What’s One More…Right?

So,

I have slowed down and virtually “finished” working for a while.  I will miss my clients, thank goodness my gym family is providing me a little continued involvement because they are all so much fun and such great people to work with and be around.

I have slowly been doing a little design work most days.  Of course when things slow down and there is more time and space, what do we do – we FILL it!

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We have toyed with the idea of dog #3 for a while. I almost adopted a rescue and decided against it because 3 dogs when you are trying to get control of change in your life is nuts.

Of course it’s our wedding anniversary and we decide to go just look at the pup that the person we got our other handful of a pup from.  So of course there is one extra in the car ride home.  Say hi to Brody (my son named him after Chief Brody from Jaws).

So here we are, prime AARP candidates, 2 years shy of child freedom, with 3 dogs!

Would I change it, nope.  He is ADORABLE! SO low-key, so affection and so willing to please!  We knew we had to get our other two reigned in so we are working with our amazing dog trainer (https://www.facebook.com/VIPPetServices) who has made such a difference.

So most nights I spend looking down dogs nostrils as they lay all over me on the couch, it takes me about 4 hours a day between individual training, corralling feeding times preventing pee and other accidents.

I have had them upstairs while threading the AVL and listening to This American Life podcast, despite all the wood, strands of yarn and distractions, they are all doing well. What can I say, life is good!IMG_3418.JPG

 

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Finding a Path – This One Is For Heather

Everyone has had struggles.  Some more than others.  I had a pretty rough childhood which affected my ability to really fulfill my potential in college.  Art was always my thing, it allowed expression and I felt comfortable there.  In college I was amongst kids who were affluent and supported.  I had parents that barely realized I was putting myself through school.

I have many regrets that I did not go on to get my masters, instead I fumbled in a different country, having several part-time jobs at a time and then I completely got away from art and design.

I say I am a jack of all trades and master of none.  However, my daughter has gone on to have a blossoming design career.  My husband has recently started to encourage me to get back to what I love.  This had to be my journey.  There was no magic wand, no luxury of time and money.  It all felt hard scrabble.  I remember as a late teen in college visiting a major design house in London.  I felt inferior, disregarded and let me tell you as a women in the US in this current state of affairs, it feels like the same old all over again.  Except now I have time and wisdom on my side.  My perspective is a little different, I am more vocal, less insecure and I now have time and money on my side.

Today I felt again like that 19-year-old – in an upscale store – wearing crappy clothes (I had just left work) and noticed the salesperson disregarding me over other more appropriate customers.  My normal instinct would be to leave, but I have a really important date with my hubby coming up and needing the perfect shirt (yeah that happens sometimes) I decided to just try the damn shirt on.

Once the salesperson realized I was actually serious, full attention.  (zero respect for these people and yes I get what it is like to be disregarded).

Anyway, after decades of second guessing oneself, when you finally find you are much more comfortable being your honest self, things are simplified.  The only people you are accountable to are yourself, family and friends.  It is ok to let go of people in your life if that is what you need to do.  It is ok to speak your story, it is brave and will help someone else.  I am lucky to be surrounded by people who love and support me, by strong women and encouraging men.

The nice thing about getting older is, it feels like there is less to lose and more to give.  It has been a rough year or two.  But here is to sweeping a cloud of dust on a mountain top.  Thank you Heather for a revealing journey!

“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”
S. Kelley Harrell, Gift of the Dreamtime

 

Tiny Warps

I generally use a plain beam for warps.  The AVL only has the sectional beam.  Usually, to dress a sectional beam you use multiple cones or spools of yarn.  For 2 inches of yarn sett at 36 epi, this requires 72 spools.  If you have only one or two cones of yarn, you will need to calculate the total yardage be wound onto each spool for 72 spools.  It can be time consuming to say the least.

My workaround is to wind mini warp bouts.  This particular warp is time consuming as it is small stripes.  I then spread the warp onto a raddle in the tension box, put the cross over the pegs for tension and wind the warp in 2 inch bouts.

One down, ten to go!

Color – Colour

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I have a few books and apps that allow exploration with color. I have also started a space to use for a story board and inspiration.  My goal is to spend a little time each week playing with photos, color and ideas.

I also have to up my dye game!  It may be time to start keeping a dye recipe book, although flying by the seat of my pants has served me well so far!  I actually have a good eye for color. When non-recipe dyeing I find it very instinctive what colors to mix to change a color to get my desired effect.  The problem is, it becomes a shake of this and a tiny scoop of that and is in no way reliably reproduced.

I will be sectional warping the AVL with the shades of grey to make some towels.  Some will be simple stripe effect with linen singles and some will be monks-belt or overshot accents.

A Loss

Yesterday one of the most pivotal people in my life passed away.

He was my Yoda.

I met Larry over a decade ago, a phenomenal athlete, a calm and inspirational guide.  I guarantee there isn’t a person that encountered this man who was not changed positively by him.

