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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Another Summer in Michigan

If anyone's been "trying" to follow me, you'll know I haven't been keeping up with my blog. Writing is not one of my favorite things. New plan - Less words, more pictures. And pictures tell a story so much better. Now maybe I'll do it more often.

Spring Lake, Michigan. We arrived here in April. After a warm and lovely winter in Arizona, Michigan in April felt like going back in time. It rained and sleeted and snowed. All I could do was work on small loom projects as I looked out my RV window at the snow and rain.

Early April snow outside my RV window

Zoom Looming as it rains
But it's spring here now with green grass, spring flowers, and bird songs. I've missed this kind of spring since living in the West.

I got here just in time to do Western Michigan's Yarn Quest. I visited 15 yarn stores in two weeks. Now I have many new fiber friends. And through those contacts I'm scheduled to teach more classes. Check my Schedule Tab to see where I will be next.

Learn to Weave and make a Scarf/Infinity Scarf
One of my beginning classes at yarn stores

For now I've rented a studio in Muskegon on Lakeshore Drive. The RV is way too small. How did I get so lucky. So much light and that view . . .

View across the street to the Marina

Looks like it will be a busy summer mixed with work and fun and enjoying the short summer season while I'm here in this beautiful part of the world. 
Lake Michigan with singing sand

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Border Collie from the "Woof" Collection Sampler Part 2

Finished Cowl
Now if I only had a border collie, we could coordinate!
When I finished the first sampler scarf, I had a lot of yarn leftover. I had no idea how much so I decided to make a short warp the same width as the first project and just see what I'd get.

I warped the loom, lining up the blocks of black and white just like I had done in the scarf sampler.
You can see by the shuttles how much of the black and white yarn I had to work with after warping.

Here the black weft begins covering the jagged edges of black warp threads
where it begins to moves to white.
Almost immediately the little patterns begin to emerge.

Looking down at the jagged area
where the section of white gradually becomes black.

Next, I mixed it up by weaving with two shuttles in the white section; one pick black, one pick black and white. That was interesting.

White stripes appear wider apart than if I was using only one shuttle. 
I switched to one shuttle to weave with the last of  the black and white yarn.

Once again those little lines appear in this section

I finished it out with a section of black weft.

So there it is. Just long enough to make into a cowl. I loved this project on so many levels. Just going with the flow and playing with techniques is always my favorite way to work. And then the yarn. This Ancient Arts Yarns superwash, 3-ply fingering/sock yarn in merino was soft and yet not too stretchy to use in the warp. After wet finishing it was even softer. The fabric drapes nicely. I will definitely weave with this yarn again.