordered something similar for herself, leaving the design and details to me.
Visitors are also fascinated by the single unit drawloom, and how it works. “You must have a lot of patience,” is often heard when they they see it demonstrated.
Happily, most of the woven shibori scarves and batik runners were sold during the art tour.
Here, the warping mill doubles as a display rack for more scarves and three or four “rag” (batik) table runners.
I had a nice stack of woven shibori samples, pieces left from the ends of warps, along with indigo-dyed PFD cotton swatches that I use to “test” the vat before immersing the handwoven scarves. I’d thought about what I might do with them, and decided, three days before the art tour, to make sachets. Muslin squares were stitched together, filled with dried lavender, and hand-stitched closed. Then the outsides were rotary cut, machine sewn, the inside “lavender pillow” placed inside, and the outside was hand-stitched closed. The fragrance is wonderful! Several sold, a couple friends each received two, and now I need to stitch up more and take them to Artistree Gallery in Land O’ Lakes, along with new woven shibori scarves that are in the process of being woven.
I tried to catch the view from my loom, looking towards the lake, but couldn’t get a good photo through the screen, so,…
I stepped out onto the porch, walked to where my loom bench is, an took this photo,… Torch Lake, and woods in autumn.
The oak tree leaves are particularly brilliant and colorful this fall. Maple, birch, and other leaves a bit less so, and they lost their leaves quickly. The contrast between the evergreens, colorful leaves, and blue sky is beautiful!
Now, it is time to get back to my loom, weave many more scarves, sew more sachets, an of course, begin “sock season.” A few orders came in, along with a scarf order, so I have many weeks of work ahead of me, I will also be trying woven shibori as a garment before too long, and I am really looking forward to that!
My daughter, Sarah Zindel, Celtic Wolf Studio, was my guest artist on the fall art tour. She demonstrated shaping of stones an enjoyed discussing jewelry and stones with our many visitors.
Sarah currently specializes in variations on “Tree of Life” designs, along with necklaces made from stones and fossils collected along the Lake Superior shore.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable art tour, an we’re looking forward to welcoming people to our studios in 2016!
Spinzilla was coming up soon, Oct. 6-12, 2015, and in a fit of madness late one night, I signed up, despite knowing it was the same week preparing for, and the three days of, the fall Northwoods Art Tour. Just like last year.
Like last year, I stayed up (not difficult for a night owl) to begin spinning at 12:01 PM, October 6, 2015, spinning for one hour. I could have continued longer, but I needed to work at Artistree Gallery that day, so some sleep was needed.
Of course, I took my Lendrum wheel and a large bag of roving with me and spun the day away at Artistree Gallery.
Then followed three days or more where I was busy getting loom and studio busy for the art tour, so no time to spin. I was able to get back to it and was making a bit of progress.
Early the last evening of Spinzilla, I had four bobbins full, ready to ply. Searching for the drive ban for the plying head, I could not find it anywhere, searching every drawer, bin, and basket in the studio.
Like last year, I was spinning Coopworth roving, which I ended up leaving as singles. Yes, I ordered a new bulky driveband since the original one has not shown up anywhere. They will be plie, and there is still more to spin,… it was a large trashbag of roving!
In the end, this year, I was only able to spin half of what I managed last year. Last year almost 1 mile of yarn, this year, about .55 mile. However, the purpose is to have fun and enjoy spinning, which I did!
I don’t know what it is about fall, but it brings the urge to purchase more fleece. Perhaps it is that other urge that strikes in the fall, to knit! Having visited Dawn Andrews, Wooly Woods Farm this past spring, I returned in late September when I heard they would be shearing. In spring I bought three Icelandic fleece from her in spring, and this fall bought six more, beautiful natural colors.
Cool weather came early, but noticing a couple warm days in the forecast, I set up to wash the fleece on the lakeside porch where I could enjoy autumn color while washing and rinsing the fleece.
Half the fleece was washed, and on racks on the porch by day, and inside the kitchen by night. After the first half was dry, the second half was washed, the process repeated.
Our weather has turned quite cool, with nights going down into upper 20’s to low 30’s. More fleece will be washed in the laundry room, and dry indoors near the woodburning range. I’m looking forward to spinning Icelandic fleece for the first time!
