Friday, March 24, 2017

First Craft Fair of 2017

I am semi-frantic.  I really don't know where the time went, because here I am today, one day before the Fiber Market Day show tomorrow and I'm finishing towels.
With the help of my demented assistant Maddy, I was able to get these hemmed and into the washer while I ran errands.  I ran four errands including picking up some cash for tomorrow and still was back home within the hour.  I could get used to this small town living!
I'm making lists and piling up the things I need to take.  Maddy is looking on with displeasure.  She does *not* like change of any kind.  They're drying now, then need to be pressed and labeled.  And from there into the car.  I need to leave here at 6:30 in the morning so need everything done today.  Prineville is only an hour from here and to think that's what I drove one-way to work every day until I retired.  I can hardly fathom that.
I am taking a warp-painting class in four weeks.  These yarns are all a variety rayon/cotton that I've been given over the years.  I'm going to ask for help in determining the sett so I can get started winding these guys.

This is the forlorn warp that's been hanging from Arthur for the past couple of weeks.  I'm anxious to try some other laces and scarves are a great way to sample.
My workshop loom is ready and in the garage awaiting a Supplemental Warp workshop next Saturday.  I'm proud to say that I warped this from the back following the Web's YouTube video on  my iPad, pausing between steps.  It was helpful that the loom is so small but I do want to try it again on one of my Gilmores.
I was feeling flush with the anticipated sales tomorrow (probably deluding myself is more like it) that I took my print down to Denise to get it framed.  She did various combinations but I couldn't get past the traditional standard white mat - so she brought out her "white" samples.  Holy cow!  I finally opted for a minimal mat with painted bevel and a minimal frame.  It's going to hang in the bedroom so most people won't see it anyway.

I started this day with an hour video chat with my daughter who is in Massachusetts visiting her oldest son and his family.  Her daughter-in-law Shannon told her this morning that FaceBook has a video/chat option, it's how she talks to her sister.  It's not as smooth as FaceTime but Chrisssie doesn't have an iPhone.  I got a tour of their house and lots of kid action.  Olivia was happy to help with the tour.  Owen was just happy - he's one :)

Okay, 'nuf of this.  I'ts time to label the towels and pack the car.  Then it's pizza and NCAA basketball.  My bracket isn't dead yet!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to RePurpose a Hand Knit Sweater

Step 1:  Put the sweater on a chair and walk around it for three months until you can no longer ignore it.

Step 2:  Identify a pattern that will be a suitable replacement and without the annoying attributes of the original sweater, i.e., too large and gauge too dense.

Step 3:  Start snipping and ripping.

Step 4:  Wind onto a Knitty Knotty and tie into hanks.  This is a twitchy step because the wild and energized yarn is wild and energized.

Stage 5:  Put the hanks into the sink and given them a nice warm soak.

Stage 6:  Squeeze out the water, blot in a bath towel and hang to dry.  This will be my NCAA knitting and I'll have you know that I placed my $5 pool entry on Gonzaga for the win.  Go Zags!!

Scoff if you  must, but over 20 years ago I placed my $5 pool entry on the Arizona Sun Devils and I won.  I bought this watercolor from Jodi Rossi, author and illustrator of the children's book, Gully Washer.  (Sorry about the reflections) My scientific method was to choose the team most westerly of the two in each game which in the end came down to Arizona.  This year I picked Catholic schools.  Go Zags!  I look forward to this tournament and the connections I have to people in our pool, and yes, we go back 20 years
I know I showed this in my last post but I kept thinking about it, wanting to see it, not wanting to pay for another frame.  Last week I finally resolved this by using double-stick tape and attaching it to a framed picture already hanging in our bedroom.  It's a watercolor that belonged to Ian's dad, one that his dad really enjoyed.  After I couple of days I asked him if he noticed anything different in our bedroom.  It took him quite a while, we both laughed, and we left it there.  I call it Ginkgos in Love.

