Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hip to be Square

This has to be one of my favorite designs ever! When Jane Patrick from Schacht Spindle Company called to ask if I'd create a piece featuring the Zoom Loom for TNNA (The National Needle Arts) Convention, I couldn't say "no".

And then there is the yarn. I had previously worked with Classic Elite's Liberty Wool Print on my rigid heddle loom. With the long color repeats, the effects when woven are spectacular. It comes in many colorways and is completely machine washable. What's not to love about this yarn? 

I had an idea in mind  when I started weaving the squares, and it evolved from there. To really show off the woven squares, I outlined them with crochet in a solid color. Classic Elite Yarns had the perfect Liberty Wool solid to coordinate. I played around with several arrangements of the squares. There are so many possibilities. I settled on the one I liked best and stitched them together. To add another element, a rib knit border and turtleneck were added. And the results, well all I can say is, It's Hip to be Square!

To purchase the pattern:

Special thanks to Jane Patrick, Heather McVicker and Sandra Geonetta

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

May Studio Stuff

Fun stuff at my studio in May included rigid heddle and Zoom Loom weaving classes. It was so rewarding to be able to introduce weaving on small looms to a new group locally. And having a classroom next to my studio was an added bonus. This time there was no need to pile looms and all my things into my car and drive them somewhere.

New classroom space worked out perfectly!

The T-shirt I bought at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber
 Festival last fall turned out to be an appropriate visual aid.

In addition to teaching, I've also been busy working on new designs that will become patterns for rigid heddle and pin loom weavers. Watch for them in my next blog post.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Busy Hands are Happy Hands!

Too busy to blog, I suppose that's a good thing since I'm having so much fun. But I do want to catch up here.
My newest pattern is the Colorado Rustic Poncho based on the Rustic Poncho from last year, but updated with a worsted weight yarn, Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney Wool and available in colors. Both patterns are available in my Etsy Shop.

Courtney models this so well!

Since January, I am the newest "artist-in-residence" at the Artisan Textile Company where I moved my studio into their newly acquired space which is a total win/win! I can weave, design, teach, and interact with other textile people all in the same place.

Located at 121 Broadway Avenue, Pueblo, CO
My Baby Wolf Loom in my new studio.

Last month I drove back to New Mexico to teach again. It always amazes me how different New Mexico is from Colorado even though they're next door neighbors. Love the big skies!

Watch for new projects I'll be designing including this project for Cotton Clouds with organic natural colored cotton. I'll have more information on this project as the designing begins.

And I've still had time to explore the nature walk along the Arkansas River.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Colorado Again

After our crazy year of travel, we found a place to move in Colorado. After much research, the small city of Pueblo seemed to call to us. But first we returned to New Mexico to pack up our stuff and regroup. So...another month in an RV park!

I got to hang out with old friends at the
Pecos Valley Potter's Guild Show in Roswell, NM

My big studio sale before I left NM

Now I am extremely happy and grateful to find myself settled into a "real" house and totally immersed in my new life in Colorado. I don't have as much space in my small attic studio but for now it will have to do.

 And there's a bonus space for my own little cozy sitting area and the doggie bed fits perfectly next to my desk. I love the light from the skylight and double windows. I may be a bit cramped but I'm gonna make it work!

Next Chapter
When I first walked into Artisan Textile Company on my visit to Pueblo back in November, I knew almost immediately this would be the place.

I was invited to become one of the fiber artists there. I now work one day a week. In addition I will teach weaving classes beginning this spring.

Riverwalk in downtown Pueblo
Close enough to escape to the mountains
I must say, it's good to be back in Colorado again. Yes, it snows here. But the sun shines. A lot! This place suites me and I'm so happy to be here.

And, if you happen to be in Colorado or traveling through, Please do stop by Artisan Textile Company, 113 Broadway, in Pueblo and say "hi"!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here's to New Beginnings

Once again, the seasons change. Transitions, change and "where to next;" these are themes I circle around more than most. I have a restless nature. In spite of the fact that my restlessness requires change, it's not always easy. Sometimes it's downright scary. Setting out to the unknown is sometimes like jumping off of a cliff, not knowing if I'll fall or fly. But I keep hanging on to that invisible thread that's always been leading me to the next place I need to be. It hasn't let me down yet. And I have no regrets.

