Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Backward Glance Before Stepping Forward

I've been going through my old slides and beginning the slow process of converting them to digital. I should probably be doing this in some orderly fashion, but instead, I am selecting 20 slides at a time that just happen to strike my fancy. Around this time of year I always think back to when I moved to Seattle in January of 1980.

Back in the winter 1979, I was living in Missoula Montana and preparing to move to Seattle. Before I left, I decided to take some slides of my current work. I was just starting to develop Color Horoscope Weaving. My model is displaying a very early incarnation of the horoscope shawl woven in merino wool.

Then, in January I got a ride over the pass bringing with me just a couple of suitcases of basic necessities to see if I would like the city.

The first thing I noticed was that it was spring in January! Of course, was is still spring in July.

The random striped green and purple shawls were a combination of merino wool and mohair. It is easy to see the similarities to the weaving I do now. Perhaps I am just a slow learner who is easily amused.

I am now going to work on my 09 list:

1. Those things for which I am grateful
2. My accomplishments in 08
3. Those things still languishing on the back burner
4. Accomplishments I desire in the year to come
5. Things I am ready to release

But first I have to cook something with black eyed peas in it. (I am told it is for good luck.)

Remembering The Big Commission

Remember the Big Commission? Well, here are the Big Commissioners posing with said mantle in their Rocky Mountain Home. It is summer and their 5th Wedding Anniversary (and they are clothed). This picture just arrived in my inbox and did much to warm my heart on this cold winter night.

When I think back over this past year, I am most pleased with having completed this, my largest weaving.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quiet Celebration

I received one of Syne Mitchell's temari balls! I was so excited because each morning I chant my mantra "No New Crafts- No New Crafts" I thought I would never have one if I didn't make it myself. I did break down and make the object above, however. A friend of mine taught me to make them some 40 years ago. What I like about them is that there is no take, glue, knots or any sort of fastenings. Very cunning.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I made a "wreath" of recycled cashmere balls.

Actually, it is the weft for the horoscope weaving I have on the loom.

I'm about 2/3 done. It is really fun to change wefts every 12 picks or so. I can't wait to see it off the loom. I have made an extra yard to use for the woven sample in the kits.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Wrapping

I didn't feel like weaving but rather to watch It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time, but what to do with my hands. I have several warps in mind for the upcoming year, so I thought it might been fun to do some wrapping. For scale, the widest are 1" x 6" although I can imagine them being large enough to be a room divider.

Most of the wrappings are words and colors selected by clients.

From left to right the words are: mirror imaged UNFOLDING in two different colorways; TOUGH, CHEERFUL, INSIGHTFUL; mirror imaged my last name TARSES in my colors and then my mother’s colors; ENLIGHTENMENT; OHM (repeated 3 times); FAST, ENTHUSIASTIC, CURIOUS; ENERGY, BALANCE, WISDOM; INTELLIGENT; INNOVATIVE.

I have come to believe that single words repeated or mirror imaged make a stronger statement.

The single word I am taking for myself and everyone into 2009 is HOPE. I think I will go and wrap it right now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Carpe Diem

Like Connie Rose, I get to do a lot of my best work over the holidays.

I've been enjoying color blending in a free unplanned way. I am using colors selected by the client which makes it rather challenging, risky, and exciting.

Again, Happy Holidays to all. May this be a thoughtful time. I plan to reflect on the successes of the past year, my areas of flagrant procrastination, ideas for the upcoming year, and my highest wishes for self and world.

With laughter and forgiveness.......

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Other Mary Black

I can't imagine that anyone who reads my blog doesn't also read and listen to WeaveCast, but just in case you haven't and don't...I would like to plug the current episode "The Other Mary Black".
Since I am also the sponsor of this episode (#34) and was interviewed on #9, I can hardly say enough good things about this wonderful resource for weavers and weaving lovers.

I met Mary Black the same day I met Virginia Harvey. They were best friends for years and years until Virginia passed away. I had read and treasured Virginia's books and also Mary Black's, but Mary was quick to tell me that she was the other Mary Black. Although she was never "famous" in her own right, she knew everybody in the weaving world and was there at the birth of HGA. I am happy to say that she is my friend too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mobius Maxima

I am very pleased with the results (although not completely thrilled with the picture). I don't have a back view at all. This weaving is made for a woman who is bigger and taller than I am. I had her try on my first version of the MobiQ and saw that I would need to add an extra yard of length. I think I will reposition the drape to come from the opposite shoulder because I believe the fold is covering up my favorite part.

