Monday, May 16, 2011

EPI, LOL, PSSO, PPI, and other acronmyms that further tangle our minds!

In this day of texting and abbreviated thinking, it leads me to a place of some comfort in some ways - I love my Iphone touch, it is handy, it is fun and efficient. I can be in the Loom and communicate with my students in the studio  - epi? lol ttyl - basically, what's the sett laugh out loud, talk to you later....not really, but having my handheld  computer phone allows me to be connected in yet another text-tile way. We have been 'texting' for years with our knitting patterns and the like - that really puts us ahead of the times! The only difference is that we basically were communicating with ourselves and our knitting needles - now the world is at our fingertips in yet another digital way - at least our fingers are active with communication of some kind I friend and I spent a morning laughing at the acronyms new and old and we agreed that SNAFU was one of our favourites - from the second world war I believe (situation normal all fouled up - although another word is used for fouled!!!! LOL!)

A spring collection of texture and colour to add to the bulging inspiraton book! Can you guess what they are?
So the month was full and inspiring - not a day goes by that I am not exhilerated beyond my wildest dreams (I am sure that there may be some eye rolling at this statement, but it is true, it really doesn't take much to excite me or give my brain yet another combination to think about, or a problem to solve - trouble shooting is one of my all time favourite excitements - how to best make something work.....). We had an exceptionally lovely warp come off the loom in the new studio - have I mentioned the new studio??? I will elaborate a little in a bit....but ah yes troubleshooting - it is my middle name and I love a challenge big and small. This one wasn't a mistake, but more of 'pushing light into dark'. A dark warp that needed some light without compromising the dark. That is when you manipulate the sley - don't you just love that - you could call it MTS! So one can add subtle stripes by adjusting the sleying of the reed and in this case added an undulation as well when using a lighter weft. The warp being black alpaca and a black handspun alpaca/wool blend. By reversing the twill threading on one third of the warp, it added yet another element to the piece giving yet another 'colour' -  these subtle manipulations contribute to a more unique and as I call it layered design. Another great MTS will give you added width as well, if you somehow miscalculated which never ever happens to weavers!!!
The weft is Berroco Lustra that was overdyed from ivory to charcoal grey - the sheen is quite lovely.
The beautiful Shetland/alpaca blend was exceptional and the photo just doesn't do it justice - the first warp off in the new studio classroom.
And the next projects off were the rag rugs - the community rag rug warp is available to all - bring your rags and weave.....these are particularly beautiful.
The warp weaves to about 28 inches and we are allowing about 45 inches long for each. The warp is a cotton blend and threaded to a straight twill. Depending on your skill level, it should just take you a day to weave in a very magical and creative place.

I have been reminiscing quite a lot since the second studio has opened. When I learned to weave, I learned in a barn and was surrounded by other women all with the passion of learning something new and wonderful. The last few years I have been leading quite a solitary weaving life and it wasn't until opening the first half of my studio did I realize that it felt so much more 'right' to be in a group of women. Banff was the same -  all day we would weave and breathe the world of weaving and only in the evenings did we chance that Mary wouldn't be by, and put some music on. Sweden was the same - no music. Cherryville was musical enough with horses poking their noses in, cats lying about, the goats checking in and folk singers often outside serenading us. Music is pretty important to me I have to say - and poetry. With my young students they will indulge me my Ting Tings, Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell and Christina Aguilara, but my 'older' students also have a liking for diverse music, so the mix is great... and the music of the looms is exceptional - there is nothing like the beat of a beater against a rag rug and the sigh of beat against a soft warp - never mind the creaking of each loom each a distinct sound of its own......ahhh, the magic of weaving lives together, eh? Speaking of reminiscing............I was telling my  friend Ann about my pillowcase - which I hadn't seen for a couple of years and then found it on the ground outside my old Benz - my husband cleaning it out of old mildewed fabric etc........and there she was, lying on the ground stained and ripped........all 1700 threads - 64 epi, all 25 yards that I myself warped in the heat of the hot Okanagan summer, and threaded  - the life of an apprentice...........but I lovingly washed her - my little pillowcase that I first slept on when on my honeymoon..............

The pillowcase is under the cat and a student's scarf. It was a cotton warp with a linen weft threaded in rosepath....

Yes, one needs their spectacles to see the count. I kind of want to do something like this again - wish my eyes were young!  Perhaps another community project - anyone game?

And my new favourite poetry at the moment is an Interweave publication - the Very Stuff by Stephen Beal: Poems on color, thread, and the habits of women - does that not just pique your interest..... 3047 (a straw colour) is my current favourite:

This color is calling out to me.
It is calling, "Do not let me go unnoticed, unrecognized, unsung.
I am humble, I am useful,
....."I am of the stuff that helps you make it through:

and I just wonder if that is why I am weaving the above - just realized it now - natural and  solar dyed ( bracken and  St. John's Wart) Eastwin Farm mohair and a commercial silk and mohair and silk and linen blend - a 6 harness huck variation.