Friday, January 1, 2016

here we are

Out with the old year, in with the new!  At first there was no snow, and then a light dusting
on Christmas Eve, so pretty!  Then a blizzard struck. They called the wind Goliath.  But it is still beautiful, just more of it.

The new town plow came out, and funny how glad I feel to see it clearing the roads.  The plow guy I hire to clear my driveway missed the blizzard, because he is vacationing in Florida.  His understudy plow guy is also vacationing, in Florida.

The next alternate plow guy, under-understudy, had enthusiasm, but had not plowed my particular
circle drive before, and so didn't know about my parking spaces, left unplowed.  He arrived a day late, with 3 pages of driveways on his list yet to plow,  and though I saw he started out confidently at the bottom end of my  driveway, he ended by meandering up into the beeyard, where the trail ended! He backed out, apparently, and left quietly. So, I took my shovel to the end of the drive he missed plowing, and worked until I was afraid for my weaving arm. Actually, afraid for both of my weaving arms.  It is trance-inducing work, like scything in the summer, and maybe weaving.

Chop, chop, chop the blade down into the snow bank.  Scoop, throw, scoop, throw.  I tested one of my winter scarfs in the process, and was satisfied with how it functioned, and how good it must make my shoveling style look!  I  hope.

I am ready to put on a new warp, today, and very indecisive.  I'm looking at overshot designs, and then longing again for my old favorites, Goose Eye and Rosepath.  New West Texas organic cotton from Voices of Industry will surely go on one loom, but the other....?  Suddenly, inspiration strikes.  "Linen! It's been so long since I had a beautiful, unbleached Swedish linen warp."  I'm so relieved, and start rounding up spools, counter, tension box, making calculations in my book, already anxious to see the new weave! Just as I begin, I remember.

Never, never put on a linen warp in January in Wisconsin.  I know this, I know this,
from so many sad experiences.  I should have it tattooed on my arm, since I very nearly forgot it, again.

January and February are too dry and cold, and linen will work with me only when it's warm and humid.  So why do I always want to put on linen warps now?  This is the time to let linen lie.  Sigh.  So,  I decided to write this blog post instead, but now I must decide, if not linen, then what? And so it begins again.

Happy New Year, good friends, artists and weavers, careful readers. You are a real presence to me, and I envision each of your lives when I see your comment.  I imagine you in your place, and I'm happy to know you, if only a small part of who you are.  I have appreciated your comments and knowing some of you check here every now and then to see what the news is! Imagine what we can do this year, if we put our minds to it.



Nancy said...

Happy New Year to you as well! Love seeing the multi-seasonal happenings here. I am one of your every now and then visitors, but I think of your space and craft far more often and I still treasure your work and that little green painted shelf with the woven cover :) May 2016 be filled with goodness and later in the year, linen! ~Nancy

Hilary said...

I haven't woven with linen, only cottolin, but I thought that I read somewhere that you could spray the linen with water periodically to solve the issue of it being too dry. Not so???
Love your rose always moves me.

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

Happy New Years to you, Susan. Love your stories and work.

Jenny M said...

A lovely group of photos ~ Best wishes for a joyful 2016. Hope your plow guy is soon back to save your weaving arm!
Hard to believe you have that much snow, when here in Melbourne, we recently had a day of 39c. Can't say that Summer is my favourite season.

Alice said...

Nice portrait of a particular time & place—& person.

Susan said...

Nancy, thanks for coming by, and for reminding me of that beebox cupboard. Best wishes!

Hilary, I love linen, on the loom, as a warp. In Jan or Feb I've had some big projects in years past. So I tried everything, misting, bowls of water, and wet cloths. The results were imperfect. Best to just keep away from warping it in those months in the north. Try using 100% linen sometime for warp on your fancy loom, just to see if you like it. Totally different from cottolin. Happy New Year!

Dawn, thanks, and best wishes for 2016. You are an inspiration to me.