I was very nervous about washing this piece, but my worries were for naught. This bamboo/chenille piece went through the washer and dryer without a hitch. One time I washed a chenille scarf and one colored stripe collapsed ruining the whole piece. I have never figured out why this happened, but it has left me feeling uneasy whenever I have had to launder chenille.

I really MUST weave one of these for myself!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I had to put this second picture of my mom posing with a basket of un-knitted cashmere sweaters. I've been sending this out as a virtual holiday card with the caption (naturally, HAVE A BALL). It really says it all.

I was going to name this post CARPE DIEM to go with the picture below. Yesterday I began warping Gary with those Woven Words. The humorous part is that I have been procrastinating weaving this piece for months.

The colors were selected by the person I am weaving for. The ikat separates the words "carpe and diem" and I have mirror imaged the words with the letter "C" in the center.

Below is a horoscope warp chain. I just love this picture, so it is more of just eye candy.

Warp is Bambu 7.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gary: Not to be Outdone

It's a good thing my room is long. It has taken me quite a long time to pull this piece off the loom. I usually make my warps 4 yards long, but this one was 5 yards. I am nervous about laundering this weaving. Every once in a while some of the chenille will do something totally wonky.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photo Meme

I was just reading Tien's Blog and was charmed by the idea of looking at the 6th picture in my 6th folder. I liked the idea that she was not tagging anyone but invited anyone who was interested to do it. So I had to see what mine was. Here it is! The Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers posing with their completed Horoscope Necklaces. It was a jolly fun workshop.

If anyone is interested in a "kit", let me know and I will create one (grin)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grace is Smokin'

I wish you could feel this weaving. The cashmere weft combined with the bamboo is just heavenly. I washed it in the machine and dried it in the dryer. It was 111" before laundering and I think it was 98" at the end. I forgot to write down the measurements (again). I realize 98" is rather long for a shawl, but I couldn't bring myself to cut it. I told the client I would make it shorter if they wanted, but I wanted to give them a chance to see it in all its glory.

I packed it up and overnight FedEx'd it to its new owner with hours to spare.

I thought these were a particularly nice details.

And then those warp chains from the weekend just jumped right onto Grace before I could decide what I wanted to weave next.

This is Bambu 7 and will be cut up as woven samples in my kits.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gearing Up

When I first arrive in Baltimore to visit my mother, she was feeling rather ill. We thought she was having heart failure. The next morning we took her to the emergency room. The doctors discovered she was anemic due to a tiny leak in her small intestines, gave her some blood and sent her home. New blood seemed to do the trick because she un-knitted cashmere like crazy. I just love this picture.

Back in Seattle, I had this horoscope weaving waiting. I thought Christmas was the delivery date, but much to my surprise it is December 13th. So I am weaving.

The warp is Bambu 12 doubled and sett at 20 epi. The weft is some of the new cashmere (black) tripled. I am a little over the halfway mark. My plan is to have it in the mail on Wednesday.

And here is a warp chain I made over the weekend. It is Bambu 7, a horoscope . When people order kits from me, I like to include a woven swatch. (well, it is really a little bigger than a swatch). I finally used up the last of my own horoscope and need to weave another. I am tired of weaving my own and tried to figure out whose horoscope to use. So I wondered what Barak Obama's horoscope would look like....

Over the years I have asked that question many times. The results have been Bette Midler, Lilly Tomlin, Mae West, Mary Meigs Atwater, Shirley McLaine, Marilyn Monroe, Beethoven, Einstein, Jung, Gandhi, Imogen Cunningham, Georgia O’keeffe, The Dalai Lama. and others I can’t recall at this time.

Back to the loom......

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ready to Fly

My bags are packed. My Southwest seat selected. 
My 2 week escape from unreality is over. Now it's time to make a list of all the things I need/want to do by the end of the year. (I'll make my list on the long flight across the country). I know it will be a very long list because some things have been carried over from before my move. Spending these 2 weeks away from my "regular" life has let me see just how much the move took out of me and just how far away I am from the path I was on at the beginning of last year. 

I look forward to picking up the "thread" 

"There's many a slip t'wixt the cup and the lip."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hello From Baltimore

I have finally figured out how to post from the computer at my mother's apartment. Now I just have figure out how to add pictures. One thing at a time. 

I have spent most of my time wading through another pile of cashmere sweaters. The "un-knitting" factory is in full swing. Of course all production stops when I am not here. (For those of you who don't know about the unknitting factory: it is my 90 year old mother, her 85 year old sister and me taking apart imperfect cashmere sweaters). We have two dozen to work on this trip. 

