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.