Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

Wow, it's amazing how gainful employment can interfere with productivity! I had a proper, paying job this winter so all things textile pretty much went on hold while I earned enough money to allow me to continue to follow my high fibre diet for the rest of 2008. There are hints of further employment in the wings but if any of them pan out they should only be for a day or two a week and ought to allow me to weave much more than I have in recent months. Thank goodness!

I did manage to get a few things done since my last post. I got Patricia's blanket done and sent to her. I wove two more blankets from the same warp with totally different weft colours, too. For Patricia's, I used the same colours as in the warp but for the second one I used a soft grey heather and for the third I used a dark brown. The brown was an experiment that turned out really well - most people who saw both the grey and the brown preferred the brown. I also included some thick stripes of three our four strands of the 2 ply weft in one shed and really liked the effect.

Here's a pic:

After those blankets I did another set in red, mulberry and teal (another really nice combo) for someone who'd placed an order for Christmas.

Here's one:

And here's the other (not yet wet finished in this pic):

And after that I went to my dear ol' Mom's (Hi, Mom!) house for two weeks to return the favour she did me last Spring, at least in theory. She was participating in the Vashon Island Studio Tour and I went to help her set up and do some demonstrating. As it turned out I did a lot more playing and visiting than helping I'm afraid, but I did get to meet all her weaverly friends, many of her weaving students, go to a Seattle Weavers' Guild meeting, and see all kinds of incredible fine craft around Vashon and the Keiskamma Altarpiece at St Mark's (wow!!!). All that, and I managed to do a set of 10 placemats (Lucille in Vert Fonce) done on one of Mom's looms that a friend had ordered for a Christmas present, too. Am I good or what?

When I got home from Seattle in mid-December, I had an order for a set of placemats from one of my best customers (Hi, Holly!) which - oh happy day! - just happened to be the palette already on my small loom (Riverstones in Seaton) so I could do them quickly in time for Christmas. She also brought me a swatch of her mother's new kitchen curtain fabric and asked me to make a set to match for a post-Christmas present.

Here's the fabric and the placemats that I made to go with.

Sadly, it's not a very good picture, but the placemats were evidently a hit because Holly's mother has ordered more to match. :) And the scanner has since been replaced, so the colour quality in my photos should improve!

That pretty much sums up the weaving I got done over the winter. Next on the docket: planning and preparing warps for my next weaving class which begins in two weeks' time. We're doing a round robin of runners in fibres and structures that don't get used very often around here, at least not in the weaving circles I run in. At this point I'm planning on halvdrall, ripsmatta, an eight shaft huck lace, an eight shaft fancy twill, a four shaft twill gamp, monk's belt, shadow weave, and - depending on how many students registered - whatever else takes my fancy. Two of my good friends who are basket weavers but haven't tried loom weaving before are both planning to take the class, as are a few people from my weavers' guild who want to try the different structures and fibres. It should be fun!

Once the class is organized, it's back to the loom. I've got to do the placemats for Holly's mom and weave off the rest of that warp, and then I'll start working on the two big orders I got last fall that didn't need to be done for Christmas. One of the aforementioned friends who's taking my weaving class has ordered a set of placemats and napkins to go with the pottery she's having custom made, and another of my very best customers has ordered a set of three bolsters (one 60", two 30") and a blanket to cover a daybed. She also ordered a cotton blanket and matching fabric to cover a chair in my Beach palette.

All that, and my shop is opening in less than a month! It's a busy time! Good thing that whole gainful employment thing is over so I can go back to slaving away for peanuts!

How much fibre is there in peanuts, I wonder...

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