In Thanksgiving…

I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, I have actually gotten to sleep in, not set my alarm, be gentle and in the moment, at least for a couple of mornings.  This is very positive, I can assure you.  

My son and I grocery shopped Tuesday afternoon.  The place was a zoo but we navigated it well and got everything we needed.

I vacuumed a little Wednesday night.  I keep the house picked up, sheets were already clean for company.  So there wasn’t much to clean, only the dog hair on the sofas, the Roomba took care of most of the lower level floors earlier in the day.  My housekeeper will come Monday.  🙂

Thursday morning, waiting for company to arrive, I had my breakfast and worked on a puzzle.  I did nothing in the kitchen except clean up my dishes from breakfast.  First my daughter rolled in, she brought her new five month old kitten, which promptly growled at my very curious dogs.  The kitten stayed locked in the guest room and did quite nicely over the next couple days.  She set to work, with me as her sous chef, making a lovely sweet potato gratin, from a recipe she found in Real Simple a couple of November issues ago.  We love this recipe.  Next she started on a new family tradition, celebrating her Scandinavian roots.  St. Lucia buns.  Other than the obscure ingredients like Quark Cheese and castor sugar and saffron threads, which my ShopRite actually carried, and a hilarious conversion process of metric into imperial, because well, my daughter is the physics/chemistry person on the house and she would just glare at me as I tried to convert grams of butter into Tablespoons, we had a great time.  They were unbelievably delicious.

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While all that was cooking, my son wandered up from the basement, he closed the Target store the night before and got home well after midnight, and he set to work chopping onions and garlic, lots and lots of garlic.  He made two steaks in the cast iron skillet, with roasted corn, onions and garlic topping, while I worked on the green beans in butter and garlic.  Did I mention we went through a lot of garlic?  He also stuffed a chicken with onions and more garlic and stuck that in the oven.

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My sister arrived with her husband and her two children from Maryland, along with the 90 pound black lab.  We had a house full of animals.  The dogs, my two and hers, had never met and they all got along famously.  The kitten stayed hidden away.  All of the photos her were taken by my sister.  She did a great job capturing the spirit of the day.  Thanks Marta!

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We put her son to work barbecuing the shrimp because my niece doesn’t eat red meat or chicken.

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We took some family photos while the light was still good.  The water feature in the yard was installed last spring, during the warmer months water cascades from the top, it is beautiful.  It has been drained and closed down for the winter, but a handful of my late husband’s ashes are under the slab it rests on, and it felt appropriate to take a picture beside it. 

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About a half hour before dinner, my assistant Cynthia stopped by with a bottle of wine.  We immediately coerced her into staying for dinner, with the excuse that eight at the table was more balanced than seven.  Cynthia and I spend a lot of time together, since she is my office and studio assistant, and I wanted her to be a part of my family dinner.  That’s my daughter Brianna on the left, followed by my niece, me, Cynthia and my sister.  And there in the background on the sofa is my princess Saphira.  The women of Utne Court.

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And so Thanksgiving was a lovely gentle holiday, no stress, the kids did most of the meal planning and the cooking.  Cynthia and I cleaned up the kitchen afterwards, we work well together.  Everything was done, few leftovers to put away and dishes/kitchen cleaned by 3:30 when my son had to leave for retail hell, Target opened at 6pm and he had to open the store by 4.  He was a good sport.

My sister, her husband and son, and I took the two larger dogs, Ranger and Jazzy on a walk to the end of the street, to pick up the Morris Canal towpath, a lovely mile long walk along the old canal bed.  It is about 500 steps from my house.  We walked until it got too dark to safely see, passing the most beautiful red fox sitting in the middle of the path.  He graciously moved out of our way. Side note…  I forgot and left the doggie treats in the pocket of my down coat, and tonight I came into the kitchen and found my trusty down coat ripped from the hook, the pocket torn apart, the treat bag demolished and heartbroken I went upstairs online and actually made a black Friday purchase, I ordered a replacement down coat from LL Bean, with my black Friday 20% off.  Score!

