Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A Weaving Year Remembered

Many weavers like to show what is actually on their looms for New Year's Day. That's a neat concept but I thought a review of what you have actually accomplished in the past year makes more sense to me.  So last year I wrote a studio review and its time again for another!  The Year  really flew by....

So here's my 2014  review and you have to know that I'm looking forward to getting back to my looms soon as the doctor says its okay!

January 2014

Just the one project and it was an eight shaft huck lace diamonds in natural coloured French 9/2 linen from Brassards.
Lovely to work with and a fun weave!  They sold quickly and two of the three went all the way to Louisiana!

February 2014

I wove a couple of twelve shaft lattice scarves from a draft that I modified from an old Weavers magazine.  I reduced it from sixteen down to twelve shafts. They had a beige tencel warp and eggplant weft for one, and a fine black silk weft for the second. Its visually very satisfying! It was a bit repetitive after a time. I like the complexity of twills to keep me focused.

I loaded up the big Woolhouse Tools loom with a random striped warp for towels and for a potential new owner of the loom to try out.  It's a great way to use up odd bits and pieces of cottons.  Its an eight shaft pattern called "breaks and recesses" and one of my stand by favourites. So, still on the loom and under way.  { This loom is still for sale by the me if you are interested SOLD}

March 2014

I had warped up the Louet Spring with a twelve shaft twill pattern that I received from my friend Gudrun. I played around with different versions in my Fiberworks and produced two shawls with a different look. Both have a golden tussah silk warp and one had natural coloured silk yak blend for weft. The second I used hand dyed (by me) silk cotton blend in a soft plum shade. This shawl was well under way at the month's end.

April 2014

We had a trip over to see family and our grandson, Ethan who was turning two.  There was a party to attend!  When we got back I completed the second shawl and worked on the beading embellishment using tiny cream coloured freshwater pearls.
 The cloth is light and airy, but warm. That's the beauty of silk! Perfect spring weather wraps.   It was about this time that I voluntarily stopped using all twelve shafts due to various joint strain and keeping myself to a lighter eight shaft drafts.

May 2014

I tried a twist on the classic drall pattern and wove up two scarves using a variegated yarn.  Then, using bright silks,  more colour play with turned twill blocks for two silks scarves, both of which sold quickly.

June 2014

With the higher humidity of late spring, I decided to weave more of the eight shaft huck lace diamond linen runners in black 9/2 linen, which proved to be a challenge! I had to be very precise with the treadling and hold my breath as I could not see the pattern. I sang out the treadling to make sure I got all five shots to a pattern block.  It worked fine and I got three runners off this warp..... one of which was sold and went all the way to Australia!

I also produced some turned twill yardage of soft 8/2 cotton and later after cutting it apart, I got eight large sized kitchen towels.  My second post showed the finishing of the towels  I just have one last towel left now at Etsy.  I will need to make some more kitchen towels once I'm able to weave again as towels (both large and small) make nice small gifts and lower price point from the scarves and shawls!

July 2014

I went from a black  linen warp to a lovely blue green linen warp and once again, more huck lace diamonds. It reminded me of Wedgwood blue.  I was attempting to get some stock into my shop and get ahead on some inventory before my coming surgery. I wove up three nice sized runners.

We also welcomed guests from far off Michigan for a few days stay and had a lovely visit!  They were on their honeymoon and we didn't know until they arrived!   After they left,  we packed up and  were off to Vancouver to see family and our grandson again for a week away.

August 2014

We seemed to acquire our grandson Ethan's cold or flu bug and so I spent all of August sick and half of September!  I have a compromised immune system and so couldn't fight it off.  (queue the sad music)    And so there was no weaving....    :(

September 2014

But I did manage to get the last red linen warp woven off and finished, albeit slowly. Most likely the last of the  eight shaft huck lace diamonds for some time! (you can get too much of a good thing). These three were with Christmas in mind.... and while they sold quickly last time, this year I still have all three in stock.  New to the studio was my new steam press which I love. It works beautifully with the linen that needs a harder press!

