more fur

sasha wanted more fur on her bear, and i have to say, she was right! i tend to stop when i am pleased with a piece, partly because i like delicate, half-there stitcheries, but also out of fear of ruining or overdoing. but sometimes continuing is the thing. he's more shaggy now and bear-like, more There, especially since i added some handspun wool which adds a lot of texture. and the stitching balances out the patchwork better now.

but how do you know when a piece is done, or when one more stitch is Too Much? i do love seeing the progression, like he has emerged from my dreams. at some point if i keep on stitching, maybe he would lumber right out of the fabric and into these woods.


our town

train whistles
laundry line
cool showers
sleeping and waking up

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? --every, every minute?" Emily for Thornton Wilder


embroiderbear for sasha

i'm really happy with how this guy turned out. i hope the recipient loves him too. i wanted him to look a bit like a balancing circus bear or carnival bear... but still somewhat realistic and wild. he's on a vintage embroidered runner, and his body is an applique of part of an old quilt that someone else cut up (i can never classify an old quilt as a 'cutter'! i have a hard enough time even cutting the scraps.) so he's an applique' of patchwork. i guess i'm leading up to making a patchwork beast, where the patches and seams define the boundaries of the animal... i love that idea, but one step at a time.


it is thursday, isn't it?

so even though i'd had a run of productive days and was feeling wonderful, today isn't so much. my heath is really starting to concern me. i hope to get some stitching in. here's some yarn hanging to dry, waiting to go to Rosemary.

a pile...

a bear in process. he's not how i'm wanting to work these days, but i still like him a lot.

my poor woad will not grow! it has been this size for weeks and weeks and there are only two seedlings left out of dozens.

what is wrong, little woad?

they hatched! mum is nearby.

and here's a blanket that i found at an estate sale, among other cloth. it was hand-woven. it has details that thrill me, including stains and holes. it was woven in two parts and stitched together and then light-blue edging on two sides. i'm appreciating weaving more now that i'm learning about boro.

i read this morning that spinning was a gateway drug to weaving, so it was sure to happen. but up until now, i haven't thought in terms of squares. spinning is about turnings, roundness. but weaving dictates straightnesses. sort of.

what shall i do about this stain? i'd like to patch it, but i'm not sure i'll love the look of one big patch. i'd have to find the perfect fabric. something heavy-ish maybe.

i thought this was mended, but now i think it's just frayed.

held up to the light, striations where some threads are thinner than others.

and Ruthie, my ole girl, hanging around too.



The Estonian lace summer shawl from Nancy Bush's book is coming along! It's not my handspun (wasn't adventurous enough for that yet, having never knit anything so complicated) but it's all laceweight tussah silk, so I might try to bundle-dye it once it's finished. Silk takes dye so beautifully that it's not likely to hurt anything. Although I will probably give it to mum, who prefers very soft neutral colours, when (if) she departs from her black.


a first step toward story cloth

on my quilt-weaving journey.. i've been reading so much and admiring other people's work but still a bit stuck on doing it myself. working with a patchwork base is so new to me and challenging. i want to work more abstractly and i'm not used to that - i usually have a loose plan for my stitching and it's fairly representational.

i'm also not used to thinking in terms of story, in fact i think i've been almost anti-story for some time now. i mean, i love stories, i gobble them up, but i don't make them. i'm sure it's largely past trauma plus grad school indoctrination (all that postmodern anti-grand narrative stuff), but i've been very suspicious of imposing stories on my life experiences, like it might limit the possibilities for understanding, or be too one-sided. i'm especially skeptical of happy endings, as much as i am desperate for them. but that's also left me feeling very fragmented, with parts of my life that are completely not understood or integrated, or even remembered most of the time.

but now i'm seeing some amazing stories unfolding in cloth created in this community. so i think i need some story. the challenge is to tell some of my own that aren't contrived. and preferably ones that bring joy, and that don't end. i'm going to be taking jude's magic diaries class which lasts for six months, so i hope that's enough time to at least begin putting my life together. at least i can start gathering fabrics for it!

this little piece was inspired by cindy's wonder woman bracelet, i cut what started as a square block into my own power bracelet. i've actually thought of getting cuff tattoos for power, but this will work much better when i visit my parents. i wonder, what is it about cuffs that makes us feel like warriors?

i rubbed sunny's carved year into the fabric with chalk and then stitched it. i have what may be inordinate love for this wheel. she still needs more work, but i may have exhausted my repair abilities. still, she shines. i love having her with me in this bracelet. i have it buttoned tight so i feel her always next to me, encircling and ensorcelling me (i learned this word recently from my friend eva, isn't it grand?) spinning with the bracelet on is pure magic.


rudolph, the club-footed but still one of the last surviving guineas, loves to attack my head. which seemed like a good photo opp. but still, he eludes the camera.


i've become obsessed with jude hill's work and classes and videos. i wonder sometimes at my phases and obsessions.. they come and go, and come again. it's all about cycles. but sometimes that is frustrating because i want to accomplish more of one thing, not move on to another. sometimes i can't get enough spinning in, but then i had that years-long hiatus from spinning. then i was all up into quilting, and then forgot it for a while to re-connect with knitting. what is that about?

each skill builds through each cycle though. and they do synergize, if that's a word.

i've started to feel that my fiber work has not been about healing or getting to know myself as much as it's been about escaping. i can aestheticize or focus on making something to sell, and not face myself really at all. i think that's been what's missing lately. i want to interact more with what i'm doing, while i'm doing it. i think that's one wonderful thing i feel about jude's work is there is an improvisational quality that i've lacked. also, managing layers and working more with patchwork... so many important, exciting things to learn.

i'm having trouble with my advisors at school. they don't like my new, CPW topic, not at all. it's too bad because i was so fascinated with it and had done so much. it may be that i keep on with it and try to convince them, or shift to accommodate them. or follow my innards and move along. deciding what is right for me at this stage feels complicated. might be the perfect set of questions to begin a new cloth. a meditation on the future. i do find that what i imagine often comes to be, so it's important to take some time with constructing that vision... not making it all romance or revenge hehee.


new moon update

just a few yarns to be listed today at 5:03pm EST, when the strawberry moon is new.