Monday, January 28, 2019

In Limbo

We had a substitute teacher today as our instructor was out of town.  He told us that we would be doing three 45 minute sketches.  He must have thought we were advanced students because the subjects he arranged were tough.  The exercise was to draw the negative space, not the actual figures themselves.  I didn't bother taking a picture of the first study.  The second one was a grouping of three chairs and a stool.  It was hard!
The last study was a pile of six pillows and we ran out of time.  Some of the students stayed on to finish theirs but I felt like I understood the challenge and hope I don't have to do it again.  This is the fourth week of our ten week class.  

I am still waiting for approval from my insurance to have surgery on my left foot.  I met with the surgeon on the 17th and all I know is that he's going to remove two neuromas and put a pin on my second toe.  I'll be in a walking cast for six weeks after that, which means Ian is going to have to drop me off at the beginning of class and pick me up at the end, since the only car we have is stick shift.  Also hanging over my head is my booth at Fiber Market Day on March 30th.  I have no idea how this is going to play out.  If I have to I can place my things in our Guild book and just forfeit my entry fee
I've been hustling to get this ten-towel warp woven, thinking that any day now I could get called to schedule surgery.  All I know is that he does procedures on a Thursday so I know I'm good for this week.  When I came home from class today I decided to gamble that I'll have the next two months to weave and ordered ten cones of yarn from Webs.  I'm super low on colors, and have only been able to come up with one more warp with the yarn I have.  We'll see how it goes, but I'm  hoping to hang in there until April 4th.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Test - Art Class

I think I can post full pictures with this program. We were each given a small glass of juice and a raised glazed donut in art class today. First we drew them, then we ate them. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I threw in the towel

I took a Crackle Weave class three years ago from Susan Wilson and I also bought her book.  I used a direct tie-up loom in the workshop which functions like a table loom, which added a dimension of difficulty to the class.  Instead of tackling it again on my floor loom when I got home I let the trail go cold.  I tried it again last year using an article from Handwoven but had the same problems, mostly loops on the backside.  I’ve been branching out and trying things with a greater degree of difficulty so decided to try it again.
One of things that gives Crackle all the colors is the use of three shuttles.  I just couldn’t get any kind of rhythm going to finally decided to just weave with one shuttle and thought things were going swimmingly until I checked the back.  More loops!  Not as many as with three shuttles but still unacceptable.  I cut the warp off and retensioned it.
I wove along happily, trusting the fixing the tension had fixed the problem.  It hadn’t.

This is the back side and I’m not interested in hand sewing all those loops.
I gave it to Maddie and she was quite pleased with it.  That’s about all it’s good for.  I wasted two days and didn’t even get one single towel.  I know when it’s time to quit.
Today is my volunteer shift at the art gallery so in the back of my mind I kept wondering what I could do with the remaining warp.  I mean I really like the colors together.  This idea came to me when I was driving home and I do think it’s attractive.  I can see the results of threading errors but I think in this came they’ll come out in the wash.
Meanwhile I have started winding another warp in zinnia colors.  I’m out of my favorite go-to colors and really need to make an order soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Winter of my Discontent

The Morton’s neuroma in my left foot has become so painful in the last couple of weeks that I have to limit walking to what’s absolutely necessary.  Which means I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and reading.  This is the sweater I’ll give at my granddaughter-to-be’s shower.  I’m pleased with how it went through the washer and dryer - Malabrigo Rios.

I’ve started another sweater from Swans Island wool which is machine washable in cool water but the instructions say to dry flat.  I’m disappointment and would not have bought it had I realized that ahead of time.  I’ve decided to dry it on low and accept the results.  A baby sweater needs to be easy care.

I got the Bartlett yarn skeined and washed.  This is actually weaving yarn so you can see the spinning oil on the skein in back makes the yarn look like linen or twine.  After washing it blooms and doubles in the volume.

I’m in the process of swatching now.

