Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All in Good Time

These warps were painted in 1987:

fabric Nov 2007

Yep, 20 years ago. They've lived in baskets and boxes since then, hauled from place to place through 5 different studios.

What was wrong with them? Well, they were boring. They were purples, blues and pinks, screaming fuchsia pinks, with no accent colors. I just could not think of how to use them.

So I packed them away, hauled them around, shuffled them from basket to box to bin. They never sparked any ideas, they never seemed right. They were stewing.

Recently, in yet another studio purge, they surfaced. I thought *now or never* and threw them in a dyepot of yellow.

Aha! Now they worked, the colors pulled together into something I could see woven.
The fabric is 5/2 and 8/2 mixed warps of cottons, sett at 24 epi, woven with an 8/2 cotton in plum, about 5 yards.

Good things come to those who wait (and wait, and wait). All in good time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dye Candy

eileen's wool

I know I'm cheating here: these are not mine. Eileen spun and dyed this wool for a sweater. She has more spinning and dyeing to go (this is about a pound and a half of sport weight), but these were just too pretty not to share. These are from our recent dye day, she is now spinning more for the next dye day. Dye days always come around eventually.

Eileen is a spinning fool these days, and has been since our retreat at St. Mary's Art Center last June. I don't know what set her off, but she's afire. Isn't it just too fun when that happens, and we obsessively knit/spin/dye/weave until the moment passes? It's also fun to watch, as Eileen spins and spins and spins.

Me? Well things are happening here, but they are not blog-worthy. I will be depending on my friends for a while, especially to keep Patricia happy and off my case. Patricia is a fearsome sight when provoked :).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dona Nobis Pacem

dona hat

The other day at a spinning gathering, a friend noted that today we would celebrate Armistice Day, then corrected herself to say Veteran's Day.

I knew what she meant, although I was not born until well after Armistice Day. My parents used the moniker, and to them, as well as to my spinning friend, it once truly meant the end of war. It turned out to be only the end of their war. We have had several wars, *armed conflicts*, *military actions* and the like since then.

Somehow, we can't seem to get to Peace. I truly think Peace is what we all want. The way to get there is the crux: can we bomb our way to Peace? It is not a simple question, by any means, but I know my answer.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dye Day Once Again

Several days ago, we had a guild dye day again at Sue's house. We do this periodically and for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is a fundraiser for the small guild, and helps keep dues down so everyone can join.

Sue has a nice set up in her garage: there is ample room, plenty of tables, a big sink with hot and cold running water just inside, a two burner propane stove for steaming, and did I mention lots of room? I bring my steamers, and on nice days, we can open the garage doors and work outside.

Not everyone has a place at home for dyeing, or the inclination to mix up dyes and get all the equipment set up. So we do that for them, and guild members and friends have a chance to dye without concerns for *which dye* and *how long* and *how do I mix up dyes* and *how do I make the colors I want*. I bring sample books:

dye day5

People pick and choose colors, then we figure out to mix them, how much they'll need, and they dye and paint away.

We paint warps and skeins:
dye day 1

dye day3

dye day4

And do immersion dyeing:
dye day 2

Some of us get carried away:
dye day7

We spend all day mixing colors, talking dyes (and everything else), planning setts, and trying to figure out how much yarn for which project. We come for the dyeing, we come for the gathering of friends, we spend the day planning projects and dreaming of future sweaters. But the real reason we are all here?

dye day6

The potluck. Yummm!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Certain Order

Things are still topsy-turvy around here: boxes have arrived, as yet unpacked. There was a spinning and weaving demo Saturday at the Farmer's Market (with surprisingly good feedback; surprising in that it's a farmer's market, not a craft show, yet much selling of yarn, fiber and finished goods occurred). A dye day for the guild happened Sunday, which involved a day of setting up, and a day of dyeing, then another day of breaking down. Pictures are being gathered.

In short: I'm not home much, not much is getting accomplished here, and yet busy-ness is happening. Yesterday, amid all the disorder, I threw up my hands and went to the studio.

air band2

Despite the chaos, or perhaps because of it, I spent the day weaving this band.

Traveling always gives me ideas, which I write down as I go. Once I get home, I sift through the pages, and start to work. The first to be done are the compelling ideas, the let's see if this will work ideas. This little band (5/8" wide, 90" long) is part of a larger project, but it is beautiful in itself, shiny and drapey.

It's good to be back, good to be home, good to be working again. Now, inspired and refreshed, I need to clear the path, clean up the mess, and unpack and put away all the detritus from the road trip.