Thursday, January 31, 2008

Write-Up In Divine Caroline

I found out yesterday that I was featured in Divine Caroline's "Found It. Loved It." column. Check it out here! It's a pretty neat community, actually, I poked around a bit. Fun travel stories (I'm a huge sucker for travel writing), etc.

Very nice little writeup, and they featured this scarflette:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Handwoven Magazine!

Well, I've been sitting on some very exciting (for me, lol) news, but I think it's probably safe to post about it now...

A couple months ago, I was contacted - out of the blue!! - by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt, the editor of Handwoven Magazine, asking if they could publish one of my scarves that she had seen on Flickr. How cool is that??? It's this one, that I wove a while ago as a custom order for a lovely customer:

It's made from 8/2 amethyst Tencel, and uses a simple five-end huck lace to create panels along the length of the scarf. Since I'd already sold the scarf, I wove up another one to send along - thank goodness I keep detailed project notes so that I could recreate it exactly!! And, since I'm an overachiever, I wove another one, too, in a spring green color (called lemongrass), also in 8/2 Tencel from Webs.

I got the proof of the article yesterday and it looks great! I wish I had the Handwoven photographer around to take pictures of all of my work, wow... It will be in the upcoming March/April issue! I'm so darn excited, how cool! I hope it doesn't get pulled at the last minute, lol! I'll believe it when I have it in my hands, I guess...

So, that was enough to have me bouncing around the kitchen, all happy. But then she asked me to write the Endnotes for the issue as well! Wahooo!! The Endnotes are a one-page column at the end of the magazine, written by various weavers - usually very prominent weavers, I'm incredibly flattered to have been asked, even if just to provide a more beginning weaver's perspective... I talk a bit about becoming a weaver, being a stay-at-home-mom and selling on Etsy; I'm not sure what will remain in the final version, she's going to edit it this weekend.

I had a wonderful time writing both the article and the Endnotes (love writing, but it can be very hard work) and just can't wait to see them in actual print.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Noodling Along

Ever have one of those days/weeks? I feel like I've sort of been treading water so far this week.

I'm working on two projects - an 8-shaft plaited twill scarf on my big loom, and another shrinkage experiment on my little loom. They're both very nice projects, but they're also slow to weave, or so it feels... I like the shrinkage experiments, but, MAN, are they boring to weave. I've gotten so used to weaving with two shuttles/multiple colors, that weaving with just one weft is kind of dull.

But I think it will be pretty in the end - here it is on the loom:

Photos of projects on the loom always end up looking washed out. Hmph. It's black merino, with blue and teal tencel stripes - the merino will shrink and the tencel will poof, as before. I've made it narrower and I'm making it longer (yawwwwwn, lol). I think I'm going to have to start dying some yarn to make these projects more interesting, because I am *really* liking the poof effect. Was also thinking of making some chokers/neckwarmers out of some of this fabric eventually...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just a quick post...

Managed to get my full-size spring green scarf posted in my shop yesterday...

Also thought I'd post a couple more pics from our Brooklyn trip...

Bella and Conall had a great time checking out the view from Kristin and Tom's awesome apartment (great roof deck too, drool drool).

Carlos, his Papi, Ms. B and Mr. C hanging out.

Bella and Tio Ernesto (Carlos' brother, the one that lives in Brooklyn).

Tia Amarilis (Carlos' sister). Can his family *get* any more photogenic?? Good grief.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Hey, it's my birthday! We won't talk about how old I am. :)

I got a nice early birthday present last night - a lovely customer bought two of my scarves! The Un Poco Caliente full-size scarf, and the spring green and yellow scarflette (sorry, Mum, I know you loved that one).

I'm also in the midst of experimenting with differential shrinkage. First, I tried a doubleweave scarf (two layers of cloth, basically) woven with 18/2 merino wool and Bambu 7 (inspired by the similar double-weave scarf in The Best of Weavers: Fabrics That Go Bump), just as a starting point. I fulled it - the idea being that the wool yarn shrinks, the bamboo yarn doesn't, and you end up with ruffles - and it came out pretty good! A bit too heavy, in the end, for my taste.

