Sunday, December 30, 2007

Looking Back

I had a perfectly wonderful trip to California! The picture above is the part of Christmas dinner in which I participated. Roasted Vegetable Medley is what I call it, and the veggies are about to go into the oven. I will be happy to share the recipe if anyone is interested.

The entire trip seemed to revolve around food and not around weaving at all.

OK, more food! Here is the outside of Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. I loved the food there AND the weaverly fence out front! Actually Cafe Gratitude is a lot more than just a restaurant. I ended up eating there 3 times, twice in one of their San Francisco restaurants. I wish they had one in Seattle. I'd eat there every day.

I spent a couple of days visiting with my step brother, Mark whose hobby is making chocolate confections. He is a famous landlord in Berkeley and gives chocolate to all of his tenants. Consequently he never has to put an ad in the paper and has a waiting list of people who want to rest his apartments.

Here is the Free Store! Don't you just want to move to Berkeley? Mark gave me so much chocolate I couldn't fit it all into my luggage. I shudder to think what will happen at my next Weight Watchers meeting.

Tomorrow I will be Looking Forward....
The vacation gave me lots to think about. I have already started dressing the loom. My goal is to have both looms ready to weave by the stroke of midnight on the 31st.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In Lieu of Packing...

Early Tuesday morning (12:17 AM) I finally cut this weaving off the loom.
Early Wednesday morning (8:30 AM), I walk out the door for 10 days in the Bay Area.

I apologize for not having more pictures of the process or more explanation. All I can say is I played around with many cashmere colors and had a great time. I tossed this piece in the washing machine (gentle cycle cold water) and then in the dryer on low. (Yes, I said I put cashmere into the dryer!) Someone once told me to pop a tennis ball (or 3) into the dryer along with the piece. I happened to have one tennis ball, so I put it in. I don't know if the tennis ball made any difference, but the shawl came out softer and more wonderful than any of the other bamboo/cashmere weavings I have laundered.

Here is the happy recipient! It came out exactly as she had hoped.

I wish you all could feel the bamboo/cashmere combination. It is heavenly. I will answer any questions you post, but it is getting close to midnight. I really haven't begun to pack and am starting to run out of steam.

I am planning to check my blog along the way.

Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Onward and Upward!

It is quite a different look from the natural spectrum based Color Horoscope Weaving. I really like the look of it, but that will be nothing compared to the feel once it has been laundered.

A closer look.

I am in a weaving mode, so it is back to work.

I am often asked how many hours a day I weave. I am thrilled if I can ever calculate in hours the amount of time I spent a day weaving. A better question might be "Do I weave every day?" or "How many minutes a day do I spend weaving?"

In my advancing years and after 47 years of weaving, I find I weave for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Then I stand up and do something else. Having 10 to 20 alternate tasks in process makes life more interesting. When I am weaving with a deadline (like now), I cycle back at least once an hour and try to spread that out over a 12 hour day. I can pull a piece off the loom (a 3 - 4 yd warp) in 3 - 4 days.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Back to the Business of Weaving

It was difficult to stop basking in the afterglow of my YouTube debut:) Thank you everybody for your delicious comments! I realize there is a limit to the number of weavings a person can have, but there is no limit to the laughter.

But seriously folks, I finally warped the bamboo horoscope. I went around the horoscope twice (360 ends + 360 ends). I thought this picture was interesting because you can see the offset look of the center from where I removed the lease sticks. This will not show when I weave. I have to get used to the pastel look as I am more of a jewel tone gal myself. The weft will be triple strands of the recycled cashmere in shades of beige and gray. I may have to do a little sampling to get the right combination that won't wash out what color there is.

This piece needs to be finished and delivered before I leave town again on the 19th.

Here is the view when I just turned around in the exact same spot. The yarn in the very front in the box and plastic bags is natural dyed 20/2 merino wool dyed by Michele Wipplinger back in the 80's, way before Earthues. I have just begun excavating in my closets, a subject for future posts.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Twelve Days of Weaving

Here is my very first YouTube effort originally recorded at the Seattle Weavers Guild holiday meeting in 1996. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Slowly Returning

Finally I made it back into the studio and started winding a warp. This is a section of a horoscope warp in Bambu 7.

Here is some new Bambu 12 for a challenging project. My client wants a horoscope weaving but doesn't want to use the usual rainbow palette. I let her select her 12 favorite colors from the Bambu 12 color card. The 2 narrow cones on the left are the only 2 colors I already had in my stash.