More ever popular snowflake twill scarves featuring variegated tencel  and some show and tell featuring my new Bluster Bay honex tensioned end delivery shuttle.  Shuttles and yarn are your basic tools next to the loom.

Knowing my surgery was coming soon and that we have a new grand baby due in early spring, I tossed a coin and decided to make the baby's blanket now while I knew my strengths and limitations. I just didn't want to be trying to make such a special gift while still recovering and either hurting myself, or producing a less then happy project.  So I went for neutral colours and even now, knowing that the baby will be a girl, it will still work with her mother's dragonfly theme for her room!

October 2014

Quieter month, with mainly the big reveal of the three blankets.  They were a slow weave! One was sold right away as a lap throw for a 'grown-up' who fell in love with the plain striped version.  One is reserved as a gift in the spring and the other is for sale.  By now it was becoming apparent that I have serious trouble with not only my left knee, but also my right hip.  So after a  consult, the Surgeon decided to go with the hip first.....and the knee will wait till mid 2015.

My other accomplishment for the month was a three hour root canal.  It simply had to be done and the gap is still there in our bank account to prove it!

November 2014

I placed a multi silk warp on the Louet Spring and hoped to have it done and woven off before the surgery!   With racing around doing our Christmas prep early and picking up all the necessary items and medical appointments before the surgery, it was not to be unfortunately.  So it sits and waits for my return. They are good at that!  :)

December 2014

My ongoing project is ..... ME.   I imagine my bone weaving together with my new parts and knitting together and healing.   While I'm starting to walk with just a cane now,  my body is still  holding me back right now.  I see my surgeon on January 9th for a post operative check up and get an idea of how things are going.  My imagination is getting excited about getting back to the looms. First to finish the silk scarves and then  ??? I'm flipping through Handwoven's and Vav's magazines and enjoying the eye candy!

So what have you planned for the start of the new year and what I like to call "prime weaving time" during winter months?     Everything and anything is possible.

So to tally finished things up:
2 shawls
3 baby blankets
8 kitchen towels
8 scarves ( and a partial!)
 and  12 runners

That's 33 in total. Not as good as last year but given my physical limitations and lengthy illness this past year, not too shabby!

So wishing you all a Happy New Year and may your shuttle all fly well and your warps be smooth!

If you haven't done so already, be sure to leave a comment on the  December 21st blog post to be eligible to win a handwoven tea towel in the January 7th draw.... one comment per person please and the winner will be announced on January 8th! Be sure to check back to see if you have won.  This will be the 7th anniversary of my starting this blog!

Enjoy the winter to come.....


barbara said...

Hi Susan - Thank you for your "yearly review" of what you have woven, so many different project and each beautiful in their own way. I have not woven since early June - I had carpel tunnel surgery early in July and since then, I just never got back to the looms. I don't usually weave much in the summer months .... Happy New year to you and Bruce and I hope your recovery is right on schedule. Weaverly yours ......

DebbieB said...

Happy New Year! Wonderful projects, Susan - I just love your weaving. So beautiful! I'm glad you're on the mend and are busy "weaving" those bones back together. I am imagining you back at the loom, happily treadling and throwing the shuttle, making magic!

Leslie said...

What an inspiring post, Susan. My own weaving productivity has been very low as my looms were stored during a major home renovation project. I am just now getting back to it - and its my hope to weave for at least 10 minutes every day. That doesn't sound like much, but it does add up quickly. Best of luck with your surgeries, you have such a great attitude that I know you will make the most of the time. Happy new year.

Dianne said...

Lovely to see your beautiful projects again. A few ouches during the year - hoping 2015 will see steady improvement.

Tobie said...

Thanks for showing your work for the year. It was ver inspirational for me. I am trying to get back to weaving after many years off.

Gail said...

I am glad to read that you are healing. I hope you can get back to your looms soon. If I were closer, that woolhouse loom would be here.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Susan! Your posts are always an inspiration. I am totally in awe of your beautiful work.

I hope that this year will be a year of continued healing and new beginnings for you.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

What a productive and wonderful weaving year you have had Susan! Love the linen table runners. Happy New Year to you and Bruce. Glad you are healing so quickly and are feeling better.