In December 2015, Carl and I set out with an unsure future. We knew it was time to leave New Mexico and relocate elsewhere. The quest was on. So we rented out our house, packed as much as we could haul in the RV and tow car, and headed first to Arizona for the winter.

After a winter in Arizona, we landed in Michigan where Carl was occupied with family business and  I spent the summer exploring. I visited a bunch of yarn stores and soon was happily teaching weaving classes at some of those stores.

This year was also a year of losses and endings. We laid to rest both my Mother-in-law in Michigan and my Mother in Alabama. I was able to return to all my previous homes; Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia to once again say goodbye to old friends and to my past. Now I am truly ready for new beginnings.

I arrived in Denver this week to some of the most beautiful fall weather I think I've ever seen here in the West. The blue skies are bluer than I remember and the fall leaves are at their peak. I'll be focusing most of my time this month searching for a new home and studio in Colorado and a place to re-establish my business headquarters. I will continue to post updates so you'll know my whereabouts.

Fringy Cowl
 In the meantime, I'm still selling my patterns and kits on my Etsy Store. I've just re-listed my Fringy Cowl as a kit with multiple color choices and my newest pattern, the Rustic Poncho will soon be available as a kit as well as a pattern. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with where I am and what new directions I might take.

Rustic Poncho

 And here's to new beginnings!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rustic Poncho on A Small Rigid Heddle Loom

Through most of my weaving career I've had a studio in which to spread out and work, and a variety of loom sizes to choose from. Since living in an RV/Motorhome for most of 2016, I've learned firsthand the need for smaller looms in smaller spaces. So this summer I challenged myself to design a project using only the 10-inch Cricket Rigid Heddle loom that would be more than just a scarf. Building on the idea of sewing squares together as I did in my Zoom Loom Garments, I came up with this Rustic Poncho.

I started with three natural colors of wool fingering yarn. I used Bare Naked Wools, but any three natural wools would work.
Since I was limited to a 10-inch weaving width, I made three separate warps each a little shorter than a scarf.

After weaving and wet finishing, the sections were hand-stitched together. So no need for a sewing machine either.
I love the nice lightweight fabric this produced. This is not a heavy garment but more of a nice extra layer that could substitute for a sweater.
Click this link of the Rustic Poncho Pattern at my Etsy store. And kits will be available soon.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Michigan Summer of Traveling and Teaching

This summer in Michigan has been a full summer teaching weaving at yarn stores and quilt shops in Western Michigan. And the back roads aren't boring either.

Summer Storm somewhere between Newaygo and Muskegon

Scarf Class at Apple Knits & Purls in Muskegon
Beautiful scarf and a happy new weaver
Shabby Chic Table Runner Class at The New Ewe, Newaygo

I taught a version of my Fringy Cowl using Sari Silk at The Michigan Fibre Studio in Grand Rapids.

I traveled to Albia, Iowa to The Fiber Arts Shoppe where I taught a weekend of workshops. One of which was my "Weave A Rainbow/Color Theory for Weavers Workshop."

Warp for the Color Gamp Scarf

Weave A Rainbow Color Gamp Scarf
I made them work for the Chocolate they found in their packet
I stayed with my hostess, Sherri, in her beautiful country home. She gave me a tour of their natural pasture land for the deer to feed, and introduced me to their alpacas and homing pigeons.

I took a week to travel to Pittsburgh to be with my grandkids.

Last day of school and a ride in the Grandmom bus
otherwise known as the old Volvo Station Wagon.
An afternoon craft activity with my yarn thrums
Moon rising over the neighborhood my last night in Pittsburgh

And finally I traveled to Mississippi for a family reunion with my six siblings, their children and grandchildren at the campground of my childhood.

And all of this travel was just me, alone in my good old trusty Volvo station wagon. I wish Carl could have joined me, but he had family responsibilities to attend to.

In spite of my busy schedule of teaching and traveling, I was able to work in a bit of weaving for me and some local activities and time with Carl and Jujube my dog.
New Bonsai Vest made on my 15" Rigid Heddle Loom

Muskegon Farmer's Market. Just Amazing!

July 4th hike through the sand dunes to Lake Michigan

 Lots of morning and evening walks on the bike path

And so much beauty in nature

But our main reason for spending this summer in Michigan was so we could be here with my Mother-in-Law as she was in failing health and in hospice. She left us in July. We will always be grateful that we were here with the family this summer.
One of the last blooms on my Mother-in-Law's Bird of Paradise Plant