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The day was beautiful, the meal lovely, the family and friends joyous and in great spirits, and I could not have asked for a better day.  As we set new traditions, we remember the old, and give thanks that though life has diverged along paths I never thought I’d walk along, I’m never alone and I look at the simple things life gives and I’m very very grateful.

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And I finally got to start weaving my holiday towel run, 5/2 perle, because it was what was on my shelf, from a draft in Sept/Oct 2017 Handwoven Magazine.  8 shafts in case you were wondering…  I actually had my assistant Cynthia set up this loom.  She has never woven before, so this was probably not the best thing for her to learn on, but she did it with determination, a smile the whole way, and very very slowly.  I went along behind her correcting mistakes, and there were mistakes, but by the time we beamed the 11 yards, it was perfect and the towels are weaving like butter.  

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My eShop seems to be working, but not without some trials this week.  I discovered I needed an SSL certificate, why did no one tell me this…  And my tech guy came Tuesday and acquired one for me, got my hosting company to load it in and then the shop platform guy in England got it to work.  Or so they tell me.  I’m still not seeing the shop run the way it use to, but I suspect I’ll always be tweaking something.

My blog on the other hand…  I am really really sorry to all the readers who subscribe and are not getting notifications.  I have paid hundreds of dollars in tech support to try and figure out the problem.  We have had no luck other than the suspicion that my blog email has been blacklisted as spam.  It won’t even show up in spam boxes.  I can’t even get notification when a comment comes in.  And WordPress has no tech support except for forums, which we have read and are not heartened by the general opinion that this is a common problem and there is nothing to be done.

I promise dear readers that I’ll post the images from the OuterBanks Retreat I  recently did, they are wonderful, and I took absolutely none of them.  I had a couple of very photo prolific students who captured the heart of the experience, I was even in a couple of the photos, and I’m just thinking that I’ll let everyone else take the photos for awhile.  They do a better job and it is one less thing I have to take care of!

Stay tuned…

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Finishing…

I an scarcely breathe with the craziness that has started to define my life.  I keep telling myself, (and I’m sticking to this story) that you can’t run a tight ship, or any ship at all, if you aren’t on board.  Which is what happens when I’m gone for so long so often.  I have finished my traveling for the year dear readers, and I barely got home, and got the salt spray off my car when I jumped into my guild show and sale.  After teaching for 7 days straight in the OuterBanks, NC, which I will blog about when I have a bit more time, I dove into the guild sale, I’m the treasurer, what was I thinking, and spent the last five days processing a lot of money, which is all safely in the bank and most of the bookkeeping done.  

Rehearsal schedule is in full swing for all the December performances for my recorder consorts, yes that’s plural, because I can’t just play with one group…  Don’t cry for me, I actually chose all these fun things that I love to do, but dang, there just aren’t enough hours in the day…

On top of that, my daughter had her 25th birthday.  That in itself is really hard to comprehend.  She is an adult, out on her own, and where the heck did that seemingly endless life with young children go.  It seems like a lifetime ago, and actually it was.

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So I have a story…

Most of you who have followed my blog for while, (9 years next month), you might remember that my mother in law, Margaret Lancaster was a master bobbin lace maker.  When she died in 2006, I wrote a piece on how we met and about how bobbin lace wove itself through our relationship.  You can read it here…  

Margaret wanted all the women in the family to have a bobbin lace hankie when they married, and when her son Kevin and I got engaged, she set to work on mine.  She presented it to me the morning of our wedding and it sat framed on the wall until just recently when I needed to start fresh and paint each room and freshen the artwork.  It is safely tucked away.  You will notice that the edges of my wedding gown are trimmed in a lovely baby lace, I think she made 12 yards of lace for my gown as well.

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Anyway, Margaret started a lovely bobbin lace handkerchief for my daughter when she was born.  Already well into her late 80’s when Brianna was born, her eyesight was failing and though she made it through three corners, she died in 2006 without ever finishing it.  It was intended for my daughter when she married, which was of course assumed of all women at that time by that generation.  Three weeks after my mother in law’s death, my own mother remarried, and my mother in law, right before she died told me how much she wished that she could have made a hankie for my mom’s wedding.  

