I created this post 2 years ago with the intention of writing a series devoted to different procedures. But my woad crops failed and other stuff happened, as per usual, and here we are. So while waiting for black paint to arrive some time in the distant future; in between holiday house chores, I have a bit of green for you.
I thought we needed a bit of colour in my new room, so I rummaged through the garage for my bottles. I haven’t seen these since we moved into the house, they used to be lined up on a shelf under the wall to wall skylights in our old flat. But glass and kittens don’t mix well..
First blanket off the floor loom. I finished this about 6 weeks ago, but haven’t had a lot to say about it, also didn’t take a final shot. I totally suck at product photography, I just can’t find the right locations or props. But anyway, here it is, out of my hair and my draft list.
Ok, I know it’s really simple, but it’s my first, so bear with me. I had wanted the warp a bit lighter, but I think the snow dyed yarn did really well. I have not yet had the inclination to do the sewing into cowl, but soon. I think it’s amazing how much the fabric changes on loom, off, and finished.
It’s funny how life tricks you sometimes. My keyword this month was Health, and I guess I was taking it dead seriously…
I’ve mentioned Pain – and there’s been a lot of it to focus on. I’ve had headaches going on for weeks, my recurring gut problem has surfaced again and no painkillers help with either. So I get really, really tired, falling asleep around 2 pm, drag myself around to do just a few things so I don’t get cranky AND depressed. 😉
Here I was thinking I’d do all sorts of clever meditations and evaluations, reconnect with that body and get us all ready to be tuned up. Well, none of that esoteric stuff, I just ended up going to the doctor’s. Further examinations await, in the meantime I just practise nursing unhealth, ponder and accept.
I hope to be back on line for more ramblings about taming the artist’s mind, digging into my own behaviour etc. soon. But right now I think I just need to leave all that difficult stuff on a shelf and do everyday plain things and thinking. When I’m not worrying 😉
My activities are plain too. I can’t get my mind into tapestry gear although I’m participating in a Ravelry challenge, this is as far as I got:
So it’s repetitive motion, simple designs, clicking the interwebs, reading when my head allows. (it seems to have cleared up for now at least) But it’s a great stash buster, this plain weaving. And if anyone has some advice on linen/linen warp/weft, I’m all ears, because that’s next! I can imagine some stretching and buckling, but how about shrinkage thrown into the equation?
I’m being followed around the house these days, my every move monitored. Although times like now, right after breakfast, I can hear galloping from the other room and the occasional item crashing to the floor…. I wanted to film their antics, but it’s still dark.
I did manage to finish my sweater dress before they arrived, though, the one that ended up looking like a tent. I’ve even worn it and washed it. It’s still loose fitting, but that was my purpose, so I could wear multiple layers of t-shirts and a thin pullover underneath. But rather more shapely. It ended up a bit longer than intended, but that’s fine.
Emil is helping me block:
And organizing stuff:
Leo is in charge of getting the laundry right.
It’s been 12 years since I last had two kittens together, but I seem to remember they too liked to rearrange my stuff!
Firstly, I’d like to wish everybody a happy New Year, I hope you made it through the celebrations well in whichever manner you prefer. 😀
It’s time for reckoning! How much did I accomplish?
We also need to talk about the other challenge I set myself.
I had decided beforehand to make a report whether I succeeded or failed – and really, if you make the effort, can you truly call it a failure?
I did make an effort. In good spirits too, no pointed fingers. I didn’t exactly make the finish line with 3 items done, but I’ve decided to be pleased with myself nonetheless. (is that one or three words?) I could have knit every day and met more goals. Worked really hard until my fingers bled, but I’m also determined to only hurry so much that I don’t get stressed out about it, since that is (still) poison to my system. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from that completely, and perhaps it’s a good thing if I don’t. The only “danger” is, once you allow yourself some slack, more slack has a tendency to follow when it’s not a life or death situation. So yes, I could have knit more. But I did finish one big thing without getting caught in second sleeve syndrome or starting up a number of random displacement activities.
Of course in my eagerness to have at least one sweater not fitting like a sausage skin, I made this one enormous. As in, I really should reknit the whole thing…. And this is why I made my no-knit resolution! I must be some sort of closet masochist. It’s a bit odd though, I swear it was ok when I tried it on around halfway through?! A shapeshifting sweater?
Worse is, the slack oozed over to my paint challenge. In fact, I more or less forgot about it. Resistance does that to you. We’ve determined that faking it doesn’t work, I do in fact have to be “in the mood”. And Resistance makes sure I’m not in the mood if I know I only have half an hour before somebody visits/turns on the tv/asks for dinner. I could say that I lucked out on opportunities for uninterrupted worktime, which is true, but there were things I could have done to prepare for “the moment” in advance, such as making sketches in the relative safety of my
kitchen office, and I carry the full responsibility for ignoring that option completely. The truth is, I did not touch my canvasses AT ALL apart from clearing them from my work table to convert it into a dining table for a family visit.
Played a bit with my new waterbrush today just to have something to show. We are NOT quite friends yet, all of a sudden it gushes a huge drop, making all the colours bleed and spread. I guess here’s my chance to try working on the same image multiple times! 😉
It’s a bit like writing with ink and old fashioned pens, the way they splatter just as you’re working an elaborate curve or dotting the i.