So, then I tried just a normal plain weave scarf, instead of doubleweave, still using the 18/2 merino wool (sett very loosely) and Tencel as the non-shrinking fiber. This came out much better!

Here is is before wet finishing:

And, here it is after wet finishing (sent it through the wash twice, actually):

It's kind of hard to see, but not only did the Tencel get all nice and pucker-y, but the white merino at the edges have a nice little scallop to them as well. Neato!

It's too short (it shrank by about 50% in length) and too fat (didn't shrink as much width-wise, which makes sense, I used white Tencel as the weft), so I'm trying again with different colors, but I'm completely tickled! How fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Home Again!

So, we're back from Brooklyn. This is what Brooklyn looks like when you travel with children:

Tia Lexi knows where all the good playgrounds in Park Slope are!

We had a great time, always fun to visit family, and always a lot of fun to visit the city... Little shops, a wonderful bakery (Trois Pommes) right around the corner (best french bread we've had since we got back from France!), the whole city neighborhood vibe is just great, even when its crazy cold outside. I tend to forget how much you walk when you live in the city - I certainly did when I lived in Back Bay in Boston!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Brooklyn, Here We Come!

It's been a while since I've managed to post - some sort of nasty flu bug has been making the rounds in our house. Well, mostly its been making the rounds around *me*. Ugh. I was completely wiped out for almost three days there, out of commission - felt very weird to get absolutely nothing accomplished in all that time. Poor hubby even had to skip work to care for the kids! Yikes!

More or less all better now, though, thank goodness. And since Conall is taking an excellent nap this morning, I took photos of my latest little bamboo scarflette!

This is the one that had rya knots on it. For about 15 minutes. Can you say U-G-L-Y?? Whew, it was a disaster. LOL! Fun to try, but I think I'm just not a fringe sort of gal, at least not for my bamboo scarves. Much too busy and froo-froo (however you spell that) for me.

I managed to get the scarf listed in my etsy shop and everything. Wow. Feeling super-duper productive this morning (I even cleaned the kitchen floor - GASP).

Good thing, because as of tomorrow morning, we're off for a little road trip! Off we go to Brooklyn to visit Ernesto, Lexi, Ziggy (their sweet kitty cat) and the rest of the Munoz clan, who are hopefully heading up to Brooklyn from D.C. and Puerto Rico. Fun! I absolutely *LOVE* to visit Brooklyn!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Phew, What a Week

What a week, crazy. It turns out that my camera *didn't* die - it was just being flaky. Figured this out after I ordered the new one, of course! LOL But that's just as well, if the old one is starting to get wonky, I really do need a reliable camera...

But, in the end, it was good that the old one was still working - the new one didn't arrive until Wednesday, but Tuesday was...

Mr. Conall's first birthday! He was kind of like - why are you giving me this round thing with fire on top? He got the idea, but then flung more of the cupcake around the kitchen than he actually ate (probably just as well).

Lucky guy also went to the doctor on Wednesday morning and got two shots. He's really good about them (doesn't fuss much at all), but it does usually wipe him out. Wow, he actually napped! For anybody who cares - he's now 31 1/2" tall (92nd %ile) and weighs 26 pounds (88th %ile). He's a big guy, just like his sister has always been (tall, but she's lower on the weight scale).

And then my new little camera arrived on Wednesday! It's so cute! Love it so far, but haven't had much chance to use it.

Hi Madeline-cat!

Haven't had much time to weave. I'm experimenting with some rya knots on a little scarflette and I'm just not sure whether I like them or not. I'm still kind of uncoordinated in making them, so they're pretty time-consuming. Not sure whether they're neat or just goofy. Also have no idea how they'll react to finishing/washing. We'll see! I'll post pictures when it's done, either way.

Monday, January 7, 2008

WeaveCast and Re-Thinking My Weaving Goals a Little

I have been making my way (slowly) through the past episodes of WeaveCast, a wonderful, free PodCast all about weaving by Syne Mitchell. (Go download a couple of episodes! It's great listening!)

