Friday, December 18, 2020

2020: Storm Cloud and Silver Linings

2020 is winding down and I don't think anyone will be sorry to see the end of it.  Its been an "annus horribilus" to quote the Queen from her rough patch back in 1992. I don't think she'd mind if I borrowed it. 

I won't list all the endless points again.... lets just say it would take a long time to get through the list and even then, I'd miss something.  I don't think there is a single person on the Earth who hasn't been affected in some way.   There were some astronauts on the ISS who were above it all!  Then there were the people who went on a camping / paddling trip and were gone for a month and came back to a pandemic. They must have felt like it was some surreal Twilight Zone story or Hollywood movie script!

I'm happy to say that the effects have been light for us. More of an inconvenience.  We don't travel much but it would be nice to go see our grand kids and other family.  😷   It all got closer to home when my daughter and son in law caught covid 19 last month, and I'm happy to report that they are doing okay, test negative now but are not without some lingering after effects. They are very tired, and have little stamina, but that apparently is very common and they will get by that in time. 

This time of year is difficult due to the short days, long nights and bad weather.  Just a few short days and we'll have the Solstice and things will begin their swing the other way again.  There isn't much change the day after of course, but it just feels so much better regardless.  

 I took awhile to start weaving again after we took Rhaea back to the breeder.  I was pretty upset and needed time.    When I was ready, I had a rather dark broody painted warp on hand. I'm not even sure why I bought it as I normally go for brighter, more cheerful colours. It suited my mood and the year and so I pulled the project together quickly and it went on the Spring loom.  It's 8/2 tencel hand painted with creams, silver,  greys and even a touch of blue black. 

I added solid shale grey edges with silver and a touch of ruby red and then set to find a suitable weft colour.  I was aware that I wasn't doing things my normal way as I usually have weft colours pretty much worked out ahead of time but this time, I wasn't sure.   Black seemed to be an obvious choice to pull all the warp colours together as you can see in the picture above.

The second scarf was more difficult and it seemed my only choices were shale grey or silver.  The shale worked but I decided to go with silver. The pattern appeared softer and more subtle. It would appear as glimpses, then grow, and then fade as they shifted.   

I found myself thinking on what things had gone right for us and our blessings.  💉 The vaccines were being discussed on television and so that's a ray of hope.  A more stable, normalized government is coming to the United States again,  and it seems that there will be by next summer or fall, a more normal life returning to us all (or very close to it again *fingers crossed*).

So this scarf became "Storm Cloud".

The other scarf became "Silver Linings" which we all know is inside every dark cloud!

So the draft is an eight shaft twill progression which is treadled  as an advancing twill. I found it at and was naughty and I didn't record the number associated with it.   My bad. 

Its quite dramatic and now that I have worked with it, I can where modifications can be made to tighten some parts up or try expanding others. 

This will be my last completed project for the year and while I have new projects on the go, they won't be coming off the looms until January.     There are kitchen towels on the Megado and I'm about to reload the Spring for some 12 shaft turned satin weave table runners.  Its a draft from an old friend that I have wanted to try for some time. Now seems to be a good time!

Christmas will be very different for many this year with reduced gatherings to "your household only". For us it will be a nice meal for the two of us together, and time spent on the phone and FaceTime with family and friends.   
Our normal holiday season  🎄  🎅🏻  🎁     From our home to yours, we hope that you are all warm, safe and will  be healthy to enjoy the silver linings to come !

I will do my usual New Year's Day post where I show what's on the loom, then do an annual review of what I got accomplished. See you then!  🎉

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

🌎 Sea Fans

A weaving post!   Finally..... and hopefully you'll find it was worth the wait.   😁

It all started with this 16 shaft point twill draft, which I believe was designed by Ingrid Boesel.  I was playing around with the colour gradient feature of Fiberworks (for Mac) and knew I had the colours in my tencel stash. I have been enjoying working more with blues and teals this year and they are popular when it comes to sales.

The colours shown aren't quite like the yarns I actually used but close enough for my purposes.  I used Web's  'Valley" 8/2 tencel in royal, greyed blue, dark teal and greyed teal in the warp.   The weft yarns selected were navy and dark teal.

Winding the warp takes a bit of time as you go through the colour order one thread at a time,  cutting off and retying on a new colour.  I use little post it notes to isolate the 4-6 ends in play on the warping mill.  I don't mind it really as I enjoy watching the colours evolve and blend on the mill.  Eye candy!

Then  it was wound onto the loom and you can see why I was enjoying the colour blending!

So, above is the start of the navy weft scarf, which is basically upside down. The centres of the fans are all colour on the opposite side.    I got this scarf woven off just before the puppy came..... and then all weaving stopped for two months.   

This is the start of the second scarf using dark teal as my weft choice.  This softened  the colour gradation in the warp and the royal blue appears as a shimmer along the edges.  

It took time to get my weaving mojo back. I also discovered my legs didn't like the treadling action and I had to build up my weaving sessions.    Gah, I'm sadly out of shape!

I watched Sir David Attenborough's "A Life on Our Planet" on Netflix while twisting the fringes, while sitting at my desk.  It was a stark reminder of how fast humans have changed this world, but it was the oceans that affected me the most.  There are hopeful choices we can make to alter this future..... I recommend watching this documentary. 

 🐿  🌳  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌊 🐠

I had to wait for some sunshine to lighten up, brighten up the house sufficiently to get some decent pictures for you.  I literally caught a one hour patch of sunshine yesterday  just before another  cloud front rolled in.

So first up is the navy blue weft and I call this scarf "Big Blue" after the Pacific ocean here on our doorstep.

Then here's the dark teal weft scarf that I call "Caribbean" for the tropical oceans. The fans remind me of the coral reefs.    Yea, this one is my favourite....   💖  

There is just three weeks until the Winter Solstice, and the return of the sun light. Before we can get to lighter times ahead we must brave a cold snowy winter and Covid 19.   So dig out the snow shovels, and keep your masks on.  We can't avoid the snow but we can protect against the virus.  Its far easier to do that than it is to  deal with the illness.  Its like Russian roulette.... you might be a carrier and not get sick at all, you might not get too sick and recover, you may get very ill and die..... and if you recover you may have life long lingering health effects.    Wearing a mask and staying home is so much  simpler.     Vaccine help is on the way......   😷  💉