We just had a craft exhibition at our local gallery for almost 2 weeks. I had a couple of handwoven blankets on display and was really impressed with the displays. A call had gone out to crafts people to submit items and the response finally became better. What was displayed was a lot of textiles, including knitting in very fine lace, very big lace from 2″ roving, to mitts and a very fine cotton table cloth. Felt pieces included a coat, shawl and purses. Some crocheted jewelry along with fine silver, glass items and hand made monkeys and elves. Along with the fibre stuff, was a great amount of wood work. There were crib boards, jewelry boxes, benches and very ornate tables from burls. Wood is fibre too. The major metal were flowers made from horseshoes and reinforcing steel. They were really unique. I demonstrated some hand spinning and some weaving so that the gallery could be “manned” for a couple of days.
Along with this exhibition was a craft symposium with guest speakers from Vancouver, Halifax and Calgary. Having these people talk of their work helped me to confirm that what I like to do, am compelled to do means I am on a good path. I met some nice local artisans as well, but we had little time to talk to one another. The energy level was high.
I have a new customer who is a nice new felter and is busy buying my roving to make more items. She is passionate about what she is doing and experimenting with all she is doing. She is basically self taught and likes checking out the internet. I am impressed with her efforts. I also have a friend who bid on and “won” a nice hat block for me. I hope to have time to use it soon. It is a lovely plain block.
I took some soap to my naturopath today which she will check out to see if it can be used. One of the sample soaps was an olive oil soap with no scent so should be fine. My husband uses it as he has been having some skin problems. I will make some goat soap, no scent for them as well. Although unscented soaps have been requested, I find that they will sit for a long time while the scented soaps are being bought. People like a bit of fragrance and aroma. My soaps are very mild, long lasting and varied. I very much enjoy making them.
The yarn I chose for the latest weaving project is a very slippery rayon/nylon blend and as it is weaving up, not very soft. I am planning a scarf and will see how it goes, but it might become something else once it is done.
I have been very busy making soap for the holiday trade and also to get ahead as my shelves have been looking quite bare. I have made 12 batches in the past couple of weeks. I am happy with them and they will be available for sale in a few short weeks. I plan a few more, but will take time off to finish some weaving projects in the works.
The soaps are a mix of lots of lavender, two different tea tree blends, two different always popular rose soaps, two goat milk soaps with peppermint in one and floral scents in the other. The rest are two which are earthy ,one with pumpkin and spice, one which is called Sea Mist and has seaweed and sea salt in it, and a special one with sea buckthorn extract.
I hope to make a peppermint patty with red stripes and an evergreen one, a spice one, perhaps an oatmeal or a honey one or a combination.
On the weaving front, I am working on a basket weave and twill which is going well when I get to it. The other is a long warp for baby wraps and goes well when I sit at the loom. Both are looking good. I have a request to make a blanket for a gift and the colours were chosen yesterday so I need to get onto it.
I have been away for some dental work and a bit of relaxation. We went to two hot pools which we really enjoyed. Several book stores beckoned to which we succumbed and bought lots of books. One I bought was The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and it took a short time to read. I really enjoyed it and it was a satisfactory and fantastic ending as well. Another is Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver and I have just started it. It is a more challenging read and will take a while to read. Other books were more fiction and I scored a Whitewater Cooks book in a used book store in Lethbridge. A beautiful, inspirational book with good flavours. Maybe I will use some components for lunch. The books have been put onto shelves and not still in a pile on the floor.
While away, I visited my mother as well. We had not been able to get together since May so it was great to visit this 92 year young person, who just happens to be extremely important in my life. She is still doing well, knitting and giving me boxes of items to put into our local thrift store. We mainly chatted and bought a couple of necessities.
Now, it should be back to work, which will be weaving, soap making and face cream manufacture. Later in the week will help our daughter move in with us while she looks for a new place to live.
I was working in the Artisan where I am a member but had time to spin. I had brought some merino/silk/cashmere from my stash and had a great time spinning it. It is 100 gm and I only have a few grams to go. I think I will spin up some silk to ply with it. I was thinking how wonderful it is to be able to spin while waiting on customers as well. I was feeling grateful that people think I am doing something so unusual. I was also thinking. “What do they do that is so satisfying?” Unfortunately, I did not ask.
I am heading to my studio to work on weaving my new project. It is a gorgeous baby wrap in zinging colours and will take awhile to weave.
I was lucky enough to go to Fibre Week and the HWSDA conference at Olds from June 20 to June 26 and had trouble getting there and back because of the Calgary and Alberta floods.
It took a lot longer to get to Olds than it usually does and also longer to get home than usual. This was because of not knowing which roads were not open until I got to a place which ended up being closed. Lots of back tracking ensued. I had to drive through Calgary despite not wanting to. I survived the drive and feel as if I were baptised. I think that has to do with the really hard rain as I drove through Calgary. I learned that you keep the car gassed up and if you have a chance to eat to do so as it is impossible to know where the next stop might be.
Some of the sunprinted scarves I painted in May, 2013.
These scarves were printed in May when we had some nice bright and hot sunny days. I had some nice cotton scarves which needed to be dyed or painted so that is what I did. It gave me some really fun time and used up my paints and scarves as well as making pretty scarves. I really like the results.
Sunprinted scarves painted in May
While in Olds, I took the Twill Weaving workshop with Jane Stafford which was shortened because of the floods, but we worked hard and were able to accomplish the desired results. Jane is a wonderful instructor and her course was so mind expanding. I have some wonderful samples and will be planning new projects.
I just took some scarves off the loom the other day which were woven from Superwash warp in a peach tone. I had spun some buffalo yarn which was enough for weft for two of the scarves. The third one was in the peach Superwash and when finished was lacier than the other two. The buffalo shrunk some and the Superwash did not. I will have photos for the next post.
I have been offline for quite awhile due to an administration problem. I hope to get back into the blog format and to be visible often. Life continues to be busy and I am preparing for a trip to Olds, Alberta for Fibre Week and a twill workshop with Jane Stafford. I am excited to be doing this as she is a great teacher and sharer of information. I took The Delectable Sari a couple of years ago at Maiwa on Granville Island, Vancouver, BC.
I have been busy these past months working for the local libraries, teaching textile workshops such as felting, spinning, and knitting. These have been well received and very successful and I have been asked to continue in the fall. As the time and space is limited, I have to be quite creative in my planning. Felting has been the most popular so is what I will continue with. We did both traditional wet felt workshops and needlefelt workshops. I took the last class samples to my Guild meeting today. I turned them into little bags, for iPods, change purse or small hand purse. Nice results.
I spent time with my friend who is just learning to weave and wanted help and company at her house. I took my Woolhouse loom to her place and wove several projects. I finished my Horoscope weave from last year’s conference and discovered that it has a wonderful potential as a summer shawl. Then I put on a waffle weave project which I wove off in linen and paper. That was successful as well. Next was a basket weave/twill bookmark project in black warp and space dyed crochet cotton. I was happy with the results of this one. Now, my loom has the warp for the workshop at Olds and is a twill gamp which looks interesting and will give me more ideas. My friend has not been available so I have forged ahead on my own and successfully completed several projects. Now, I need another impetus to finish my baby blankets on a large loom and a lace scarf on a smaller loom. And someone to encourage me to put rugs or blankets on my 60″ loom.