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, my mother in law’s spirit followed me around my studio for quite awhile right after she died.  She kept insisting I make a hankie for my mom’s wedding and in frustration I told her spirit, I can’t make something from nothing.  And in only a couple weeks.  I heard this voice telling me to look in a particular box, I had moved all of her craft/fiber/bobbin lace supplies and incorporated them as best I could into my own studio, and I opened the box and found right on the top, a long length of a pretty lace, with a motif that could easily be folded into a mitered corner.  That was fine, but I needed fine linen to sew it to.  A voice in my head told me to look in the corner cabinet.  There was a lovely piece of folded linen, and I grabbed my thread and a needle and set to work.  My mom carried the lace hankie during her wedding and I know my mother in law was proud and happy with me for making it happen.

My mother in law had a lot of lace pillows, bobbins, prickings and a lovely lace collection.  And I have about the same quantity of stuff.  So between the two collections there were way too many pillows and thread and bobbins and whatever, and to be really really honest, I’m starting to wind down and make serious decisions about what to keep and what to move on professionally, personally, and physically.  I don’t need 16 lace pillows.  I don’t even want to make lace, except on a rare occasion when I’m asked to demo at a historical society.  I don’t use lace in my clothing, and I don’t need hankies framed and hanging on my walls.  So I’ve spent the last year carefully working through the pillows, donating much of what I don’t want to the local bobbin lace group, and paring down the collection and the equipment.  I’ll always keep something, but I can’t keep it all.

Back to my daughter’s three quarters finished hankie…

The pattern for this is a miniature version of a well known Danish Torchon pattern called Emporer’s Crown.  Most lace makers know it, especially those who studied with Gunvor Jorgenson.  As a matter of fact, when I was sitting in an 11th century church on the Isle of Ven in the Öresund Sound between Copenhagen and Landskrona, Sweden, July of 2015, I saw, trimming the altar cloth, the Emporer’s Crown bobbin lace.  Made my heart sing.  I have the full size version on another pillow. 

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But this little miniature version was of size 100 thread, very fragile, with many of the bobbins broken off, and I looked at the pillow in dismay last spring and took a deep breath and started in.  I had help, I belong to a small lace group that meets with a mentor who also studied with Gunvor and knew the pattern.  Pat got me back on track, and we found that the two patterns were not identical in how they were constructed and my goal was to replicate what my mother in law had started.  I spent a lot of time looking through a magnifying glass.  

My goal was to finish the hankie by my daughter’s 25th birthday.  She may or may not marry in her lifetime, and a wedding hankie may or may not be part of the ceremony, that isn’t for me to say.  But the hankie was for her, and I know my mother in law wanted it finished and for her to put it away for a time when it will be important to her.  And I needed to clear this pillow and move it on.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to ship it shortly to one of my OuterBanks students, also a lacemaker.  

Anway, last Friday morning I was furiously joining the two ends of the hankie, 64 pairs of fragile 100 thread.  There are a lot of ends to work back in.  But the lace is off the pillow and I am thrilled.  And I think my mother in law is happy.  I showed Brianna, she was amazed at the intricacy of the pattern.  It really is beautiful.  I still have a lot of handwork to do.  But I accomplished something that was very important to me.  It is finished… (except for the handwork)

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And the other night, I finally finished the bottom of a lovely shell I started only a couple months ago, from a C2Knits pattern called Daphne out of Shibui heichi silk, color Spore.  I made one a couple years ago in a different color way, and it is my favorite of all my handknit shells.  

C2KnitsShell

I’m starting to catch up on a few things, I really wish I had a little more time before Thanksgiving.  As it is I made commitments for some fun outings over the next three days, and what I really want to do is just crawl into bed and sleep for a week.  

The big news is I was able to upgrade my eShop.  It needed to be done, and I moaned and whined to anyone who would listen, and got feedback on what direction I should go.  In the end, I found out that the shop I had been working with was actually just fine, but there had four major upgrades over the years that I had never done because well, I had no idea, that was my husband’s job.  So I paid the crew at Cube Cart, a British company, to upgrade my entire shop, now the FusiKnit interfacing is back in stock and listed again, and I’m hoping to begin the process of creating and offering digital downloads for a lot of my monograph content.  Stay tuned for that…

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In and Out…

Two day classes are just a whirlwind.  I did a quick jaunt to Cleveland last weekend, where a delightful group of women were eager to make a vest from their mostly handwoven fabrics.  They had done a study of what it takes to make good cloth, prior to weaving the fabric for my class, and there were some pretty exquisite pieces of handwoven fabrics to behold!

