Monday, July 29, 2013

West Bay Swatch Class

This is a photo of West Bay on lovely Emily. My latest knitting design. I will be teaching a technique class for this tunic on Wednesday July 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. Together we will use all the special techniques included in this pattern, while knitting a gauge swatch! Nifty! If you are interested, please call Woven Art (517-203-4467) for more information, and to enroll.

One of my weaving students from last Spring was wondering what to do next. She suggested that there should be a weaving curriculum. So, I have put a suggested curriculum here, look under the tab "Classes I teach". There is a list of topics, sort of in order of learning skills. Our classes tend to be very individualized. But sometimes you just don't know where to start - or where to go next! And if I know ahead of time what a student might be interested in, I can be better prepared as well. 

I will continue to add classes and my teaching schedule here. If you have any request, please let me know! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Put a bead on it

This  log with a bird nest is hanging on the building that houses T&T trading company in Grand Ledge Michigan. Last week the babies were getting big enough to be demanding, all you could see were tiny beaks sticking up, making little peeping sounds. 

So, I was already charmed before I entered the building for my first ever visit to this famous bead shop. I have been actively resisting beads for as long as I have identified as a fiber artist. I spent years scratching the surface of weaving before I opened my yarn shop. Then, suddenly, I had to have deep knowledge of knitting, crochet and spinning. Spinning was another fiber art I had been carefully avoiding. Who has that kind of time? Well, nobody ever has time for anything new. We all find a way to carve out time for things we care about. And sometimes you have to put a bead on it. 

It only took a second inside the door to see what the fuss surrounding this shop is all about. They have everything that has anything to do with beads or beading. Precious, exotic, dzi replicas, Japanese, glass, seed. Tools, findings, storage boxes, leather strips. The walls are covered in beads. But my favorite  part was the map files. Drawer after drawer of semi precious beads. In about the third drawer I pulled, I found several strands of larimar, one of my favorite stones. 

I might have felt a little overwhelmed. I bought some findings and tools to repair some broken necklaces. Now that I know what is there, it will be another option in the back of my mind the next time I design something. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Searching for Fiber in Ann Arbor

I braved the heat to go to the Original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair this morning. I had very limited time, so I headed straight over to N. University. I only stopped to look at fiber. A few things stood out.

My first stop was the Ann Arbor Fiber Art Guild Booth at the corner of State and N. University. This active guild has a wide variety of very high quality fiber arts on exhibit - from nuno felt to complex woven wall hangings. While there, I met Madeline Navarro.

Madeline works with felt  - these hats are just one example. 

Millie Danielson, a favorite tapestry artist, was sitting nearby, and I really enjoyed the chance to catch up with this great talent.

Onward through the fair:

Susan F Hill.  Susan works with pieced fabrics, and fiber collages. Her work includes pillows, screens and wall hangings. The fiber collages that I saw were framed. I was intrigued by her composition and play with color and texture to create layers and movement. Much of the movement in these pieces was created by the portions of the collage that was woven tapestry. The artist apparently cuts up tapestries she has woven to insert. Her dynamic work includes a bit of whimsy, as most "break the frame" with lines or bits of fabric that seem to escape through the border around the body of the work. 

Please visit her website for much better pictures of her work. 

My next favorite artist was Natalia Margulis. Insanely intricate and layered embroidery. Please follow the link to see her images. The pictures on her website are of excellent quality - but as she pointed out to me, you have to experience these treasures in person to appreciate the depth and design. Many were not exactly flat - they had a slight undulation, that served the purpose of the composition. There were a variety of sizes, but I was most taken by the small ones that somehow conveyed a big sense of mystery and intrigue. 

If you go I suggest parking near Kerry Town. It is a bit of a walk but I found an easy parking spot near the corner of Catherine and Fourth Street. $1.50 per hour. There is a 3 hour limit - but in today's heat 3 hours was plenty for me. A bonus to this plan is the many wonderful restaurants to provide refreshment before you head back out of town. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guest bath towels

Sport weight linen from louet, a gray blue warp and a variegated blue to purple weft. The variegation seems to interfere with the diamond twill. They are very stiff right now. I am betting that the pattern will become more apparent, and the towels will soften with washing and pressing. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Am I blogging again?

Is it just me?
I dont post very often, but I would like to change that. However, with the changes that Google has made to blogger, sometimes it seems impossible to access my blog. Only sometimes. That is what has me baffled. Today, I finally figured out that google has my blogger account associated with an e-mail address I didn't even know I had. So, good folks who have tried to follow my blog - both of you, please accept my apologies for my apparent silence. I may have it straightened out. Or not. I may start a new blog somewhere else.

For those of you who don't yet know, I recently (last week!!) sold my wonderful yarn shop to my wonderful manager, Meg Croft, aka Nepenthe. You can find her over at YarnLaboratory. I am still getting my land legs back. I have been sailing the small business retail sea for ten years now.
So far I have spent a lot of time organizing my studio. I am also playing around with making a website from which I hope to sell original patterns for weaving and knitting. I plan to  use the website as a way to make my teaching schedule public. I have lots to think about. Ironically, I have not been knitting, weaving, spinning or dyeing very much in the last few weeks. Transitions are weird and disorienting. Even when they are very much the right thing.