Sunday, December 31, 2006
Happy New Year to you all and may the place you are in bring you astounding joy.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
A basket of yarn for the new year! Here are a few of the skeins that have kept me busy over the past week or so. At the end of January I'll put a page on the website to list yarn in case any of you out there would like to buy some. I have a hard time staying away and not using it myself but I've sold a few skeins as they are finished and know that the knitters are eager for handspun! I love the Romney because it has a good feel, the fibers are long (and so not scratchy) and it has a nice sheen to the yarn when it is finished. I'll have more to post soon.
Happy fiber to you all!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Tomorrow ends our local art association Christmas Gallery and I will be there in the mall with my spinning wheel most of the afternoon. It is a good way to visit with people from my home town who are here again for the holidays. People always stop in to chat and it is actually easier than having an open house (and with no cooking and clean up!).
I hope that you get every wonderful thing on your list.
Friday, December 22, 2006
This Yellow and violet single is from corridale roving. I have had such fun mixing colors. Spinning Sisters--- Do you ever stand in front of the refrigerator deciding what to take out and make for dinner when your eyes come to rest on the dye jars? Instead of thinking beef or chicken, I begin to think burgundy or russett? How would those look with blue or violet? Then I wander away to put some roving on the stove, dinner forgotten. The dog sighs loudly and goes to lay by her bowl.
Yarny Blessings to you all.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
A Merry Winter Solstice to you all. This view is of the elms north of my house and the sun at its most golden this time of year. No wonder so much of my weaving is gold and brown (OK so there is no excuse for so much purple!). This time of year is my favorite. No excuse needed to stay in and work with fiber projects. A pot of tea just seems mandatory and not excessive at all. I've been dying roving at a great rate to fill those long dark evenings with productive spinning. In the new year I may have some posts with handwoven items made from hand spun yarn. I will admit to knitting more than weaving just recently and I blame it entirely on the yarn. Who can wait until there is enough spun up to weave something when you can just jump in with the knitting needles and have instant gratification!
Holiday blessings to you all and may your presents be fiber related!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The red roving that I dyed a few days ago is slowly becoming single ply that I'm planning to make into two ply. This bobbin is single ply and the second bobbin is almost full. There may even be a third. I think it will make a lovely scarf woven in plain weave with some rayon thrown in the warp for sparkle.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I had a chance this weekend to meet a wonderful local spinner/weaver, Joyce Johnson. She was very gracious and showed a friend and I through her home. She has a wheel that has the largest bobbin on it I have ever seen. The wheel was a California Spinner and was made by hand by an artisan a number of years ago. The bobbin looked at least 8 inches long and like you could spin all day on it. Does anyone out there know about a craftsperson who makes spinning wheels like that? I sure would like to find one.
Happy Weaving, the holidays are almost here!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
To keep busy this weekend I worked on this project that is 50% merino wool and 50% silk. The heavier threads are a merino hand dye that blended well with this weft on the shuttle. I think it will be a shawl unless I get a wild hair and cut it up to be something else!
The new spinning wheel is getting quite a bit of use and I'm hopeful there will be pictures of yarns to show you later in the week.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Black is the color of the day! I am working on a black chenille scarf that has variegated highlights. My friend George thinks it must be for him, after all it is his color. What is it about cats and weaving? The other cat, Murphy loves to lay under the loom as I am weaving and sometimes he chatters to it the same way he chatters to birds in the garden. All the animals in our household, two cats and a dog all seem very at home with the yarn and rhythm of weaving. Lay something down that has just come off the loom and they immediately take possession of it. I can't complain about these three, they have never destroyed anything I've made, they just seem very curious to see what I spend all this time working on. It must be special because it means I'm not spending time with THEM!
The days are getting shorter now and the light is lovely here in New Mexico. Perhaps because our humidity is so low we get incredible turquoise skies and fushia dawns. My favorite is late in the day when the light is golden and it brushes the tops of the tall grasses here on the plains. The shadows are blue and the contrast seems impossible. It has been warm this fall here and yesterday afternoon I spent some time watching the ravens ride the thermals. There were hundreds of them swirling in a great vortex several hundred feet in the air. I could hear them calling to each other.
