Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winter 2016 report and HURT BOOK SALE

Hurt book sale - half price on Reflections from a Flaxen Past.

We’ve discovered some books with minor damage that we don’t want to offer at full price; so until they are in new homes, we are offering them at $24.00 each equaling half the pristine book price of $48.00. The ‘hurts’ are minor - scuffs or bent corners on the cover. So, here is a great bargain on a book that is still getting rave reviews. Click on the book button and you will find the hurt book option.

Happy 2016! Whoosh. How did we get here? Weaving and spinning and dyeing Oh My! Which is, of course, such fun.

My rocker finally got its new suit, a stripe-only version of the Michigan tartan. This is where I do most of my spinning, my little Hansen Mini-spinner on the keg in front of me. The throw on the arm of John’s Morris chair is one I wove of hand-twisted fleece with inlays of mohair and walnut-dyed fleece back in the 70's. We each have a throw since I long-ago separated the two halves of the ruana that it was originally.  What good memories of my artist-in-residence year in Gallipolis, Ohio.


Another project finally come to fruition was weaving up the flax I had spun when a spinning student gifted me with her stash of beautiful water-retted flax stricts. This lamp shade suits the diamond willow lamp by Tom Harmon. The inkle binding is linen, though not handspun. The remaining length of the thick & thin tabby linen will be a gift back to Karen Schnee as thanks for the fiber. You may recognize her name as the author of the picture-story "Cloth Aprons for the Loom" ppg 40-41 in Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with Your Loom.

Handspun singles linen shade for Tom Harmon's Diamond Willow lamp.




Lampshade cloth of handspun flax singles in plain-weave with every 4th warp and weft, the singles used four-fold
 a gift of Karen Schnee.
The binding is inkle-woven of commercial linen
Besides a marvelous trip to San Diego with our daughter to visit her brother/our son, his wife/our daughter-in-law, and her extended family in July, the studio was the focus of life --- until our daughter, two weeks before Christmas, encountered a falling martin-house pole resulting in a titanium rod in her tibia, a  fibula in shatters, and the gruesome (but leg and life-saving) surgery for ‘compartment syndrome’. I managed to get her out of the hospital and learned how to keep house for her and her cats - meal-planning - focused on protein and calcium, cooking, shopping, cat-box cleaning (all things my teenager does for me), nagging her to keep her leg elevated, rotating ice packs and praying for healing. We did have some fun too, watching ‘chick-flicks’ and, at the 6-week check-up, her surgeon was "amazed" at her healing speed. She only needed me about two and half weeks, but for an inexperienced care-giver, it was extremely intense.

In September, the day before the county mowed it all down, I had gathered a good bundle of the Big Blue Stem prairie grass that I was astounded to find growing north of the 45th parallel when we first moved ‘out behind the cement plant’. Yes, I said a prayer of thanks for beating the bush-hog to the prize. Big Blue Stem was my father’s favorite. It grows over 5 feet tall and is identifiable by the glorious height, blue-purple stem, and a blossom that looks like a turkey foot. When a towel warp on the Lervad loom invited, I wove the beautiful grass (after it drank some glycerin-water solution) into a hanging - which sold within hours of displaying it at the Thunder Bay Arts Council Gallery. Gotta thank people with such discerning taste!

Big Bluestem

With a bit of warp remaining, the seed pods from "Olga's Mothers Poppies" got their own weave after a spray of gold paint.


Olga's Mother's Poppies

I have finished weaving the tags for the linen purificators and as of three weeks ago, they are all hemmed. It may be next report before I have pictures of the wet-finished pieces since are currently without water, thanks to a disintegrated well point. I might try washing them in snow-melt. In the meantime here is a tag on the inkle loom it is 70/2 warp, 35/2 pattern yarn. Also a picture of both sides of a completed tag. This is the technique I learned from the Lithuanians and detailed in Reflections. A similar technique fairly common throughout Scandinavia. This uses 7 pattern warps.

Tiny pick-up pattern linen labels for Purificators, on the inkle loom

Fiber, date and monogram on a tag, ready to apply to the Purificator. Back and front of the label shown.

After talking friends Julie Hurd and Linda VanAndel into applying to teach at CW Seminars, they talked me into applying, and all of us made the faculty! Along with a great gathering of great weavers, teaching assured our slots in the registration list. (So much for declaring a sabbatical.)

And now, I have been invited to offer a workshop to Central Ohio Weavers Guild, (my very first guild and a great introduction to the weaver’s guild system in the 1980's.) That guild membership came after years of weaving, exhibiting, a year as Artist-in-Residence, and teaching. The COWG is celebrating 80 years! - no, I am not a charter member, but most honored to contribute to their anniversary as the weavers and spinners that I met there provided an invaluable boost to my weaving skills and career. Colleagues there included Deb Menz and Marjie Thompson!

A sculptural inkle weave with wire called ‘Mild Fire’ and a quickie shibori warp dipped in an indigo vat at the Weaving Barn at Lynn Lake (Janney Simpson’s summer hangout) will close this posting. The scarf borders are Lithuanian stick-weave. See CW Journal February 2016 for details.

Mild Fire


Indigo Shibori on silk with stick-weave border


A Michigan tartan scarf ornamented with pine trees and 'beads-on-a-string motif, using that marvelous Lithuanian stick-weave technique presented in Reflections from A Flaxen Past.  See the Spring Complex Weavers Journal for details of both these double-harness weaves on simple 4-shaft counter balance looms.

Pray for Spring - and good water, Treadle with Joy, Kati