It’s now October. I continue to procrastinate on that tablecloth on my Big AVL. I don’t quite know what’s wrong with me because I was on fire to get it on the loom. I was 7/8’s done with the threading in August, and now it’s October and it hasn’t been touched in more than a month. Maybe I’m worried that after all this work it won’t weave well. Yep, definitely worried about that.
On a better subject, I have been weaving my linen project for the class with Fran Curran. I’m more than half done with the 2nd bread bag, and I’ve started the braid for the drawstring. Here is the first design, showing the hemstitching which will be the casing for the drawstring. I designed a diamond with warp-only floats so the blue warp would show up strongly on the surface of the huck lace.
The 2nd bread bag has warp and weft floats. It will be interesting to me to see how they differ after I wash the fabric.
Of the two sweaters I found that I’d like to a) alter, and b) finish, I have started on the blue cabled sweater that was designed by Elsbeth Lavold. I am adding a gusset to each underarm that will continue down the side seam, which I have opened, to create an A-line silhouette. I’m not happy with how the gusset looks. It’s messy. I’ve started over again and am still not happy. Part of me thinks, well, it’s the underarm, so it will rarely show. But…. I know it’s messy! This nagging disappointment keeps me from working on it. It’s not worth a photo at this point.
I tried a tiny bit of Japanese Hogin embroidery and loved it. The fabric I had on hand was finer than what was called for, and I felt I was going blind trying to do these tiny stitches. I love the technique, which is counted running stitches that create simple designs that can become quite complicated in appearance when they are done on a larger scale. I saw so many tiny bits of textile mounted in wooden frames while I was Japan. I bought a tiny temari pin cushion at the Cohana store in Tokyo. There are wonderful sashiko pin cushions mounted in wooden bowls, and there are embroidered brooches mounted in wooden frames to be worn. I was smitten with those. I found someone on Etsy (Artbase) making some pretty brooch frames in cherry.
I’ve already ordered a larger brooch frame for my next embroidery, and I’ve visited my not-so-local needlework shop to buy a slightly coarser woven linen. The one above was embroidered on 32-count linen. Next time I’ll try 28-count. I enjoy doing this!
My next project, which feels both big and small, is cleaning and re-framing a beautiful crewelwork embroidery made by my oldest friend, back in 1981. This gem of a piece is over 40 years old now. It got lost for several years when we made our last move, so when I finally found it in a box in the attic, wrapped in tissue and packing paper, it had suffered some. I don’t know if these brown blotches are mildew, but I hope I can get them out. I am using Orvus paste, recommended by the women at Thistle Needleworks, my not-so-local shop. I was anxious removing this gem from its frame. It’s heartbreaking to see the stains on the fabric.
It looks like the framer used double stick tape to stretch the fabric on the backing. I hope to sew it in place when I re-frame it.
I took out about 50 staples on the sides. I hope I can make this as beautiful as it originally was. Then I’ll feel like a pro and I’ll tackle some other things from my stash.
My new tapestry students are doing a great job. Every class seems to show me new ways that a class can have a group personality and an interesting trajectory. This class is moving quickly, so I think they’ll be doing some of their own designs soon, when we are barely at the half-way point of the semester. I love seeing the colors that students choose. It’s always a visual feast to see all these colors become something real. Students keep me endlessly excited!
I hope I get most of my big and small projects done. There is energy in the air. I just need to harness it!