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.

Northwoods Art Tour ~ Fall 2015

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!

Glimakra countermarche loom.
Glimakra countermarche loom.

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!

Woven shibori scarf with free-stitched design.  (SOLD)
Woven shibori scarf with free-stitched design. (SOLD)

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.

Glimakra single unit drawloom.
Glimakra single unit drawloom.

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.

New woven shibori scarves for sale during the art tour.
New woven shibori scarves for sale during the art tour.

Happily, most of the woven shibori scarves and batik runners were sold during the art tour.

More woven shibori scarves.
More woven shibori scarves.

Here, the warping mill doubles as a display rack for more scarves and three or four “rag” (batik) table runners.

Dried lavender sachets.
Dried lavender sachets.

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.

Autumn view, from my loom.
Autumn view, from my loom.

I tried to catch the view from my loom, looking towards the lake, but couldn’t get a good photo through the screen, so,…

My view of the lake and autumn trees.
My view of the lake and autumn trees.

I stepped out onto the porch, walked to where my loom bench is, an took this photo,… Torch Lake, and woods in autumn.

Looking west from the end of the lakeside porch.
Looking west from the end of the lakeside porch.

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!

Sarah Zindel, Celtic Wolf Studio, jewelry artist.
Sarah Zindel, Celtic Wolf Studio, jewelry artist.

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 Zindel's jewelry  displayed for sale.
Sarah Zindel’s jewelry displayed for sale.

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 2015

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.

Spinzilla begins, 12:01 AM, Oct. 6, 2015.
Spinzilla begins, 12:01 AM, Oct. 6, 2015.

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.

Spinzilla, Oct. 6, spinning at Artistree Gallery.
Spinzilla, Oct. 6, spinning at Artistree Gallery.

Of course, I took my Lendrum wheel and a large bag of roving with me and spun the day away at Artistree Gallery.

Making progress.
Making progress.

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.

Four bobbins full, Oct. 12, 2015.
Four bobbins full, Oct. 12, 2015.

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.

Four skeins of Coopworth singles.
Four skeins of Coopworth singles.

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.

"Violet," Icelandic fleece from Wooly Woods Farm.
“Violet,” Icelandic fleece from Wooly Woods Farm.
"Violet" fleece soaking in hot water and soap.
“Violet” fleece soaking in hot water and soap.

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.

"Violet" (half the fleece) laid out on drying racks.
“Violet” (half the fleece) laid out on drying racks.

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!

Northwoods Art Tour, Summer 2015

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.

View from the CM loom.
View from the CM loom.

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.

A nice, broad view of the room.
A nice, broad view of the room.
Glimakra Regina, flanked by shelf units.
Glimakra Regina, flanked by shelf units.

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 was displayed.
Woven shibori and other weavings were displayed and for sale.

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!

Studio view looking south to the loom where I spend a lot of time.
Studio view looking south to the loom where I spend a lot of time.

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.

Sarah Zindel (daughter) was my guest artist.
Sarah Zindel (daughter) was my guest artist.

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's jewelry.
Sarah’s jewelry.

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.

Northwoods Art Tour banner outside the studio.
Northwoods Art Tour banner outside the studio.

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.

Experimenting Continues!

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.

Three of four new woven shibori scarves!
Three of four new woven shibori scarves!

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, July 2015.
Vertical Lines 1, July 2015.
Vertical Lines 2, July 2015.
Vertical Lines 2, July 2015 (SOLD).

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.

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.

Dragonfly in Grass design.
Dragonfly in Grass design (detail).

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.

Leaves, detail, July 2015.
Leaves, detail, July 2015.

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!

New “Dye Studio”

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.

Newly refinished pine floor boards.
Newly refinished pine floor boards.

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.

Tables, indigo vat, and supplies now inside!
Tables, indigo vat, and supplies now inside!

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.

First indigo vat in new-to-me dye area.
First indigo vat in new-to-me dye area.

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.)

New 15 yard warp of 16/2 cotton.
New 15 yard warp of 16/2 cotton.
Threading the new 16/2 cotton warp.
Threading the new 16/2 cotton warp.

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!

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?

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

STRICK 17

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Spirit Cloth

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Daryl's Blog

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Bindepunkt

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

hemvävt.net

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Kathy Nida

thinking about art, hoping to make some

Shibori Girl

....practicing the fine art of shibori

Natural Dye: Experiments and Results

A blog by Catharine Ellis

Peggy Osterkamp's Weaving Blog

"Weaving should be fun!"

Weaverly

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Crazy as a Loom

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Thistle Rose Weaving

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

the textile blog

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Mette Frøkjær

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Kawashima Textile School Blog

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Tapestry Share

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

works in progress

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Thrums

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

Cally Booker | Handweaver

Studio Life of a Weaver, Spinner, Dyer

糸で/ Ito de/ By Thread

strings about that blue stuff...it seems

Britt sin skinnfellblogg

Jeg er skinnfellmaker og holder kurs i skinnfellsøm for de som vil lære et gammelt håndverk.