Rhythms…

There is a beautiful rhythm to my days now, I hate to even say it because so many don’t find this whole quarantine thing manageable or doable or remotely inspiring.  And that’s OK.  I’m so very very lucky to have latched onto this gift of time.  I never get to really have a routine, I plan one, and then, as I’m just getting on a roll, it is time to get on a plane and fly someplace to teach.  There is the prep before, and the follow up after, and then I’m on to the next venue.  This quarantine has put a huge halt in my lifestyle, and though I miss my students, I have not missed a beat.  Time is such a precious thing, and we never know how much time we have, so I’m using every minute to the best of my ability.  It also helps that three large dogs and a cat start to try to get me out of bed around 6am.  The cat is the worst.  In the still dark room, stuff starts flying off my desk, nightstand, printer stand, and anything else he can move to get my attention.  When I throw on the light to see what the hell that noise was, the dogs take that as a sign that it might be feeding time and create a ruckus that would wake families three doors down.  (Locking the animals out of my room isn’t an option, they break down doors…)

So I eventually get up and start my day.  I know a lot of my friends are having a tough time living with others in the family 24/7.  It came up as a discussion in one of my Zoom knitting meetings.  I have to say, living with two adult children has kept me from being so alone, and of course the animals… but for us, I think it all works because, I’m not the mom, they fend for themselves, and we are all on very different schedules.  I’m up around 7  if I can push it, my daughter is up at noon, and my son is up around 5pm because he works the night shift at Target in charge of overnight operations, unloading trucks and pushing merchandise through the night.  He comes home just as I’m waking up and heads off to bed.  We get to chat for about 10 minutes.  

I’ve attempted a routine, feeding the animals, letting them out, cleaning the cat litter, watering outdoor plants (such a gift when it rains…), taking out the recycling, grabbing the morning paper, making breakfast and then curling up with my breakfast and my tea and reading the morning paper.  This morning was glorious, and I was able to eat outside by one of the ponds.

Once I’m finished with the paper and breakfast, I clean up the dishes, unload the dishwasher, and clean one room of the house.  I’m lucky I suppose, if you could put it that way, that when my husband died, I went through every room in the house over the last few years and cleaned out, repainted, reorganized, repurposed, and of course there was that glorious studio move.  One of the discussions in one of my Zoom knitting groups was about how impossible it was to clean a room without getting caught up in what’s in it.  I know what’s in every room because I’ve touched it and organized it in some way over the last couple of years, I own it.  So the cleaning has become a pleasant routine, and I marvel at how one room can fill the Dyson canister with so much dog/cat hair.  There is something very satisfying about dumping the Dyson.

The ease of the routine allows me thinking time.  I stopped posting my calendar four months out on the refrigerator.  Other than the occasional Zoom meeting for my critique group, knitting groups, guild meetings or committee meetings, there really isn’t anything on my calendar.  I love this.  The time to think has allowed for some wonderful creativity.  That fur fabric I wove and talked about in the last blog post?  I was able to wash it.  Pressing was a bit challenging; the heat of the iron, even through the linen, wasn’t great on the fur strips, but the effect is still gorgeous, even more so.  I thought over the weekend as to what I wanted to make with it.  I think there is enough for two good size yokes, front and back, and I found a beautiful boiled black wool bouclĂ© knit that I’m hoping is enough for the lower parts.  I’m thinking of my zippered vest, combined with the walking vest.  The goal here, once I get my patterns all up for download, (please be patient, more about that in a bit), is to be able to think of ways to combine them and then offer a tutorial on how to do that.  PDF and/or video.  Unlimited combinations.  I’m just brimming with ideas!  So here is the sketch for the woven fur fabric.  That’s the lining in the upper right corner.

Meanwhile, my daughter’s computer is home.  It is fast, it is healthy, and after two weeks in intensive care at the tech hospital, we are moving at lightning speed.  She has spent the better part of the last 7 hours working on the tunic pattern, and I’m hoping it will be good to launch in the next couple of days.  It will be followed shortly by a drop shoulder version of the tunic, which is a more gender neutral silhouette, better for the guys!  The editor has the final version for a final proof of the instructions.  

