A gentle Saturday…

In December of 2008, I picked my new copy of Handwoven Magazine and read a tech column by Syne Mitchell that talked about setting up a blog.  Here is what I wrote…

I received my latest issue of Handwoven Magazine in the mail yesterday, and found Syne Mitchell’s column Weaving the Web, the title this issue is Blog Your Weaving. Syne gave a number of reasons for creating a Blog, and the idea stuck in my head, so much I didn’t sleep the entire night. I was so tempted to get up and work at 4am, but I held off, and now, with the blog created, I decided this would be a good opportunity to cronical my creative journey with 6 new garments, portions of which have already been started, I’ll outline what I have so far in later blogs, and hopefully inspire someone else to just jump in head first and create with what’s at hand.

Apparently I had an issue with spelling back then, chronicle, not cronical, but hey this is my 786th post and I think I’ve done OK.  I wrote this blog, because I need to remember, to celebrate the ability to add images to journal entries, which I couldn’t do easily in my written journals, and to be able to store and retrieve that information when necessary.  And retrieve it I have, there isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t do a search of my own blog for something I can’t remember or for something I want to show someone.  So thank you dear readers and subscribers, for your patience with all of my technical woes, my life experiences, my misspellings, my occasional rants and my complete exhaustion after 4 or 5 venues in a row.  It has been a word filled 10 years and I hope to keep writing for a long time to come.  Because it is a lot quicker to be creative with words than to thread 4000 ends of hand dyed yarn! (And hopefully I’ll be able to keep doing that too.)

I woke this morning to sad news, like everyone else, that George H Bush had passed.  To be able to say at 94 that I made a difference in the world would be the ultimate goal.  I have enjoyed listening to the eulogies on NPR and other places about what a good person he was.  In this divided country, where civil discourse is a forgotten skill, there seems to be unanimous feelings that he was a good man.  That’s all we can ask of someone.

I am making progress on my towels, a few bobbins a day keeps the joints working anyway.  The Bockens cotton linen is weaving beautifully.  The towels are simple and pretty.

I finished the Herculean task of creating a guide for all the pattern pieces in my nine silhouette envelopes.  This was huge, and each pattern piece, and there were a lot, is now labeled with an identifying number.  I retraced all the missing patterns from the vest pack, someone is still sitting on a full set of my vest pattern, much to my great dismay and I hope that one day it turns up in my mail with a big Oops!  It is the grading schematic that I most care about, it took me 35 years to develop it and I’m not happy that it is floating around out there.  I will be testing the new system next week in Wisconsin, so I’ll report back if it worked!

I’ve been slowly making up the garments I started for demo purposes for the Threads Video series I shot in October.  They should air in the spring, but I used demos that I could eventually turn into actual garments, one of which was a tunic from my patterns, so I could demo the application of tricot as a seam finish.  In viewing some of the Threads Insider videos available by subscription, and there are some fantastic ones in the collection, I came across one by Louise Cutting.  It showed how to convert a button placket down a shirt, into one that had in seam buttonholes instead of machine made buttonholes.  I thought that I might be able to actually use that technique, and adapt it for my tunic pattern.  Her method didn’t really work for what I wanted, but I used the concept and came up with my own version.  

Then came the hard part, illustrating it.  So five pages later, 15 illustrations later, I have directions.  I’ve already printed the direction books for Wisconsin, so this will have to be an addendum, but they will eventually be part of the Tunic handout, which will eventually be available for free in my eStore.  Be patient…  I want to do a little more proofing…

This is a season of celebrations, of all kinds.  I’m totally into simple, my life is complicated enough, my to do list never seems to thin out, and suddenly it is year end and I’m putting to bed another business year and all that went with it.  We had a simple Thanksgiving.  My son works retail, and my daughter works in the medical field, neither industry takes off for holiday’s such as Thanksgiving.  So I stayed close to home, until they have their own families to celebrate with, we had a simple feast, my daughter cooked, and my son came home from retail hell long enough to toss some Norwegian Salmon in a cast iron skillet and blacken it.  My trusty office assistant and dear friend Cynthia came to dinner and I did absolutely no cooking.  I was responsible for the clean up, which I did all day long and it was nice to bond with my kids, standing at the sink watching them be adults.  And we are still eating that tart, a raspberry almond paste confection…  OMG!