The group is Western Reserve Weavers and Spinners, and the problem with a two day class, besides not enough time, is I really didn’t learn everyone’s name.  Though I took a lot of pictures, I couldn’t tell you their names.  Because that part of my brain that remembers names has never ever worked properly…

My trip started on a really sour note.  I am a Premier Gold frequent flier on United, with a United Club pass.  I do everything in my power to make sure traveling is as stress free as possible including taking the first flight out, which normally doesn’t experience delays, since the plane is there waiting and already serviced. Even if I have to go to the airport at 4am.  Newark Airport is mostly owned by United, and the little RJ’s, or Embraer Jets for United Express leave through terminal A, where security is short and fast, the terminal is short and fast, and baggage claim is one carousel for United, and again, short and fast.  It is kind of the commuter terminal.  

Without spending most of this blog on the horrors I experienced at the hands of TSA, I’ll summarize it like this.  First I did not get my usual TSA Pre-check for some reason.  And there are no longer lines for Premier fliers.  Just TSA Pre-check and regular everyone else.  There were only two lines and two machines for security the morning I flew, and no one was on the Pre-check line and everyone was on the regular line.  I got stopped for a pat down after exiting the back scatter machine, because, well, who knew that the back scatter machine didn’t like volume.  I had on an A-line skirt.  Really.  So that was pat down #1.  Then my carry on bag was pulled because, well apparently I had food in it.  I didn’t know that food was no longer allowed.  New rules apparently.  My little bag of home made granola I travel with was pulled out of my suitcase, swiped, and declared that a second level alarm was triggered and they would have to wait for a supervisor to inspect my granola and everything else.  Everything in my bag was inspected and swiped, and I went through yet another full body pat down.  Since this was the only line, no one could move through until my issues were addressed.  The line became ridiculous, and I think a number of people missed their planes.  

Granola

The supervisor was a recreation of officer Opie, from Alice’s Restaurant, with his 8×10’s with circles and arrows, he was taking pictures of my bag going through the scanner, the granola was rescanned, reswiped, and they decided that they needed to call in a specialist.  An explosives specialist? Really? If this wasn’t so serious, it was pretty hysterical.  The people behind me in line, who all had their bags pulled for additional screening were pissed, scared, and dumbfounded, just like I was.  I offered to eat the granola, but was told to stay away!  The specialist came eventually, and went through the entire ritual again.  It took almost an hour to get through security, because of my little bag of granola, and I have never felt so helpless and so bewildered by what the hell was happening here.  

The flight itself was uneventful, I had about 10 minutes left to grab a cup of tea and some oatmeal in the club lounge before boarding, and I made it safely to Cleveland in 1 hour and 6 minutes. The flight was shorter than the line to get through security…

A couple of the guild members picked me up, and we met up with my hostess and we all went out for lunch.  My hostess Nora took me back to her house, where I relaxed and enjoyed what was left of the day.  I’ve stayed with Nora and her husband Tony a few years ago, and it was like being with old friends.  They have a massage lounge chair in the living room.  I tried it.  Nora caught a great blackmail shot…

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There were 14 in the class.  It was a great group.  They were eager and prepared, and there was a lot of handwoven fabrics. The space was narrow but with great light.  

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We fitted the vests in record time, and most of the patterns were traced by lunch the first day.  By the end of the first day, most were cut out and ready to sew like the wind on Sunday morning.  My newly rewritten and illustrated handouts proved to be quite successful, there were very little questions on the construction steps, and slowly the vests took shape.

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This is one serious match job!

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Linings were added and vest bodies were completed.

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By the late afternoon on the second day, we had finished enough that everyone could put on a vest, many were still missing neck bands, and most were still missing arm bands, and they all were full of pins, but everyone seemed really happy. I especially loved the mother daughter team, using the same handwoven fabric!

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I love my mid-western ladies, and they all looked great in their partially completed vests.  I hope they send photos when they are all finished.