I have been telling my students that it really doesn't matter which 12 colors one uses for the Color Horoscope Weaving, so now I have an opportunity to see if this is really true. Since my client wants to have this weaving before Christmas, I don't have time to ponder the best color arrangement. Normally I would let the yarn sit around for at least a week. This gives the yarn a chance to discuss what it wants to do.

Tomorrow I will have warp chains to show you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Metaphysical Weaving

I don't know if this is really what to call it, but sometimes in life one weaves together people and events. You can't see a loom or threads, but you just know weaving is happening.

I have to believe this because I haven't been able to enter my weaving studio since I got back home. The practice of weaving everyday seems like it belonged to somebody else.

I used to become quite nervous and anxious when I would fall out of weaving, but in time I came to realize I would fall back in: WHEN YOU'RE HOT YOU'RE HOT AND WHEN YOU'RE NOT YOU'RE NOT.

I am chipping away at the 550 emails in my inbox though. If you are one of those people waiting to hear back from me, I'm getting there. Here is a wonderful link I excavated from the file sent to me by my dear friend Roberta. Do you know about the 13 Grandmothers? Talk about weaving in another dimension...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Home Again Home Again

It's good to be back in Seattle even though it looks like this today. I am grateful that I am not traveling today. The snow is supposed to be gone by tomorrow, and we are told to expect flooding in the lowlands by Monday.

It really is pretty.

Remember those 10 cashmere sweaters? Well, here they are at the end of my trip after my mother and I did a marathon of un-knitting. Actually, these are only 9 of the sweaters. The 10th sweater was in perfect condition and looked so good on my mother's significant other that I gave it to him.

Even though I have been away from my loom for weeks, I haven't abandoned my thoughts of weaving. Let's see how long it takes me to get up my steam again. I do have several deadlines to meet in the next couple of weeks before I hit the road again.

I'm still not completely unpacked.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from the East

Whenever I try to imagine what a trip is going to be like (and I always spend a little time trying to imagine--especially a teaching trip), it is always a surprise--nothing like my imaginings. This trip is proving to be surprising in the depth and breadth of the surprises.

One of the ONLY challenging parts has been the lack of computer access. I guess it will continue to get worse until I have a laptop. The computer I was expecting to use: first refused to let me post on the blog and second would not let me view and answer my emails. I'm sure as I think about this inconvenience I will come to see the blessing in it because I have had amazing interactions with family and friends. It is probably due to getting older---something they never tell you about. When you are older you become aware that every interaction with a cherished friend could easily be the last. Instead of making me sad or anxious, it has made me much more grateful for every minute I have with that person--every day a celebration!

My time with Tall Pines Guild in Houston was truly inspiring. I had totally revamped my Color Horoscope Weaving Workshop and tested out my expanded concept. The focus of the workshop was on color and yarn selection and methods of using the color horoscope draft as a personal color gamp for in depth color study in weaving. You really have to see and experience the interplay of color directly in the woven cloth to begin to understand the evanescent blending. Of course, I haven't written this up in a proposal format (one of the things on my "to do" list that I didn't get around to doing before I left Seattle). I told myself I would do this while I had a free moment. This moment hasn't come up yet.

I met many wonderful women in the Tall Pines Guild and hope to introduce them to you on the blog as soon as I get back to Seattle. I told them I would publish pictures of them weaving their shawls if they would send me their picture of them in their completed shawl. I always ask students to do this, but very few of them ever do. Some that did are in my gallery, click here.

Yesterday I taught a small workshop right here in my mother's apartment. A few of the women who were in my class back in April, wanted to come and learn how to make the drafts for Color Horoscope Weaving. I don't teach this aspect of the process anymore, but they presented a good case, so I decided to share this part of the process with them. Then we got to the really fun part a second workshop---wrapped silk jewelry. As I am now writing, I think I forgot to take pictures of the wonderful things that we made. This is really the first time I have taught anyone the wrapped silk jewelry although it has been listed on my website for quite some time as an available workshop. One of the most interesting parts of the process for me was going through my jewelry supplies and putting together the supplies that I shipped out here. I had collected and kept bits and pieces of things for over 20 years. These are not yarns that I assembled to use in a class. They are all silk yarns
used in projects over the past 20 years. I have talked about the "power of gathering over time". I sometimes wonder what other people gather over time.

