My article on Beads in Cloth was published in Weavezine on Friday. Syne Mitchell is a terrific editor/publisher to work with, if any of you have weaving ideas that you’d love to publish, don’t hesitate to contact Syne.
I saw a very unusual piece of weaving the other day at my monthly spinning group. Barbara, an artist to the very marrow of her soul devised this clever weaving.
See the grass seeds at the top? Barbara wove this with her handspun yarns using grass stems as warp, with the actual grass seeds still attached.(Sorry about the blurry pictures. Barbara wasn’t keen on having her picture taken and hardly stood still.)
Grace wore the shirt I wove for her. She completed her second ball of spindle spun yarn that day.
On January 1st I embarked on a spinning challenge: spin 800 yards, 2-ply, from 100 grams. Using a 46gram (just under 1.7oz) spindle all my free time seems to be consumed with spinning the fine yarn. Three days in to the challenge I took weight and found to my great dismay the grams were spinning out in an agonizingly slow fashion. If one spindle is going slow then two spindles is better, right? To shake it up a bit I grabbed the fine Kuchulu, DK (Deer Kuchulu), that Ed gave me for Christmas, took off the red yarn and enslaved engaged its help in the 800yd challenge. Working with two very different spindles has been a fun challenge in itself. DK weighs 13 grams and spins like a turbo. Spinning fine yarn on it is easy peasy, spinning fine yarn on Yewi takes more attention.
The other day I weighed out a gram of the 80 merino/20 tencel and counted how many bouts it took, with Yewi, to spin the gram. Averaging 40″ per bout it took 22 bouts to spin the gram. With that encouraging number I figure I should be spinning fine enough to get 1600 yards from the 98 grams of fiber. I’ll test the WPI later today.
Earlier today I stumbled across an article on the theory of the flexibility of time; time is not rigid and constant as seconds ticking round a clock but can be expanded. Benjamin Franklin was cited as a person who well understood how to “expand” time in his pursuit to achieve much in his lifetime. Being the ordinary person who’s constantly tripped up by sweeping minutes, I desperately wished that I had the time to fully read and dig further into the concept.
I’ve wondered often how it is that the older we grow the faster time seems to move , except for those agonizing times when time stands still. And lately it seems that even children have been caught up in the rush of time compared to what I remember of long days with plenty of time to explore, read, craft, daydream, do schoolwork, feed the animals and attend to home chores. And still be in bed by 8 or 9, depending on age. (My parents believed in a full night’s rest. Ed does too.) For a long time I entertained the notion that time seeps slowly for children because of their anticipation of what’s ahead, and zest for time to hurry. “I’m almost five… when I’m 16… I can’t wait to be 21…” then we’re twenty-five and we realize how carefree and pleasant childhood really was.
I don’t get too excited about the changing of the year on a calendar. Deep down I believe the new year begins on my birthday. And yes, I like celebrating my birthday.
Christmas and my birthday falling on the weekend was nice, we were able to kick back and really relax. We had such a lovely, quiet Christmas with Aurora and Troy over for mid-morning present opening and feasting on hot cinnamon rolls and coffee. They headed to Troy’s parents by early afternoon leaving Ed and I to our succulent lamb dinner.
Saturday morning moisture sparkling in the frozen air with the dawning sun lured me outside for a walk. It was the perfect morning to borrow a neighbor’s dog as a companion. If it were possible I’d bring Jasmine home to live with us. She’s mild-mannered, good-natured Rotweiller, and we seem to connect at a deep level.
Aurora and Troy invited us over for a birthday lunch. It was fun hanging out with them at their new place, a charming older farm house just down the road from his parents. They’d love to eventually buy the place someday. It sits on a country corner with a church kiddy-korner, another farm house right across the road then just up the road a bit an old grain elevator still in operation, a few houses scattered near a small school with about 70 kids attending.
The surprise in store at their house was something Ed dreamed up in October. To my utter astonishment and delight he’d bought me a mountain dulcimer. I’ve been enjoying learning how to tune and play it. Cousin Faith? Can you come play with me? She let me play her dulcimer when we visited her on our way back from Idaho, which is where Ed got the notion that I needed one.Instead of meeting at a coffee shop for a birthday get-together, Hope hosted a birthday dinner of Indonesian food mid-week for my four friends at her house. (They had lived in Indonesia for over 20 years) She hand embroired the beautiful table cloth which set off the gado-gado very nicely. Hope also made peanut sauce (to go over the gado-gado) and chicken curry which was served with rice. Delicious!
It was wonderful to celebrate and enjoy being with these dear friends. Constance and Grace played duets while I tried to strum along on the dulcimer, then we played BananaGrams (sort of like Scrabble), and charades. It’d been ages since I’d played charades, yowzsers, I’m bad at guessing!
The weekend before Christmas we visited Ed’s dad and Linda. While there we both became enamered with a new little dog that came to them happenstance. Linda already had a poodle that she adores but she couldn’t resist when someone desparately asked her to give Millie a home. Before we left she casually asked if we wanted her. Knowing Ed’s not keen on dogs I waited for him to answer but he didn’t say a word. Later that day he mentioned that Millie would be a nice dog to have.
On January first we drove 80 miles to meet Linda half-way to bring Millie home. She’s 8 years old, well trained and a very agreeable little doggy. She’s fitting right in and has made herself quickly at home claiming the couch as her hangout.