Friday, August 31, 2012

Just Noodling

Many (most) of the things that I spin/weave have a reason. They are planned out, specific: a gift, an item of clothing for a particular event or person, an article, a sample project for a class, magazine or book projects. From start to finish, the steps are laid out, from buying the fiber, spinning, dyeing and making the fabric.

In the past year though, some of the "reasons" have been Just To See.

Which fibers shrink most? felt more? fuzz (fibrillate) more in finishing? How does twist affect the structure and surface of the fabric? How many ways can I blend colors as a spinner? How does varied grist in the same fiber change the hand/drape/weight and utility of a fabric?

To answer these questions, and several more, I spun and wove samples.

Not projects, not finished things, just samples.

It was a very freeing thing, to spin for samples: they are quick, require very little investment in fiber and time, and showed me lots of things, even those in which nothing much happened. Some oft-repeated truisms were confirmed, others, not.

If we truly put hands to tools, we learn things in a way no teacher can teach. In a tactile way, a muscle memory way; a visceral way of knowing, not an intellectual way of knowing. I am weary of intellectual, verbal, repetitive, accepted information. I want it tactile.

And from all this busy-ness? I learned a few things. Perhaps what I learned is only true for me, my way of working, truth for only one fabric, but I'm fine with that. I can speak clearly and confidently about what happened with my fiber, my yarn, my fabrics.

Also? I got ideas. I have more to do now than ever, which, good or bad, seems always the case: work generates work. There is just no substitute for doing the work. No talking about it, no wishing or thinking about it, no reading about it, no journaling about what I will do next, no daydreaming or imagining how things would work, no repeating truisms will teach what the fibers really have to say: nothing beats just getting things done.

I'm looking forward to SOAR, coming up in a few months. I actually can hardly wait: I keep having to remind myself to take things one step at a time. As much as a teaching experience, this is also a learning experience for me: days with people who do things, not just think about things. I hope for questions, insights, things I did not notice to be pointed out. I have much new stuff to share,and look forward to what comes of it.

Of course, there were deadlines involved with all this wriggling in samples, so I had to move on, keep going and put those new ideas down on paper for later.

It's later. I am a bit rung out, so I will start with a few simple things that I can do while listening to the latest Three Pines mystery:
red silk warp

Then I will dive into the Next Thing, and make some new samples along the way.

Another Next:
El Segundo1
Segundo! (Segunda??) coming soon to a family close to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Something's Happening Here

3 fabrics

What it is ain't exactly clear. I recently purchased one of those fabrics, spun and wove two of them. Odd choices of colors for me, eh? Is it age? Are my eyes getting weak? Is it hot summer overload: do I just need respite from heat/color?

Anyway, I do love these soft color fabrics: they are restful and calm. Clue! Perhaps that's a bit of what I needed right now? Interesting (to me at least).

There is the counterpoint though:

spindle green metal flake

Green metal flake spindle! Fun and sparkly (although you will notice the choice of fiber is somewhat grey? I do love fog and cold weather...).

We are at the top of the slide now, just about done with summer:

top of the slide

Friday, August 10, 2012

18 Months, 60 Pounds and 2 Rolls of Tape

No, that's not a weight loss program!

The Big Box of work from the last 18 months was shipped out this week: 60 pounds. I should buy stock in the packing tape company: if packing tape could guarantee safe delivery, this box is a sure bet. What's in it? Mostly samples:

sample mania_edited-1

many of which look a lot like these! Boring, white and tells you not a whole lot, eh? I trust the professionals: their photos will make the samples much more clear, and the captions should tell the story. Let's hope it's a story worth reading...

Now? I am finishing up a few last things, getting ready to join The Box for the photo session. I have resisted constantly refreshing the tracking site. My current mantra: the box will make it, the box will make it. I feel a bit like this:

marin gardens seriously_edited-1

Somebody needs a hug (or a cool dip in the pool!)!

Friday, August 03, 2012

It's Out!

Silk Spinning!

Spinning Silk DVD Jacket.indd

It's available as a download now, and next week as a DVD. I have not seen the finished product myself yet, and am anxious to do so! There were a few gaffs, and one always wonders how the edited version looks/sounds. etc. Backstage nerves, so to speak...It's always disconcerting seeing the Real Thing for the first time after all the work.

Many thanks to all of you who have purchased it already, and sent kind notes, by email, here or on FB.

and to bring up the cute quotient:
marin bubbles and babies
Wet Babies!