Speaking of gathering, I shipped my latest batch of cashmere sweaters to Baltimore so I would have a project to work on with my mother (also known as my "unknitting factory). First we laundered all the sweaters. One was so perfect and looked so right on my mother's significant other that I gave him the sweater on the spot. He hasn't taken it off. It was the perfect gift. After washing, I took apart the remaining 9 sweaters and my mother is unknitting them like crazy. I have a shawl commission to work on as soon as I return to Seattle (Do you notice how many things I am going to do the minute I return to Seattle?) This will be a horoscope shawl in bamboo with a recycled cashmere weft. I will probably use the 2 burgundy cashmeres from this batch. I wish I had more purple though.

Once again I will repeat my cashmere request. Actually now that I think of it, I may never have made my cashmere request. Ten cashmere sweaters (in any condition, spots and holes welcome) equals one bamboo/cashmere scarf woven by me. Purples and magenta (jewel tones), one sweater counts as two sweaters. A sweater with a Pringle of Scotland or Dalton label also counts as two sweaters. I just made up these last two rules, but I like them.

Happy Thanksgiving!
I will try to get to a computer again.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Almost Packed

Collating notebooks
Notebooks completed
Carry-on bag with woven samples with a pile of woven samples that will not fit . I'm bringing lots of samples. The samples that I will check are ones that I either have similar ones or they are easily reproducible.

The big suitcase has the notebooks, the slides, the samples and my clothes. There is another small bag that has my cosmetics, jewelry, camera, and food. Since I have packed my camera, you won't get a picture of everything all zipped and ready to go.

I can't believe the number of items I crossed off my list to be done when I return. I will attempt to check in as often as I am able. Once again I am bemoaning the lack of laptop.

Onward to Houston!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

More Promised Pics

Here is the sweet little Bambu 7 and recycled cashmere scarf all washed and ready to go. These aren't my usual colors, but I wanted a chance to use the pink and lavender cashmere. I did notice after I washed this piece that the different weights of cashmere caused the edges to pull in and bow out at the color changes, but I decided that was part of the charm.

I cut the 2 towels in half before I washed them because I thought the two different twists of cotton would not do well in the washing. Happily I was wrong, and the piece on the left washed up beautifully. The commercially dyed yarn is not as soft and cuddly as the ikat dyed yarn, and these towels do not feel as yummy as the first two test warps.

My experiments do not always come out so well.

I just received this poem from a friend and would love to share it with you.


By Scottish poet Fiona McLeod (1855-1910)

I dreamed of Orchil, the dim goddess who is under the brown earth, in a vast cavern, where she weaves at two looms. With one hand she weaves life upward through the grass; with the other she weaves death downward through the mould; and the sound of the weaving is Eternity, and the name of it in the green world is Time. And, through all, Orchil weaves the weft of Eternal Beauty, that passeth not, though its soul is Change. This is my comfort, O Beauty that art of Time, who am faint and hopeless in the strong sound of that other weaving, where Orchil, the dim goddess, sits at her loom under the brown earth.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Moving Along

No pictures today, just words.

As I get closer to leaving on my teaching trip (Thursday), I start a second list. It's a boring sort of list, so I won't give you the long version. It's the "what to pack" list with things like back up batteries for the camera, travel clock, scissors---you know, the things you must have with you.

As for the other list, I've been checking things off right and left. The bambu 7/cashmere test scarf came off the loom today. I will wash it tomorrow and show you. It is always amazing to me how adjusting the sett a couple of ends makes such a difference in the cloth. I finished the 2 horoscope necklaces and shipped them off. I also shipped the Woven Words shawl. The essential oil blends are made and delivered. I put together both of the slide shows, one for the lecture and one for the workshop. I have put together both "show & tells" as well. I haven't packed them up, but I will do that tomorrow. I am always nervous about checking my luggage with my samples. I try to put all of my samples in my carry-on piece since most of my samples could never be reproduced (or at least I will never take the time to do that since it represents weaving going back to the early 70's)

So I am telling you today what I will be imaging tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Experiment

It wasn't until 7PM this evening that I got to sit down at the loom. I had made some noise yesterday about how much I was enjoying my test scarf of Bambu 7 warp and triple strands of unknitted cashmere weft. As I was taking this picture, Sharon was sending a comment asking to see the weft, so here it is.

