August 2010

I spend a lot of time thinking about and figuring out new weaving projects.  I never just throw something on the loom, although I wish I had that skill.  No, I need to figure it out very carefully, so consequently I spend days and days with my thoughts and pencil and paper.  Lately, I’ve been busy spinning up some yarn to use as weft in a project which I will post about later.

But thinking does burn calories no matter what anyone tells you.  And it makes me hungry.  This week, my husband decided we should put some pizza on the grill.  He made his dough and I took care of the toppings.  The result was a little rough around the edges visually, but taste is what matters, right?  It was great.

We still have to perfect the action of placing the dough on the grill and stretching it out without getting third degree burns.  One solution would be to make smaller pizzas; the other making the fire a little lower. I’ll keep you posted on further efforts.

A friend of mine has found a new fiber love– ply split braiding.  She has pursued it with a passion and has become so adept at it, she wants to start teaching workshops.  So this weekend, to give her some practice, I invited a few of my friends to my house and Annie taught us about ply split braiding.

She was so organized and had such a thorough knowledge of her subject; we were all very impressed.  And what fun we had!

Annie brought us kits of 4-ply cords which she custom made for us.  Here, Elizabeth is starting a braided twill design on a key ring.  She very patiently showed each of us how to use the gripfid to split the plies and insert a cord to weave the design.

We spent four interesting hours working on fascinating designs which we still need to finish this week. Here is a picture of my efforts. You can see the gripfid pushing through two-plies ready to pull the other cord through. These gripfids were made by Louise French’s husband. She is a ply-split guru.

I still have a little work to do, but these projects go relatively quickly and are very satisfying.  Annie treated us to a wonderful workshop and I’m very grateful she made her debut at my house.  She spent hours learning the craft from books and recently took a Convergence workshop with the master of Ply-Split Braiding, Linda Hendrickson.  If you would like to learn more about her workshops, leave a comment on the site.

My husband and son went away this weekend to indulge their auto racing interests.  My other two kids were off doing their own thing at various times.  Which left me on my own for the first time in a long, long while.  What to do?  There was a plethora of choices, but in the end, fiber won out.

I usually have several projects going simultaneously, but they have languished while I launched the Craft a Guild website and book last month.  Now that it is going along nicely, I returned to unfinished projects and started another.

A spinning group has just been started in my guild and it met for the first time at Cornerstone Yarns in Richfield.  Five ladies and I had a lovely time spinning and talking for a couple of hours.  I hope I’ll be able to make it a regular activity.  Especially since I was able to use some fiber I’ve had for several years.

Then, Saturday, my daughter and I attended the Lakewood Arts Festival where many talented vendors had items for sale.  I ran into my friend Deborah Yorde of Craftsman Hill Fibers in Mt. Vernon, OH.  She had lovely silk scarves for sale and they were selling at a good clip.

Last night, after a full day out, I finished the socks I’ve been working on for so long.  They are now in the back yard, blocked on a towel and drying in the breeze.

Finally, I managed to do the first dyeing step on the woven shibori stole.  I let the colors batch for almost 24 hours and they came out much brighter than my sample from earlier this summer. Today I decided to use water from my rain barrel to wash out the dye.  That worked out beautifully!  I used about 10 gallons to rinse.

Let’s just say, I was exhausted.  But in a good kind of way.