and another thing

So while I was at the Carolina FiberFest, I spent some time with Carol Leigh Brack-Kaiser.  I first met her last year at SAFF and saw her demo the continuous strand weaving method.  I've been noodling on it ever since, trying hard to resist weaving, as yet another thing to be obsessed with ... but on seeing her again and having the same extreme MUST sort of response, I splurged on a travel-size triangle loom.  Carol Leigh and her husband Denny were so generous with their time and knowledge.  Here is the result of my first weaving, all with handspun I had lying around...  I was so surprised how little yarn it took and how quickly it worked up.  

**Narcissa among the hydrangeas.

In some ways it seems random to get into weaving right now, but also inevitable.  And it is fitting in so well with some of the issues raised in Jude's Boro 2 class on clothing construction.  To actually make cloth and with my own handspun in this new way, it feels like it's filling some huge gap in my fibery repertoire and understanding...


wild baby bunny

my first craft fair was lots of fun.  the night before it started, hub found a baby wild rabbit in the yard with one of our dogs... his eyes were still closed but this is after three days of feeding with a bottle..


elder stitching on a rainy day

did some magic diarying this morning.  finally did some work on my elder cloth.  even with the wonderful distractions from nancy's destash - all those studio mags!!  i'm back to a version of the original design, but with the dyed woven wool blanket on each side and the small quilt that i'm thinking of as a saddle blanket in the center.  since the small quilt has been deconstructed, i think i'm saving it's precious tattered interior for another project and using the stronger part that i had originally planned for this cloth.  that meant re-backing the existing piecing it with the invisible baste on muslin.  and also adding a beautifully dyed fabric from arlee.

i've a long way to go yet with mending, connecting and embellishing, and there are lots of elements of confusion to me right now.  how to join the thick woven cloths with the cotton center and getting the weights just right.  how to back the center without backing the sides.  how to bind the whole thing.  what sort of stitch design i want.  but it feels just right, like it's the journey i'm needing and meant to take... one about family and elders and piecing together our stories somehow around and through elderberry, who i thought of with most every stitch.  funny that i still haven't taken scissors to cloth to make this quilt, unless you count cutting threads.


poor lil blue

so, some things do not belong in the dyepot.
critters, i mean.
i'm not sure how he (she?) got in since there was a lid on it, but i did have it open for a while the other evening while i was experimenting.
he must have been curious.
too bad he couldn't have crawled back out and continued on about life, a little bluer.
for me, lots of fresh dyepots today. bronze fennel and dahlia soaking and steaming.
rip, beautiful.


the indigo seedlings are finally looking a bit stronger. there are only five out of many that i planted... but i'm cautiously optimistic that i'll have some natural fermented blue. what i've been working with up until now is a pre-reduced vat, one of those that comes with powdered indigo in a kit, which is fine and has worked great, but the process will be even more magical once i've grown the plant. so i'll transplant soon. i do also have some that i sewed directly and they are a bit larger than these, but i've actually been hard pressed to say which ones are indigo and which are weeds, so at least now i have these precious few seedlings to help identify..

 it's been frantic here getting ready for everything, a big fiber show starting on the 18th, my first really. i've done small shows with a table, but never one this size. so i'm hardly sure whether i'm over- or underprepared (well, i know right now i'm underprepared, but have a schedule of making i'm following until then). i'm trying not to stress too much, and i suppose i'll find out whether i'm a fair person. i've wondered if i'll be one of those vendors hiding and who hardly looks up from her laptop, or whether i'll be able to chat and enjoy the scene. i just have to be sure not to spend every bit of what i earn, since shopping is a big danger at something like this!

i've also been under seige with custom orders. oh, woe is me!! haha, i have always longed for days like these, and never believed this life could be possible. where my biggest problems are whether i can bear to spin all day!! and what podcasts to listen to and netflix to watch. but i have to shift to show prep now and it bothers me to have back orders and wonderful customers waiting for their yarns.. luckily they are the nicest bunch.. etsy-ers often say that, don't they? but it is so true!! in the meantime, my house is a wreck and it's likely to stay that way during this busy month, so i'm trying to ignore it and stay put in my studio, emerging briefly to refill my coffee or wine, and for puppy walks and bunny chores. and a little laundry. today my husband called me elusive.

i decided to try dyeing millspun for this show. i've dyed my own fleece and handspun, but a friend suggested offering some hand-dyed millspun and the idea has grown on me. i'm not sure why i've felt that i had to handspin everything myself. some notion of wanting to stay connected to the animals i suppose. but i am feeling so drawn to the dye process and wanting to play more and more with natural dyes. something about being a dyer is calling to me so strongly. i know it's the influences of many of my artist sheroes, india, jude, glennis, arlee and eva. maybe it's some way of connecting their work, which i love so much, with my yarnie vocation. anyhoo i'll have a small bunch ready for the show and if all goes well, start offering it in the shop. if somehow i feel i must spin the yarn myself, i can always press bedelia, my pseudo-canadian production wheel, into service. she is great at producing thin yarn, i can barely keep up with her.

i've been remiss in my blog visits lately, friends. you know how it is though, sometimes we have to hole up a bit to accomplish our business.. i'm here though, well-wishing and popping over as time allows.


blue wood and clay

i'm just amazed at what else the dyepot has conjured. i have to give some credit to my wood-turning husband as well, but myohmy, this blue! and it's deep-soaked in there because i tried sanding or nicking some of the prototypes and that blue, it runs deep. these three will be in the shop tonight, with the super moon.

 btw i went to a fantastic show opening last night (called "Out of Mother's Cave"!!) of Susan Wells, a friend and artist. i wanted to buy everything, but at least i brought home a couple of special pieces, the coffee mug i've been drinking from all day, and also the lovely little bowl pictured which is just perfect for supported spindling.


in the spirit of jude's boro 2 class, i give you this much-loved apron..

she needs some care and i'll give it. she tears a bit more with each wearing. i'm embracing what i use (although i would prefer to always be dressed as ms. havisham) (although perhaps using and mending could eventually produce the same result!) i've been longing to work more with clothing and recently made an alabama chanin dress that turned out wonderfully well (her patterns are brilliant)... martha beck, in her book "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World" (first spied in India's book stack), refers to those of us searching for new/old ways as "menders" or "wayfinders." i'm trying to hold this idea gently as i find it so powerful and comforting... and clothing myself in it is just the way.