The cashmere combines better with the Bambu 7 than the Bambu 12 (doubled). The sett for Bambu 7 is 20 epi and the doubled Bambu 12 is 24 epi. At any rate, the balance seems better somehow. Of course, we will have to wait and see what happens in the laundering for the true test. You can't see navy cashmere I began with. I thought the contrast was too great and settled for some nice lavender, pink, gray, and a blend on those darker stripes (shades of purple).

Happily and joyously I have mailed off the invitations to the NWDC New Members Luncheon. I have printed most of the handouts (I forgot to bring everything, so I will have to make a second trip to the print place.) Now I am going to play with the oils a bit. By Sunday I will have completed everything not directly related to my workshop and subsequent trip to the East Coast and will be focused 100% on Color Horoscope Weaving.

If you have never seen this, you are in for a treat!

Today I received some absolutely gorgeous natural dyed silk yarn samples from Aurora Silks. They took my breath away. Imagine 120 colors!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Behind the Scenes Workshop

So I had to ask myself, am I the kind of person who always makes lists?! After careful consideration I realize I am a person who makes lists when I am getting ready to take my "dog and pony show" on the road. For those of you who are currently teaching or who have taught workshops in the past, this post may seem all too familiar.

I know some of you out there are thinking about teaching a fiber related workshop, and most of you have attended a fiber related workshop. This is what I do to prepare for a 2-day (6 hours each day) workshop on Color Horoscope Weaving and a 1-1 1/2 hour lecture called "Exploring Not So Plain Weave".

I leave in a week, well now it is six days, but who's counting. Making the list was the first step. See original list here. I haven't figured out how to draw lines through completed tasks, and maybe I just don't want to know. But I have completed 9 items on the list. 11 items I am able to postpone until I return (Whew!) One item I had already done. One item I decided to cancel (The High Tech Low Tech show) And there are 2 new items added to the list. (supplies for trip and apply to a future show)

The following items are in process and will be the focus of the next 24 hours:
Address and mail invitations to NWDC Luncheon (don't even ask!)
Finish editing "Selecting the perfect Fiber & Colors"(for workshop)
Print all handouts for the workshop
Print greeting card backs.
Prepare the 3rd batch of oil (2 completed)
Weave some more Bambu 7/cashmere test scarf (It's coming out so well!)
Horoscope necklaces (Actually I will work on this on Saturday)

Remember I got a flu shot on Tuesday? Well today I feel like I am getting the flu. Now I am focusing all of my energy into not getting sick, so it's off to bed with no pictures.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Promised Pics

I guess whining about not getting feedback gets some feedback. I'm glad my list was helpful, but I didn't get much crossed off today. The one thing I can cross off the list, however, is something that has been looming (pardon the expression) over me for months: to write a piece called Selecting the Perfect Fibers and Colors for Color Horoscope Weaving.

Not a bad title for the picture above. I had hoped to get a better picture of the entire piece all laundered and lustrous, but I just couldn't get the lighting right. It doesn't look any different than the pictures I took before it was laundered. Sigh. (10/2 tencel)

Today just wasn't a great day with the camera. Part of the problem (or perhaps a great deal of the problem) is these weavings depend so much on being able to touch them and wrap them around yourself. (Bambu 12 and unknitted cashmere sweaters)

Maybe you can get an idea of the drape. I used gray cashmere which gives the shawl an ancient look.

Yes, a bad camera day. Towel warp draped across my bed.(8/2 cotton). I did get my flu shot today, so maybe that's why I am a little off.

Confession: I didn't weave today. It is the first day I have missed since the first of August.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Words with Images

It is difficult for me to write a post without accompanying images, but every time I tried to take some pictures today the phone would ring or it would be lunch time. I did manage to get this one. Although I am not happy with it, you get an idea of what is going on Gary--- a test scarf in Bambu 7 with an unknitted cashmere weft. I have only ever used the Bambu 12 with the cashmere, and I have a commission for a double wide horoscope shawl in Bambu 7 and cashmere. Sample, sample, sample! I will begin weaving this tomorrow. It is one of the items on my list.

