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I’m Episode 13!  Tune in here...

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You’d think I might have done this before…

In all of my joyous exuberance of having space and time to actually start making stuff in my studio, I dove in head first and started a whole bunch of projects all at the same time.  Which might in certain cases be a recipe for disaster if one were to be distracted by said multiple projects but I of course am a professional.  I’ve been doing this for 40+ years.  I am not doing anything I haven’t done before, a million times.  Really.  Hahahahah!

So each thing I tried to do, well you can imagine…

At least the dye pots produced some new and fun colors.  Though I was going for a nice yellow.  Don’t ask.  I know what yellow is, I have yellow dye, but using Dharma’s Deep Yellow, a new color for me, I ended up with the orange.  At least it is a pretty orange.

I wound my warp with the Harrisville Singles and ancient Maypole Nehalem worsted from my stash.  I counted perfectly.  I knew exactly how many ends I had to work with.  So you can imagine my shock when I was completely sleyed, yes I warp front to back, and had two inches left over of the Harrisville Singles.  Two inches.  Not two ends.  Two whole inches.  What an idiot.  I love though, that mistakes in fiber are for the most part fixable, since it is just fiber.  You can always rip it out.  Or toss it aside in this case.

I threaded the warp pretty quickly, though I was smart and precounted the heddles and yes, there was a bit of moving around.  (Apologies to the readers who are not weavers, this will make no sense, just trust me that my errors were stupid basic beginner errors and enjoy that even the most experienced of us can screw up.)

I beamed onto the back and tied onto the front and then carefully wound all my pirns, numbered in order of one skein of Noro for the weft.  This is important because Noro has a color repeat throughout the skein and the pirns have to be wound in order and then used in reverse order.

I tied up my treadles, using the little treadle tie up diagram in my Davison, the green book.  You know the one.  From the 30’s.  The one that is designed for sinking shed looms.  And of course I have a rising shed jack loom.  Yeah, that one.  I’ve known for 40 years that Davison is a sinking shed book of drafts.  No problem, just reverse the tie up.  Everyone knows that.  I’m guessing you, dear reader can already see where I’m going with this.

I start weaving and it just isn’t looking right.  I’m looking at it from the left, and from the right and about three inches in I realize, head smack, duh, I tied the treadles as instructed which means I’m weaving upside down.  I could have left it but I wanted to see the right side.  I’m like that.  No problem to reverse the tie up, I was only three inches in.  I continue weaving and am now about 6 inches in and am satisfied at how it will look, and pack up everything for the night.  Which meant gathering the remaining pirns and putting them decoratively by the loom.  I glance at the numbered ends and see number five in my hand.  Number five in my hand.  Not in the shuttle.  Number five was the last one I wound.  It should have been the first one I started to weave with.  I looked in the shuttle and sure enough, there was number one.  What an incredibly stupid mistake.  It will now throw off the entire color gradation of the ball. 

It was after 10, and my intent was to go to bed.  But I knew this was messed up and I didn’t want to face coming back to it later the next day.  When I was a kid, learning to sew, I remember that when I made some critical error, I refused to stop until I had corrected it.  I’m like that.  So I carefully unpicked more than six inches of weft, singles weft, in sticky singles warp.  What a bi**h…

At 12:30 am I had unwoven everything, the weft shredded badly toward the end, but I don’t think I lost too much.  I had to figure out how to carefully wind it back onto the pirn so it would fit, which took another 15 minutes.

Saturday morning I rewove the six inches, emptied pirn number five, and started in on pirn number four.  And I used the inverted treadling sequence.  And I like what I have.  

Meanwhile, I laid out a new scarf run, based on an old color forecast I wrote for Handwoven Magazine, something called Feminine and Serene.  It was a pretty combo, and I began pulling the colors for it.  I love this part, I find stuff I didn’t remember I’d had, use odd bits I’ve saved in bins, combine colors and textures I wouldn’t have thought of, but first all the skeins have to be balled. 

My trusty studio assistant Cynthia came up Saturday morning to finish winding all the balls while I started winding the warp. I had half the twelve yard warp finished by lunch.

I wound the second half by late afternoon.