May all your days be magical.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
I am almost through with the next project from Zati, Weaving a Life. It was an easy project to make but the thinking it provoked was anything but simple. I was reminded again that I am not good at setting boundaries in my life. That I continue to agree to do things I really don't want to and have no one to blame but myself. Perhaps I'll have to make a new year's resolution about that.
May your weaving and your life be free of tangles.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The doll is the third keystone in the book, Zati, Weaving a Life by Susan Barrett Merrill. It took me several days to make her, all the time thinking that she was going to be a wise old crone. When finished she turned out to be my fearless twin! I can hear her saying "What are we waiting for?" The doll is supposed to mirror a part of ourselves that we need greater access to and in this she succeeds. This doll has attitiude and courage to boot.
In making her I placed a stone in the base to provide stability. The stone I choose came from high in the Rocky Mountains, from a place I love and hold dear to my heart. She is also stuffed with lavender and wool, for peace and warmth. In making her I am trying to understand why I don't follow my dreams more closely, what is it that I'm truly afraid of? What am I waiting for? What will it take for me to have that courage? More on that as I find the answers.
There are red scarves on my small loom and an indigo shawl on the big loom. Christmas is just around the corner.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Several days ago I posted a picture of the turquoise warp on the Herald loom. This is the finished shawl. I wove two, just alike on that warp. The shawl is woven in two pieces and sewn together in the back to form a V. Cotton is good for spring and fall wear and I think the turquoise will go with a lot of different things.
This weekend the Llano Estacado Art Association is hosting a workshop by Renee Steger Simpson. She is an artist from Lubbock who draws a series of characters known as "Snooty Women." She is leading a full day workshop in creativity. We are going to journal, paint, collage and inspire each other. Maybe I will come up with some new ideas for the weaving.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A little Purple for your Thursday! This is one of the many chenille scarves I am weaving for the upcoming art association Christmas Gallery in my home town. The purple is an amethyst color and the variegated yarns that are the accents have a lovely teal in them that just comes forward at odd intervals in the scarf. I love the beauty of randomness in weaving and in the universe in general. It reminds me that there is something larger than we are at work in our lives. The best projects have some kind of random beauty built in and the final outcome is always a surprise.
We are having Indian Summer here on the plains. It was so warm at dawn I did not need much of a coat for my walk with my dear darling Frisbee. She has been under the weather this week, so our walk was not a long one. The cottonwoods in the park have lost most of their leaves and we happily shuffled through them feeling the breeze and listing to the ravens overhead.
May your day be filled with random beauty and the haunting call of ravens overhead.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
www.weavingalife.com I ordered the loom at the same time as the book, Zati, The Art of Weaving A Life. This little loom has all kinds of possibilities because it is small enough to carry around and can be disassembled with the weaving still attached. It came in a bag/carrier that is a work of art itself -- full of little pockets and places for the sticks, nuts and bolts and other things you would need to take with you on your journey through life.
The bowl is the second of the keyforms on the spiritual trail in the book. It weaves as a flat piece and then becomes a bowl off the loom by drawing up the warp threads and tying them. I was fascinated by this idea. Of course next time I want the bowl to be BIGGER! I used Donegal wool for the warp and Kureyon from Halcyon Yarn for the weft. www.halcyonyarn.com
This is a more close up view with three and a half of the five diamond shapes already woven.
Here is the bowl finished with some flourite crystals in it. You can see that it is not very large but since it is intended as a holder for intention and focus, it doesn't need to be huge. Like the amulet bag, the bowl serves to remind us on our spiritual trek to be open to receiving the gifts of our journey. It is also for me the symbol of gratitude and I like to think of filling it with all the thoughts, hopes and dreams I am grateful for. My life is very full and I am grateful for every part of it.
Soon more scarves! Purple this time!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Someone told me recently that turquoise is the new neutral! Well, I don't know if I would go that far, but everyone who has been in my studio in the past week has commented on the beautiful turquoise warp currently on my Herald loom. The warp is 25" wide, although it looks more narrow in this picture. It is made up of several types of cotton and will be the parts that get sewn together to make a shawl.