I did get the cashmere sweaters shipped off to Baltimore to my unknitting factory (my mother:)) I also shipped off the wrapped jewelry supplies for my workshop. The NWDC New Members Luncheon invitation is completed (There are some glitches concerning the venue that have to be worked out tomorrow. That part wasn't on my original list) I cut the towel warp off the loom. I made the "Questionnaire" for the Color Horoscope Weaving Workshop.

All of the above is part of the "to do" list. Judging from the lack of comments, I gather my list isn't nearly as compelling to you as it is to me.

You'd rather see those juicy pictures as would I.
Tomorrow after I get my flu shot I will take pictures of the following:
1. Completed Woven Words bamboo/cashmere shawl.
2. Completed Just Our Yarn (10/2 tencel) Color Horoscope Weaving/Turned Weft Ikat Shawl
3. Just off the loom Turned Weft Ikat towels.
4. Weaving on the loom test bamboo/cashmere scarf

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To Do, A Second Look

Upon Valerie's suggestion in her comment to my post yesterday, I reviewed my list and picked 5 items to work on:

1. Create invitation NWDC New Members' Lunch
Address and mail
Call hostess of lunch and get map to house to include in invitation
I emailed the hostess requesting a map and I created a document and started laying out the invitation. I didn't get as far as I had hoped, but I made a start.
2. Launder JOY tencel horoscope/ikat shawl
Done! I had been nervous about doing this, but it turned out so wonderful I can hardly believe it. I will have a picture soon. I am not happy with the one that I took this evening. To see a picture of this piece before washing click here.
3. Finish and launder Woven Words piece.
Done! I don't have a picture yet, but I am rather pleased with the outcome. I will post more about this piece at a later date.
4. Run test piece of Bambu 7/cashmere
Wind and weave
I wound the warp and got it threaded through the heddles.
5. Ship cashmere sweaters and supplies for Wrapped Silk Jewelry workshop
I excavated one of my closets looking for the right sized box which I found. Unfortunately the box was full of yarn, so I had to sort through the yarn. I found some yarn I had been looking for, so that was good. Tomorrow I will get the box packed up, and it will go out on Monday.

Over-achieving: I laundered panel #5 of the blanket while I was laundering the other pieces. I wove a little on my towel warp. I have been diligent about weaving everyday. I did a major grocery shopping as well.

Tomorrow I will capture a few images and review my list and find the next 2 items to move up into the top 5.

Also I have a new item to add to the main list:
The Association of Southern California Handweavers is calling for proposals for their 27th Biennial Conference "COLOR CONNECTS"
The Proposal is due November 30th, so I will have to take care of this before I leave.

Friday, October 26, 2007

To Do

Have you ever had so much to do that all you really want to do is work Sudoku puzzles?

One of the things I have noticed about myself when faced with any sort of deadline, I work a lot of Sudoku until I hear a little voice in my head that says: "If you don't start getting ready right this minute, you will not get done what you need/want to get done!"

So then I make a "to do" list. I write down everything I can think of that I have ever wanted to do and many things I know I have to do before I (in this case) leave to teach in Houston on November 8th. After the initial brain-storm, I look over the list and put it into order.

Here is my uncensored list which I wrote on my power bill envelope as I was eating Indian Buffet this afternoon.
1. Create invitation NWDC New Members' Lunch
Address and mail
2. Call hostess of lunch and get map to house to include in invitation
3. Write a piece called "Selecting the perfect Fiber & Colors (weight of yarn etc) for CWH
4. Write up questionnaire for workshop
5. Write promo piece for CHW for Indiana
Be thinking about Minneapolis
Also Connecticut
6. Buy folders
for Tall Pines
Make notebooks
Print images for covers
Print all handouts
7. Print greeting card backs
8. Launder JOY tencel horoscope/ikat shawl
9. Finish and launder Woven Words piece
10. Run test piece of Bambu 7/cashmere
wind and weave
11. Make scarf for Joe
scarves for people who have given me cashmere
12. Two towels for towel exchange
13. Get pieces ready for High Tech Low Tech show
14. Ship cashmere sweaters and supplies for Wrapped Silk Jewelry workshop on 11/18
15. Get piece ready for the Rags Show
16. Mail blog entries to Mom.
17 Prepare 3 weeks worth of essential oil blends
18. Outline for magazine article 12/31 deadline
19. Order Bambu 7 for commission
20. Plane reservation to California
21. Pack
22. Order airport shuttle for 11/8
23. Hostess gifts for workshop
24. Horoscope necklaces
Made and shipped
25. Update website
26. Clean up Outlook
27. External hard drive or Thumb drive?
28. Put together slide show for Nov. workshop
29. Put together show and tell for Nov. workshop.
30. Haircut