Sunday morning I thought I’d get started tying in to the previous warp.  When I finish a scarf run, I re-sley the warp ends, three per dent in a divided reed, so all the ends beam individually even though there are three or more threads per dent.  Of course I’m a pro at this, and trust that I don’t make mistakes.

I started tying in the new warp, and something just wasn’t right.  The numbers weren’t working out.  And know that this warp is not random, it is carefully calibrated Fibonacci numbered stripes of twill and plain weave with supplemental warps.  I sell the draft in my eShop, it is called Gradient Scarves.  

It took me almost a quarter of the tie in to figure out that I wound the warp backwards.  Talk about a head smack.  How the heck did I do that, I must have wound a hundred of these warps over the years.  What a stupid mistake.  So I carefully clipped each thread I’d tied on and reversed the warp and reconnected to the other side.  I had fixed that and was well on my way when I noticed that again, the numbers weren’t working out.  After more head scratching and gnashing of teeth, I realized that back when I originally sleyed the warp, after finishing the last run, I had somehow dropped two ends, which were apparently never there to begin with.  I double up and eventually added the two threads back in and then fixed the reed after it was beamed.  

And finally, I started to weave.  So I have two looms filled with long warps and they will be waiting for me when I return from California.  I have a third warp possibility sitting on my cutting table.

The real issue is why I’m making such stupid basic mistakes.  Yes, I’m distracted by a number of things involving people I love that I can do nothing about but still haunt me.  Yes, I’m trying to do too many things at once.  Yes, I haven’t put a warp on the loom in a very long time and I don’t count the half dozen warps I just put on for the 16 page Doup Leno Article I just wrote for Heddlecraft.

The really important thing here, is that in fiber, almost everything can be corrected.  Mistakes are just silly and can be ripped out for the most part and reworked.  I tell my students, about to cut into their handwoven fabric, that pretty much nothing they do in my class will cause anyone to die.  It is just fiber.  And so, in all my distractedness, I stayed with all the mistakes and saw them through to the end and it gave me just a little bit of hope.  Because really, most of life we cannot change and I am always so very grateful when it is something I have control over, like unweaving six inches of pattern out of wool singles, this I can do.  Painfully, but I can do this.  I can’t fix the issues with my children, or my town or my country, or the world, or the stupid weather, but I can fix my errors on the loom.  It is the little things…

Stay tuned…

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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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Past, Present, and Future…

It is a new year, and there isn’t enough popcorn and Dramamine to keep me sane, (Popcorn for the political entertainment, both national and local, NJ is always one for the front page, and Dramamine for the severe ups and downs of the stock market, I’m a bit nauseous with the whole thing).  So what’s a stressed out 60 something year old to do?  Fiber of course.  And not the edible kind.  I am grateful every day for the ability to get up in the morning, tend to the animals and breakfast, read the paper and then bury myself in stuff related to the execution of interlacing soft colorful chaotic elements into some kind of controlled thing of beauty.   That’s what I’m telling myself anyway…

My holiday celebration was lovely.  With my husband gone, my children and I have had to find new ways of celebrating family events, and we drove to Maryland to visit my mom, who is still alive at 87, and my sisters.  They are my rock and I can’t imagine life without them.  My New Year’s Eve/Day was spent quiet, and alone and I couldn’t have been happier.  I was in bed by 10pm.  This was a good thing…  Though I will say there was lots of nostalgia of past New Year’s Eve’s, spent with a group of friends, remembering days when my husband was alive and how life was in our earlier years.

I really never make resolutions, though this year I’ve seriously rethought that concept.  And you will laugh, because though I like my life in general, in spite of the complete chaos I tend to find myself in, especially with two dogs and a cat and two 20 something children living at home, there are lots of things I’m missing out on because well, there are too many cool things to do in life and not enough hours.  Take the movies for instance.  The day after Christmas, I drove home from Maryland, unpacked and decided that I really wanted to see Mary Poppins, and I wasn’t going to wait around to find someone to go with me, because I’m perfectly capable of seeing it myself.  I took my little self to the movie theater, which I haven’t done in years, bought my $7.99 senior discount ticket, that had an assigned seat, who knew, and entered the theater and OMG, they have heated recliners for optimum viewing and that was just the best two hours I’ve spent in a long time.  I grew up with Mary Poppins.  Between that and the Sound of Music, I knew all the words and the dialogue in between, and sitting there in my heated barcalounger recliner watching the silhouette of Mary Poppins descending from the clouds holding on to a tattered kite, I burst into tears.  I’m not kidding.  The music isn’t memorable, but the story is sweet, and needed in this day and age, and the nostalgia and dancing and Lin Manuel Miranda, and Emily Blunt are just perfect for their roles.  But the costumes.  There is a plaid short handwoven jacket on Jane, you remember Jane Banks, all grown up now, a social activist, that I wanted to scream out, stop the film, I want to get a close up of that jacket.  