Then, during the last three days of Spinzilla, the Fall Northwoods Art Tour took place!
The summer Northwoods Art Tour was held July 24-25-26. As is usual, I use the upcoming event/deadline to do some decluttering, cleaning, and rearranging in the weaving studio, then take a few new photos.
I had decided the two largest looms would stay where they were as I didn’t want to ask Char to move the 4-tube fluorescent lights to accommodate changes. When seated at the CM loom I have a nice view out to the lake and pines, not something I want to give up. When seated at the drawloom, not a great view, but two windows right there add nice daylight.
The Glimakra Regina was on the (above left) west wall, but we turned it 90 degrees to be on the north wall. One shelf unit was cleared of all yarn and turned into a small loom/equipment storage area. Everything from inkle looms and a table loom to yarn swifts, temples, extra spinning wheel bobbins are stored there, down to my studio tool box. The shelf unit on the right is loaded with weaving and sock-cranking yarns. Other yarns are stored in bins. Open floor space was available to demonstrate spinning and/or the 1908 Gearhart sock machine.
Woven shibori scarves and “rag” (batik) runners were available for purchase. I really enjoyed having the 3 panel woven shibori screen back in the studio for a short time. It is now back at Artistree Gallery, and Char and I are planning a new 5 panel screen. I’ll have a lot of weaving to do!
My work table was moved to the south wall, a new electric outlet was added, and the bookcase (slightly visible on left) was moved back to its original position, now housing notebooks filled with Complex Weavers Journals, newsletters, a notebook filled with loom assembly instructions, and more.
Daughter Sarah Zindel, Celtic Wolf Studio, was my guest artist. She makes wonderful jewelry, with a particular focus on stones. She did demos and had her jewelry for sale.
Sarah set up her jewelry and demo area in the kitchen, and visitors really enjoyed her work.
Unlike other years, attendance this summer was about one-third the usual number of visitors. Most of the 29 or so artists reported the same thing, as well as lower sales. We are all optimistic, though, that the fall art tour, Oct. 9-10-11, 2015, will bring more visitors to the WI Northwoods and our studios.
If you are visiting during the tour, watch for the banners! For more information, visit Northwoods Art Tour.
I’ll be returning home Monday evening, and Tuesday begins the weaving/making, and preparations for the fall art tour. There is a lengthy list of things to accomplish!
End of summer is nearing, fall weather and autumn color will be here soon. In addition to weaving, we need to cut/split/stack our winter wood which should be dry now. I enjoy this time of the year and look forward to many happy hours at the looms.
I’ve been working with woven shibori for going on three years now, enjoying every minute of it, and looking forward to exploring more ideas as they come.
These are the newest scarves, woven on 4 shafts with Monk’s Belt threading. I love experimenting with treadling, spacing, number of rows of pattern rows as well as plain weave rows. And now enjoying trying out new ideas as they come.
Vertical Lines 1 & 2, experimenting with number of repeats of treadling pattern rows. Vertical Lines 2 was sold before I had a chance to hand-twist the fringe.
Free-stitching a design on a plain weave area, and after gathering/tying.
This is the second free-stitch scarf I’ve done, and there will be more. I do work designs out on paper, but have the freedom to make changes as I stitch. And I learn from each one.
By the time I return home I’ll have the stitching done on another scarf, and it will be dyed the day after I return home, finishing it as I am back at the loom weaving more scarves, and trying new ideas.
For some reason this one reminds me of leaves, holly leaves really.
Vertical Lines 2 was sold on the second day of the art tour. The others are now at Artistree Gallery in Land O’ Lakes, WI.
I’m looking forward to seeing what else comes off the loom and out of the indigo dyepot!
When I first began indigo dyeing three years ago, I set up a 6′ table out on the lakeside porch. It worked well, until a porcupine and a black bear started visiting.
At that point, the table, indigo vat, and supplies were moved to a workbench and vintage metal cupboard in the garage. That didn’t work quite so well as Char had her woodworking shop in the garage. Things were usually covered with fine (saw)dust. And though the garage gets a bit of heat in winter, subzero temps made it too cold to work out there. So, when I needed to dye with the indigo, I’d bring it in to the kitchen near the wood burning range, about 24 hours in advance of dyeing, so things could warm up.
