Did you think, for a moment, that I was continuing the theme of local artisans by posting the work of another weaver? You will be surprised to know that I wove this scarf.
Somewhere along the14 yard black warp journey, I realized that I had never actually woven the kind of cloth that many hand weavers enjoy making–fancy twill. My original mentor loves this kind of cloth, and there are countless drafts for these designs. It’s never been on my to-do list, but I had an opportunity to weave this in community with an online group of weavers. One of the core principles of Saori weaving is that “we learn from each other.”
This year has been all about change and awakening, of the realization that just a tiny step sideways is all it takes to get out of a rut. Another core principle of Saori weaving is to “look out with eyes that shine.” I don’t think my eyes particularly shine when my nose is wrinkled in distaste. So, I felt like I should try a piece of fancy twill, and knew I had to approach it with an open mind and shining eyes.
I don’t think I could have gotten through the project without the purple stripe running up the side. It provided a living element to what was otherwise static. It was exciting to see the pattern submerge and re-emerge across the stripes.
So, that’s my adventure in fancy twill. Will I weave it again? Like all the other traditional weaving drafts that I’ve tried, I can see the pattern becoming a part of my vocabulary, a piece of the collage, an occasional patch within a freestyle piece. And that’s enough to make my eyes shine.
Continuing through Nov 17: Hilltown Artisans show and sale at Town Hall, Worthington, MA
Bark Basket by Jennifer Lee
Candle Holder (front) by Carol Ann Cushman of Owl Ridge Pottery, and handwoven linen by Beverly Bowman
Sometimes I wonder how, as a collage artist and weaver, can I simplify my surroundings? Do I really need so much yarn? Even though I only buy project-specific yarn, there’s always so much left over at the end of a project.
One of these days, I need to dream up a list of projects that will use up what I have, and then, I need to weave them. I need to engage others in helping me weaving down the surplus.
This is less of a question about what I have, and more of a question about who I am and how my values are evolving. I am in good company in New England, where thriftiness and frugality are a way of life. I am learning self-reliance. I’m even learning to cook or at least to cobble together a meal from the grocery store shelves. A year ago, I probably ate 4 or 5 meals at home each week. Now, I eat breakfast at home every day, and several dinners as well. Lunch is still the odd meal, eaten at the office cafe or wherever my weekend days take me.
And how does this relate to weaving?
Each of those dinners at home is likely to be followed by time for weaving. Also, the more I’m home, the more I am interested in weaving things for the home. Needful things. Woven mindfully.
So, with four looms….I should be four times as productive, or four times as happy. Something like that? I think I am on the way to being four times as happy, and will be when I get the right projects going on the right looms. Things are a bit muddled right now, with quick projects on slow looms, and vice versa.
I might just finish Alisoun’s hair ribbons, a quick project, on the Glimakra band loom, and then put something deliciously complex on the loom, maybe a wide band with more than 20 pattern threads, surrounded by a pair of wide and interesting borders.
My floor loom will probably take a rest after the Midnight Snowflake scarf. I hope to be moving to a new home and studio space in the next five months. I don’t want to repeat the hasty cutting of work-in-progress that was symbolic of my journey here. I can be content with two slow projects and a quick one on the smaller and more portable looms.
I still marvel every day at the convergence of circumstances that brought me home and continue to enrich my life.
The wheels of process turn slowly when buying a house. Maybe I am almost there. The final hurdle is Title 5, which is an extensive test of the septic system. I think I would walk away from the deal if it doesn’t pass, but it WILL pass.
While I wait for process to happen, I have been enjoying autumn in the northeast, and have gone to two fiber festivals. Mind you, I don’t need a thing when it comes to yarn, fiber to spin, or tools. But, it’s autumn and I love going to festivals.
First, there was Rhinebeck. Me and 47,000 of my closest textile arts buddies. I’m not used to crowds any more, but I still had a good time, and came home with a small bag of goodies.
- 2 Jonathan Bosworth weaving shuttles, one in a dusky bird’s eye maple and the other in purpleheart.
- Indigo and Black spinning clouds from Loop. The black is really black with every color under the sun, called Three Ring Circus. I buy some every year because it is always a little different from the previous year’s version.
- An Adirondack pack basket, because I always wanted one. Several basket makers had them for sale, but Ellen Hotis made the nicest ones, in my opinion.
- Three cones of bleached Irish linen 20/1 for weaving. I have some unbleached 40/2 from Webs that will be perfect with it.
- If I haven’t miss-counted, this was my 25th. visit to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. It was a perfect day and I had a wonderful time.Yesterday, I went to the Fiber Festival of New England, at the Eastern States Exposition. I didn’t have any expectations for the day. I do not like the Big E location, or their policies against outside food vendors. The festival was quite nice, for an indoor event, and I was pleased to see that there were over 200 vendors this year.
I looked at all the gorgeous yarn and fiber, and couldn’t resist some rose fiber from Hippie Chix Fiber Art. I also got some sari silk ribbon yarn, for weaving, and a set of antler buttons from Buttons, Strings and Things. The best of all was finding a maple spinning stool from Paul Baynes, at Spunky Eclectic, and also some wool/linen top for spinning.
This festival will never mean to me what Rhinebeck does, but it is easy to get there and the vendor selection is very good. It has earned a place in my festival calendar.
I’ll have to tell you later what I wore to this year’s festivals. It deserves a post of its own. But first, a few photos of some pretty things.
Above, from New York Sheep and Wool Festival. Below, from Fiber Festival of New England.