Monday, July 19, 2010

In summer, the song sings itself. - William Carlos Williams

Wow, what a busy summer so far! I have intended to post to this blog more often but my energy has just gone other places. . . . .all of them fun and intriguing. I have had only tiny bits of time to work on anything that resembles "textile". But I guess that feels somehow right for summer. Cold indoor days will return all too soon and more textiles will call.

The flower gardens are full of great color and texture. We have seven different daylilies in bloom right now. We have had enough rain in between the very hot days to keep most of the plants looking very healthy.

I have woven red coasters or mug rugs while enjoying the evening air on the screen porch this past week. I get nostalgic weaving on this little old loom. It is amazing to think of the hundreds of these I have made!

Such a simple process and so basic but endlessly satisfying!

This process, the tools and even the cardboard spacers woven between each coaster on the warp are like old friends. These are the "comfort food" equivalent in my weaving world.

In my yarn storage boxes there were neatly chained warps for several more colorways of these coasters. The red batch is almost finished and I believe I will string the green warp next. You just never know when you might need some comforting simple weaving on a lazy summer night.

But whatever your summer project might be, don't forget to stop and smell the roses . . . . . .

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer spinning

I haven't spent any time at my spinning wheel in ages. I was reminded of this by the discovery of a large bag of wool fibers, found while reorganizing during our remodeling. I had not completely forgotten it was there but in the hub-bub of the project it was inaccessible. Out of sight, out of mind.

I spin on a Louet wheel and have been spinning since the late 1970's. I learned to spin before I had a loom. I took a class at a yarn store in the Old Market in Omaha, Nebraska and was hooked. I spun so much yarn that I knew I would eventually have to have a loom to use it all.

Now this wool fiber is on my project list which means I need a plan to get it all spun this summer. Some of the smaller quantities may be used in felting projects but most will become yarns for weaving. Summer is a good time to work through wool fiber as you can do some of the messier picking and carding outdoors.

This is my first spinning wheel. It is a handmade wheel based on an Ashford castle style. I still use this wheel occasionally but my Louet is so much more efficient that I stick with it most of the time.

This white wool is first on my list. The plan is for this to eventually be a two ply yarn and probably to be dyed some very luscious color. I will post photos of the results as available. . . . . . .

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A room with a loom!

Time spent at the loom this past week brought tears to my eyes - it has been so long! We recently finished remodeling the lower level of our house where my home weaving studio was located. This project spanned the high school graduation of our daughter, closing our fine craft shop and weaving studio, a job change, the loss of my husband's precious parents and moving our son across the country to graduate school. We are finally enjoying the space again and that means that my looms, spinning wheels and glorious yarns are once again at home in a real studio space.

Though more compact than years ago, it is a marvelous space. My indoor photos are not great but these will give you a sense of what it is like. Very comfortable, nice lighting, good views of the back yard and a nice music system. What more could I need!

Once again my tools, supplies and yarn stash are organized. I still have some warp yarns in boxes but I do know where everything is now.

The looms have been calling me again. I missed my old MaComber, but the muscle memory for throwing the shuttle is still there! This warp holds two small runners in a traditional Swedish lace pattern. I warped these with the intent that they would be for my kids. I don't weave this pattern very often, but I do love it. I also like the idea of my son and daughter each having one of these in their lives.

So this lovely Swedish lace must be completed as more projects are in the queue for this loom. It is a daunting first project after a long absence from weaving on my 8 harness. I wouldn't consider it a "dog on the loom" just yet, but a high hurdle to jump in order to move on to a fresh project.

This is going to be a great place to weave. So, run, run, run . . . . . . JUMP!