Yesterday in the mail I received a copy of Zati, The art of Weaving a Life by Susan Barrett Merrill. This is one of those books that can change your life, especially if you are a weaver. The copy I have is hand bound and is available on her website www.weavingalife.com but I believe it will be published in a format more available to the public soon. Susan uses weaving as metaphor and takes the reader through seven projects that are also closely aligned with seven steps in the spiritual path. As I make the projects I will post them here, and would love to hear from any of you who are familiar with her work. For those of us who weave, the magic of cloth becoming whole from disjointed pieces of string is nothing short of sacred. I think the weaving community has long needed someone like Susan to speak to us and for us about the importance of what we do in a world that is largely mechanized. The making of things by hand imparts our energy to the object made and thereby sends our energy out into the world. As most of the world philosophies will attest, what you send out is what comes back to you. By sending out our best and most sacred parts of ourselves through our artforms we aim to make the world a better place. Blessings.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The oak trees are turning in my yard. The nights are getting cooler and the wind is blowing, bringing in change with the turning of the year. Tomorrow is All Hallows Eve and the change from the light to the dark part of the year. I have always enjoyed the fall and winter most. In weaving terms we would say that the warp is advancing with the turning of the leaves. I am making warm cozy scarves in colors of autumn. They will leave me with hopes that they will keep others warm as they walk their paths through the world. As the year begins to turn may the Holy Goddess hold you close in the palm of her hand and wrap you warmly to keep out the chill.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Weaving as metaphor is on my mind a lot lately. The warp of life is the intention, focus and belief. The weft is the actions we take daily. The cloth we come out with depends greatly on how closely we adhere to the warp. Weaving as an activity slows us down and takes our pace in life to a more sane level. It is hard to hurry in weaving and all the steps have to be completed in order or the whole thing falls apart. But then when you get all of it threaded and ready to weave there is a nice rhythm in the throwing of the shuttle back and forth and it frees the mind to wander down other roads. It is too bad in our culture that most things are not done by hand any longer because I think the mind benefits from life being slowed down to a more humane pace. As I throw the shuttle I like to think about the person who may wear my scarf or shawl. I enjoy the sense that this piece of cloth may keep them warm or provide some kind of comfort. I always hope that they realize that each piece is made by hand with the intention and focus of bringing something useful and beautiful into the world. That is the great gift of handmade craft that a machine lacks. May your warp be straight and true.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Fall gets me all jazzed up and ready to go. This picture is of the ruby red scarf I wove last week. The color made me want to wallow in RED for days! Chenille is so soft it hardly seems possible. I am weaving scarves two at at time on the loom now to get ready for the Christmas Gallery our art association has. It is a great way to interact with the community every year.
The next scarves are deep dark chocolate!
Monday, October 16, 2006
This weekend was cold and rainy. It inspired me to get busy for the upcoming holiday galleries that I participate in. Red seemed a good color on a gray day to chase away the winter blahs. This is part of a series of four scarves in red chenille.
The rain has cleared away this morning and the dog and I set out on our usual walk enjoying the wet and sunshine. Lots of scattered leaves on the ground. The birds moving through the area seem to be different that the summer ones, maybe these are migrating through.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Summer is my least favorite season. Now that fall is officially here I feel ready to tackle all kinds of projects and find that there are rarely enough hours in the day for all I want to do. Now my energy is divided between weaving and painting, when I'm doing one I'm often thinking of the other.
This white shawl is one I wove in the late summer. It has a kind of long eyelash yarn that sticks out all over giving it a furry soft feel. I entered it in our local art show last week and was pleased to win a second place with it. Unless it sells at the show it is probably destined for an auction to aide our local Humane Society. What good is art if it does not allow us to contribute to our favorite causes?
It is gray and rainy here this morning. On my smaller loom is a warp for two red scarves that will go to the Christmas gallery later in the year. I like to think of someone getting one of my pieces as a present and always hope they are as entranced with the colors and textures as I am. www.quillinfiberarts.com
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The shawl that took so much time to put up on the loom wove up quickly. The colors are like a twilight and there is more blue than shows in this picture.