Anyway, I recently listened to Episode 12, Weaving Resolutions, in which Syne interviewed a fabulous weaver named Anita Luvera Mayer. Ms. Mayer creates astonishingly beautiful Art-to-Wear clothing:

WOW! Go here to see more about this piece.

Anyway, listening to her speak with Syne really got me thinking about what I'm doing with my weaving... I've had an Etsy shop for about a year now, and participated in the Weavers' Guild of Boston sale for the first time this past November. And it's been amazing - people are actually buying just about everything that I can weave! Very neat.


I can feel myself getting caught up in the race, in a way. Wanting to weave-weave-weave so that I can keep my shop stocked, to sell more... I think, as Syne and Anita mentioned, that in some ways contemporary American society only really rewards artistic endeavor when it has a price tag attached. (Amazing how my extended family reacted, for example, when I was able to say that I made about $X in sales this past year from my weaving - and with a newborn, at that. Hey, instant validation!)

I definitely think there is some merit in that, and that weaving for the marketplace can serve a function (keeping an obscure art alive, e.g.). But I also think that I need to step back a little bit and weave a little more just for myself, or for exploration's sake. Like Anita, I'm in the fortunate position that I don't *need* to sell my weaving to support myself. It's really nice when I do, and certainly makes me feel a lot less guilty about buying so much yarn and equipment, but it's not like we won't be able to pay the mortgage if I don't sell four scarves this month.

So, with Conall getting a little older (one year old!!!), and my search for outside studio space underway, I think I am finally going to try to do some of the more experimental/artistic weaving projects that I have had floating around in my head for quite a while.

I'm not sure where my reluctance to do so until now has come from. Not fear of failure - I'm really very ruthless about cutting bad projects off the loom. (I have a very finite amount of time to create, I'm not going to waste it by dinking around with a failed project.) Maybe fear of taking up a loom with a time-consuming project that may turn out terribly has been at the bottom of it. I really don't have much time, after all - this post has taken me almost 24 hours to write! :) Being a Mom is hugely time-consuming, obviously, but things keep getting easier...

At any rate. That's just what I've been thinking about lately. Hope I didn't bore you to tears.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Camera emergency!

My much-beloved Olympus C-3030 croaked on Friday morning, much to my consternation. I've been doing tons of research on what to buy, and, in the meantime, my Mum very kindly brought her neat little Canon Powershot A620 along with her on Friday.

So, I managed to take photos of two scarves for the EtsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team) January Challenge and post them. January is the last month of the Elements Challenges, and we are creating items inspired by the element of fire. Want to see mine?

First is a full-length scarf in Hayes Primrose shadow weave, using a nice bright red, orange and a soft tan bamboo to take down the heat a little bit. So... Un Poco Caliente (A Little Hot).

I think I'm going to have to redo the photos of this scarf. That's a white towel it's sitting on - you'd never guess it, it looks kind of blue, doesn't it?

And, next, on the same warp, but using a different treadling sequence, a little scarflette. Un Poquito Caliente (A Little Little Hot) (Isn't Spanish fun? Love those diminutives.)

If you want to find other folks' creations for the January challenge (there's some really scrumptious hand-dyed yarns, e.g.), just search for the EtsyFast and/or January Challenge tags on Etsy.

I wound up ordering a Powershot A720 from Amazon - should be here on Wednesday! Can't wait! I really miss having a camera, I hadn't really realized how much I use it...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bunny Ears and Snow Patriots

Who's the cute man? These bunny ears have been making the rounds around the family. I had them on the other day and went out to get the mail - completely forgot they were on my head and wondered why the neighbors were looking at me funny.

Another fun picture:

Aren't they great?? We were heading out to go skiing yesterday and noticed these in a neighbor's yard. Hilarious! I love how Snowman Moss' (#81) arms are up to catch the pass from Snowman Brady (#12).

In case you don't follow (American) football - the New England Patriots became the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season last Saturday night. Tom Brady (the [very cute, lol] quarterback) set a new record for touchdown passes in a season (50) and Randy Moss (receiver) set a new record for touchdown receptions (23, IIRC). Go Pats!