I wish the voice in my head had started talking sooner! I thought seeing this list in print would make me feel better, but I have to say Yikes!--although I did send the blog entries off to my mom today.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

But Enough About ME, What Do YOU Think of Me...Part 2

Here's a lovely postcard, front and back, advertising the Whidbey Weavers Guild Sale
I am proud to say I am a member of this unique and innovative guild, but sorry to say I have not managed to have any weaving to show at the sale this year. I have promised myself I will have some work ready for next year.

If you are planning a trip to the Northwest in the next couple of weeks, Uncommon Threads is the event to attend.

I am now in the early stages of getting ready to fly to Houston to teach a Color Horoscope Weaving workshop to the Tall Pines Weavers Guild. I will give more information about this as I get closer to leaving.

I think I have successfully replaced the rope on the Fireside Loom. I will give it a good test tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

But Enough About ME, What Do YOU Think of Me...

This is a wonderful event worth attending if you happen to be in the area! I have been so caught up with weaving commissions that I haven't been able to turn my attention to the guild sale this year, but each year it gets better and better.For information about the Seattle Weavers' Guild click here.

Seattle Weavers' Guild Annual Sale
October 25th -27th

Hand-dyed, handwoven scarf by Dorothy DayMany thanks to the wonderful customers who make each year's sale a success. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you again in October!

Thursday, October 25th 5pm - 8pm
Friday, October 26th 10am - 8pm
Saturday, October 27th 10am - 5pm

Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

Scarves - Baskets - Jewelry - Rugs - Linens - Garments - Gifts - Tapestries - Children's Items - Hats - Bags - Yarn - Blankets - Pet Accessories - Household Items - Demonstrations

This year's sale will be held in Bloedel Hall at St. Marks Cathedral (1245 10th Avenue East;
Seattle, WA.)
Drive around the back of the cathedral to find the Hall on the lower level. Parking is free.

If you would like to receive a reminder postcard for the sale, please email your name and address to

Sunday, October 21, 2007

From Gathering to Sorting

The 3 fabrics on the left are Guatemalan cotton ikat. The fabric on the right is one of my bamboo ikat/cashmere blanket panels.

I was at a party earlier today and was chatting with a woman who was teaching sewing at an alternative high school. She was bemoaning the lack of funds for supplies. I mentioned that I had a box of fabric scraps if she was interested. She was very interested.

I began excavating in my closet (something I had been meaning to do). I could practically reach my fabric box and managed to knock down 3 additional boxes in the process. The dust was quite thick on the top of the fabric box. Back in the 80's I did quite a bit of sewing. Actually, I did the designing and cutting, but mostly found other more skilled people to do the actual sewing. For a while there, I was "making" jackets, huipils, back packs, tote bags, and a wide variety of small bags and purses.

Not liking to throw things away, I saved all the scraps. I even made a quilt top about 15 years ago using the scraps from the cotton linings of the coin and cosmetic bags. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it, but I digress.

As I was sorting through my fabric to see what would stay and what would go, I found some Guatemalan fabric scraps that I didn't remember ever seeing before. I vaguely remember somebody giving me some fabric scraps (I don't remember who it was), and I don't remember what they looked like or how long I have had them.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing! These were 3 different ikat patterns that were so much like what I have been doing with ikat bamboo this past year. Yes, I have changed the scale, and yes I am creating the designs in Turned Weft Ikat rather than Warp Dyed Ikat. Although some of the motifs in the Guatemalan cloth are quite a bit different from my example, I have woven those motifs and could easily create them.

I feel like all the 100 monkeys rolled into one:)

What does this have to do with weaving philosophy, you might ask? I believe there are 3 stages of weaving that mirror the 3 stages of life: Gathering, Sorting, and Surrender. When I set out to weave, I gather my materials. (With the cashmere, I collected sweaters for several years before I knew what I was going to do with them.) I always gather more than I will need, so I have to sort through and decide what I will ultimately use and what I will not. Surrender has to do with the time it will take to wind the warp and set up the loom and weave and weave and finish and sew in the label. I always feel these steps will take absolutely forever! Once I let go and surrender,(something much easier said than done) I am amazed to see I have completed every task.