The first week of my drawing class is over and we have nine weeks left.  It seems like a tall order to become proficient in that short space of time but Bill Hoppe assures us we’ll be happily drawing by the time the class ends.  Last Wednesday we drew lilies and our shoes.  I was wearing snow boots that day as you can see  The hike up to Pence Hall is murder on my foot.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon this Thursday and hope he’ll at least give me another cortisone shot for some temporary relief.

I’ve finished the Classic Drall towels which is simply Turned Twill in little squares.  They seem drab compared to the turned taquete towels I like to weave.  I think I’m going to use a profile draft and come up with another configuration of them.  The towel on the right is variegated yarn that I bought when I first started weaving.  I bought three cones thinking they’d be so useful and versatile.  I have yet to find a way to use variegated yarn in a way that I find pleasing.  I still have two partial cones left and they’re going to the thrift store.  The dust on top tells the story.

This Christmas cactus didn’t bloom in December, but it did bloom like this in October for my birthday and now again for the new year.  My son was impressed and wanted to know the secret to my success.  I have no idea.  It’s lucky to be alive given how often I forget to water it. It’s so pretty.  I really need to be nicer to it.
We’re going to see the matinee showing of Kiss of Spiderwoman at the theater where we have season tickets.  None of our friends want to see it and I’m not sure I do but it won six Tonys so it did something right.  This is the theater company’s most ambitious production to date.  They’re even going to have a ten-piece orchestra - don’t know where they’re going to put them in that little space but it’ll be memorable for sure.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Much better!

Our weave/study group is studying block weaves which was our topic of study about two years ago. Many of us, myself included, still couldn’t claim to have a clear understanding. At our last meeting we submitted for comment our profile draft, weave structure and choice of yarns to Patty, our study leader. I chose 8/2 Tencel and turned twill for my project. She said she thought it would be pretty, but when I came home and put the profile draft in my weaving software, it was absolutely too busy to be an attractive scarf. I was stumped and that’s when I decided to weave the overshot table runners.
This last month has been pretty busy but our group is meeting this week, tomorrow in fact, and I don’t want to lose to opportunity to solidify my understanding of block weaves, so Saturday I found a profile draft in Strickler’s eight-shaft book and put it in my software. Then I wound a dark purple warp and got it beamed on.  Sunday I threaded and sleyed the reed and by then it was too dark to see. Monday morning I wove this far and I absolutely love it! II had to idea what it would look like.

I had some time this afternoon so started on a new towel.  I chose a weft with the exact same value instead of a lighter one, and these are much more pleasing to my eye.  I might even try orange on the third towel!

Monday afternoon I went up to the local community college to attend an art class. I knew it was full and I was five on the wait-list but I just threw myself on the instructor’s mercy, and hallelujah, I’m in! For the first time in twenty years I am attending college, and I even have a parking permit to keep tickets off my windshield. Yes, I got one.  The class is Drawing 1.  I’ve put off learning to draw long enough. The next ten weeks are going to be very busy.

I finished this sweater for my granddaughter-to-be and will gift it at the baby shower next month.  It’s Malabrigo Rios and while I love the look of the yarn and enjoy working with it, it seems too heavy for a baby sweater.  The yarn I’m knitting now is from Swans Island, gauge 25 stitches to 4” and I like it much better.

I just ordered another cone from Bartlett Yarns in Maine.  I like the hand of the cloth when it’s finished and I like the feel of the wool in my fingers.  The hitch is that I have to skein and wash all of the yarn before I can start knitting.

This is the sweater I’ll knit with it, another Heidi Kirrmaier design.  I’ve gotten spoiled with the perfection of her patterns so when I first started knitting the Swans Island yarn, I chose a sweater pattern from Ravelry.  It was cute and seemed to have a lot of happy knitters.  The errors by the time I had knit 2” made me throw in the towel.  Instead I’m going with a pattern from Garn Studio called Baby Fir Jacket.

It’s much easier to follow and this is how far I got starting this morning.  Much better when the instructions are better!
Tomorrow is going to be a full day, weave/study in the morning in Redmond and art class in Bend in the afternoon.  I’m going to eat cold pizza in the car for lunch, I hope it doen’t snow!