I found this image on Popsugar.com.  I’m sure it is copyrighted, but hopefully they will forgive me…

Anyway, the point here is I never go to the movies, nor do I watch television.  Really.  Except for Project Runway, which has gone through all sorts of turmoil after 16 seasons, I have never seen Game of Thrones, only watched two episodes of the Crown, only saw the first season of Outlander, though I’ve read all the books twice,  only saw one charming episode of the Durrel’s in Corfu, haven’t seen Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you get the picture.  So I vowed, to actually occasionally watch something on Television, or Netflix or Amazon Prime, on my little tablet, tucked in bed because well, people do that.  And like it.  I will say in my defense, that most respectable fiber enthusiasts knit or spin while they are watching, but I need to read the closed captioning to understand what the actors are saying, especially with British dramas, so I can’t multi task.  I’ve now watched 5 episodes of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and just the costumes alone are totally worth it.  When she showed up in court to answer to lewd behavior charges dressed in Jacques Fath, I nearly slobbered on the screen.  Oh and thanks to a dear friend, I found out that there is another Project Runway All Stars, which started Wednesday, on Lifetime, probably the last since the franchise is moving back to Bravo network, hosted by Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano as the mentor.  Heidi and Tim are starting their own fashion show on Amazon Prime…

The drama at chez Daryl never ends.  January 3rd was a pretty hard day for me, because I took my daughter to the airport at 2:30am to catch a flight to Miami for a Star Trek cruise to the Caribbean, which is all fine, but the ensuing dram of arriving in Miami without her bags, was just a bit much, and at 9:30pm I drove my son to the armory where he will do his 10 days of winter artillery training and then deploy for another year to the middle east.  He is a Sergeant now, responsible for a number of troops, so much different than the first time he deployed, where he was just a Private and people watched out for him.  These are tough unstable times and of course I’m afraid.  Meanwhile, he has lived in my basement since he was 15 years old, and now, turning 29, it is time to move on.  So the frantic packing and cleaning out of his home for his entire life, you don’t even want to know, began just before Christmas, and when he returns a year from now, all of his stuff will be in storage, my daughter will take her turn as a bottom basement dweller, and hopefully move some of her many looms and equipment out of my studio so I can work in there again.  That’s the plan anyway.  So with both of them gone, I hired a crew, spent an exhausting day packing up what my son didn’t get to, and we will move everything of my son’s to a storage unit tomorrow morning (it was pouring rain today, of course) and my painter is already starting to prep the walls and floor. Hopefully when Brianna comes home next weekend, she can start the process of moving herself, her incredible amount of belongings and her cat to the basement.  There isn’t enough alcohol to get me through this…  I wish for my son a safe return home, for him and his unit, and I will do my best to keep his Jeep safe and running, and his belongings safe and stored, and the rest is completely out of my hands.

So the shining light in all of this is the fact that I’m knee deep in a very intense article, which keeps me centered on what defines me, which is definitely not all this swirling chaos.  I’m writing an article on a weaving structure I played around with many many years ago, at the start of my career.  The structure is called Doup Leno  and I’m writing the article for Heddlecraft Magazine. If you are a handweaver you should be a subscriber.  It is a fantastic publication, no advertising, available as a PDF download only, and it does not contain any projects.  There are other publications for that.  Instead, Heddlecraft will explore a structure in depth, and it will be one of those publications that one refers back to time and time again, the images of the samples are clear, the drafts are all given in WIF files to dump into whatever weaving software you use, and for the $19.99 a year, it should be in everyone’s tablet or desktop.  