Today I hung another of my prints.  I used this frame that was upstairs, trimmed down a monotype that I like and call it Sunlight on the Bayou.  As you can see I've been bitten hard by the printmaking bug.  I'm also weaving up for storm of dishtowels for Fiber Market Day in Prineville in two weeks, same old, same old.
Point of Celebration:  Our snow is gone, melted away.  Also the construction machines that have been noisily in process behind our house are getting ready to put down pavement.  I think the end is in sight, or hearing :)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

It was a productive day

Thursday was the fifth and last session in the Introduction to Printmaking class.  Our final subject was Monotype and since I took a class in it last fall, was happy to have the refresher.  I printed six times that night and this one is my favorite.  In fact, I hung it in the bedroom.  I'm waiting to see how long before Ian notices something is different.
This is the "ghost print" which is an option if there's enough unexhausted ink on the plate.  I turned the ginkgo leaves over since they still had ink on the underside and put them back on the right side.  I like this print too.
I couldn't print my Lino Cut plate last week since it wasn't finished.  I finished it Monday on my volunteer shift and printed it before class.
I asked Michelle for permission to take a photo of her shirt.  I really do need one of these!  We work hard during our class periods, standing the entire time.  There's just no time to sit.  I've made good friends in each class and since we can use the studio as members, these friendships have continue to grow - yet another reason why I love Bend.
I've come down to the final week before the final session of Pat Clark's drawing class.  Our actual class ended a month ago but Pat came up with a little something extra.  On the last class we were all given a 16" x 20" piece of watercolor paper and put our initials on the back.  Pat set up seven drawing stations and we had 2 minutes to do a contour drawing of the object.  The thing on the left is a chicken foot.  The piece of stick was my contribution to this collection of lines.  At the end of 2 minutes we passed our paper clockwise to the next drawing station.  I was stumped because I need a center section to remain unpainted and don't have enough skills to know how to do that.
I met with Pat at her open studio session on Wednesday afternoon and got some answers.  I bought some masking fluid thinking I'd just have to mask the whole area but reading about it, realized that it's only for small areas.  Pat told me to make a template and attach it with blue painters tape.  I attached this yesterday and did the wash background.  Today I painted in figures, watercolor on the left side and acrylic on the right.  I'm starting to feel more confident with watercolor, especially since I've discovered I can manipulate it with my finger.
I removed the template today and it's pristine - huge relief!
I explained to Pat that I had to keep that area white so I could collage this piece on but she just shook her head and said, no collage - no glue.  Gleep.  I'm pretty content with this project and obviously it's not a work of art, just a work of learning experience.  She had listed three directives for this:  1) Dominant color - yellow ochre; 2) Must have an architectural detail - window; 3) Must have an element: earth, fire, water, air - clouds, ala Rene Magritte.  I was feeling pretty smug until she said - No glue!
As for Maudie Mae's broken wing, I bought mountaineer webbing from Gear Fix, a business right next door to the A6 studio.  I was dropping off my Tai Chi shoes there to have the forefoot stretched when I realized that the shoe guy might be able to put in a rivet.  Here's the old and new webbing.  He was impressed that the 60-year-old cotton webbing had lasted as long as it did.
This is the unbroken webbing but as you can it was just a matter of time before it broke too.
The new webbing is perfect and there's that wonderful rivet.  I got everything back together this morning and was able to weave two towels and start a third. I didn't realize that the old webbing had started to stretch so that the apron rod wasn't square to the breast beam.  I noticed the difference today almost right away.  

I was devastated when the webbing snapped and I was at a loss what to do next.  I can't help think how both of the things I worked on today had that in common.  I didn't know what to do to fix things but when I dug in and went to work, the solutions evolved in the process.  It was a productive day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Best Laid Plans




I'm out of towels in my Tidepool color way and since I've woven them a number of times, just quickly glanced at my notes.  Oh how I wish I would have taken a few more minutes.  I paired two colors that don't belong together in this setting, the green and gold on the right.  I've since wound a replacement bout and labeled the other one to use in a Harvest set of towels.

This set of towels is having a hard time getting off the ground.  I wove about 2.5" before noticing a glaring sleying error.  Threading errors are a pretty quick fix but sleying errors take time.  I went for a walk and fixed the mistake afterwards.  I had to shift 5" of warp threads one dent to the right and then relash.to the apron rod.
It's still cold but we've have had some blue skies the past couple of days and it's refreshing to finally be able to get out into the field for morning walks.  Especially since my five-year-old SAD light bit the dust three days ago.  I ordered a replacement from Amazon and got it about an hour ago.  I'm sitting in front of it right now!
Once again, I addressed my loom only to have the webbing to the apron rod snap in two.  I was aware that it was looking pretty frayed but I certainly didn't think it was this serious.  I had to go to two places for replacement webbing and two places for new brads to replace the ones currently being used.  Both sides need to be replaced, just not today.