When not un-knitting, I have been mostly cooking and eating. I discovered Maryland crab hardly ever comes from Maryland any longer, thus ending my search for the perfect Maryland crab cake. (also I am now a vegetarian, so I can content myself in remembering how they used to be)

It's late......  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Off to Baltimore

Time has gotten away from me. I had a plan to do this wonderful post before I left, but now I leave for the airport in 15 minutes. I will attempt to post during my trip, but that has turned out to be rather iffy in the past.

I do have plans (all in my head) for some really exciting things to share with you, so don't give up on me just yet.

THANKSGIVING IN BALTIMORE! I know you are green with envy (grin)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Slowly But Surely

I seem to be weaving at a snail's pace. In case you have forgotten, above weaving is Woven Words, bamboo warp, variegated rayon chenille weft.

I am leaving on Thursday the 20th for a 2 week trip to the Unknitting Factory (aka. a visit to my folks on the East Coast). My plan is to have this off the loom. I probably won't have the piece below finished however.

Below is the beginning of a Color Horoscope Weaving, bamboo warp with a cashmere weft.
It is a Christmas order, so I do have time to weave it when I return. I noticed after I took the picture that I still had the beater tied to the castle from moving Grace back home.

Below is the very beginning of an idea to be explained as it unfolds. The working title is "The Many Shades of Hope" inspired by the outpouring of hope I witnessed on November 4th.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Finding the Colors Within


Several years ago I taught the workshop FINDING THE COLORS WITHIN. I asked for a scanned copy of each students' woven collages. There were 64 woven collages, each one measuring 4" x 4". They actually were 4" x 5", but I trimmed off an inch because I wanted each piece to be a square. Then I grouped 4 squares together to make 16 eight inch squares.

I know it is possible to do this in photoshop, but I did it all at Kinkos. They really got to know me as I spent countless hours and countless dollars there. They also have a fabulous paper cutter there---very accurate.

So then I reduced the image to an 8" square and printed 2 of them. I flipped the image and printed 2 more and pasted them together. The quilt below measures 16" x 16"

The possibilities are endless.

One of the things that fascinated me about teaching these workshops is that each group produced quite different collages, both in the look and in the number of collages (which changes the configuration of the quilt)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Return of Grace

Here I have carved out a small space for Grace. She has enjoyed her stay in the Cathedral, but want to get back home. Little does she know she will be coming to a different place altogether. I know it is going to be tight.

Tight it is. I have decided to let Grace and Gary discuss the situation and see what they decide. First I will give Grace a nice warp to play with and see how she settles in.

I may have to let go of one of my looms---you all must know this story.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finding the Color Within

Several years ago, I was teaching a workshop called "Finding the Color Within". It consisted of creating a series of personal collages based on specific themes. What does this have to do with weaving, you might ask? I feel many weavers have a hard time with color in general. They discover a few combinations that work and stick with them. Learning color theory is painstaking, but making collages is fun, freeing, and generates lots of ideas that can carry over into weaving.

The other day I came across the folder with the collages I made during that period of time. I scanned a few of them into the computer, but then was unable to create the flipped mirror images of them with photoshop elements (although I knew it was possible)

A geeky friend from NIA stopped by and mirror imaged and flipped one of the collages pictured here in the 4 possible ways to manipulate an image. I really love the look of them and can't decide which one I like the best.

Hopefully my friend will return soon and teach me how to do this myself. I have many collages crying out for photoshop manipulation. It is fascinating to me seeing these images on the blog.

By the way: the question for the theme of this particular collage---if you could change one thing in your life, what would that be? My answer at the time was: I wanted to change my relationship with my brother. Once I answered the question, I closed my eyes and thought about what colors related to my question. Brown and blue popped into my mind and became the color theme of this collage.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now A Step to the Side

I don't really understand why these pictures have come up in reverse order, but I don't have time to fiddle with it, or start over. I will just have to tell the story backwards. Here is a detail of what is currently on the loom. The warp is Bambu 12 doubled and sett at 20 epi. The weft is a variety of variegated 1300 rayon chenille.

This weaving is a commissioned Mobi-Q like the one I had recently made except this person is sensitive to wool, even cashmere.

I decided to move Gary. The picture below shows where Gary is now. I weave with my back to the window which gives me wonderful light during the day. The picture above shows the wall where the loom used to be. I would have been sitting where the baskets are. I am about to move the baskets to make room for the warping board which is located on the wall where Grace will go.