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And there was a Daryl Jacket spotted, one of the participants, who had taken a Daryl Jacket class with me, used the pattern for a jacket in a class with Kenneth King on using faux fur.  This was pretty cool.

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The trip home was exquisitely uneventful, I had TSA precheck, I was through security in about 7 minutes, but I did put the granola in my checked bags.  I was not taking any chances.  I may have to break down and apply for permanent TSA precheck status, and pay the $80.  

The only down side to the whole trip was it was pretty apparent that by Sunday afternoon I was getting sick.  Nothing serious.  I haven’t had a cold since before my husband died.  Apparently there is a virus going around and I’ve been told that EVERYONE has it.  I came home feeling pretty crappy.  I’m a terrible patient.  My house was crawling with contractors, my assistant picked me up at the airport and has been wonderful at helping me prep for my next venue which is Saturday, when I leave for the Outer Banks, NC retreat.  It is a long drive but I’ll break up the trip by staying with family in Maryland.  I’ll be teaching a five day garment construction intensive followed by an inkle weaving class.  This is my last venue of the year, and I am really really tired.  The drama at home, the cold/fever, the computer issues that have been partially resolved, my new computer system is nothing short of remarkable, and I’ve restored most of my settings, but my shop is still not functioning properly and has to be reworked, and I’m just not around to deal with it.  

So hats off to Cleveland Western Reserve, you ladies rock!  I’ll be leaving shortly for the North Carolina coast, and then I go right into the guild sale, and I’m the treasurer.  Somewhere I’ll find a well deserved rest, but right now, rest eludes me…

Stay tuned…

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Technological Trauma…

Dearest readers, the thing that scared me most since my husband’s death back in June of 2016 was what I would do if and when my computer system failed.  This has believe it or not been a pretty harrowing week, and I feel completely awful even mentioning the stress I’ve experienced as friends all over the country are losing their homes to all sorts of calamity.  My little computer woes are just small little skinned knees in the game of life.  Yet, they brought me to my knees, because I run a business and my late husband was the most amazing tech support anyone could wish for. Indeed it was he who developed my first website, way back when AOL was the only game in town and you were limited to 9 letters.  Hence ‘weaversew’.

My computer components were a number of years old and beginning to show signs of wear.  Sudden blue screens, failing memory ports on the motherboard, overheating, failing USB drives.  I had hoped to limp through until I finished teaching for the year, in mid November, but my anxiety level was out the roof and every time I logged on I needed that proverbial drink.

BlueScreen

On top of the hardware challenges, my eShop is failing, the original platform my husband installed to run the shop was from 2005, not even licensed or supported at this point.  I’ve been researching alternatives to the current platform I use, and they all make my head swim.  And the hosting company that services my blog and shop, anything with the ‘weaversew’ suffix, is frequently down and misbehaving.  Nothing has been upgraded in many many years, too many, and the signs are clearly written in bright neon that I need to take care of all this.  Now.  Like yesterday.  

Meanwhile I get on a plane for Cleveland on Friday.  This means that I have to walk away from things that aren’t right or only half way, or less than the professionalism I pride myself on.  I am completely at the mercy of good tech support guy, because my lovely wonderful tech geek of a late husband made it too easy to just turn it all over to him.  I do maintain the data on four websites, including my own, I insisted on that, and I managed to learn enough about Adobe Dreamweaver to get four competent sites, two of them for local weaving guilds, but as one of the guild members told me, I’m probably the last person on the planet who actually still uses Dreamweaver, the rest of the world is using platforms like WordPress for their websites.  I nearly had a meltdown thinking I’d have to rework the four websites I have to maintain.

Last week my tech guy came to build me a new system, with the idea we would ghost my hard drive and I’d be up and running in about 5 hours.  About 15 minutes before the five hours was up, something went seriously wrong and the computer ended up in the hospital for a week, starting with a bad power supply which fried the new motherboard, and corrupted Windows 10 and made a complete mess of things.  

