Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018: a Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Its hard to believe that yet another year is coming to an end, but 2018 is in it final hours for us here on the west coast of Canada.  We are just having a lazy day hanging around the house and no plans to go out or 'party-hearty'.  We leave that for the younger set. We're more the 'jammies and TV' types now.
We do have a bottle of Prosecco chilling and plan a roast beef supper.   

But this is all in 2018 and this is being posted on New Year's Day.  So basically old news! 😁
2019 right now in its early days is a fresh slate and everything is possible.   So lets start with what's on my loom as of today:   This is the best I can do with my lighting situation this time of year.... its a subtle pattern with this colour mix!

Its 8/2 tencel,  24 epi, warp colour is Pompeii and weft is Amethyst, and this is a six shaft crackle weave for two scarves. I'm undecided as to my second weft colour will be right now.  The draft is from Handweaving.net

So how did 2018 go for weaving results?  Well, my personal feelings on this is I was not as active or productive as in years past and this was due to many reasons, mostly personal.  We had a death of a family member,  a health crisis and then a cancer diagnosis and treatment (still on going in fact),  the emotional toll of all of this and then a death of our much loved dog Calli.  We'll be a long time getting over that one, if ever.

We felt the need to slow things down and restore some calm in our lives and so we stayed close to home, but took some nice day trips around our area and south of us to explore our part of the world.  That was great fun and went along way to helping us feel better in ourselves. No doubt we'll do this again in 2019.

Due to my husband's treatments, my foot surgery was postponed and finally dropped. It seems I must first determine why I'm so intolerant of post operative opiate pain meds first and what, if any, alternatives there are before going ahead with any foot reconstruction. To that end I have been going to pain management sessions and will continue on in 2019.  Arthritis is something I will have to learn to co-exist with for many years to come.

Of course my favourite loom, the Louet Spring, is the one with the foot treadles. I feel more connected and totally 'all involved' when weaving on that little loom.  Best decision ever to buy that loom back in 2008!  Heck, it was ten years old this past October.... time is flying by!

So what's ahead for the coming year?   well, nothing concrete as yet.  I want to play more and be more inventive with colour, and weave what speaks to me.  To try to avoid getting into the 'production mode' state of mind because it then becomes more of a job and not so much fun anymore.  I much prefer shorter warps where I can play for a time and then move onto something new.  It means much more warping and beaming but that's okay as the Spring is easy to load up.  I also like all the weaving steps and find them satisfying.

I used much of my 2018 weaving yarns from my stash, with only a few painted warp purchases. I'm not set up currently to paint my own warps right now as Hub is working on sorting out his models in the garage space.  I'd like to carry on rediscovering old friends (yarn) stored in bins and let them see the light of day.   That leaves more money for other fun purchases such as books ("Stubenisky Code" by Marian Stubenisky and the new, soon to be released new book by Laura Fry "The Intentional Weaver").  Thanks to some enabling at my Warped Weavers group at Ravelry, I got involved with a Kickstarter project for a electronic spinning machine called an  Electric Wheel Eel Nano which won't be shipped until August.  More information and video here Yes, I have two spinning wheels already but with my feet, it would be fun to have something to play with while I recover from the inevitable surgery down the road. ( I'm to be "no weight bearing" on the foot for three months!)

I will take a hiatus from commission projects for the coming year. They take a large chunk of my time and so nothing else gets done that is on my to-do list. I like to revisit old drafts from time to time but even old favourites will loose their glow if done to death!

I want to go and see the grand kids this spring in Vancouver,  also possibly visit an Airedale breeder down island this spring as well.  We acknowledge its time for another pet in our lives but still making decisions about the size and breed. Something half the size of Calli would be more practical and still have all the love! Its all under discussion....

So the year in review as follows....

January & February 2018

The 9/2 linen huck lace runners were fun to weave and I love the crisp hand of the cloth...... but out of three runners woven, two had treadling errors that were missed on the loom.  Bummer....

March 2018

These two scarves used a very old draft from the 17th century and the warp was a champagne coloured silk from the stash.  They are very pretty!

April 2018

Two more scarves using a painted warp from my stash from Iridescent Fibers.  Its fascinating to weave with a painted warp as the weft looks different with each colour change!

May 2018

Hub had his surgery.

June 2018

Calli died

Then we started doing our day trips and you got my travel posts.

Deep Bay, BC

July 2018
Cape Lazo, BC

Finally some weaving again with the Chocolate Cherries scarves.  The darker tones suited me at the time. That will tell you something of my mood.....

August 2018

I was finally inspired to weave something colourful and fun again with two Fire Iris shawls.  Again the painted warp was by Iridescent Fibers and I incorporated it into shawls.  They are my favourite item of the year actually....

Another drive and a post on Discovery Passage and our summer forest fires.  There is a uninhabited island on fire and burning off in the distance, with the blue smoke blending with the heavy cloud.  The clouds never did send a drop of rain to help.  They left it to burn and I wondered about the animals living there.

September 2018

These two scarves were fun to weave and the pattern is very satisfying to build. I can see using this 8 shaft draft again for a shawl?

October 2018

Then in the spirit of playing with string and 'what if' came these two colour gradation, braided twill shawls.   Three colours in the warp and two very different looks!  Both shawls were sold to one customer. I like to think she couldn't decide which she liked best either.   😊

Then there was a shawl commission where we revisit a popular past favourite. My blog post had a confusing title of 'going south' but it was the shawl that went and not me unfortunately!

.....and that led to a small but equally happy project of my sister Melinda's table square:

November & December 2018

The year concludes with this (newly purchased) painted warp shortie scarf..... plus the resulting solution to a problem. (to come next post!)

So let's tally things up:

  • runners: 4
  • scarves: 9
  • shawls: 5

Total: 18 completed woven items, plus a further 15 from the mystery project
( and,  actually a further 26 more on top of that!)   I'll share what this is soon..... but I will tell you now it was great fun!

Happy New Year !    (click to enlarge)


Yvonne Smith said...

I loved reading your year in review. I am sorry to hear about your husband's cancer, your foot problems, and the death of your beloved dog. Despite all of those things, you managed to produce some beautiful pieces.

You continue to provide me with wonderful inspiration. We both seem to love the same jewel toned 8/2 Tencel. And, we both have Louet Spring looms! I just have a lot less experience than you! I have a long to-do list for 2019, but hope to make a least one project from the drafts that you were kind enough to email to me.

Wishing you a healthier and happier New Year!

Susan Harvey said...

Thank you Yvonne.... Happy New Year to you! Yes, 2018 was not a stellar year so we have high hopes for this new one. I wouldn't worry about more experience or less..... I'm on the same road as you, just a little further along!

Peg Cherre said...

Thanks for the year in review...I always enjoy reading yours but somehow never do one myself. Your wonderfully beautiful and consistent weaving is a constant inspiration for me...we have similar tastes in colors and weave patterns.

Susan Harvey said...

Happy New Year Peg! You faithfully follow me here and FB.... and I want to say I appreciate you. Some people are good friends we have yet to meet (in person that is)

May your new year be one with smooth warps and good health!

Dianne said...

Love reading your year's summary and your plans for the present year.
I went back through your '18 projects and can't decide on a favourite. Each is gorgeous and unique in its own right.
I know I'm slow catching up but very curious about secret projects. Look forward to admiring more beautiful work this year and hoping for smooth health outcomes.