more yarn nests

i'm loving playing with yarn nests and batt nests, and imagining all sorts of variants for spring.

but oh my, i've been moving my studio all week. finally claiming a room of my own at home. i'll miss the hotel and seeing sarah in our shared space, but i just don't seem to be one of those people who work well in a studio outside the home. i'm too nocturnal, too disorganized. plus the kitty has settled right in at home, and it's so nice having her here. there is a crazy amount of stuff everywhere and it'll take me a while to dig out.

and.. cindy and i have the most amazing news. are we ready to spring it on the world?



My first portrait of 2012: Edmund, Lord Blackadder.
Blackadder was a much-loved rabbit and soulmate to a lovely artist.
Their relationship was very unusual and special.
He is deeply mourned.
I was so humbled to be asked to do this commission.
**some of the techniques i used were inspired by arlee!


a grey-with-hints-of-purple kind of day

not many words but lots of texture around here.
spindle from russian fibers, thank you liliya.
some frankenstitching thanks to arlee.
a lonely goose, who lost his brother.
a stitcher who's wondering if she should blog about depression.
(in the first person).


gifts that will outlive us

cross-stitch sampler for my love (it only took me a year)..

pattern from shakespeare's peddler, modified to add my birth name, change our hair colours, make the horse look more like a mule, and take out the yucky "obey" stuff..)

and rose beads for me..

strung and knotted with silk cord. still need to find the right clasp.

happy valentines, all!


i started

i traded for some of the most gorgeous wool yesterday.. it's from a mule sheep which is the name for particular sorts of cross-bred sheep.. in this case a bluefaced leicester and jacob cross. the wool had been processed into a luscious striped roving, and i just knew i needed to try and felt it with my tattered pieced top. the mule reference really had nothing to do with why i wanted to use this wool for my cloth, at least not consciously, but how strangely appropriate!?!

so i started by making some prefelt (i've never been much of a felter, but so easy and so much fun!) and then added a bit of my tattered pieced top to it. but i was afraid at that point to get too involved in the felting action.. it's fairly vigorous and i didn't want to damage the scrappy bits. so i started stitching the top down first. once it's all secure, i should be able to continue felting.. at some point.

i can't even describe the feel of the needle gliding through these soft old scraps and prefelt. other than bliss. i'll add another layer here or there and it will still be.

***for anyone who wants to help me figure this out, i'd so appreciate it... india has a number of projects along these lines in second skin. i was following along generally with the instructions for the tube-felted scarf on pp. 215-216, but i got stumped. the idea is to put down some muslin, then sewing scraps face down, then some wool sliver and lastly, your prefelt. (then she describes a resist-felting process which i'm skipping.) but i do want to end up with my scraps face-up, on top of and melded into my felt. i'm just not clear how this works with the muslin - it seems much easier to stitch and felt with the muslin on top, so that your scraps don't go sliding around, but then how do the scraps end up on top? it is something to do with cutting the scarf into a spiral?


she had a brand

it hit me the other day that elderberry was branded. on her right thigh. i couldn't picture what the brand looked like. memories fade so quickly.

i went looking through photos, to remember.

from welcome to my world, 4-17-10. blogs are helpful things.

from an elder cloth, posted 7-9-11. you can see it a little better in this pic. her hair was shorter, it was summer and she had shed.

can you see it there? ♀
like a sideways stick figure. a hangman without the legs.
or perhaps a sideways symbol for female, or venus.
(although there would have been no need to brand her female, that was easy enough to see.)

i wish i could look at it again, trace it with my fingers. but she didn't like being touched.

i can't imagine what this symbol must have meant meant to those who marked her. i don't want to know or imagine what that was like. but it will, it must be part of my cloth.


i love spinning thin

i really, really do.
this is bfl beautifully dyed by laila.
spun cobweb thin on my vintage french spindle.
these pics are before the yarn was set.
isn't it amazing when singles retain the wool's crimp?

it's on my list of goals for the year to spin and knit an orenberg shawl.
i've been getting ready for this for a while..
i have the russian goat-down (still unwashed)..
the silk to ply it with (it's thread-plied, ultra-thin)..
a variety of spindles, although not the russian one i'm coveting...
and the pattern.

better start soon..


family photos i've never seen

except for this first one of me and my parents, xmas 1969. i was one.

the others, my brother just scanned and emailed me today. so odd and melancholy that there were these dear ghosties out floating, stuck somewhere in mum's stash. glad to have them more solidly here now.


i love how mum strung her rose bead necklace. here are more drying..

and then there's the baby.