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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!

Sea Change

Sea change – a radical change or transformation.

After three+ years of living alone, a change is coming in just a few hours.  My 26 year old daughter and her partner are moving in with me. After visits and a lot of discussion, we came to the conclusion that this change would be of benefit to all of us, in a variety of ways.

As you know, I am a weaver, spinner, felter, and CSM sock-cranker. Sarah wants to develop her interest in making jewelry, and Char loves working with and making things from wood.   We are now the “Northwoods Artisan Women,” and our experiences living and working together will be found at http://northwoodsartisanwomen.com.

“Heirloom Custom Wood Design” at http://charzindel.wordpress.com is Char’s new website and blog.  We are looking forward to an occasional collaborative project of wood and weaving!

“Celtic Wolf Studio” at http://sarahzindel.wordpress.com is Sarah’s website and blog.  She is excited about working on her jewelry designs!

Having decided I need to separate my weaving and fiber arts posts from family, home, critters and so on, I set up “My Northwoods Home” blog at http://mynorthwoodshome.wordpress.com.  I expect there will be a bit of overlap but for the most part I plan to keep topics separate.

I have a lot of weaving to do, and have received several sock orders which I need to do right away as many are Christmas gifts.  And, I now have a small area in my garage for dyeing, which I am very happy about.  Photos will be posted here soon.

Blog Continues at Word Press

Woven shibori on the loom.
Woven shibori on the loom.

I’ve moved!  I had been considering moving Shuttle Works Studio from Blogger to Word Press for a year or more and was encouraged to do so by a few weavers already on W.P.  There never seemed to be a good time to change the domain name and move the blog over.

Back in mid-October, I had applied to be on the 2014 Northwoods Art Tour, and was accepted.  They will begin work on the brochure (50,000 copies printed) and the web site on Dec. 1st, and I needed to provide them with text, photos, and information by the end of November.  Suddenly, it seemed clear that NOW was the time to make the change, so the new domain name and blog site would be in the  brochures and web site for 2014.

I had registered a couple domain names at a hosting web site, and DIL Char, being more computer literate than I am, transferred the content from the old site to the new. Thank you, Char!  It has been quite the learning curve the past few days, setting up a splash page, other pages including where the blog is found, experimenting with themes, colors, fonts, and many other decisions needed.  I also had to find out how to get the new domain name to work with Word Press.  That has been successful, and it is up and running.

From now on the content of this blog will be focused on weaving and fiber arts.  A separate blog will be set up for other parts of my northwoods life, family, and of course, my volunteer work with Wild Instincts.

Now I am back working on woven shibori (photo at top) for a little project I have in mind, then likely more scarves.  I am looking forward to working on a bit wider warp in the near future.  My notes of ideas to experiment with are sitting on a nearby table.  I should have a couple pieces indigo dyed in a couple days, then a bit of sewing.   Cutting up handwoven cloth, even this narrow piece, will be a new experience.  It’s time I learn.  After days at the computer, it feels good to be weaving again!