I recently completed two huck scarves so at least I have them to add to my inventory for Fiber Market Day, March 25th.  I'm crossing my fingers that the loom repair will just be an annoying blip.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Keeping Busy in a Dark Month

 The Zinnia towels are off the loom, tagged and ready for sale.
And the orange codpiece got wrestled into the shape of a carrot, manhandled I must say.
 These are all the pieces that I had time to knit, minus the cucumber I whipped out at the last minute.
The market bag is done.
And when I put them together they look like this, all ready for Olivia's (my great-granddaughter) 4th birthday next week.
I even made a birthday card for her from a monotype print that I wasn't very pleased with.
And speaking of printmaking, last night was the fourth class in a five-class series called Introduction to Printmaking.  We focused on linoleum cuts using Gomubond, a material softer and more malleable than linoleum.  Speedball makes just three gouges 1-3 so I carved each bird with a different tip.  The thinnest is on the left and #3 is in the middle.  We only had 2 1/2 hours last night so I need to go in to the studio some afternoon to finish this up before our last class next Thursday.
Of the three we've completed, my favorite technique is collograph, and while I did like the lino cuts, I didn't enjoy dry point etching much at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Knitting Up a Storm


I woke up to rain on the skylights this morning and it's continued on and off all morning.  We're ready to see the snow go.  According to the Bible story, a rainbow is God's symbol to Noah that he will bring the rain to an end.  I'm ready for that too.
I bought a book on how to knit stuffed animals but after knitting all the pieces up, was simply incapable of sewing them together in any fashion that was remotely cute.  I threw these pieces in the trash, put the book in a library donation pile and knitted Owen the blue bear.  I learned that I'd rather do all the shaping on my needles rather than do it this way.
At least I thought that's what I preferred until I got to the end of this "carrot" and find that I have knitted an orange codpiece.  The Arumagami book is challenging but I managed all the other veggies in the book, just not this one.  I'm looking on Ravelry for an alternative pattern.  I need to hurry though as Olivia's birthday is March 1st.
These are the veggies I've knitted so far and the garlic is my favorite.
I finished the market bag last night but in looking at it this morning I realize that it's inappropriate for a four-year-old girl.  It's just too big for her.
I tore it back this morning from 100 stitches to a base of 80 stitches.  The lace pattern is simply Row 1 - *knit 2 tog, YO* repeat, and Row 2 - Knit.  It should go quickly but if it has to be late, I'd rather it's cute and the right size.
I've been knitting away on my daughter's scarf (which she has asked me to sew into a cowl) but since her birthday is in April and this is almost done, I'll set aside for now.  I look forward to seeing it blocked.  These are all colors that she loves and wears.

I made the mistake of signing up for two art classes that were offered concurrently so have been spending huge amounts of time on my projects, and in fact, I have a class tonight which is five-week course sampling four printmaking techniques.  I did take my bin of handwovens to the last session of my drawing class and sold a couple hundred dollars worth, including the iridescent scarf, and they've asked me to bring my stuff back to our next session.  I've been weaving like a mad woman, in between everything else.

And then there's the issue of body maintenance - I try to get to three Tai Chi sessions a week and continue with my home program in follow-up to four months of physical therapy.  This week my body took a beating, starting with a visit to Urgent Care Sunday morning because I woke up with my right eye glued shut.  Stye!  Remember those?  I spent 2 1/2 hours in the dentists chair Tuesday afternoon getting prepped for a crown and tomorrow is my one-year follow-up mammo.  It's been a year!

My mother used to say that the demands of caring for her old body had become like a hobby, one she didn't like. Speaking of my mother, I found a box containing papers that she had saved.  I had a number of boxes in our garage in Red Rock but procrastinated in taking care of them to the point that mice made nests of most everything.  Ian found the mess when packing up the garage and put anything salvageable in a bin.
One of the boxes lost to the mice was all the artwork that I had saved from my kids school days so I was delighted to find that she had saved this of Christina's.  I'm using it as the image for my Dry Point class tonight.
Ian went to Costco Monday while I was at A6 for my volunteer shift.  iPads were on sale and this one came home with him.  He's already claimed my old one and can't believe how much he likes and uses it.  I'm deliberating on whether or not to buy an external keypad. I'm cheap!