Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 2017 Update :)

More than a year has gone by and what a difference a year makes, right?

Family still remains a focus, but much less so as everyone's health is a stable as expected considering where they are in life. My FIL had colon cancer surgery in November, and the months leading up to and after that were pretty exhausting for everyone, and we are very glad he is through with that!

... I just gotta say, though, colonoscopies save lives. Neither one of my In-Laws had one, both have had colon cancer surgery. A little discomfort now saves a lot of pain later. Regardless of what your practitioner says (they say they were told they didn't need them), push for one, at least by age 60. Or find a new doctor. Until less invasive options are available, this is it, folks.

So! Weaving and sewing! There has been a little of both!

First off, I wove 6 yards of "water" for our ANWG Convention guild booth. It was made out of some crazy synthetic made in 1965, a blue and green and gray concoction of thick, ropey, synthetic fibers. The wonderful ladies of the Whidbey Weavers Guild collected all manner of things from members, put them together into a cohesive scene, and took Best in Show!

Component of Whidbey "Water"

I also wove a little Swedish lace valance for our bathroom window out of bamboo. No picture, but it's nice! As part of the same study of Swedish lace, I also made placemats out of some cotton I bought in a closeout. No pictures of those either, but I may do a separate post on that later (LATER, she says...)

My big project this past year was weaving fabric for a jacket to be made in a class with Daryl Lancaster. Seriously, if you have never taken a class with her, DO IT. She is fun, relaxed, funny and an expert at what she does.

I wove 6 yards x 33" of a broken twill out of 10/2 tencel sett at 30 EPI. Let's start there.
  • Number one: tencel on it's own is just too slick and drapey to make decent jacket fabric. If I was set on this, I should have combined a tencel warp with Zephyr, or some other "grippy" fiber, to give it some stability.
  • Number two: weave with an even BEAT for crying out loud! I had 6 yards of this fabric and I was lucky to find enough areas that didn't have striping due to packing too hard or too loose. This is my major area of failure when it comes to this kind of weaving and I really have to make this a focus of my learning.
Here's a shot of the fabric on the loom:

And here are some shots of the finished product:

The lining is fondly refered to as "The Surprise Inside" :)

I'm also part of a group that focused on deflected double weave, so I wove a few samples for that. I adapted an Elisabeth Hill blanket into a rayon and tencel scar
f in slate, gray, pink and violet.

There's an error here, with 2 repeats of 12 that should not be there. This is on the loom.

This is off the loom and washed, but not pressed.

I hemmed this and the repeat drives me NUTS, but my daughter doesn't care, so this will be here.

I removed those bundles, changed the left border and made another scarf. There is, OF COURSE, a treadling error, but I can live with it. That one will be mine :)

Next up is a rep table runner from Kelly Marshall's book. I have it beamed on for 2 weeks, but I'm not too sure it went on well. I think that's why I'm avoiding threading. YIKES.

That's it for now! I hope to have the runner done by the end of August and look forward to sharing it here!


New Year - 2017 Edition

Good Morning 2017!

I think of a new year as a point of renewal. No longer for making resolutions, joining gyms, changing my diet, changing the way I think, introducing some new form of discipline, but rather a marker in time that reads "Do Over Starting Line".

How is that different than the typical "New Me" strategy that so many people employ? It is not reinvention. Instead, I get to start out with a fresh me. I get to forgive myself for the things that did not go so well in 2016. There is this fresh, new, pristine year and I get to do better, be better than I was in the last.

I have a lot of goals this year.

Be Kind
Stand Up, Speak Up, Act Up
Practice Creativity
Nurture my marriage

Ah, you say! These are too broad, don't have action plans and aren't measurable! Not so.

I know when I am kind. I know how I feel and how my heart benefits from behaving this way. I know how to be kind. I know this is how I *want* to feel.

I know social injustice when I see it. Looking up and challenging it a duty. Becoming active in my communities is a responsibility. Protecting our vulnerable populations is an obligation I am ready to take on.

Creativity is not just sewing, weaving, writing. It's also the practice of introducing creative thought into problem solving of all kinds. This will be a year where I challenge rules and old thought processes and approach my days with an open mind.

I have been blessed with a partnership that complements us both. This has been such a hard 4 years, as we navigate complex family problems, retirement, illnesses, and commitments that have cut down on our time together. At times I feel us pulling apart under the burden, but every time I feel the cord ready to snap, we pull back to neutral, closer still. Our well being, as a couple, defines much of our personal well being, and effort put into appreciation, intimacy, grace and humor strengthens us in all we do.

***I wrote this in January and never published. I'm going to now. I still feel the same way, and have been moving forward in all these areas. So here goes! Onward through 2017!