A meter and a half

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Cross this one off my bucket list; my Stjerne coverlet is woven. Ever since I have been weaving at Vävstuga, I’ve wanted to weave the cloth for this small coverlet. I spent four days creating this, choosing colors, modifying the draft to create the wide multicolor stripes, and weaving as fast as I could, to produce the cloth that has been living in my dreams. It even looks the way I imagined, with the dark grey wool softening the pattern, and the black stripes erasing the rigid symmetry of overshot. Fårö wool comes in such beautiful colors, and I was able to select shades of yellow, blue, green and light red that play well together and have the look of indigo, goldenrod and madder dyes.

See the sample of charcoal grey sheepskin resting on the cloth? This is what I have chosen for the lining of the coverlet. I can’t wait to go for a sleigh ride with this coverlet to keep me warm. (Some assembly required. Snow not included).

But first, I must design, weave and sew on a mitered border, maybe 10cm. in width This will add a bit of interest and a bit of size to the coverlet. Then, the fabric will go to the leather worker to have the  lining made, and then back to me for sewing it all together.

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My own studio seems so quiet after four days of weaving at Vävstuga, where all the looms come together in a symphony of creaks and thumps. Weavers talk from loom to loom, in disjointed conversations punctuated by intense silence when the work demands it. I like to think that the improvisations in my weaving ( I won’t call them mistakes because they are all in the spirit of the pattern) were born of the good conversations.

If I had all the time in the world to weave the cloth, it might have been more perfect. I only had four days. But, would perfect cloth, woven slowly and meticulously, have been as lively as cloth woven at a breakneck pace?

When we are filled with joy and enthusiasm, perfection is far from mind. Meter upon meter of thread passed through my fingers, at least two kilometers, and maybe more. I am satisfied with my cloth, and proud that I was able to push through the fatigue and get it done. What kept me going at times was a silly rhyme that my mother taught me when I was a child.

I had to laugh

To see the calf

Go down the path

A mile and a half

In a minute and a half

To have a bath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With certainty, yet open to what comes along

It’s January, and that means winter project time for me. Last year, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and ended up making my studio a more efficient work space. No wonder I wove so many things last year.

This year, I am very excited about my project. I am going to study Swedish art weaves: halvkrabba, krabbasnår, dukagång and rölakan. I am slightly familiar with rölakan, because it is interlocking tapestry, woven on a floor loom.

I have a sampler project from a back issue of Väv magazine as my starting point, If I like the experience and am pleased with what I’ve woven, I may mirror the sampler to create a long cushion for one of my weaving benches. If not, it could become a square cushion or a bag. I am open to all the possibilities.

The warp has been wound and is ready to beam on, and. I have ordered the yarn from Vävstuga. I am poised to begin.

All of this is possible because I am attuned to the rhythm of this place that is my home and studio. I know more about the person I am and the weaver that I’ve become. One of the strangest realizations is that I have absolutely no creative energy in November and December. The ever shortening daylight during that time sends me into a fog, and all I can do is wrap in a blanket, meditate and make gossamer plans. Now that the winter solstice is past, I can feel my energy returning and I am capable of a little more action.

In celebration of 2015

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A year of my life

I can see that I’ve found my way again as a weaver. Perhaps I was never really lost, but there were so many obstacles, whether real or perceived, for so many years, that I had begun to doubt.

In no particular order, this is what I wove

  • 3 small tapestries
  • 1 baby blanket
  • 4 placemats
  • 1 pillow cover
  • 3 mug rugs (and 9 more to be hemmed)
  • 3 tea towels
  • 3 potholders to match the tea towels
  • Assorted bands
  • 1 scarf
  • 2 baskets
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 doll
  • 1 amulet bag
  • 1 place setting bag

I also knit a pair of fingerless mitts. They count because the knitting class was at Vävstuga, my favorite weaving school.

This was also the year where I refined my herd of looms, giving Honey (Schacht Standard) a big hug and letting her set out on adventures of her own, and welcoming Juliet (Glimåkra Julia) to the studio. I also welcomed a new tapestry loom, band heddles, and a Norwegian cradle loom.