Tuesday, December 30, 2014

small things...

Oof! Holidays: hustle and bustle, trying to keep the big picture in mind, all the details! It's all over but the crying now :).

I have mentioned before, and I will repeat, I love the quiet time that is the 12 days of Christmas; those 12 days between the 25th and January 6th, the 12th night, or Epiphany, the day the Wise Men arrived.

These days and nights are the reward for the hustle and bustle: quiet time to ramble through the copious food left from the feast, to still listen to the seasonal music, and to weave, knit and spin what I want to, for no particular deadline or reason:

Silk spinning

Silk! from a bundle I could not resist buying for myself from Spunky. I have Big Plans, of course, for this fiber. I dyed more to go with it:

Silk spinning

and will soon have to decide if I ply these two batches together, or separately, with themselves. Maybe some of both?

Small things dominated the gifts this year:

coffee cozy

First up, a coffee cozy, for a French Press, handwoven cotton lined with wool. It's actually lined with an old wool sweater, intentionally fulled to a solid fabric, for lining things just like this. This is inspired by a tea cozy, made by a friend of mine, that I have used for many years:

Tea Cozy from Deb

It's surprising, astounding really, how long the wool keeps my tea hot. So the lining for the coffee pot cozy was a foregone conclusion, the cotton cover is just for bling! The whole thing should be washable, should the need arise, so practical, useful, small and functional.

The next small thing is The Official First Attempt at Leather Bag:

Tool bag

A tool bag! A small project, but also a good First Thing to practice stitching. It's useful and does not need to be as beautiful as a bag to be carried in public. It will serve a utilitarian purpose carrying tools, be stashed in the back of the car or on the shelf, grabbed when needed, and likely survive lots of use and abuse. As I worked, I imagined this bag in 50 years, worn and scarred, but still holding up, still holding and carrying tools as needed. Leather. Thick sturdy leather. This may be the most durable and enduring thing I have ever made.

I learned a lot, my stitching got better, and I realized I need a few more tools (isn't this always the case?) to finish the next bag better. So I am on the quest for an edge beveler, among other things. My stitching awl is perhap a bit big for my hands. I will look for another haft, that will fit my hand better. We run into this problem often, the sizing of tools and equipment for different hands or bodies. That is why there is no perfect tool; there are many sizes of hands and lengths of legs!

But my stitches improved, while the movements to make the stitches became more comfortable and habitual. The next bag will be better, and the one after that, and the one after that....until I don't think about it anymore, Until the process is second nature, and the product design and execution can be more of the focus.

So. Much. Fun. and something to work towards, something to look forward to!

I also have been weaving on a long neglected pile project, which will indeed be incorporated into a bag (! so single-minded!). I had company while weaving:

Weaving help

Somebody else likes these quiet days after the veritable storm of activity. She has a nice perch right behind the warp, and can keep an eye on me, while demanding pets.

So I stitch on, I spin on, and I weave on, tying knots and petting the cat, in these closing days of the year. May your New Year bring you all that you want and need, although sometimes these things conflict. May it also bring you joy!


Blogger Charleen said...

Enjoying this quiet after the storm too! I love the coffee cozy. What a great idea for the studio.

Happy New Year!!

4:59 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Oh, my, more tools I never thought about before. Resisting, though, I have enough. More than enough.

Enjoy your quiet time!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Happy New Year, Sara.

May your year continue as you have begun!

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

You summed up this time of year perfectly! I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. It's so inspiring. As soon as I'm done reading it I want to grab my drop spindles and play! I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with good health, family, friends and all kinds of textile fun and adventures.

8:26 AM  

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