When it rains it snows…

Just once I’d like to go to bed at night and think, “What a boring uneventful day.  Nothing happened, no major weather issue, no major political headlines, no one in my family had any drama, nothing went wrong with the house, or the dogs or the people I love.  Nothing.”    Hahahahahahahahah…

So it is supposed to be -20 tonight with wind gusts of 45 mph.  Everything has a coating of ice from all the rain yesterday.  Hahahahahahahahah…..

For now, I have power, and internet, and I’m going to try to post this way overdue blog, because, it isn’t like anything important happened this month…  I read a lovely funny meme on Facebook, 30 days hath September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31 save January which has 374…  I use to love January, it was dark and cold and there was no travel, and no drama, and I got to hunker down in my studio and just make stuff.  It has been that way since I started doing craft fairs in 1979.  I loved January because it was so dark and uneventful.  I didn’t want it to end, because that meant February and craft fairs started with the ACC show in Baltimore.  This is 40 years later, and nothing has changed, I get on a plane next week for the first trip of the season, to Southern California for a five day garment construction class.  

This January was an anomaly.  Just like everything else in life.  It goes from 40 degrees and raining to -20 overnight.  The world is an anomaly.  My family is an anomaly.  My life is an anomaly.  But I finally broke through all the things that were pulling at me preventing me from doing what I love and buckle your seatbelts, its going to be a wild ride…

I finished the first draft of my article for Heddlecraft. 16 pages. Toughest article I have ever written.  Meanwhile, I had applied to a number of exhibitions last fall, and not only was I accepted, I received the print copies and found out I had won an award.  At the Blue Ridge Fiber Show, when the work was returned to me, there, attached to my yardage, was a third place ribbon.  This was the yardage, Chaos, the draft is available as a download from my eShop.

 

And of course I already knew that my other entry, the duster, won the HGA award. The draft for that is available as well. 

And the latest Fiber Art Now magazine arrived  within days, featuring the Annual Excellence in Fibers Catalog, an annual print exhibition.  There I am on page 63.

And then a few days later, when I dropped my artwork off at the Montclair Art Museum, they handed me the catalog for the exhibit, New Directions in Fiber Art, 2019 NJ Arts Annual – Crafts.  The exhibit runs through June 16, 2019, unfortunately I’ll miss the opening Friday night February 8th, because, well I’ll be teaching in Southern California.  I hope it is warmer than 20 below.

I loaded the car with my 16 Structo looms and set off to teach a one day Learn To Weave class for my guild.  It was a nail biter, the weather was iffy right up to the day of the class, with a major storm due in late in the afternoon.  The governor had already called a State of Emergency.  I’m happy to say, there ended up not being a major weather event, you might say the afternoon was uneventful, except that there were more than a dozen new weavers and some very happy people.

I said goodbye to my son, he is off to war, first to Texas and then onto a location in the middle east, which I can’t name for safety reasons.  I’m very very proud of him, I wish his father could have been there.  Meanwhile I put all his stuff in storage, vacating the basement apartment he has inhabited for the last 14 years.

I had my handyman come in and paint and fix up the basement space.  My daughter is slowly moving in down there.  She has stuff all over the house.  Way too much stuff for a 26 year old.  But she is the creative sort and so everything has potential use in some grand piece of artwork.  I totally get this.  Which is why I’m working with stuff from my stash for my current project that dates back to 1981…

Meanwhile, the last big project I wanted to do on the house was to have the wood stove removed and replaced with a similar stove except gas fired.  No mess, no chimney cleaning, no wood to haul, no ashes to clean up.  The installation was completed last week, and I’m just waiting for the rest of the inspections before the final hook up.  I want to curl up in the living room with my dogs and my knitting, flip on the fire, and then when it is time to go to bed, flip it off.  

Meanwhile, once I finished the first draft on my 16 page article I promised my fiber friend Linda, who sponsors my wonderful five day retreat in the Outer Banks the end of October, that I would make her vest for her, that she wove out of Kathrin Weber Blazing Shuttles warps, in exchange for a pair of clogs from Chameleon Clogs, using a gorgeous hand dyed Tencel scrap from one of my students, Victoria Taub.  I love my clogs and Linda loves her vest.  Done and done…  (There might still be a spot or two left for next year’s retreat, leave a comment if you are interested…The vest is one of the options to make in my workshop)

I will say that one of the major obstacles in my life right now is the inability to function in my studio.  When my daughter moved back home to take a job closer to me, she brought four looms with her (leaving one with a friend), more yarn than any 26 year old should have, and a cat.  The two 8 shaft 45″ looms had no where to go but into my already too small studio, the one I just had renovated.  I struggled for a few months, falling over equipment, barely able to lay out a piece of fabric and the plan to move one of them to the basement once she settles down there, is still probably a couple months away, because there is a huge warp on it that has to be woven off first.  I’ll keep my original 8 shaft, the first one I bought in 1978, and work around that in the studio, but the second one is making me nuts.  I got a brain storm yesterday, since we hadn’t moved the second bed down from the attic to the guest room she just vacated, and in a fit of shear craziness, with help from my willing studio assistant Cynthia, we folded that baby up and pushed it right across the hall into the guest room.  Done and done…

Now I can actually move in my studio.  It isn’t great, but I can function in it.