The bottom line was, after what he called a “Hail Mary” save, apparently this is a thing in the tech world, he managed to get my original hard drive functioning and I was able to limp along all week, still getting blue screens, and having hardware fail, but at least I could access data to print handouts and such for my class in Cleveland this weekend.  I could access my bookkeeping and file my sales tax before the 20th (when I’m actually flying to Cleveland) and do other critical things one does to stay in business.

So yesterday, in a complete fit of “I gotta get out of this place” I took my new assistant /best adventure buddy to the NY Botanical Gardens to see the Dale Chihuly glass installation, which was magical and just what I needed on the most glorious sunny fall day we have had so far this year.  I came home relaxed and ready to tackle D day, or rather C day, where my tech guy was supposed to come this morning and we were going to wipe clean my C drive and reinstall all the software I need and use on a daily basis.  There were roller coaster like moments and times when I just had to walk away.  I kept my knitting by me so I wouldn’t completely lose it.  But he is the calmest gentlest geek I’ve ever met and I adored him for his ability to just say, don’t worry, it will all be OK.  And it was, or is.  I think.  I haven’t really put the system through its paces, but everything seems to be in place, most of my settings restored, and I’ve been able to wipe the drive clean of all the old out of date and unsupported software my husband installed so very long ago.  It cost me a lot of money, but I’m hoping that part is all past me.

The botanical gardens were gorgeous.  Cynthia and I had a lovely lovely day, and the drive in, in spite of an accident gumming up the works on the GW Bridge was about 40 minutes.  We had lunch at the cafe,  and were in the car and safely home by 2:30 in the afternoon.  We decided that we would actually become members of the Botanical Gardens because that’s what we can do to support the arts and cultural venues where we live.  

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I still have eShop issues, and hosting company issues, but I’m hoping that they too will be resolved within short order, and that I can do the things I love and actually care deeply about.  In this current age we live in, sadly one can’t come without the other.  This morning I woke up and finally broke down and turned on the heat, it had been 80 only a couple of days ago.  Of course, my boiler failed to work.  Why am I surprised.  The earliest the plumber can come is next week because I’m leaving on a jet plane…  

In spite of all the stress technology brings, I managed some really fun days and to kill off a couple projects that have been “looming” over me.  This sweater was started probably more than a year ago, and I’m fastidious in finishing one knitted project before I start on another.  The coordinator of the Boonton Library Fiber Arts Club shot this photo outside the library a couple weeks ago at one of the weekly meetings.  Thanks Annie!

Tunic

And I finally cleared a loom of the fabric that gave me such grief when my new dog last year ate one of the two balls of Noro Toiyo Lace I had bought on sale on my trip to Port Townsend to teach a year or so ago, and of course had to do a scramble to find more of it so I could finish the yardage.  The warp is a Shetland wool mill end I bought years ago from WEBS.  I loved the gradations of the color changes in the Noro, which is a silk and a bunch of other yarns, sort of the sweepings of the floor, singles spun, annoying as all get out to use, but really lovely as a weft.

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Last week, or maybe it was two weekends ago, I hosted my really good fiber friend Kathrin Weber who gave a couple of workshops to the Jockey Hollow Weaving Guild.  We had a blast.  Through it all my computer was in the hospital, but in the end it made sense because I was really distracted by color and texture and weave structure.  I can’t wait to weave this off.  

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The third day of workshops was a dye class, and again, it was just a blast!  I am a pretty competent dyer of cellulose yarns using fiber reactive dyes, but it is just a joy to learn some tricks and fun techniques, and be with fellow fiber enthusiasts.

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Last Saturday I met up with a bunch of great ladies from the Frances Irwin Handweavers, and there was a husband or two thrown in there as well.  We met at Silk City Fibers, and though I had thought for a brief moment that I really could just go and look around and come home empty handed, that thought went out the door in about the first 35 seconds and $337 dollars later, I had this to figure out where to hide on the already burgeoning shelves.  No sweat, I’m a pro at finding space.

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We went to lunch after Silk City, and then on to the Paterson museum, and a private tour of their extensive textile machinery, much of it made right there at the Roger’s Locomotive foundries from the late 1800’s.  So very interesting and inspiring.

And so my life which seems to spiral out of control is really full of fun and excitement, I’d go for a little less excitement at the moment, but I’m safe and my family and home are intact and I have to remember that and not sit too long on the pity pot as they say.  

