Monday, April 23, 2012


embers close

So what does one do when a big project is done?

Apparently keep going:
embers bobbin

I started spinning this Tuesday afternoon. It's a wool silk gradient from Kimber, at Fiber Optics. I don't know the color names but it's Embers in my head.

This was a single braid, 4 ounces, and spun up into 440 yards. I wanted to experiment a bit before I took off for Stringtopia.
fiber optic 009

Why this yarn, of all things I could be doing this week? I showed my samples from the book to a couple of friends the other day, and one woman picked up a BFL/silk piece of fabric and said: "it's got so much texture!".

Humph. The things you do not notice when you are focused on Headdownkeepgoingitwillallgetdone.

The fabric was (is) plain weave. But the finishing, and resulting shrinkage, deflected the yarns and made it crunchy textured squishy lovely elastic and gave it a very nice hand.

So, was it the silk/wool combo? Was it reproducible?

Yep, I think, on both counts:
fiber optic 009

This is silk merino. I did a few weft samples at the beginning, but left enough for a proper size scarf. I'm bringing it this weekend. There is more to say, and I want people to feel the fabric (fabulous!) and as you may know, the most recent project is always the favorite.

But of course, there were some things left unanswered, and more research will be required. I have more color gradients and I know how to use them...Research. That's what I am calling it.

Embers. Sometimes things burn slowly, quietly, under the surface, percolating, to mix metaphors, and then suddenly burst forth in flames. It's been that kind of week, actually. Moving on!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Calm Before

A box went off yesterday:
box of projects
And a manuscript went out today.

I like to think of myself as capable of doing many things at once, but alas, most things have gone by the wayside this past year and a half as I worked on this, my second book. The real work now will be done by the people who hone it: turning words and pictures into something that makes sense to people other than me. I love working with the people I do: they are positive and forward thinking. They ask the right questions, point things out in a way that is positive, even if it's a need to cut something out of a precious personal project.

The work itself has been a joy, which is to be expected. I spend most of my time by choice spinning and weaving anyway: how fun to be able to focus on it like this. It has opened many paths, taught me new perspectives, some of which I want to investigate further. Ideas come when I put hands to the task: focusing my attention winnows, separates, leaves some of the old behind.

So now, just this week alone, I have that feeling of calm, perhaps even a feeling of being bereft of work, before the onslaught of travel/workshops/photo sessions/more travel, etc. My hands feel idle. I do not have a list in my head of urgent things to do.

What has fallen by the wayside?
silk to spin

Lovely eh? It's silk. I'm buying lots of this in many colors this year for classes. I'm spending lots! of money! I usually dye my own silk, a savings for people in materials fees. But this year, I do not have the time. The shock is what lovely dyed silk really costs. It makes the materials fees much higher, and gives me a clue what all that dyeing and work over the years was really worth...In classes where I can, I have been sending a list of things to bring, instead of me bringing it all and charging for it. This is chancy, as communication can get twisted: "I thought you meant this, not that". The wrong materials mean the class time is wasted, not productive, or not as productive, while we scramble to adjust. So is it really a savings?

I'm on a two-week-turnaround from now until mid-June. Next week, I travel to Ohio. Then CNCH, this year in Oakland, then I will be in Colorado working on a DVD. Then Montana, then Spindle Camp! This will be the relax-and-spin-and-eat! weekend though, and I keep it out there as a carrot to a horse: reward!

That's as far ahead as I can think right now, today, and the line up is intense. I have managed to keep my head down, focus on the project at hand, hold off travel and teaching while doing the bulk of this manuscript and projects, but no more. The time has come, the walrus said. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I'm headed for the studio this afternoon, to spin some of that silk. Why the hurry?

The contract for Book Three! arrived today.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Nearly There

Big Deadline Looming (I crack myself up).

In the meantime:
easter 011

Easter basket! Bunny, eggs and chicks! I made the chicks one evening, and the one on bunny's lap took a header into my wine glass (red wine. of course.). So she had to be dyed :D! Luckily it's wool felt, so the dye took....the "grass" for this basket is the green cloth they are sitting on: none of that stringy stuff, which I find so annoying. And a Green Cloth can be many tings: playcloth, napkin, placemat, head covering, carry bundle, cape.....all kinds of things are under control when you have a Cloth. Not that I am biased.

Someone is having Art Lessons:

art lessons

Happy Easter!