So, I’m writing an article on Doup Leno.  What is that you may ask?  You’ll have to subscribe to the issue  to see how to do it. Maybe the March issue, maybe May, I’m not sure where I am in the line up, but I learned this technique really really early on in my career, taught to me by a fabulously technical weaver named Lois Chernin, supported by the only place I’ve ever found it in print, a 1980 Shuttle Craft Guild publication, Monograph Thirty-Two, called Doup Leno by Hella Skowronski and Sylvia Tacker.  

I started weaving “professionally” in 1979.   I started my career weaving for another designer, which taught me speed, efficiency at the loom and that with enough hard work, I could earn a modest living.  I eased into craft fairs, starting with my first booth which held everything I’d ever woven in my life, to show my versatility, and then began the arduous process of narrowing down my focus, which eventually became handwoven clothing.  Armed with this unusual technique of doup leno, which for the curious is a loom controlled system of producing a leno effect, where two or more threads do a half twist and are held in that position by a weft thread, I started out with the obvious, spaced warps held in place by twisted threads.  

 

I had been asked to create a series of window curtains in a very lacy “leno” style, mixed white warps, for my employers, and after producing the four panels, much to my horrid dismay, I almost quit weaving, I realized one panel was an inch too short.  So on my own dime, I rewove the commission, delivered the four panels of the correct length, and had four left for me, which of course did not fit my windows.  I offered them as shawls, in my early craft booth days, but someone who I’ll forever be grateful for, changed my life forever when they said, “cut a hole in the neck and sew up the sides and people can wear them.”  

And so the rest is history, my first “body” of work was a group of tunics, variations on a theme. 

I did well with these very rectangular garments, but the need to cut and fit, and not produce “one size fits most” garments won out, I am too much of a tailor to put rectangles on people.  So the leno fabrics eventually became stripes of leno contrast in yardage, and then eventually, when I realized that most customers didn’t care about the leno, they wanted fit and color at a price point they could afford, I phased that out as well.

And so Robyn Spady, editor of Heddlecraft asked me to revisit this technique, it is pretty cool, one step of a treadle and the threads twist back and forth, allowing for pretty rapid weaving, and so in the middle of all this swirling drama, and a son who will soon be on his way to the middle east, and a daughter who will soon be moving to the basement once the painter is finished, I’m setting up looms, and sampling and assembling hundreds of technical photos, because this structure is pretty technical, and that my dear readers is what is keeping me sane at the moment.  That and wine and popcorn and dramamine…

Stay tuned…

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Going Home…

And I’m home.  It has been a challenging, wonderful, inspirational four months, I’ve met so many wonderful people, saw some incredible things, reconnected with old friends, taught some pretty terrific students, and the support along the way has been absolutely critical.  A huge thank you to all who put me up, put up with me, who picked me up at airports and restaurants, who made my life manageable, and who cheered me on from the sidelines.  It is all a fitting end to a well done year.

My last stop was Wisconsin Handweavers, a quick in and out, direct flight to Milwaukee, and though my plane was a couple hours delayed getting in, we still had time to hit the Milwaukee Art Museum to see what treasures we could find.  I adore art museums, I’ve been able to see so many this year, not just on the road.  The week before I left my daughter and I spent a Saturday at the Newark Museum, and saw the Kimono as Fashion exhibit.  The entire museum has been updated, renovated, and though I worked in it teaching in the arts workshop for many years, I didn’t recognize much.  It is fresh and interesting, with exciting mini collections from all over the world.  The Kimono exhibit was worth the trip just by itself.

So my lovely hostess Paula took me to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the one with the famous gull wings that open to the sun. 

I’ve been there a few times, but this museum has also been renovated, it was fresh, with wonderful collections and the current exhibit was really unusual.  The website description says it all

Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America explores the projects of over 40 designers who advocated for playfulness and whimsy within their creations for corporations, domestic interiors, and children. The exhibition presents play as a serious form of inspiration, experimentation, and problem solving. In midcentury America, such playful design occurred against the backdrop of a booming consumer market and as a counterbalance to Cold War–era anxiety. Furniture, toys, textiles, films, posters, ceramics are among the objects featured.