Have you noticed all of those books out there about "clearing clutter"? My personal favorite is "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston. It is because so many of the baby boomers have reached the sorting stage of life and struggle with the challenge of moving out of the Gathering stage and into the Sorting stage. I am one of those people, but I am sure working on it.

If you want a good laugh, check this out! I forwarded this to at least 200 people in my address book.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unusual Towel Exchange, Woven Labels and Loom Trouble

There is this big wind storm going on outside. Hopefully I won't lose power. The beautiful towel I received from Maureen McGuinness acts as the backdrop for my part of the exchange. Several months ago Maureen (long before the towel exchange) asked me if I had any of my wrapped silk brooches for sale. Alas, I had stopped making them because they were just too labor intense (and I am on this new kick to stop cranking out "stuff"). When Maureen sent me this lovely towel, I asked her if she would rather have a brooch in exchange. She examined some pictures on my website and gave me an idea of the size and colors she liked. I will ship it off today. Maureen is going to send me another towel sometime in the future so that I will also send her a towel.
My only requirement for the towel is some sort of label, so I can remember whose towel I am using. When I first decided (back in the 80's) I needed some sort of label, I hand printed them. I do not have any examples of that label. I began searching for a label company that would produce a custom woven label in reasonable small quantities. I went to the library and searched through the Thomas Registry (now available on line). At that time I found only 6 companies and wrote to them all. Of the 6, only the Minnewawa Label Company in Knoxville Tennessee produced a label that met my requirements. The top label was my first 1000 labels. They lasted me about 10 years. I had a friend redesign the label and ordered another 1000. (the middle label) They took me through the 90's. When I went to order another 1000, I discovered the Minnewawa Label Company was no longer there. I went on line and began another search and found ITC Labels(bottom label) I wish the label was more satiny, but the great part about this company is you can order as few or as many labels as you wish. Plus they send you a sample and you sign off on it before they make the labels.

If there are others out there who have a good label source, I would be interested in passing that along.
So I'm weaving along on my 10 year old Fireside Loom last night thinking how wonderful the piece is coming along---no problems. This morning when I went to start weaving, I noticed the slack tension. I went to give the toggle a little twist (as I have to do from time to time) and noticed THIS!
Words like GAK! ZOT! (a new word sent to me by a weaving friend, Russ) and others too terrible to mention, sprung from my lips.

Well, then I had to chuckle because I have often said there are an infinite number of mistakes to be made in weaving, and this was indeed a first. As you may or may not know, Fireside Looms is now located in Pennsylvania with new owners Larry and Michelle Lesniak(no longer in Washington state in easy driving distance from me). I started to write a pathetic whining email to Michelle, but I decided a phone call would be in order. She was most helpful and a new rope and assembly directions are being FedEx'd to me as I write.

I use my Fireside more heavily than most, so I'm not faulting the rope device for wearing out in 10 years. In fact, the tensioning system was one of the main selling features (along with the worm-drive and the removable breast bar) I didn't see a picture of the removable breast bar, but it is a thing of beauty. Anyone wishing me to take a picture of it and post it, let me know.

So "Gary", the loom has to take a little rest. Fortunately my ikat towel experiment is up and running on Grace, so my practice of weaving every day doesn't have to stop.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Weaving---Every Day

The bamboo/cashmere snugly shawl/throw moves along at a pleasant pace. I'm not rushing along or bogging down.
One of my favorite moments in weaving is when the last paper drops. When I first started weaving, I used brown paper (white paper if I had it). One day I discovered corrugated cardboard and switched to that for several years. The cardboard is great until it begins to break down (which is rather rapidly), and then I start having tension problems. It took me a couple of years to discover the root of my tension problems, but when I switched back to brown paper...problem solved!
On the other loom (Grace), I have the beginnings of my ikat towel experiment.

How do I select the weft color? As a rule of thumb: the weft is the color you have the most of. In this case, I have enough of all of the colors . I begin by weaving a small stripe of each of the colors in the warp to see which one I like the best. I was hoping the white would be the one, (because I have the most white) but alas it is not. I don't care for the dark either. (which is good because I have the least of the almost "black")

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

The Blog Action Day project asks the question, “What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.” The issue today is the environment. I came upon Blog Action Day when very recently I discovered a wonderful blog by Virginia A. Spiegel.Once you check her out, she will be on your list for sure.

