Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weaving and Practicing and Spinning and Journeying

What's On the Loom
And What I've Been Doing In Between

Living disabled can be EXTREMELY frustrating.  Especially when any or everything you do has the potential of leaving you in a period of recovery; what I call Recovery Mode (RM).  Back in the Spring, I was out early in the mornings, harvesting Dandelions, White Clover, Wild Mint, and Plantain... so much so that I ended up in serious RM, and haven't been back out there to harvest since.  Sad really, since there's been such an abundance of White Clover blooming this year. But I just couldn't bring myself to do so.
There were things needing to be done inside as well.  There is no such thing as Laundry Day for me anymore.  It's Laundry Week.  And lugging around damp heavy loads to either hang outdoors, or upstairs to the drying racks in front of the bedroom window to dry [where I get the best breeze], lands me in RM every darn time. I make several trips when I'm washing up the rag rugs.  I can't carry them all at once.  But numerous trips, back and forth, can do just as much damage.  And there are times when I stand at the base of the stairs, with an armload of laundry looking up--- and sigh; heavily. 
Running the vacuum cleaner--- I used to do that all in one day.  Not anymore.  It can take me three to four days to vacuum the Living Room, alone.  The same holds true when I eventually maneuver the stairwell, and get the upright back upstairs.... [and that's likely all I'll do that day, get the vacuum upstairs.  Running it can comes later.] It'll take 2-3 days each, to clean the bedroom and then the studio.  And that's a lot of pain meds and RM in between. 
I don't sew as much as I used to... it keeps me seated in the wrong position.  But then--- so does weaving! But, I've been repeatedly modifying my work table to make it easier to sit weave.  And I have a new table mat in mind, that should make it even easier. All this said, I feel the need to do what I can--- before I am no longer able. And that is frustration, with a capital F!

But let's get back to what's on my loom! And why it is currently sitting, albeit patiently, waiting for my return.

One reason, is having reached a place where it was time to bring an idea to fruition. One I'd been mulling over for some time.  It's a hand-maneuvered technique I've seen done on harness/floor loom weaves, and I needed to take some time to figure out how to make it work in the round. And that meant needing to stop and work up a Practice Loom.

I pulled out another metal ring and prepped it for weaving. And then I gathered together some tools I thought would work.  They did not.  Oh, they will work for straight weaving work, but it was much too tedious.  So---- I needed to find another way to make it work--- in the round.  And yes! It looks like I fashioned one wicked hook for deep sea fishing.... or a Horror Movie prop for mass annihilation... But, for what I harmlessly needed it to do, it worked perfectly.
But this whole bit of tool making and practice work landed me in Recovery Mode for several days.  The good news, though, is that I took a fair amount of photos throughout, and have plans for a tutorial on this technique.  I trust you will just love it just as much as I do.  What is pictured here is not exactly what I intend for my WIP, but it is the bare bones of the technique that anyone else can easily build upon.

That said, I was very close to getting back to what I consider my current Work In Progress, which has been waiting ever so patiently underneath a pretty little dust cover. It has a new Provisional Round in place, and a bit of over dyed Coffee dyed [not to mention distressed!] silk ribbon just waiting for me to weave it into place. But it is at this very point [pictured on the left], that I will work in my new technique. 

There were those several weeks in mid-to-late Spring, I mentioned earlier, when my little dehydrator ran non stop. I harvested and dehydrated HUNDREDS of both Dandelion and White Clover flower heads; for hand dyeing and the making of flour.  And I have numerous canning jars filled of Dandelion leaves [to use in making vegetable broth], Wild Mint [whose proper name escapes me just now--- ], and Plantain leaves.   
And it wasn't just the harvesting that did me in.  It was all the prep work to get things properly washed and then safely stored. All of it slowed me wa-a-ay down.  But I just LOVED sitting over the kettle of wet Clover.  The aroma made it well worth the effort.
I also took a break from my WIP, because my very first circular weaving [pictured in the blog header] was crying out to be completed.  And I will write more about this later.  But suffice it to say, she is my baby.  And I was desperate to see her finished.  That said, I only just added on the true final touches;  wrapped feathers and more beads.

And then there was simply the need to Honor my place in the Fibery Goodness Journey to the Golden  Fleece, and honor the young Weaver and Spinner that once was; a very long time ago.

