Category Archives: woven shibori

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.
“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!

 

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!

There is a Long Winter Ahead

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.

Warp and weft for the Glimakra Regina.
Warp and weft for the Glimakra Regina.

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!

Harrisville Highland in autumn colors.
Harrisville Highland in autumn colors.

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.

Marks Mattgarn.
Marks Mattgarn.

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, in progress.
Woven shibori, in progress.

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.

First scarf off this twill warp.
First scarf off this twill warp.

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.

Woven shibori.
Woven shibori.

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.

Single-unit drawloom, waiting for this weaver.
Single-unit drawloom, waiting for this weaver.

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.)

Handspun Coopworth (roving).
Handspun Coopworth (roving).

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.

Homemade valances for the kitchen.
Homemade valances for the kitchen.

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.

The Tibetan Nun Project in Shuttle Works Studio.
The Tibetan Nun Project in Shuttle Works Studio.

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!

POSTSCRIPT!

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!

Tibetan Nuns Project photo, provided by and used here with their permission.
Tibetan Nuns Project photo, provided by and used here with their permission.