I'll show more pictures as I prepare for the arrival of Grace. She will return the week of November 2nd. She is still at St Mark's and will be there until after All Saints Day. It remains to be seen if there is really room for both looms in this space. They will have to discuss this amongst themselves. If they decide that one of them has to go, I will let you know.

Periodically I decide I should sell Gary. I write up a little pitch and put it out locally. Nobody has ever expressed an interest (except for someone else who has a Fireside loom and wants to sell theirs). I keep thinking the right person will step forward, someone who wants to be my apprentice, and they will "earn" the loom through their tireless assistance to me. That is my true desire.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two Steps Back

Before I wove Jill's weaving, I wove this pink one for Dara. I can't believe I didn't post anything about this scarf nor did I take any other pictures (setting up the loom or having Dara model the finished piece). I am getting lax in my old age.

Now here are a couple of shots of Jill's weaving on the loom, but I don't know why I didn't snap a picture of a further back picture that showed the whole loom.

The only reason seeing the entire loom is important is because I have moved the loom to a new position, and I can't find any pictures of it in the old position. I am slowly getting the studio ready for the return of Grace.

I am up to my eyeballs in meetings, so I am off to bed to rest up for the cluster of meetings tomorrow.


Monday, October 20, 2008

So What Have I Woven Lately

Here is the happy owner, Jill, modeling her new scarf. I thought I had posted a picture of this weaving on the loom, but it turns out that I merely thought about posting a picture of this weaving on the loom.

This the same weaving right after I cut if off the loom. Tomorrow I will post a picture of it on the loom. (Bamboo warp, cashmere weft). I haven't figured out how to add pictures once I have already uploaded some.

Did you ever seen that really strange movie called Memento ? It is filmed all out of sequence, like this post (but that is the only similarity). I will get back into the swing of things eventually, but I liked this scarf so much I had to show you before it went to its owner.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Thanks to clear directions from Bonnie, complete with helpful hints, I loved working on this shawl. You can see it pictured here on a stereo speaker sculpture designed by my husband, Fred. I am allowing the speaker to model the shawl for Bonnie's archive because I simply never remember to get anybody to take my picture in it! Once I put on the shawl, I go sailing out the door to some special event with no thought of pictures, I guess.The colors from the Cotton Clouds kit are fabulous, and the drape and sheen of the bamboo fiber is difficult to capture in a photo but apparent in real life.

Sincerely, Lynda (Black Mountain, NC)

Here is a lovely detail complete with twisted fringe. This unique method of color blending always surprises me with an unexpected array of colors.

If you have completed one of my kits, I would love to show off the results!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St. Marks Altar Cloth Completed

On September 21, the altar cloth was put into use. (Actually click here for a summary of the project which was started by The Rev. Ralph Carskadden and Ev Tuller back in the summer.) There was a wonderful service where the altar was dressed. I didn't bring a camera. These pictures were given to me by Gabrielle Fine. At this point I have to say that I am not an Episcopalian. In fact, I am not even a Christian, so I may not have my terms right.

The panels were woven so this can be the front at certain times of year and the green at other times.

These are the two sides (above and below)

I recently saw this blog post by Meg. She posed the question For Whom Do I Weave? I posted an answer that weaving for me is an external expression of an internal process, and she asked for clarification. I think this is such an interesting question and that the St. Marks Altar Cloth is a perfect example of an external expression of an internal process. I believe this is why I was drawn to be a part of the project.

I used to think the very best part of weaving was “having woven”. The planning, preparation and process were merely annoyances I had to put up with on the way to cloth. Finally there came a day when the planning part took on a life of its own and became an exciting mental exercise (whether or not I ever wove the piece).

Later, I started to love winding warps and dressing the loom. Touching and counting each thread became a tactile dance, and creating order from chaos an end in itself. But every time I would sit down to begin a new weaving, I would say to myself “This is going to take forever---the rest of my life.” With great reluctance, I would throw the first shuttle. Since most of my weaving is warp dominated, weaving in the weft was simply a way to hold the warp together. Every now and then, I’d weave a plaid, but the weft continued to be a chore until I began to realize it is journey rather than the destination.The process itself is a form of meditation, and throwing the shuttle a spiritual act..

Weaving on commission (or co-creating as I like to call it) is a challenge to bring forth cloth that will resonate with a specific person. I weave each shot with focused intention, thinking about the desires and highest good of the recipient.. Who knows if this makes a difference in the look of the weaving, but it has changed the way I feel about weaving. The weft has become more important, the music that goes with the dance.

Perhaps the real question is: Why Do I Weave?