Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

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!

Slow Progress

Three scarves+ off the loom.
Three scarves+ off the loom.

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.

Now ready-to-dye!
Now ready-to-dye!

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?

Banes and Blessings

Woven shibori in progress.
Woven shibori in progress.

The weaving of “woven shibori” continues in the studio.  A couple sample pieces are off the loom and waiting to be indigo dyed, and now it is back to weaving scarves on the few yards of warp left.  Meanwhile, I am reviving the indigo vats, and have them covered and sitting near the woodrange to keep them warm.

Weaving on a very cold winter day.
Weaving on a very cold winter day.

Here in far northern WI, we’ve been having subzero temps during the day and down to -34 F. (with windchills down to -50) at night.  The studio has been cool but I’ve gotten a bit of weaving time in.

In addition to the extremely cold temps, I’ve been experiencing vertigo, nine days now, keeping me feeling very unsteady and unwell.  I’m more than ready for this to clear up!

Char installing lights in the studio!
Char installing lights in the studio!

On a day too cold to work out in her woodshop, Char installed two new fluorescent light fixtures in my studio, one over the Glimakra Standard, one over the Single Unit Drawloom. What a blessing this is now!  Thank you, Char!

Glimakra Standard with new light fixture!
Glimakra Standard with new light fixture!
Single unit drawloom with new light fixture overhead!
Single unit drawloom with new light fixture overhead!

The new lights are making weaving and threading so much easier!

Evening, waiting for the weaver to return.
Evening, waiting for the weaver to return.

There is much weaving to be done before summer and autumn.

Welcoming 2014!

On a morning where the outside temp was -29 F. (actual temp on my lakeside porch), Char declared it was too cold to work in her woodshop, but she would bring an overhead fluorescent light fixture in from over the dye table), and hang it over my drawloom.  I expect she heard me muttering about my old eyes and trying to see the fine threads.  What a blessing this has been, and tomorrow I’ll be looking for four new fixtures for the studio.  At long last, let there be light!

Drawloom with light fixture overhead, Dec. 31, 2013
Fluorescent light fixture hung over drawloom, a blessing to older eyes!

They say you should start the new year doing things you want to do throughout the year, so I did.  I wove more on the woven shibori,…

Sleying reed on the drawloom. (#1)
Sleying reed on the drawloom. (#1)

then moved to the drawloom to make progress on sleying the 15 dent reed with 16/2 cotton.  5/4/4 in the reed.

Making progress.
Making progress.
Another view.
Another view.
16/2 Bockens cotton threaded through long-eye (seine twine) heddles.
16/2 Bockens cotton threaded through long-eye (seine twine) heddles.

I am looking forward to an exciting year of continuing woven shibori and indigo dyeing, hopefully beginning to dye with colors, some Norwegian weaving, and much more.   Happy New Year, and may we all have wonderfully creative years ahead!

We Have Socks!

The “dental” on the sock machine was successful, I am now back to making socks.  I thought I’d share a few completed pairs of socks before going back to finish the last couple orders.

Wool socks #1.
Wool socks #1.
Wool socks #1, detail.
Wool socks #1, detail.
Wool socks #2.
Wool socks #2.
Wool socks #2, detail.
Wool socks #2, detail.
Wool socks #3.
Wool socks #3.
Wool socks #3, detail.
Wool socks #3, detail.
Wool socks #4.
Wool socks #4.
Wool socks #4, detail.
Wool socks #4, detail.
Wool socks #5.
Wool socks #5.
Wool socks #5, detail.
Wool socks #5, detail.
This particular "Santa's Elf" is still hard at work!
This particular “Santa’s Elf” is still hard at work!