Last Saturday I drove to south Jersey to where I grew up for my 45th High School reunion.  I will say that I’ve been to every reunion, they have been regularly every 5 years, and it isn’t about High School anymore.  It has been a joy over the years to make new relationships with people from a common past, to talk with and gather with classmates whom I didn’t have a relationship with in High School, for whatever reason.  Most are retired now, caught between children who can’t or won’t launch and aging parents where there are no good long term solutions in how to care for them.  My children are in their 20’s still and my mom is in her late 80’s.  I get this.  The fun part of this story though, was stopping to visit and ultimately stay with my sister on my way to the reunion.  She wanted to see the dress and asked about what I was wearing on my feet, jewelry choices etc.  The dress you may recall, was purchased, a rare thing for me, at a Scandinavian Shop where we stopped for lunch in Door County Wisconsin on the way back to the airport after my week teaching at Sievers.  It is an Icelandic Merino knit dress, and I fell in love at first site in the gift shop waiting for my lunch table.

I don’t have much in the way of footwear.  My go to is booties and tights, and I buy expensive ones that last years.  I don’t think I’ve been in a shoe store in a long time.  My sister took one look at my choice and said, “Absolutely not!  Just no…”  It was pretty funny.  Since her footwear was way too small for me, and I had nothing else, she took me out to a local DSW and we settled on a pair of somewhat comfortable, bearable for the night low heels for $39.99 and then we had to hit the CVS to find a pair of stockings.  I haven’t bought stockings in years, because no one wears them anymore, and it was too cold and rainy to go bare legged…  Once I was dressed she looked at my jewelry choice, rolled her eyes and pulled out her own jewelry box and proceeded to drape about 10 pounds of metal on me.  It was one of the best sister bondings we have ever had, and though I think I would have looked fine with my original plan, I loved that she made this work, and I felt a little more fresh and current and I had an amazingly wonderful time at the reunion.  I danced and danced, and realized that sadly this was my first one without my late husband, and there were a number of newly widowed classmates as well, and I just danced and danced, with no one in particular because I discovered I could still do that.  Even in my little DSW heels.

Remember to keep dancing.  It does the soul good.  Along with weaving and a good nap on the couch.

Stay tuned…


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Nancy Weber
Nancy Weber
December 1, 2018 12:06 pm

Wow, the new tunic pattern is exciting and so timely. To make it, I think I need to weave something finer and very drapey — hmmm! Your new, purchased, dress, I can see why you instantly loved it and just had to have it. Your sis’s helpful dressing you with new shoes and jewelry was great. Glad you had a good time at your reunion. Hugs this holiday season, Nancy

Barbara Conklin
Barbara Conklin
December 1, 2018 1:39 pm

Daryl, I love your new dress. Its not a sin to buy vs. make, but every once in a while it just makes you feel so good. Isn’t it great to have a sister who cares that much. I have one sis as well who I treasure and couldn’t imagine life without. Thank you for your wonderful blogs, but they always make me feel like a slug (lol). You have immeasurable talent and vigor which I admire immensely. Keep doing what you’re doing as I know you love it and we love hearing about it. Have a wonderful holiday season!… Read more »

Ruth Ellen
Ruth Ellen
December 1, 2018 2:11 pm

You look beautiful – love the dress – it looks great on you! Nap photo is endearing… I look forward to seeing more of your work, too.

Patricia Sole
Patricia Sole
December 1, 2018 2:36 pm

I just love your blog…

December 1, 2018 2:52 pm

I love your blog! Thank you for sharing!

December 1, 2018 6:16 pm

Dance girl! And by the way…I celebrated Turkey Day by having lunch with my second husband’s first ex-wife and the stepson she raised. The one I handled is in New Mexico, but he phoned in. Family is where you find it!

Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill…another decent guy involved in politics.

Joan Ahern
Joan Ahern
December 2, 2018 8:15 am

I do so love reading your thoughts. Life can be great if we only take the time to enjoy it. Oh, dress looks great.

Meg Wilson
December 4, 2018 12:06 am

I got to meet President Bush several years ago and he was such an inspiring gentleman! We need a few thousand more like him! And amen to Jenny’s comment on Churchill. Just finished reading a great book about his very successful guerrilla group that helped win WWII. I am wearing lots of tunics lately and hope to make one with what is on my loom right now. But all of mine are much longer than yours. I wear tights and high boots with them, or tights and low shoes. I like my tunics to be about 3 inches above my… Read more »

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