A few months ago, the idea of my using part of the entry/laundry room for a dye area, year around. So a few days before the summer 2015 Northwoods Art Tour, Char finished the remainder of the floor and trim (above).
Also discussed were wood shelves and a movable table, but the good possibility of putting my home up for sale put those ideas on hold.
Instead, I added my 6′ well-used banquet-type table to the room, joining the oak mission table we use (shown above with sewing machine). The washer and dryer are just visible on the right; a single utility sink is next to the washer, and next to that, a storage closet. Chemicals, etc., will be kept in 2 cupboards above the dryer. And, a light was added over the 6′ table.
Is it my dream dye studio? No! But it is working fine for this weaver/indigo dyer. For now. I am thankful to have this space! I put it to use a couple days before the art tour, dyeing four new scarves. One even sold, unfinished, during the art tour! (Fringe was hand-twisted, the scarf was pressed, and mailed.)
About the same time all this was going on, a new 15 yard warp was made, beamed, and threaded, so I’ve be able to demonstrate and explain the woven shibori process to visitors.
As I write this and the next couple posts, I’m visiting my dad who just celebrated his 88th birthday two days ago. I’m enjoying time with family, and also looking forward to getting back to my loom and weaving!
Before leaving home, I did finish the new scarves, managed to snap a few photos, and they were delivered to Artistree Gallery. Photos will be in an upcoming post, so please check back!
I finally finished weaving off the Monk’s Belt (4 shaft) threading warp yesterday. It was a 15 yard warp, and three scarves had previously been removed. This time it was 7 yards, 6 inches actual weaving (scarf width) with unwoven area for fringe on each end of each scarf. Each was treadled differently.
I spent most of today, gathering and tying the three scarves, plus another piece that will be used for smaller items.
Next is dyeing with indigo, finishing, and twisting fringe. I need to get another warp made and beamed and more scarves woven for the art tour, some sewing done, and a long list of practical things (wash windows, weeding, etc.).
The days are flying by. I realized while walking today, that in just a few weeks we will be well into autumn and leaves turning color! How can summer be going by so quickly?
I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning. It just couldn’t be! I was about 45″ into a scarf, I’d stopped to take a photo of the underside of the weaving when I noticed a problem,… about 14″+ back.
Do you see it? It’s more visible from this angle. I’d been weaving 4 plain weave rows between each pattern row, and didn’t notice the one time I wove 6 rows.
My choices were ignore it and hope it wouldn’t be noticeable after dyeing,… I believe it will be visible as slightly wider indigo blue areas across the width; or cut and remove 14″+ of weft and re-weave,… which might give me tension problems the rest of the warp. And most important, I don’t weave and sell work that I know has an error. Certainly, I fix errors that can be repaired and continue weaving, but with this piece, that was no longer an option. So the next best thing is use it for something else, and begin anew.
So, I ended that piece, 45″ or so long, too short for a scarf, but will be useful to create smaller items.
A new scarf was begun, hemstitched on the loom, and is being woven with 12 rows of tabby between pattern rows. I want to see how much difference there will be between the two pieces after they are dyed. All good things to note and take photos of for future reference.
It’s after midnight, now July 3rd, and I think I’m going to go down and weave for a bit. There may be warp left after this scarf, and I plan to be indigo dyeing on Saturday and letting the pieces air-dry. On Sunday morning, I’ll wash them, rinse numerous times, air-dry, press, and twist fringe. Hoping for photos on Monday.
I’m also deciding whether to re-warp and use the same threading and tie-up, or change weave structure. In my spare time this weekend I hope to get the next warp made.
I’m enjoying woven shibori, figuring out what choices I have, what I can try to control, and continuing to try variations. The ideas keep coming!
I’m now counting down the day before the Northwoods Art Tour, July 24-25-26, and all I need to accomplish before then. I’ve made a detailed list that includes a daily list to keep me on track. Funny how deadlines always seem so far away, and suddenly they are so close! So much to do, and I want to enjoy it all!