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."