It was an eclectic collection of stuff from the middle of the last century, a lot of Eames designs, and curiously, or sadly, I’m not sure which, I found myself wandering around thinking, “We had that in our kitchen growing up, or I played with that, or I remember that!”  It was very eerie to see your childhood in a museum.  That said, there were treasures to be found and I came around a corner and saw this…

Wow, just wow.  This is a rug designed for ALCOA, Aluminum Company of America, woven by Marianne Strengell in 1957 for an ad showing the new aluminum fibers.  A copy of the ad was also featured.  I have used metallic fibers throughout my weaving career, and I haven’t ever given them a thought, that prior to 1957, they were not a thing.  This was a gorgeous textile, beautifully preserved, and worth the trip to the museum.

Paula and I wandered through the permanent collections.  I came across this Georgia O’Keeffe I had never seen before.

And I saw a few works by Gabrielle Münter, a German artist that has only recently come across my radar, there are a couple of her works in the Neue Gallerie of German and Austrian Art in NYC.  This was painted in 1912.

And there is an exhibit of Haitian Art, and I fell in love with this painting, which I took a picture of and made it my wallpaper on my computer.  It is by Jasmin Joseph and was painted in 1958.

And then I did a two day workshop.  I will say that hands down this was the best workshop space ever provided by a guild, at least for this particular workshop.  I had four tables to lay out my newly numbered and ordered patterns and though there were a couple minors errors, this all went swimmingly well.  So thank you to all who complained over the last year about how tough it was to keep everything straight, I seemed to have solved all the problems in one fell swoop!  This is a great two day workshop for a guild, called Custom Fit and Fabulous, and we even had time to explore sewing with handwoven fabric and things you need to know to sew the garments together.

Saturday I gave a lecture on Color and Inspiration to the main guild, and there must have been 100 people in the audience.  I even had beloved friends come down from Washington Island, and there were a number of my Sievers students as well.  I got a photo of Crystal, LuAnn (in a short sleeve version of a Daryl Jacket) and Cindy, all wearing stuff they made in my class or as a result of my class.

One of the cool perks of what I do is the interesting people I get to stay with.  Husbands of weavers are just the best.  Paula’s husband was just one of the most interesting people I’ve ever come across, (although the geologist with the succulent collection in Northern California is a pretty close second), Andy has traveled to the most amazing places like Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, places I wouldn’t ever imagine people travel to on purpose, and taken gorgeous photos.  We spent hours pouring over his vast collection of books, not only of photography, but mostly botanical illustrations and illustrators.  We both love a good botanical illustrator, and I told him  about Mindy Lighthipe, who was a former weaver in the 1980’s, and he immediately bought a book she wrote on botanical illustration, Amazon delivered it the next day, and he turned me on to Margaret Mee, whom I had never heard of, but immediately bought the book and it was waiting on my doorstep when I returned.  

And so, my trip home was uneventful except for the 150 MPH tailwind which got me to Newark from MKE in less than an hour and a half.  Gotta love tailwinds…

And that threw me back into instant reality.  Right before I left my daughter did this…

Which has been declared a total loss.  So I’m down a car, which isn’t actually a terrible thing, since I had three after my husband died.  She still can’t afford her own, so at least I have something for her to drive. 

Monday I drove to CT to the annual Threads Magazine Holiday Party, it was great to see everyone, and I was thrilled to have an office party to attend, I’ve worked for myself since 1979, and never had an office holiday party, this is my third one at the magazine and I feel like family.  And I spent some time talking to Pamela Leggett, a fabulous designer, her patterns are mostly for knits,  author and frequent contributor to Threads Magazine, and she gave me some insight to creating digital versions of my patterns.  So I’m mulling that over in my head.  It is far down on the to do list, but it is at least on the list…

The ice maker on the brand new refrigerator failed after the first week, so now that has been replaced. The gas stove people have been here and I’ve put a deposit on replacing my wood stove with a gas one. That should happen towards the end of January once all the permits are in.  I’ve been to the eye doctor and ordered new glasses.  And the towel run is off the loom, washed and ready for hemming.  That’s tomorrow.  And today I started planning my next article, this one for Heddlecraft Magazine.  This one will require a lot of loom sampling…

It never ends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way… stay tuned…

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