And I know I said I’d been getting better at keeping a schedule, but the real truth is, I spent most of the time planning projects, not doing them. Oh I’ve played with photos, made yarn, knitted, read books. Gotten more ideas for things that are not paintings. (I now desperately need a rigid heddle loom 😉 ) So I need even more focus. I’m going to keep pushing until I find the right combination of work flow for me, if that’s even possible when you don’t have control over your workspace.
When I was running my bizz, I had the house to myself most days, but the last couple of years, G has discovered the joys of working from home too. I was grateful for this while I was feeling poorly, but now I’m having a hard time kicking him back out LOL. And I can hardly blame him!
How about making a habit of doing housework in the evening before bedtime, when I’m too tired to think useful thoughts anyway? Tidy up especially, but even laundry and such (no dusting). Fewer things to clutter my brain during peak hours so to speak. Because I AM getting things done, it’s just the wrong things, you know? It’s usually tv time then and it’s an excellent way to avoid that. Never met anyone who felt accomplished after 2 hours in front of the box. As for entertained, no, not really, only thing I watch is The Doctor. Oh well, it’s worth a shot.
And now, for a new calendar. Are you doing anything new this year?
Really, just to kick my own butt in public, I’ve decided I want to make 2 sweaters by end of the year + a hat AND tell everyone how it’s going. Talk about setting yourself up for failure! Are we scared of failure? Hell no! Bring it on…. 😉 In fact, after I started the countdown I never did anything about it for the first 4 days, and I didn’t give a hoot. That bodes well for my stress levels I think?
I’ve started with the blue mix, wanted the green more after knitting the all blue sweater, but was unsure what to do. Now that I’ve progressed I can see how far the yarn type goes, so I think the green will be a jacket with some sort of thin yarn along too, I’ll have to see what I’ve got. In just 5 days I’m past the waist of my blue tunic and have used 2½ skeins of 6, so I think I’m good since I’m planning on short sleeves?
My hands are screaming bloody murder each night, but I haven’t been in the mood for doing something “complicated” the last few days. In keeping with the tradition of both knitting method and of contradicting myself, I’m making it up as I go along rather than use a well documented pattern.
You can see under the arm it looks a bit big on Mimi, and it is, I didn’t pad her yet to match my new dimensions and I also made sure this time that it’s wide enough for me to wear clothes underneath, as I can’t wear wool against my skin. And, well, just in case I keep growing (Heaven forbid, it’s not in my budget!). I just hate the feeling of clothes that are like sausage skins ready to pop. Or if you wear a belt on your jeans the buckle sticks out under the sweater like a huge belly button! And I believe that’s as much of a fashion statement as you’ll ever get from me.
Eager to try drum carding my Dorset fleeces (with a bit of Suffolk mixed in, they had not been separated) I decided last weekend to make a final raid on the dye garden to make it more fun than just white (I do still have a bag of white from last year of what I think is Suffolk). I know I said I was done, but I got two more fleeces, didn’t I. Same sheep – this time I only kept the best bit, perhaps a third of what I was given rather than 2 thirds. I haven’t weighed it though.
And it turned out both the weld and the woad were still fine to use, green and fresh. I had dried some bundles of tansy hanging them from the stable ceiling – and left them there, so they are now covered in “dust” – mold spores. I decided to boil one bundle anyway and put some fleece in. Giving out colour just fine, but I’m chucking the other three bundles.
The last batch went in with some onion skins that were sitting on the kitchen counter anyway and a few cochineal sprinkles on one side, which oddly enough didn’t do much besides turn the water red.
I used rather a lot of fleece in the woad vat, so apart from the green that didn’t turn out too interesting. But I can always dye the yarn again, or, if we don’t have any frost, go look for more plants in a few weeks.
Earlier this year I handcarded the part of the fleeces that I had acid dyed, and it took me FOREVER. My test bat on the drum carder last week took no time at all, no effort, no tired hands – so I’m very optimistic I can get spinnable fiber relatively easy. I’ll first card each shade on its own to straighten it out a bit, then I may blend.
Jeg har jo længe gerne ville karte alle mine gratishamme, som jeg har plantefarvet gennem de sidste par år i bundter, både fordi de fylder ret meget og fordi det er en stor opgave når de er så fyldt med fnidder og knuder. Og så sagde jeg ja til to hamme mere i år, dog blev de sorteret med ret kræsen hånd.
Det sidste uld ville jeg også lige have farvet, så det er lidt sjovere at arbejde med, så en tur i haven og hente både vaid og vau, som står fine, friske og grønne endnu. Jeg havde hængt bundter af rejnfan under staldloftet til tørring – og derefter ladet dem hænge så de nu i det fugtige vejr er blevet helt dækket af et fint lag støv, eller rettere mugsporer. Jeg proppede det ende bundt i en gryde, og det farver fint, men de andre ryger ud. Og en bunke uld røg i en gryde med gårsdagens løgskaller.
Jeg fik proppet lige lidt rigeligt i gryden med vaid, så bortset fra de grønne nuancer blev det lidt kedeligt – men enten kan jeg jo overfarve garnet eller også venter jeg med at karte den bunke og ser om det evt. holder frostfrit en måneds tid endnu og måske jeg kan finde flere planter? Ellers har jeg faktisk en spandfuld blå farve stående fra sidst.
Tidligere på året håndkartede jeg jo den del af hammene som jeg havde pulverfarvet, og det tog en evighed. Men det testbat jeg kartede på maskine sidste uge gik som en leg, så håber på jeg kan få de her kødfår i hæderlig stand rimelig nemt og hurtigt. Jeg tror jeg først karter hver nuance for sig og så kan jeg blande i anden omgang.