But no sooner did my Journey begin, in mid-February, than I ended up dealing with a major health issue, the first of March, that still goes unresolved.  Two trips to the ER, numerous medical tests and examinations later, I still struggle with shortness of breath. 
But--- Life goes on; albeit slowly. And because I missed my spinning so much [I simply can't multi-task like I used to], there was this little thing called Tour de Fleece [which is rooted in Ravelry, but migrated to Facebook, where I found my way to Team Nevermore Forevermore], that beckoned, and got me re-motivated to get back to my Module One spinning, and get my yarn completed.   

My fellow Mariners can find a link to my Module One story on the Group Two - Module One Forum Board.

[I am trying to find out how to add a Translator widget to Wordpress.  Any help from someone would be greatly appreciated!]

And you can also see my yarn, along with all the other beautiful handspuns in the Gallery of Module Yarns.
In just this last week or so, there's been much module-related color work and art journaling.  Not to mention, the need to catch up on course-related emails and Fibery Goodness blog posts.  And I have since downloaded ,and read my way through Module Two -- The Road of Trials.  The next part of my Journey--- is begun!
And over the weekend, I rounded up my Module One color wheel responsibilities with this exercise in color work. The happy accident is that the earth tones with which I chose to work, echo my Module One shield.  I pulled out an old 5 x 7 inch wooden picture frame from the studio closet, and then measured out and hammered in some nails every quarter of an inch, and---- Voila!  I have a miniature tapestry loom with which to brush up on and practice future weaving techniques.   Regardless the fact it is UN-round. (~: 
And while we are on the subject of Suzy Brown's [WoolWench Handspun Yarns and Fibers] and Arlene Thayer's [Spin Artiste] Fibery Goodness -- Journey to the Golden Fleece, a new round of course modules is opening up to students in October! 
It is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from around the world, and learn about yarn construction; blending fibers, and the proper tools to use for the desired end result.  There are also opportunities to sit in on live spinning sessions; with these leading Mistresses of Artsily Spun Yarns; and their periodic special guests. Do come and join us!
You can also find things related to the course and other fibery projects in the Facebook Journey to the Gold Fleece group.
And THEN---- Lest we forget! (~:  I got wonderfully side tracked by this little thing called the Warp Speed CompetitionOh, yes. This had me busy for a good month or so. And you can read a bit more about it here.  For now--- I'm still working on a few details.  I had intended to insert a lining.  I've had the pattern pieces drawn and cut.  I simply ran out of time to do it properly.  And it wasn't absolutely necessary to the outcome of the actual weaving competition.

It is a project that I wove entirely on the large [yellow] round Knifty Knitter looms.  And that includes the straight side panel and the decorative flap.  It was woven using 2" torn strips of a heavier weight cotton gauze for the weft, and a 100% cotton kitchen twine for the warp. 

Look for a more detailed blog post on this project soon. But--- Thank you, Suzy Brown and Andrew Poad, for the opportunity to craft it.  I am waiting patiently [NOT!] for my winnings. (~:  For your loom, and Suzy's handiwork. Blessings~

~Click here for the YouTube Winners Announcement.

~And here, to download the Majacraft Tutorials.

All of this aside-- I should also comment on the fact that living with the symptoms  of Fibromyalgia [FM] can make crafting out even the simplest of blog posts no easy matter. Sometimes my fingers, brain, and keyboard struggle to communicate.  But, with a great amount of determination, and Time, in the long run--- I win out.

Lastly, and totally unrelated to any creative interruption, I have been wonderfully taken aback by the amount of International Page Views of my humble little fledgling of a studio blog.  I snagged am image the other day [the week of Aug. 25th], so that I could share a week's worth of stats with everyone.   

How can I not say, "Viva la France!" (~: 

 photo Thanks40.gifAnd please note, in the right hand side bar, I have since added a Language Translator feature.  I trust this will be of help to my International visitors.  Thank you so very much.  And Blessings~

What's next up? 

That would be the follow up to the Denser Warping series.  I promise!  My goal for this week is to get at least two blog posts [this being one]--that have been sitting in the Draft folder for far too long--polished and updated! 

In the meantime, I am continuing to reorganize, and finish up, studio projects.  And am and making notes for new ones.  I've got a GiveAway project that you can find out more about on my Facebook Studio page.  You are welcome to stop by and visit, and Like. 
Leave any questions you may have in the Comments. 
Or Facebook Friends can Private Message me.
Bye for now, and Blessings~
And Happy Weaving!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful Read - Lovely to see yours works and can't wait to see the finished projects. Take care Dear One sending Love and Light to you Always