Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Clean Greys vs. Dirty

Meg mentioned that grey is her favorite color, and it is mine too (I like to think that we are evil twins as weavers as well as weeders). I love grey in cloth, but not in nature. Right now, it is that gloomy time of spring when the temperatures still fluctuate between 30s and 60s, and our tall plants are smashed and drooping to the ground as a result of having not been trimmed (my bad) in the fall, and having had so much snow heaped upon them all winter (mother nature's bad). Outside looks dirty grey, and we need a few good April showers to wash away the winter debris. And, of course, I need to get outside in my rain boots and lop off a few tall grasses.

Meanwhile, the spring cleaning bug has bitten, and I have done little else, other than prepare for Passover and spin this merino/silk blend.

I made a few weak attempts at weaving the black and cream, but I just haven't enjoyed it. I tried a grey weft, but it just didn't pop. I adjusted the sett, and that did work, so I kept going with the black for about 22 inches. Then I just couldn't. It's one of those drafts, I suppose, that is good if you have planned yardage for a specific purpose, such as chair cushions, but since it is not a wide enough warp for chair cushions, I have decided not to continue with it. I decided, instead, in my classic early spring ennui and laziness, to empty my leftover handspun bobbins into a plain weave scarf whose colors remind me of our Florida vacation this past winter.

Yes, you've seen these colors from me before. I suppose that they are my colors, for now; but I do love the elegance of white, grey and silver, and I hope to work more in a grey-scale palette in the future. Perhaps I will throw a few silver inlays into this piece, just to make the transition, and make it not-so-plain; but I do love how the colors are as haphazardly changeable as the ocean, and I don't want to over-design.

But rain? Yes, please. Clean greys are always welcome.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Keeping Warm

With so much yarn and fiber in the house, Art and I should be well insulated against the frigid anger of a polar vortex. Alas, we still need a pot of soup to get through the weekend. No instructions, here--I don't actually have a written-in-stone recipe, but it would have to begin with these beauties, a bay leaf, a few peppercorns and a bulb of garlic.

Stay safe and warm this weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weaving, Taxes or Chai?

I should be working on my taxes, or figuring out which weft to use on this project...

I'm leaning toward the grey, for something soft and elegant. This is the first time I've waded into undulating twill territory, and I'm excited to be doing something a little different. After I get my feet wet with the grey, I plan to take another step forward by combining treadlings and wefts. We'll see. I try not to plan too far ahead.

Meanwhile, while that percolates, and because taxes are so boring, allow me to share my W2W15 goodies! I received two packages, this year, from Meg and Patty in Logan, UT. Patty's package came just as I was leaving for a ten-day out-of-town trip. As a result, I had time to wonder and imagine what might be inside the little box.

Patty included photos of Utah (I had no idea how many glorious colors Utah has--I always imagined a brown-grey place in the middle of nowhere), bits of lovely handspun yarn informed by those colors, and a flyer that states, "You Could Die Out Here." Also included were a bar of sweetly scented goat milk soap, a packet of glossy solar-dyed mohair locks from a Utah ranch, a bracelet from Patty's travels in Thailand, and a bag of banana fiber reminiscent of the colors prevalent in Thai designs. And, most deliciously, a photo of chai, because Patty has made a tradition of having a cup before she goes to her studio to spin or weave. A new way for me to procrastinate on those taxes? Yes please!

Meg's envelope came while I was away. I knew it would be breathtaking, and I was right! First, of course, was the Nick Bantock inspired envelope which included a page from Hamlet (how did she know I love Shakespeare?) and a customs declaration stating "No Commercial Value"--and how was Customs to know that there were all manner of other value to be contained within?


Okay, I'm calming down. We begin with Meg's note on lovely handmade paper from Nepal, which is apt because she enclosed items that represent "ordinary but well-designed" packaging, geometric designs, "stories", as well as maps, a delightful Cecily cartoon, stunning paper and fabric bits, and yarn samples. So much inspiration! Were the big yellowish brushstrokes in the lower left-hand corner an homage to Vincent from Meg's own hand? I loved the magazine clipping of hand-beaded boots, the ad for the Nelson Chamber Music Festival (I really am sorry I missed that one), the postcard from The Hiroshima Panels by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki, and the postcard from the Ongon Lotus Fair.

These Weaver to Weaver packages are like design vitamins, packed with more than the daily requirement of inspiration to inform our weaving practices. Many thanks to Meg and Patty for all the wonderful goodies.

And now...will it be weaving, taxes or chai?