Fall is on its way today, it is cool and windy out. A good day for art because the colors are crisp and clear. I've been out in the painting studio getting things in order there to begin painting again. Autumn never lasts long enough.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
An alpaca from the Wool Festival. They are smaller than Llamas and have finer grade fiber. This little guy has blue eyes. He was not sure about all the strange people wanting to touch him and he watched them carefully.
I can't decide if it really takes longer to thread a straight draw on eight harness than four or if it only seems longer. Today I will be finishing the threading for the next shawl on the Herald loom, it does seem to take a long time. For some reason yesterday all that threading of heddles made me want to get back to the oil painting. I have been struggling with a large canvas of iris for several months and finally made some good progress yesterday afternoon. Maybe oil painting and weaving go well together because they are so different, yet both are so reliant on color. Now that it is fall the colors around me seem so much more vibrant. Wherever you are I hope you are able to get out and enjoy your day!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Since my weather is cold and foggy I thought I would share another image of the wool festival. All the beautiful things I saw have inspired me to work on new ideas here at home. Yesterday I measured a warp that will use some new hand dyed yarn as a weft. This will be the first shawl on the Herald loom. I am still trying to get the rods the correct length. It had short rods when it came to me and I had new ones cut but they are a little too long and will have to be trimmed to size. One of my errands this morning is having the front rod trimmed down about three inches.
One thing northern New Mexico does is inspire you to try new color combinations. There are so many beautiful browns, golds and blues up there in the landscape that it is great inspiration for weaving. The chamisa was in bloom.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Some scenes for you from the Wool Festival in Taos. It was in a beautiful setting, Kit Carson park with the tents all arranged in a huge circle. There were lots of fiber animals on hand and sheltered from the rain that came on and off all day. Lots of beautiful yarn and raw fibers. The entertainment was folk music and there were some food vendors making sure everyone was fed. One of the interesting things about Taos is that everyone seems to take their dogs everywhere. So there were all kinds of dogs and almost more animals than people at this faire. The black and white guy at the top in the red halter is a very sweet llama, next to him are two merino sheep wearing coats to protect their coats and the bunny at the bottom is an angora. While I was tempted to bring the llama and the bunny home I settled for great yarn from Brooks Farm instead www.brooksfarmyarn.com in silk and merino. There were spinners with wheels and rovings that outnumbered the yarn merchants. There were not many people selling finished handwoven goods and I'm guessing that was because most of the people at the faire were weavers. It was a great event and now time to get back to the weaving at hand!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Today I am heading off to the Wool Festival in Taos. If I were a quilter this would be like going to the quilt show in Houston. Kind of a holy grail for this genre. So the blog will be quiet until next week unless I am lucky and am able to get internet access on the trip.
Until then, happy weaving to you.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Summer has made a return here in October. The flowers in my garden are still beautiful and the days warm but not too hot to enjoy being outside. The mornings are cool and that is a great relief.
It has been a quiet week here for weaving. Instead of working on the looms I have been mostly finishing up a couple of projects to enter into the local art show. It was the only weaving entered and so was put in with misc. This small town has never had enough weavers to form a guild or even a group. Token weaver! www.quillinfiberarts.com
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
This picture looks so promising. Actually when I took this particular shawl off the loom it had a bad case of ugly. The variegated chenille looked so much like a 1970's reject that I was amazed. Even with the best of intentions it is hard to predict how something will turn out until you have done it at least once.
The Herald loom has a scarf on it that I plan to finish today. It is in the twill stars pattern in black and gold. It is about time to start something new.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Today it seems as though summer is having a last fling. These roses from my garden have loved the cooler weather and are lasting a long time. Finally finished the two shawls from last week and will get them washed and dried today so they can be sewn together. Perhaps one of them will be entered in the local art show later this week. Time to get busy with the scarves for the holiday season.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Spent most of yesterday working on setting up my website. It took quite a while as the software used by register.com doesn't work well with AOL. The great part is that it is up and working and now the shawls I have been working on are pictured. Hope you enjoy looking.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
After a cool morning it is warming up fast today. On my walk this morning my mind was working on the tie up system for the Herald loom. There were no books with this loom and I had never seen one before so the tie up system was something of a mystery. Yesterday I spent the afternoon cutting wire and trying different things. A terrible mess was all I succeeded in creating. This morning the solution was right there for my mind to stumble across on the walk. It is amazing how that works. So I came home and tried it and wove a few rows just to be sure it would work. Now I am ready to get started.
