Monday, March 29, 2010

Honey bees

Today the beeman brought bee boxes!  It's a little early, but the weather is warm this week.  My new tenants are very welcome.  If it's a good season, we'll get some honey for our rent.  The neon box colors are wonderful, and will fade to chalky neon.  My old stack of empty boxes, with weathered wood, chalky paint, and dovetailed corners, always inspires me.  I'm always mining for color and design to weave.  Tomorrow, the bees arrive, with their Hawaiian queens.

I just finished scarf #3 on my warp of 16/2 Swedish cotton.  This one is called Dilly, the name of a little town nearby.  But,  I wove it before I saw these bright, square bee boxes, and it looks like the same idea to me.  I even wove in a color for the official Bee sign.  I must have been picking up on some good bee vibrations.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, Back to Work

Now that all the excitement is over, it's back to work.  The turquoise yarn is Bockens Swedish 16/2 lingarn, and the celery is cotolin.  The warp is 16/2 Bockens Swedish cotton. This is another cotton and linen scarf with mixed weft rosepath designs on plainweave grounds.  My wefts  are wound on silver paper pirns, a cheery collection of colors in cotton, linen, and silk.  Spring-a-ling!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Believe in Blog

I hope there is a God, if only to bless the Catholic nuns who are supporting Health Care Reform.  Sister Simone Campbell,  and 59,000 nuns oppose the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on Health Care.  The nuns reject the bishops' concerns that Federal money will fund legal abortions in the Health Care bill.  The nuns say it isn't so.  They have read the bill.

They work in hospitals and community centers which largely serve poor women and children.  They say the bill will provide coverage and support for the uninsured, those denied coverage for pre-existing conditions (pregnancy), and support of pregnant women.  They call the bill "pro life" and are urging a
"life-affirming 'yes' vote."  They say extending health coverage to 30 million people is right.

Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, an American Catholic lobby group, representing 59, 000 nuns, in a radio interview on As It Happens ( a Canadian broadcast I listened to last night) said she could not speak for the Catholic Bishops' position, other than to say it was a political divide, and not a divide in the church.  She said, My mother always said not to talk about religion or politics....and here I am talking about religion and politics!

I am not from a family of believers.  And, we loved to talk about politics, so it's a little hard to understand the concept.  Maybe, in my family, politics is religion!  I'm also a feminist, who wonders why the men in the Church ( Bishops) oppose Health Care Reform, but the women (Nuns) see the value?  Isn't this a women's issue?   A weaver's blog may be stretching thin to cover this topic, but I'm thinking about all of this while I'm weaving, throw that shuttle, bang that beater!  It doesn't take too much imagination to think of an uninsured 24 yr old woman, pregnant, out of college, working at a restaurant for maybe $8 / hr.  What are her options?

Our Federal tax money supports many, many things I am ideologically opposed to.  War.  The fiasco fence at the Mexican / US border.  The arrest of 300 workers at Postville, Iowa in May, 2008. Those are just the first 3 that come to mind.  Abortion is legal, and should be protected and funded by Federal money, in my opinion.  This bill, unfortunately,  does not do that.  This bill does allow a woman, whose employer does not provide health benefits,  to consider having her baby, with medical care, pre and post natal.  This woman might be my daughter, or yours.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

rag rug weaver?

Since the frost has come out, the path is too soft to walk on.  Luckily, there are a lot of bark slabs left over from our winter woodpile.

My little Norwood loom has a fresh 15 yard warp on now,  in 16/2 Swedish cotton, with a subtle green pinstripe.  A small stack of spring/summer scarves in cotton and linen is growing.
My designs are asymmetrical stripes and block inlays, that will frame the face in a different set of colors and stripes each time the wearer wraps it on. The differences will be subtle, but difference is interesting.  In my book, difference is good.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rags, rags, rags, more rags

My romance with old and worn rag rugs goes on with an antique cotton rug that was a gift to me from my husband.  He knows me so well.  The soft colors and texture of this rug are perfect, and after years of use, and good care it has become something more than a handwoven rag rug.  It's a real textile.

My new books are finally here.  I'd been waiting with great anticipation (hunger?) to see Finnish American Rag Rugs:  Art, Tradition & Ethnic Community, by Yvonne R. Lockwood,  just published by Michigan State University Press.  It is a study about rag rug culture and the role of rag weaving in Finnish America.  It explores how this craft, rag weaving,  reinforced the culture of the immigrant Finns, who settled in Michigan's upper penninsula. There are over 200  pictures of rugs, and old Finnish rag weavers, many now deceased,  weaving at their looms. There are also pictures of Finnish hand-built looms, lakeside weaving sheds, rugs in saunas, old rugs,  and techniques used by the Finnish weavers when designing and making their rugs.  Books may be purchased here at Avalanche Looms.   Or, email me for a copy, ( $29.95 + shipping) 

Update on Mittens for Haiti:  4 pairs of mittens, knitted by Barb Monroe, have been sold to date.  Barb and I are so pleased to have been able to turn her mittens into a contribution for Haitian relief, thanks to you mitten buyers!  There is still one pair available, "Thistle" violet and fog gray mittens.  (The purchase price of $45 will be donated to Partners in Health).