As I searched through the hundreds of pictures to find just the right image, I was shocked to discover this is the only picture not related to weaving or food I have taken this year.

"September Morning on Whidbey Island" This beautiful magical island in the Northwestern USA is the home of many artists (sadly I am not one of its residents) who share a passion for the environment. When you visit here, it is like going back in time. Interestingly enough, I consider Whidbey Island to be one of several weaving centers in the United States. I wonder if there is a correlation between deep appreciation for making things and a deep appreciation for the environment?

And if that is true, why do I only have one outdoor picture taken in 2007? But on the other hand, Rivers and Tides is one of my favorite movies. And Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite book of the year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nice Matters Award

Christine of SpinWeaveKnitandCake, so kindly tagged me with this award:

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

First and foremost, is Sara Lamb of Woven Thoughts. It was her mentioning me in her blog that got me to read a blog for the very first time. Within days I had set up my own blog, and the rest is history. Talk about inspiration!

Once I began checking in on Sara's blog, I noticed the WeaveRing icon. I clicked on it to see if there were any weavers I knew and discovered Sandra Rude had a blog as well: Sandra's Loom Blog. The thing about Sandra's work is that it is totally mind blowing. Her weaving demonstrates the vastness of the weaving journey. I am awed.

No list would be complete without Syne Mitchell's WeaveCast. I believe what Syne is doing to promote weaving in the 21st century is what Mary Meigs Atwater did to save handweaving at the early part of the last century.

Karen Madigan of curiousweaver has been a constant source of delight and a fount of knowledge. It's like I found a kindred spirit on the other side of the world. (well, a kindred spirit that keeps good records and works with complex weave structures)

Kathleen's Vegetarian Kitchen is the blog I would have wished I would have written had I written a blog about good food well prepared. It is a delicious feast for the imagination.

Stef's distracted muse keeps me coming back for more. I love seeing what she will try next. I have gotten to the point in my life where I wake up in the morning and say to myself, "No new crafts! No new crafts!" I am glad there are those out in world who can give me a vicarious craft adventure.

What list would be complete without Ruby Reuseable's Olympia Dumpster Divers. There is something so inspiring to me about making art from recycled materials!

I hope you enjoy my list as much as I enjoyed making it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Found Picture and Nod of the Day

To all those contemplating weaving a horoscope baby blanket, this is for you.

Have you ever spent hours looking through folders searching for a picture and never finding it? Instead you find a picture you totally forgot you had lost. This picture is so adorable it makes up for the picture I couldn't find. It doesn't matter it has been over a year. I'll have to get a current picture: dark curly hair, teeth, vocabulary, and constant motion.

Nod of the Day: Take a look at the Seaview Weavers Guild website. It's a great website and a great little guild. The Seaview guild is a small but active guild operating just North of Seattle WA. I could say a lot, but the site says it all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Still Weaving Every Day

Today someone asked me if I wove every day. I gave this long convoluted answer, when in reality, the answer is a simple "yes". I don't keep track of the inches I weave, but ever since I came home from the Saori Conference, I have made "weave every day" a part of my "practice".

I settled on triple strands of medium grays of my unknitted cashmere sweaters for my weft. The picture doesn't do justice to how mellow and rich the gray gives to the vivid warp. And I am really loving the commercial space-dyed bamboo combined with the ikat dyed bamboo.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Towel Experiment

The skeins of 8/2 cotton are from Dye Day #5. The cones of colored yarn are also 8/2 cotton although it looks and feels quite different. Just for the hell of it, I decided I would try combining the two in a short towel warp to see if the two yarns will combine without turning into seersucker.
But first there is the little matter of winding the skeins into balls. I have actually come to enjoy this process. I don't know why I selected the orange, tan and gold as my 3 solids except for the autumn season that is upon us. I also wanted to use colors I don't usually choose.

I may call this my Halloween Towel. Aside from the colors, the warp may turn into a trick or a treat once it goes into the washing machine. I have run into problems before mixing the same weight cotton from different yarn companies.

For some reason, writing this blog has made making mistakes quite acceptable. I take more risks. I am entertained by my "duh" moments. This is the first time, however, I put on a warp that I was fairly certain would be a problem. It is only a 3 yard warp, and it is all ready to go. Why am I doing this if I think it won't work? Because someone told me it would, and I want to see who is right.