Juggling each part of my life is a skill I’m learning quite well.  Fitting fiber into the daily circus is yet another challenge; but I would say it’s a necessary one. It provides me with satisfaction–making something beautiful hopefully, and it gives a focus beyond meals, children, and my day job.  Sometimes, the little projects keep things on an even keel.

I finished this little project last weekend.  It sat waiting for months and after my friend Annie got me back on track, I was able to finish it.

I’ve had a bag full of fiber in my closet for the longest time.  I finally grabbed three hanks and spun them individually before plying.  It was a combination of mohair, wool, and suri alpaca.  I thought I wanted to make socks, but the fabric was too dense.  Maybe a hat, but I’ll have to see.

I did manage to warp my loom a couple of weeks ago when I had two solid days to devote to it.  This week, I’ve carved out time to weave.  The fabric on the bottom is hand-spun as weft, the top half is the same yarn as the warp, creating more of a textural pattern.  I hope to use this fabric for a coat.

Finally, I am busy planning another weaving project.  One of my guilds is studying krokbragd.  So I’m trying to figure out the yarns for the project.  I often use my “Yarn Store in a Box” from Halcyon Yarns for planning because there are so many sample cards to work with.

So I may not be able to juggle like a circus clown, but I can juggle projects and other responsibilities like a pro– most of the time.  Until I drop the ball.

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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.