Friday, March 26, 2010

Why Blog

It seems like ages since I last wrote. This year has felt so different. Time has moved so rapidly. I am now visiting my 91 year old mother on the East Coast, so I am away from my computer, looms and images. I did bring 15 cashmere sweaters with me (actually I shipped them ahead), so I would have a lovely project to work on with mom.

On the plane (besides sleeping) I thought a lot about Weaving Spirit, where it has taken me and in what direction I want to go. Stepping away from my studio allows me time to reflect. Why did I begin blogging 3 incredibly short years ago? The answer was simple. A woman emailed me and said, "I read about you on Sara Lamb's blog, and I would like to buy a horoscope weaving." Well, I was instantly hooked. 1. Blogging is a selling tool.

For years I had been urging myself to write. 2. Blogging is a good way to flex and strengthen the writing "muscle".

What I discovered, much to my delight is 3. Blogging creates "the spiral of creativity". Rather than taking time away from my loom, blogging seemed to urge me on. I take a picture of what is on the loom, put it up on the blog, and then I would have to race back to the loom to complete the project so that I could take a picture of it and put it on the blog (or at least that is how it was for the first couple years).

Another exciting discovery is that I have been able to not only connect with weavers from around the world, but 4. to act as a source of inspiration to weavers who do not have the luxury of a weaving guild and other weavers close by.

This is as far as I have gotten in my reflecting on "Why Blog?" If I have missed anything, please don't hesitate to remind me.

Oh, I almost forgot! 5. My readers have been a source of inspiration to me, for which I am deeply grateful. (toothy grin)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Puzzle with No Wrong Pieces

...But some pieces are more right than others.
I'm trying to find the most effective arrangement for this series of 22 wrapped blessings. This is a surprise gift (I hope they don't read this blog) for an old friend. The blessing words were gathered by friends. Once I settle on the order, I will give a rundown on the actual words. Plus I will tell you how I do my wrapping. As to why I do them.... well, it started out being a tool to see what a warp colors would look like next to each other. Then for a long time, I created lots of brooches using scrap silk ikat dyed yarn. It was probably then that the wrapping began to seem like "objects" unto themselves.
The actual size is 8" at the widest and 16 1/2" high.
I'm not so happy with the one below, but it's different.

This one is interesting to me. I wrapped 22 sticks, but there are actually only 11 blessings. I wrapped each blessing twice.
Example: 1st wrapping stick 1" wide. L.O.V.EE.V.O.L
2nd wrapping stick 1/2" wide E.V.O.LL.O.V.E
Then I place completed wrapping 2 on top of completed wrapping 1. Now the finished piece will be 8" wide by 11" high

I'm not sure whether this one is right side up or upside down.

I am just finishing the piece on the loom, so I will have some actual weaving to show off soon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Wonderful Birthday Gift

This card was waiting for me when I got home from the most amazing NIA class I have ever experienced.

Dear Bonnie,
For the past six years the Olympia Weavers Guild has participated in the Puyallup Fair's Sheep to Shawl. This past fall we decided to use the information you presented in your WeaveZine article, Turned-Weft Ikat for our design inspiration and the multitudinous hues present in hydrangeas for the color inspiration.

We had so much fun wrapping and tying and dying that warp. Fair-goers were fascinated with the project and the finished shawl was quite simply beautiful.

Each year after the Fair we print up cards showing the draft we used, colors, and the completed shawl. Sine you were so much a part of this project, I wanted to send you a picture of the completed piece.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge so freely! We won first place!

Sincerely, Olympia Weavers Guild

Here is Tami modeling the freshly completed shawl at the fair---September 2009

This was the very first I had heard about this, and the news couldn't have come at a more perfect moment.

All in all, it was the best birthday I have ever had! Thank you all for your birthday wishes. They were the delicious icing on the virtual cake.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm weaving away on my Birthday. (and it is going along really well!). One of the very best things about ikat-like warps in plain weave is the delight in watching a design unfold. Since I never make a sketch ahead of time, I am surprised at every inch, so much so that I savor every moment.
Perhaps the joy in weaving is the gift I have received for having woven for 50 years. I feel that I no longer have to strive to become the Queen of Weaving or compete for time in the "woven mile".

Remember the words in the weaving above LAUGH OFTEN()LOVE MUCH()LIVE WELL. What a gift to be weaving these words on my birthday. It's a party on the loom.

I'm having so much fun blending the computer with my woven images. That is basically what I have been doing since the new year.

Oops, I accidentally erased the picture. I have never figured out how to put a picture back. But I think the blog is all about going forward, so I will put the picture in tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cashmere Stash in Studio

Before I begin the weaving, I decided a complete inventory of my cashmere was necessary. I haven't weighed my stash, but it is juicy.

Since the warp is so busy, I think a neutral would be the best weft. I sent the picture below to Paula, the recipient, and she agreed that perhaps a solid black would be the best choice for weft.
So black it is. (By the way, the largest balls weigh about 2 oz) I know that knitters cringe at the idea storing yarn in balls because it removes the elasticity, but in weaving the elasticity is not a boon. Plus, the tight balls helps remove the crimp that comes with un-knitting.

So let the weaving begin! The looms were restless and decided to move around the room. Now Gary is facing North, and Grace thought it might be nice to be at a jaunty angle. The jury is still out on the move.

Here is a little peek at what I am working on that is not weaving. Since Weaving Spirit is a weaving blog, I am conflicted about posting my non-weaving divergences. Since I already have a second blog, Bonnie Inspired, I am not sure I have the energy to start up another.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Birthday Month

Some dates aren't exactly today---but close enough.

My 68th birthday.
My 50th year of weaving.
My 8th year of Weight Watchers.
My 6th year of NIA.
My 3rd year of blogging.

It all adds up to a good year ahead---everything changes and everything stays the same.