We met as runners.  He, a very successful businessman and a remarkable athlete.  He did not immediately come across as a spiritual person, but he had a depth and quality that asked you questions, made you think and question yourself and always made you become a better person.

I cannot convey how remarkable this man was.  He was very humble, giving and always saw potential, always encouraged and always made you want to be better.

As big as the loss is, my heart is full.  It is full because Larry made me think differently, he made me see positivity and helped me recognize so much and be so much better as a person.

My heart goes out to his dear family.  We selfishly claimed Larry as ours, he always gave selflessly.  He was very private about his personal life, his accomplishments, his goals.  To Larry’s family, thank you.  Thank you for allowing us to be part of his life.  Thank you for allowing us to be part of his journey in leaving us.  I think you know just how big an impact he has had on so many of us.  I like to think there are so many of us that carry a part of him on in our lives that we will always be paying it forward, always making us be better.

God Bless

Larry Friedman, my friend and mentor.

 

 

 

 

I’m Dyeing Here…

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Today I am trying to work with a last minute client cancellation, regular housework and get some yarn dyed.  As usual, I was rushing and not recipe following, hence the much darker grey than wanted.

It will still work as I am only making towels for myself so I can get a warp on the AVL.  It is interesting how different fibers take up dyes from the same dye pot.

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Left to center is 16/2 cotton – same pot but the middle lighter tones were added a couple of minutes later (after the first dips received most of the dye). The far right are linen singles.  There is definitely a blue/purple cast as black dyes are comprised of multiple other colors.  There are numerous procion blacks. Each one has a different cast.

I laughed the other day when my hubby yelled “where are all the kitchen towels?”

There was an expletive involved, I just haven’t been making any and the cruddy store bought ones are on their last legs.  Yes, mine are ridiculously expensive when you consider you can get them for a couple of dollars from the store.  But they sure are nice and last a long time!  They make great gifts too, as long as you stipulate that the recipient must use them for said purpose and not save them for special occasions.  That just makes me feel like the ugly sweater giving family member!

Sad Day But Good Day

It has been a crazy few months, not going to get into details, all good (for the most part) but stressful and many changes.

Today I told my boss that I will be slowly easing out of work. In a way, it will work out really well for a number of reasons, but nonetheless, I have so enjoyed working with these folks, they have been really good to me, my clients are fabulous, but things have changed radically and it is the right move.

I have been lucky enough to be placed around people who are good at what they do, which makes me better at what I do. It is just that right now I need to be there for my family and myself.

I feel like I have been brought into a family of folks who are great people and hopefully I can keep involved with, to a degree. Change is hard, but recognizing how people have helped you grow is good.

 

 

Riddle Me This……

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AND I actually got approval/semi-encouragement from DH!  It was a spontaneous decision and it was local.  It is a little beaten up but has all the features I prefer in a PDL (aside from a plain warp beam). I also met another weaver who I look forward to getting together with in the future.

As you know, I really enjoy using the AVL’s and have owned many.  This one has the hanging weight for the cloth storage as opposed to the sliding weight and drum with the metal coil that will take your eye out for sure!  It also has a hanging beater – I can’t remember how fluid the double fly box is when using for single shuttle but happy to have the option.  The newer pick advance is nice as opposed to the old style with the gears.  Not picky about the dobby I vs II, as long as it works.

So my goal for next week is to get it up and running and dye some cotton and linen singles and warp it up!  Just ordered two containers of Howards Restore a Finish which will not only make this look better but will protect the finish.

Review – AVL Home Loom

AVL makes a great product, across the board from their larger production looms to their smaller looms, the tension and shed are always great, the shafts lift and return with ease and they are quiet.

The plain beams have a groove for a stick that can hold the end of the warp chain and is then inserted into the groove for flat even beaming.

Above you can see weaving in place.  The warp is 100% linen with a linen single weft.  I did not use a temple!  The selvedges are quite nice and warp tension has been consistent throughout.

The back beam folds up making this a great loom for smaller spaces.

 

 

All Good here….

Aside from the usual crazy…

I’ll get to the weaving bit in a minute.  I decided to try Stitch Fix, the stylist did a bang up job on the first, the second was awesome also. I had an issue with the cut of a jacket and the blouse was not something I would have chosen but that is why I did Stitch Fix, to expand my horizons.

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I am great with interiors, clothing? not so much.

Anyway, shout out to whoever the stylist is!

Back to weaving.

I moved the “studio” upstairs, I was missing my AVL and KaBoom, there it is, 60 inch production loom 2 hours away!  Karma much? I am so excited to get a PDL back!  So I am down to 2 looms, the AVL PDL and the Oxaback.

Still adjusting to the new schedule with Mr. Mike working in another state.  Hurricane Florence is wreaking havoc through the state and to be honest, I am looking forward to a weekend just hanging out and getting caught up!