Friday, May 19, 2017

Beaming the First Warp in Months!

Yes, really! The photo below is the first 8 sections (there are a total of 19 in the design) of a run of dish towels (or tea towels, if you prefer) using 2/12 Fox Fibre naturally colored cotton in two shades of brown and two shades of green. In this case, my use of the term shade refers to the percentage of natural versus the colored fiber in the blend. The light brown yarn has a higher percentage of natural fiber than the dark brown yarn.

The two brown yarns are in the center of the design, because those were the cones holding the least yarn. I spent a fairly long time with some empty cones of the same type, and a scale, and a spreadsheet to help me figure out how wide I could make the stripes without running out of the darker brown yarn. It was a tense few moments as I wound the last of the dark brown stripe. These are the remnants of the two browns:

Only just enough left of the darker brown for 1 or 2 repair ends, and it's a good thing these are towels, not yardage!

I began the project with over 16 ounces of natural, and ample light green and dark green for the design. The colors of the Fox Fibre cotton will deepen with a few trips through an alkaline laundry cycle, which I will do here in the studio so the buyers will have a better sense of the eventual hues.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Another Happy Flower Producer

This one is my Peanut Cactus. After a winter in the greenhouse, it is delighted to be out in the sun again. The blooms, almost blindingly orange, are larger this year, at least 2.5 inches across.

And although you may not believe it, I'm in the process of getting ready to beam a warp on the dobby loom. Tea towels in naturally colored cotton from Fox Fibre.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Iris Season

Not the metaphor for woven iridescence, the flower itself. We've been enjoying these beauties for a couple of weeks. Time to share:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Is It Really Almost May?

And here I am, still on holiday from the studio. A little knitting, some spinning and plying, but mostly trying to become fully mobile again. The surgeon keeps reminding me that full healing can take a year or more, and to keep at the exercises (but don't overdo them).

We have made a few day trips out into the California springtime countryside. As you might have seen in the news, the desert-like countryside is really stimulated by the rainfall this past winter. (Our calculation at home is almost 3x the normal. Twelve inches annually, between mid-October and late April, has been typical for the years we have lived in this part of the state, about half-way between the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose area and the Los Angeles basin to the south. This year, we measured over 35 inches.)

Wildflower seeds can wait many years for enough rain before they germinate. Early in April, we drove east to the edge of the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and although we were about a week early for the maximum colorful display, this was typical of what we drove past:

The common names of some of these include tidy tips, fiddleneck, shooting star, owl's clover, and baby blue eyes. It was actually difficult to find a place to take a photo without another 20 cameras clicking away within the frame. Where a low spot was damper than the hillsides, the variety was much greater, and the stems of the flowers taller. The ones above were perhaps 6 inches maximum, the blues and whites in the next photo were up to 24 inches:

Closer to home, and 10 days farther into the season, we now are enjoying lots of native lupines and California poppies. These are on our property, so I don't have to go far to appreciate the result of the rainfall:

Both of these have very recognizable foliage, so I can persuade DH to let them have their days of glory before he pulls them up.  And by that time, they've scattered the seeds for the next season.

Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of our domestic plantings, the purposeful ones, not the spontaneous and accidental ones. Happy Springtime!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Even the Best Intentions Go Awry

Except for Physical Torture (aka Therapy), about all I have accomplished since the last post is to teach Gracie how to relax:

Gracie's front legs are spread wide while I pet her face and ears, her rear legs are warming my wrist in thanks for the tummy rub, and her purr is constant. If you click to display the larger version of the image, you might possibly hear the sound of a happy cat.

The temperatures at night have been cold, and I indulge in a thick grey fleece blanket. The folded cloth on top of that is what DH calls a cat gasket, whose purpose is to stop cat hair from clinging to the fleece (or anything else Gracie touches).

The problem is, now that I'm ready to get back to weaving, her expectations for personal service from the staff (me) have been set at an unrealistic level, and now I am scowled at if no lap is available on demand.

P.S. As it happens, the award I mentioned in the previous post was a People's Choice award. Seems the Paso Robles Art Association still has doubts about weaving. The new jurying system is based on fitting into one of these categories: 3D (sculpture, mixed media, glass, ceramics, etc.), 2D traditional painting/drawing/printing media (applied by hand to a canvas or paper surface), or 2D digital media such as digital photography and digital art that is created a computer.

Where does weaving fit? Either 3D or Digital, according to the current PRAA board. Any thoughts? If so, you can leave a comment here, or email me: sandra at 3springshandworks dot com

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

I Lied

Here it is March, and I clearly overestimated my return to "normal" activities. All that I have accomplished is to be awarded a Best in Show by the Paso Robles Art Association for the much-modified portrait shown in this post:

When I joined the group, the oil/watercolor/acrylic painters did not take me very seriously as an artist. Now, that might have changed.

The theme of the February exhibit was Masquerade.  I figured that wishing or pretending one were 20 again fit the theme.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Back to Work

My extended holiday (AKA recuperation) is soon over, although there is still some Physical Therapy to be done, but I am longing to get back into the studio and weave.

I had a lot of knitting projects (and videos on knit techniques to learn), but failed to take into consideration the effect of pain medications on brain power and concentration. So, except for a little bit of what I call idiot knitting (an appropriate adjectivefor my condition), I really have not done much textile stuff since mid-December.

I apologize for having been so silent this past 6 weeks, but have had nothing to report. That will change soon, I promise!