Also on the walk there was an amazing smell of chili and mesquite. I asked around and found out that there will be a chili cookoff today at our local event center.
Chili and weaving, what could be better for a beautiful fall day?
Friday, September 29, 2006
Gold is such a great color for fall. On my smaller 4 harness loom I have a warp for two shawls in browns and golds. Last night I finished the weaving on the first shawl and today will begin the second. Yesterday I measured a warp for the Herald loom, my first weaving project on it. This is also my first 8 harness project. The first thing I discovered is that I don't have enough tie-ups for the treadles and will have to make more today. So a trip to the hardware store is in the plans.
Very cool last night for here. Soon I will have to actually turn on the heater at night, for now just an extra blanket.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
A windy morning here. A cold front moved in last night and the temperature dropped along with the east wind getting up. It is quiet here this morning. Yesterday I took my husband to the airport so that he could return to his job. The dog met me at the door with his sock in her mouth as if she wanted to know where he was.
The current project on the loom is a warp for two shawls. I began the first one last evening and will work on it today. Lots of golds and creams in these two shawls, they should be good for fall.
Solitude wraps itself around my shoulders like a soft familiar blanket,
and sings the song of my soul.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This morning an early walk with my husband and dog. This is a rare thing because he works in the middle east and is rarely home. We walk at dawn and the sunrise was incredible. I think walking and weaving are similar in that they align the mind to a state where there is less confusion. Both are soothing to the soul and keep one grounded in daily existence.
Began working on my website this week and hope to have it to share soon. It will feature mainly scarves and shawls that I weave and sell through my business.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Today would have been my mother's 67th birthday. Although not a weaver she had great love of fiber and yarn. When she died we found a great stash of yarn that she had clearly intended to turn into useful and beautiful things. Perhaps because of her the yarn section is always my first stop in any store that carries it. Her idea of entertainment on a Friday night was to peruse the yarn section of Walmart after eating at Furrs with my dad. She did not live to see Hobby Lobby with its large selection and I doubt she ever made it to a knitting/yarn store like the ones popping up all over now. I often wonder what she would think of all this. I like to think she would be proud of my own stash of yarns for weaving even though they are on cones instead of skeins as she was used to. So today as I weave I will think of her and thank her for my early love of fiber and color. If your mother is still with you be sure to give her a hug for me.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Today is pretty exciting. A new loom arrived from Phoenix last night and we set it up first thing this morning. This is an eight harness loom from a company called Herald Loom. It is 50" wide and made of oak. This thing is heavy. My husband drove all night from our home in NM to Phx which is 10.5 hours each way to pick up and bring this loom to me. Now that is love for you! My other loom is a Harrisville 4-harness, 36" wide loom. It is great but I wanted something heavier and wider with more harnesses to work with. Murphy the loom-cat has thoroughly checked out the new loom and it seemed to pass inspection. We have two cats, Murphy and George. George can't be bothered with things like looms but Murphy is always right there anytime I get the thread out and start measuring a warp.
It is raining here this morning and kind of cool. Our low last night was 49.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Today is the Autumn Equinox and a time when the world hangs in balance between the length of day and night. A magical time when anything seems possible. Fall has come early here on the plains of New Mexico. The grasses along the trails are heavy with seeds and the birds are very busy. It is cooler this year earlier than the past few according to my journal. On the walk this morning the air was crisp and dry and my favorite friend Frisbee (dog) bounced from one exciting scent to the next.
This picture is of a scarf I just finished this past week. It is a spice color chenille with some fancy threads woven in at the ends and randomly throughout. I love the color as it reminds me of the season and the promise of wearing cozy sweaters soon.