Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

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

A trip

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!

This last picture just thrilled me, when I saw how the shadow of the scarf came out -- such a visual of The Shadow - the hidden side of things, ourselves...

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.

Sep 11, 2016

The Matroyshka Doll Project

I received information about this from Bethany Armstrong, a poet I met at this year's Indiana University Writer's Conference.

I sent pictures of my maternal line, from my daughter, back to to my great-great-great grandmother.

My maternal lineage chant

I am called Zann, mother of Molly, daughter of George-Anna, granddaughter of Suzanne, great-granddaughter of Ella, great-great granddaughter of Anna Elizabeth, great-great-great granddaughter of Maria, Maria who was born in 1804, daughter of Catherine who was the daughter of Maria.
And so it is, the mothers I contain who contain me.
Blessed be.

Sep 6, 2016

Lichen - a tri-loom scarf

Woven on one of my Hazel Rose triangle looms, which are lovely & pleasing tools. Seven triangles, the 12" loom.

Noro Taiyo Sock yarn.

I came across the stack of finished triangles a couple of days ago and had no idea what I had planned to do with them. I just decided to quickly put them together, wanting them to look quickly put together, the look of something called up from scraps. Perhaps something that put itself together however it could. Finished with an edge of sc, ch1, B hook.

I experimented with the joins. First, a kind of mattress stitch, which resulted in a raised seam on one side.

Then, I did a stitch which was more like weaving the edges together and results in a flat seam on both sides.  I left long ends of yarn at the beginning and ends of each triangle to use for the joins, so the yarns were in the same color area of the tri.

Labels: , , , ,

Sep 2, 2016

The marriage of my 5X great-grandparents

One of the things occupying a great deal of my time lately is genealogy.  I tried to create a WordPress blog to write about what I discover every now and then, but I think I'm going to just post here.  I'm not very methodical and organized. I tend to pick a particular person and find out all I can about them. I have no rhyme or reason behind who I pick to work on, it's just whim.

Lately, I've been focusing attention on my earliest maternal ancestors in America - arrivals in the 1630s during the Great Migration of people from England, those who settled at Plymouth Colony and other towns north in Massachusetts. 

I am also rather fascinated by the 18th century ancestors, and their activities during the Revolution.  I am enchanted by coming across this beautiful record of the marriage solemnization of my 5X great-grandparents, Agnes Cowpland and Davis Bevan. I am also excited to discover another Quaker line in the family, as well as the discovery that the Bevans emigrated from Wales.

There is something extraordinary about looking at this document - knowing that they set their eyes on it. Seeing there at the bottom right, the names of Agnes' parents, my 6X great-grandparents.
And wondering if all those Witnesses really 'put their hands' to the signatures.
June 12, 1760.

When my husband and I married, although not Quaker, we used the same simple words for our brief ceremony, each making the declaration to have each other, 'promising with Divine Assistance  to be a faithful and loving' wife/husband 'until Death should separate us.'    Isn't it interesting that I should be so drawn to using the form and words of a faith that I had no actual experience with?  A few years later, I did attend the local Quaker meeting for a time until we moved to Indiana.

I am also interesting in exploring Davis Bevan's history, as he wound up being a Captain and fighting in the Revolution - well-documented in many DAR records. Fighting in a war is at odds with  Quaker beliefs, so that is intriguing to me.

 (Source: Certificates of Marriage Record, Chester Monthly Meeting, Chester, PA )

Labels: , ,