For those of my subscribers who are complaining they are not getting notification of my posts, I’m sorry, but that’s one of the issues prompting a hosting company move, and I won’t bore you with the gory details, but trust me, I’m aware.

Stay tuned…

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Poor forgotten Harrisville…

I did say I’m working backwards, and so Harrisville Designs in NH is up next.  I absolutely loved this class.  Like Sievers, it is probably my top favorite place to teach, both are in cooler climates, both are in the very early fall, both with amazing students and repeat students.  The big advantage of Harrisville is the awesome general store across the street where I have lunches and dinners, pre-prepared, so I don’t have to cook for myself!  I can just hang at the studio!  

It is always tough for me when these 5 or more day retreats happen in such a short time period of each other.  Not much happens in my own studio, it would be all prep and wrap up.  But it is seasonal.  I’m starting to wind down, one more weekend trip to Cleveland in a couple weeks, followed by the Outer Banks Retreat the end of October into November.  I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. 

But I want to highlight the great work that my students did at Harrisville this year, though it was only a five day, they worked hard and pushed the proverbial envelope and did some amazing things.

Though these are blurry, what is that about…  The space at Harrisville is large, easy to move around in, well lit, and breezy in the early fall.  

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I always think I take tons of photos, between my cell phone and my little camera.  And when I get back to the office and dump them into my computer, there are images that apparently I missed, especially of finished pieces.  I’m sad for the great shots I missed, because you don’t ever see the amazing finished pieces from some of the students.

I love the ones where students pose when they get the shoulders and side seams in, they are starting to realize an actual jacket or vest.  These were my new students this year.  

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And Clare, in the middle, decided to try the princess seam version of my Daryl Jacket class pattern, using a sampler of handwoven wool, I might be wrong but I thought it was the first thing she ever wove.  There wasn’t a lot of it, so she supplemented with black something, I’ve forgotten what it was.  She was so happy with the fit.

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Jan and Anne made vests, Jan’s vest was from a Sakiori rag fabric she wove from chambray colored sheets. Anne’s is a commercial fabric and I think we ended up using the wrong side.

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Sisters Mary and Anne came back this year, and Mary made a standard Daryl Jacket but the match job was the best I’ve ever seen.  It was challenging!  And Anne started in on a princess version of my jacket pattern, we worked hard on the fit.  I can’t believe I don’t have a photo of her with the shawl collar and sleeves inserted.  It is gorgeous.

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My biggest challenge of this class though, was Nora’s plaid bias cut raglan sleeve coat.  She brought her own pattern.  This was a huge wow when she put it all together.  And everything matched!

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Jane has been with me for a long time.  She is a lovely weaver, and this year’s fabric was tencel, sett denser than the one she wove last year.  I can’t believe I don’t have a photo of the jacket with sleeves, she did a beautiful job finishing it, and you can see the final jacket in the class photo below.  Jane also chose to do the princess seam jacket.  Though it takes longer to make, lots more pieces and lots more seams, there is nothing like the fit of the princess seam.  If I recall correctly, once her sleeves were in, we tweaked the fit over the bust some more.

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Carole and Amy are my repeaters, they have been coming to my class here for something like eight years?  It is a vacation for them, and they walk away with some pretty great stuff.

Carole had cut out a striped shirt, from handwoven fabric, and I can’t believe I don’t have a single photo of it.  Not even in process.  Then she started in on a blouse that I think she cut out last year, and realized after she assembled it, that she has changed shape a bit since last year, she was going to release the waist darts to get a better fit.  Another handwoven piece, both Carole and Amy are amazing weavers and work pretty fine.  Amy made another button down shirt with her handwoven 60/2 silk, and then started in on a variation of the new collar I’m working on, the original vest, also a Daryl Jacket variation, is featured in the current issue of Threads Magazine.  Amy had a lovely piece of handwoven wool, and made a gorgeous vest, perfect for a Vermont winter in the office.  Again, I can’t believe this is the only photo I got, and it is blurry.

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Here is the final class photo for Harrisville 2017!  We already have the same weekend booked for 2018, last week of August.

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Stay tuned!

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