I just sent off the first draft of the 100 jacket to the editor; this is the original Daryl Jacket that about 4 million people have made in all my years of teaching workshops.  I can’t believe how much I edited the instructions on something I’ve been teaching with for the last 30 years.  So look for that one, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.  We are on a roll…  Note:  All of my instructions will be available as free PDF downloads here, and the patterns will be available as PDF downloads for a fee, here.)

Meanwhile, renowned weaver Stacey Harvey-Brown, who hails from the UK, but is living at the moment in France, asked if I would contribute to her blog, she is doing a series of “How I got into weaving…”  So that was an easy assignment, I sent her the post and some pictures and it went live today.  It is a lovely brief synopsis of my early life, in case you never heard me tell the story in one of my lectures or keynotes.  https://www.theloomroom.co.uk/how-i-got-into-weaving-daryl-lancaster 

And today, I spent exploring the idea of adding sleeves to my 1000 Swing Dress.  I also wanted to try an A-line version.  I did make the dress with sleeves last month, but the sleeves were attached to the external yoke/facing, and the whole thing was actually detachable.  Sort of. 

So I drafted a new pattern, thinking in the back of my head that I would like to potentially use this fabric.  This is one of the most favorite things I’ve ever woven, because it represents probably the darkest week of my life, I designed it the week my husband was dying, and the exuberance of color and dizzying pattern called Chaos, gives me the confidence that anything is possible even in the darkest of times.  I smile every time I look at it.  You can buy the draft for this fabric here.

So I made up my dress today, in a beautiful rayon batik I pulled from the stash.  Still needs handwork, but I actually love the little dress, it is so 70’s, but a little fresher.  I can see a wardrobe of these, easy summer, better than wearing pajamas all day (like I’m in now…).  

Honestly though, I’m not sure I’m in love with this dress enough to use my precious Chaos fabric.  The fabric isn’t wide enough, so I would need to add side panels. I can’t decide which fabric I have is better, the redder wool crepe on the upper right, or more muted silk twill in the lower left…

The sleeves would be the handwoven, but I’m just not sure this is the best use of this wonderful fabric.  I’m going to think some more on this one…  And so far, I have lots of time to do that.  While I’m cleaning the upstairs bathroom tomorrow…

Stay tuned…

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Peggy Bowman
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Peggy Bowman

A gift of time, indeed. And you sound so much less frantic, more settled and content, happily busy and creative. Thank you for staying connected with us, Daryl.

Denise Dickson
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Denise Dickson

Love your patterns and am waiting for the releases. I got your tunic pattern when you were in Cincinnati and have made two – love the additions to it so will be getting that one once it is released. Your patterns are so easy to work with!

Margaret Briggs
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Margaret Briggs

So happy for you that the time is beneficial and a chance to catch your breath!
As for the Chaos fabric, I see it more as a cute jacket over your dress, or with a skirt, or whatever.

Sandy
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Sandy

My cat chooses 4 AM…sigh.

Amy Morris
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Amy Morris

Lovely to see how everything you’ve been doing over these past decades is coming together into an archive that will eventually (many years from now!) become your legacy to all the weaver/sewers who succeed us.

Definitely the muted silk twill.

Koni
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Koni

I just wanted you to know how much I needed this post today…Thank you for your love of weaving, sewing and other fibery pursuits.

Nancy Weber
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Nancy Weber

Re the Chaos fabric — I also see it as an awesome and cute short jacket over either of the reds that would be the dress. And, then, you could also wear it with slacks when you do a recorder session! Virtual hugs to you,

elizabeth
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elizabeth

So glad to hear such a postive response to the hiatus in normal life i have also been enjoying it. Loved the picture of your garden it is really beautiful, here we are heading into winter so not much color in the garden i am trying to improve that ,as plants do keep growing here al year long and many of our Australian natives flower in winter,summer is too hot for them.

Meg Wilson
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Oh, how cool is your garden! Been pulling weeds out of my back garden and sifting wild onions out of the entire front bed! Hoping to make it more fairy tale by next year!
Think the red silk would be the better of the two. You go girl!!

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Before I was me…

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