Jenny M, I know, it's hard to believe it when I see your summer like Christmas seasons. Heat waves are distant memories, back when Bill Pike was harvesting honey in my workshop bee yard. I love winters here, and the snow and cold. But it's nice to look back. Thanks for looking at my pictures and reading the stuff I write about.

Alice, thank you for saying so. Happy New Year. I look forward to reading your revelations this year. You always make me work harder to be a better weaver.


spinne said...

Love your blog and weavings!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year. Here is to hoping that linen season arrives quickly so that we may view more of your wonderful work.

Tracey Broome said...

I enjoy your posts so much and have loved my weaving I received for Christmas a few years ago. It sits on my favorite table and brings me joy every time I see it! Looking forward to photos of your 2016 weaving,always so wonderful to see!

Velma Bolyard said...

agree with alice. and a comment: today i was spinning up some lokta into kami-ito for shifu. at the first break, i remembered, found the squirty bottle, and spritzed in the vicinity before i had a bazillion breaks. to spin paper dry in winter you have to make a little humid place and spin in that place. or break break break. happy new year, in your glorious deep snow. (we're getting the deep cold tonight, after warms for soo long)

msvos said...

What beautiful photos. I am always thrilled to see the ones you take in your studio. I so enjoy seeing other weavers' work spaces. The light in yours is beautiful. Enjoy your next project. I'm looking forward to seeing what fiber you will choose.

Susan said...

Tracey, I read your blog, and try to leave comments, too. Somehow I have to remember my Google password to do it, which is not going to happen. Best wishes for your new year, your new camera, your job, and getting used to the distant daughter. They've got to do it, and we're supposed to help them. I cried buckets over my kids' departures, but I'm ok now. Still, I feel your pain. Thanks for checking in here. I do appreciate it. Susan

Susan said...

Spinne, thanks!

Thistle Rose, best wishes to you, & lots more good weaving in 2016

msvos, thanks. I try not to put too many pictures of the workshop, because, boring.
I try to record when something a little out of the ordinary happens,

cristina said...

I always love photos of your workshop and your weaves... well, I like workshops in general - and I would love to learn how to weave. The lady who would teach me is still searching for a working space, so it's not going to happen soon. Last winter I showed up in her then-gallery, eager to learn and pregnant in the eighth month. She only looked at me, at her loom - and laughed.

Anyway, wish you a very happy new year!

Judith said...

This morning I was thinking that I missed you and hearing your views and ruminations challenge and encourage my own. Then I noticed a new post! Yes! This snow and the plowing issues have been a new year burst of winter reality. I was lucky because my young neighbors surprised me by even shoveling up my steps. Of course the linen warp story hit home. 2016 is going to be a return to weaving for me.
But a return to Avalanche might be "just the ticket." My mother used to use that expression and I am not sure exactly what it means but everything good, a bit like your writing and weaving and photos....everything good.

Susan said...

Cristina, I was 8 mos pregnant whenI bought my first loom. Pregnant with my first daughter, who is 34 now. By the time she was 3 mos my husband and I set it up, warped it (using a book from the library with some pictures) and I wove my first rug. I also set up my first workshop separate from the house. It was a good,thing to do with little kids at home to take care of. I made and sold rag rugs for many years. That was my design education! I hope you'll follow your curiosity and try weaving. One of my friends reminds me, Weaving? Well, it's not rocket science. I like that. Keeping it real in 2016


Susan said...

Judith! You came through into 2016 too! That wasn't too tough. I do remember your 2015 Winter Linen Setback!
I think it was a trauma, and I sincerely hope you've recovered. I just want to testify, linen can do that to the most diligent weaver.
"Just the ticket" I like. A recent favorite expression of mine is "to boot" as in something extra (good) we didn't expect. How old is that?
If you've nothing better to do, I hope you'll come down to Avalanche to visit me. We can chew the fat! Susan

amanda said...

Rosepath and Goose-eye are too tempting - like tabby they never get boring. I loved the idea of a 'No linen in January tattoo!

Best wishes for a wonderful 2016, Susan!