Odd Yet Oddly Pleasing

IMG_0637Off the loom last night. These will be towels I think, though it remains to be seen how they will feel and drape after they are washed. The reading I’ve done on the subject seems to focus on giving the yardage a good solid wash and hard press to help to finish the cloth. There are some interesting lessons in this so far. I had to add a supplemental warp to make the purple patterned extended twill come out balanced, which was pretty straight forward. I also had to fix a couple of errant warp threads which stuck together and created a long float or two – actually not too hard either. The two sides of the cloth, the variegated and the patterned don’t really work that well together, though because the colours are matched they don’t actually clash, it is just two different styles – one kind of regal and one a fun texture. No matter, they will work together in this  context. And it does beg the question, who am I trying to please here? We had a show and tell at our Guild meeting not too long ago, and one person impressed me immensely. She didn’t seem fazed by all the experience in the room, and showed her newly created project, the first on a multi shaft loom, with obvious joy. It was infectious, and seemed completely free of that self-effacing, intimidated or perhaps competitive vibe that one sees sometimes in a group dynamic.

The other thing that impressed me was the support shown to everyone who participated in the show and tell at the meeting. For whatever reason the group was “open” and seemed to just enjoy one another’s accomplishments. That is how it is meant to work I think. There are a lot of benefits to joining a guild. Quite frankly I wanted to find out a way to learn from other people and that is certainly becoming the case, as soon as I started to ease up on my natural reserve. I would say “shy” but that’s not quite it. One has to reach out a bit, meet people at least part of the way. It seems to be part of the work. Maybe that woman’s openness and joy in her creation rubbed off on others and helped make the meeting what it was. It seems that way.

IMG_0622I am always going on about the great outdoors but there is a real benefit to living in an urban setting. One of those benefits is an accessible guild. (There are actually several in my immediate area, for knitting, for weaving and spinning, and for all I know for all sorts of other crafts.) Above is my city, taken from Crescent Beach about a half hour drive from my house.

IMG_0617This looks like it captured the sunshine. From a recent walk.

I Have Seen the Future, and it is Her!

CrazycatladySo, I went to have a nice bath, as one does on a rainy day, good book and tea in hand. Happily settling in I see float by – a few stray cat hairs and a big blob of wool. It must be from the last project blocked and hung over the tub. Yup, it has begun.

Yarn obtained, it is time to give up on endless sampling.

IMG_0616442 ends, number ten crochet cotton. I plan to make towels. The weave structure is an extended point twill from a book I found. And of course, being me, I had to make it stripe, just to change it up a bit. The detail on the plain purple is very pretty and completely obscured in the variegated which instead has a delightful texture not emphasized in the purple. A trade-off. Ignore the ubiquitous blue header yarn. I will be using that stuff till I am well into the crazy cat lady age I think. Anyhow, this likely has all sorts of newbie errors but enough with the sampling already. I went against my essential nature and was really, really meticulous in warping and threading this! I may live to regret the stripes, but it will be fine in my house and I think of it as getting to know how colour works in weaving, which is proving to be very different than how colour works in knitting.

It is true that half of a weaving project is the warping and threading. One must learn to embrace this, clearly. This was fine to do. This loom is much easier to work with than the loaner from my class and the dvd which came with it had a number of great little tips to make the process easier. For example, I would never  have  known to put a paper on the raddle to lay the warp on until I was ready to place the strands. A small thing, which eliminated great frustration right there.

My plan is to continue to try to be meticulous, work on selvedges, keep gaining in skill. Fun.

IMG_0613Even though I don’t knit too much these days, (the hand pain seems to want to stick around a while), these little guys were done for a friend’s baby shower. Shown with a sock done for Grant for contrast. There is something irresistible about baby knits.

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Mountain Paint Brush from last summer, just because.

Blocks of Colour

IMG_0521Ordinary stones and on second look one can see many different colours and tones within. That is what is so gratifying about learning fibre techniques. One starts to look around and see new depths of colour and pattern in the mundane. Its an old exercise, to take a photo and create something based on looking carefully. I am pondering this, while I wait for some weaving yarns to arrive in the mail.

Sewn together samples/ an attempted scarf that didn’t quite work. This piece has ended up indoors, bringing together a shelving unit. I like the strong colour blocks, with the unifying ubiquitous blue wool warp. It is too scratchy to be a blanket, too heavy to work as clothing. It may not live in the unit forever, but for now it is nice to look over and see it. (Picture taken outside for the natural light.)

IMG_0606This has been a quiet week.

IMG_0571From the cannery site at Point Roberts. Spring has finally exploded all over the place.

Mikey and Sunshine – And a Reason to Celebrate

IMG_0602Well, lots of reasons to celebrate. Good friends, good weather, a great hike around Bunzten Lake. But there is one other really wonderful reason to celebrate – Sunshine’s achievement of a great academic scholarship. Sunshine we are all very proud of you!

I said before on the blog that the relationship between big and little sisters is reciprocal. These days I am so distracted by the loom and the fibre pursuits I forget how much I love a hike. How great that another person’s enthusiasm for a walk in the woods gets us all on the trail. The rainy season isn’t over here – there will be lots of Saturday afternoons to doodle around with the loom and I am appreciating letting things “be” so to speak, in terms of what I want to accomplish in terms of fibre craft. There were lots of people out and walking yesterday, all with similar expressions of “finally”- relief to see some sun after a long gloomy winter.

DSCN0089It didn’t seem right to exclude Grant from the record of our day. This is from last year but is completely typical. Give him a body of water and he hops right in. This is a view of Bunzten Lake from the public beach, at the beginning of the hike.

It was a tad warmer in July when this was taken. Yesterday, pretty chilly. Only Grant and a couple of kids dared go in. There may have been screeching.