Feb 25, 2017
Jan 14, 2017
365 Days of Stitches
Participating in a year-long project. An accretion of stitches on a cloth. A few marks in thread every day. I have no outcome in mind. I chose to use a piece of a vintage tablecloth - one that was so sun-bleached the original blue designs are just ghostly suggestions of blue here and there. I tea-dyed it briefly. It has areas of fragility.
I began this challenge two days before Jan 1. I began with the cloth in a hoop and worked on it for eleven days before discarding the hoop. It was cumbersome and stitching was not pleasurable. Liberated from the hoop, I am much happier and satisfied as I work.
The accretion so far:
Nov 23, 2016
Weaving Again & With Sophia, Too!
Sophia hasn't woven with me since 2010, when I got the Saori loom. She was five.
While Sophia is on the Saori loom, I'm on the rigid heddle, working on a warp that has been languishing for...oh, a year? It feels so good to be weaving again.
I did warp it with 3 strands in each slot, so was able to get a denser weave. I used a thick/thin hand-dyed cotton for both warp and weft. I also added some cotton carpet warp to make the section that floats on the surface.
I've hung it on one of my sanded and beeswaxed branches. It's called 'A Way Through.'
Sep 28, 2016
Boston Trip_Upcycling, Serging
I usually try to find some sort of fiber experience to have during visits with my son and daughter-in-law in Boston. One year, I went to Saori Worcester for an intensive with Mihoko, another I went to the CGOA conference in Manchester, VT. I couldn't find any events or workshops this year, but I didn't have to!
My daughter-in-law Lisa recently got a serger and is interested in making a Katwise coat. (Click on that link, but only if you want to fill your visual field with happiness)
I have had Katwise's tutorial for years and have always wanted a serger, but they seem complicated and daunting. How perfect to get some hands-on experience with the machine and begin to explore the techniques! So my fiber arts excursion is right here in the house.
Lisa already had two big totes full of wool and cashmere sweaters:
and we spent a couple of days searching out more. Two Goodwills and this place:
This is a picture of the back of the first floor of The Garment District in Cambridge. It's just a pile of clothes, that are sold by the pound. There are about a dozen people in that picture, including Lisa, who I fondly call the truffle pig of wool and cashmere. Perhaps she is just more focused than I am, but my finds wound up being woven cotton & linen for my small stitchery collage work, and some knit cottons, T-shirts, to experiment with at the serger.
There was massive hot washing and drying going on for a couple of days, to full and felt the sweater supply, and then there was the fun of cutting them up, a process which Katwise refers to as "butchering" sweaters. It feels slightly wrong at first, almost wicked, to alter and butcher a relatively decent sweater, but upcycling and making artful things redeems this particular wickedness, I think.
The above is Lisa's nice neat stack of pieces for a coat!
While Lisa and I were busy learning to thread the serger,
Moochie pulled down a selection of sweaters and made herself a comfy bed:
Sep 21, 2016
Spending a couple of weeks at my son's house in Quincy, just south of Boston. A visit I try to make annually, ever since my other son helped me begin to recover from travel phobias in 2011. Shaun really opened the world for me the day he said, "Mom, you need to go to Boston and visit Ian. And I will help you get there. All you have to do is agree to go." And I did agree. And I even made a sidetrip to Worcester and spent a weekend doing a private intensive in Saori weaving. Ever since, I have gone on at least two trips each year, sometimes pushing past my comfort zone and gaining new experience.
This year, I don't have any comfort zone challenges in mind. I've had a difficult summer dealing with another old phobia - dental. The wonderful dentist who helped me heal from that lifelong issue died suddenly last year, and I had not yet had a chance to get comfortable with the dentist who took over the practice when I lost a huge filling and had to deal with more dental work than I've had in twelve years - a root canal and crown - and it took ages to get scheduled to have the work done, probably because the tooth wasn't giving me any pain, and there was no sign of infection. I lost the filling in the first days of June and it was mid-September when I had the final appointment.
So while I understand that it was probably quite normal for me to have some echo of my old phobia, some ramped-up anxiety, that anxiety was an undertone that sounded through my whole summer. I have been quite unhappy.
And now, I'm in no mood for envelope-pushing. So I'm sitting here in my son's house, trying to sort myself a bit, renew my joie de vivre. I intended to think of this as a time to write (which I'm really not doing much of) and I also brought a nice selection of finer yarns to do some specific weaving/crochet/knitting explorations (which I am doing.) All in the company of my first-born Ian and his wife Lisa and my granddog Moochie.
There's a nice screened-in front porch where I've been journaling in the early morning.
This is my carry-on suitcase. All that yarn was compactly packed in two slim packing cubes. I've turned it into my portable studio and I love it so much (the accessibility of my yarn and tools, the ability to just close the lid and stow it away) that I'm wondering about doing something like this at home.
I am working with continuous weave squares right now, as well as knitting and crocheting some tiny bits that I'm putting together....well, I'll show those in a future post. Working with Hazel Rose looms and Noro Taiyo yarns in sock and lace weights.
And then there's Moochie, a funny little chug (chihuahua pug), keeping me company.
Sep 15, 2016
Happy Bee Flower Party - one more triloom scarf
Here is the third in my current spate of triloom woven scarves, using Noro Taiyo Sock yarn.
I'm calling it Happy Bee Flower Party because....look!
Sep 12, 2016
Nest - another tri-loom scarf
I liked Lichen so much, and happily discovered I have a huge stash of Noro Taiyo Sock yarn, so I got out the loom and wove and stitched another scarf.
Each tri uses about 25 yards of yarn, so I can get two scarves out of one ball of Taiyo Sock, with about 100 yards left for joining and edging. I am also considering making at least one scarf longer.
This one wanted to be called Nest.