So with my new found freedom of space and major projects crossed off my to do list, I dove in head first.  My looms are screaming at me to put warps on them.  They have been naked for months.  I have requests to exhibit work this summer and I have no new work.  I bought some new fiber reactive dyes from Dharma a couple months ago and want to see what’s inside.  So I started up the dyepot again.  First batch is something called Mars Dust.  Gotta love the name.

Second batch is drying, called Muir Glen.  I misread the calculations and put 3 Tablespoons instead of 3 teaspoons.  Hahahahahaha….  I’ve never gotten such a gorgeous deep gray before.

Third batch is in the pot, called Kingfisher Blue.  Meanwhile, I started winding a warp.  Way back, a couple of years ago, I bought some Noro Taiyo Lace on sale at a knitting shop somewhere in the Pacific northwest.  I made this jacket from the cloth I wove using one of the colorways.  

I still had four balls of a different color way, and I’ve been dying to weave that off into a similar kind of fabric.  

So I looked at my stash, and I had about 21 ounces of Harrisville Shetland Singles from my early craft fair days, circa 1981 or 2.  They don’t even spin singles anymore, well actually they do, but they ply the yarn and don’t sell it as singles.  I wound a seven yard warp until I ran out. 

Then I looked around for something else since I wanted the fabric wider than the 14 inches I would get from the Harrisville.  I found four 2 oz tubes of Maypole Nehalem, a 3 ply worsted very close in grist to the Harrisville, and in a close enough color to blend.  So not ask me how long they have been in the stash.  I think I inherited them.

I got about 6″ worth of warp out of those babies, and then sat down at the computer with my trusty Davison and picked out a draft where I could use the two warps most effectively.  I chose a Finnish Twill, page 37 if you have the book, and figured out exactly how to use what I wound.  I love to wind first and then decide what to make later.  

Meanwhile, my studio assistant sat all day perched on a stool winding 2 yard skeins of some of my vast stash of dyeable cellulose yarns.  She wound a lot but didn’t make a dent.  I have hundreds of pounds of natural yarn.  Don’t ask…

And between us we cleared a lot of cones.  Unless you are a weaver, you don’t understand the importance of a trash can that looks like this…

Because I was running around like a distracted crazy person, enjoying the space in the studio and finally getting to do something fun, and running back and forth to the dyepot and the washing machine which I use for rinsing skeins, I did the most stupid thing a weaver can do, I don’t think I’ve made this mistake in 40 years if ever, I forgot to tie off the cross of the first bout of warp.  If you aren’t a weaver the magnitude of this mistake will be lost on you, trust me, it is a big deal.  Fortunately it was only the first 6″ bout, and each 1/2″ was carefully marked, so the warps won’t be too out of order.  But this is a sticky singles warp, of all warps to screw up…   Sigh…

I am going to curl up now and watch the next episode of Project Runway All Stars. And hope that the rest of my life will be uneventful.  Or maybe just tomorrow.  Or maybe just get through tonight and hope the pipes don’t freeze or my trash cans don’t blow down the street…

Stay tuned…

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Joan E Anderson
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Joan E Anderson

It will be much warmer in Southern CA – it may be raining a bit but very much warmer! I can’t believe the low temps in Midwest and east.

Judith Larsen
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Judith Larsen

Congratulations. Hurray for your space and articles and dye and….

Susan
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Susan

Thank you for getting me watching Project Runway when you were here. I just watched it too.

Joan Ahern
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Joan Ahern

You’re so productive, I’m sitting around like a slug. Hate the cold! Well, it will warm up in a few days. Can’t wait for warmer weather and longer days…
Love that dark gray, has a lot of potential. Your warp looks like fun and the draft is great. I’m so hesitant about mixing fibers etc and the draft is great!
Hope to see you at the guild. Eating with a wonderful, motivational show and tell.

Mary Still
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Mary Still

Your work is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with all of us out here!

Linda
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Linda

Hope you’re staying warm, I’m loving my vest and so does everyone who sees it! Thank you!!

Martha Cronkhite
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Martha Cronkhite

I wish I lived near you. Being a new weaver, I feel like I could learn so much. I so enjoy your blogs, and envy your stash and looms!

Randi
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Randi

It’s Bitter cold here too and so I put on a long wool stash busting warp for a blanket…with a space heater at my feet. Two full days with no work requirements was quite nice! Congratulations on your beautiful coats! I CAn’t wait to see your new work and read your articles.
The Outer Banks retreat sounds wonderful.

Kathyinozarks
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Kathyinozarks

beautiful work

Nancy Weber
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Nancy Weber

I know you will be able to make heads and tails out of your sticky warp. It might be wine time as you do it, too! The new little fireplace looks awesome and it will definitely be a great addition to your room — just turn it on when you want it, and turn off when done. No more having to chop wood, clean-up, etc. Good decision. The vest is awesome and your new clogs look great, too. Hugs, Nancy

Meg Wilson
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Daryl, as you stay warm and productive, I have to tell you the name of a garment that I am just finishing, finally! I am putting it into the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Fashion Show. Title: Franken-vest. It was supposed to be a St. Moritz, floppy front vest. I was experimenting with long floats, loopy texture, longer look, and differerent color combos and new fibers (Sea silk, anyone). The front was hideous. The back is great. Decided to overlap the front lapels, and then decided to bind the whole garment in yellow ribbon. Sewed the ribbon on wilth decorative stitches… Read more »

Kathleen a blake
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Kathleen a blake

You are such an inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing!

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