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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This picture does not show the true colors of the navy and variegated blues yarn, that will become towels for MY kitchen.
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!
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.
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!