Friday, April 8, 2011

In a time warp...

Driving the highway to the studio often leaves me in a 'time warp' - my brain is already working towards a creative project of some kind and sometimes when I tune into my direct surroundings I find I am literally in point, the other morning after checking the state of the lovely willows that I gaze at waiting at the stop light, I continued on, passing Dougan's Lake checking to see if there were any swans and then I was trapped!!!! It could be that I was thinking in terms of neutral combinations for a warp, or it was an awareness 'thing' - I was trapped by grey - grey highway, all the cars around me were silver or grey, the median was dirty grey, the sky was grey. Hmmmmm, where will this take me I wonder....

Later........I saw a beautiful hawk today and last week I made a warp that is very neutral for me - I feel less trapped now, especially when I witnessed the hawk take flight...........

So, the month went by so very quickly and as usual lots of  'action', projects galore coming into the studio and going out of the studio. New spinners, new weavers, new knitters etc.

But the Unfinished Project Project was a success and now it is finished for this year. 
We met in a lovely space in the courtyard at Whippletree Junction, to finish projects we started or start something new. There were a few things people could explore. Tamari balls and spinning for Providence were very popular. We had a silent auction and grab bags of yarn and the amount totaled about $1500 - all for Somenos Transition House. Every year we hope to make more for the cause, so mark your calendars for next February or March depending on the weather!
Tamari Balls

Belle is making signs for us - we pinned affirmations
on creativity around the room and Belle did too!
Little Miss Belle, my grandie, was the belle of the ball. A three-year-old that was completely at ease with the event and kept us all on track!

She also took a lot of pictures which were quite amazing of course as they were all at her level, so the perspective was quite interesting. Never underestimate a three-year-old's take on the situation. All-in-all, it was a lovely couple of days with many people coming and going.

Belle's photography

My husband took me out to Mill Bay Fish & Chips for dinner with gift certificates we bid on at the Silent Auction - a perfect way to end the day - I took a picture for the owner - who weaves beautifully and just bought her first loom! Michelle is the reason I have a teapot garden - she gifted me with a few teapots injured in her chippery - great for plants said she!!!! All history now. And everyone else seems to have foody pictures on their blog - so there. Now if I could only design a warp around the above.....hmmmm and mmmm.

Thank you all for attending and remember the studio is open all the time, so do keep dropping in - and of course there is much to see at The Loom - new wool coming in every day. There is a lot of weaving cottons, linens, bamboo, Tencel etc. now in the studio for your perusal!

A new yarn - linen and cotton lace weight - 400+ yards for $6.99!!!!!!
Attended a Jackson Browne concert - took me back, but what was wonderful I sat next to a knitter who brought her knitting with her - and me, I came without and kicked myself because we went early and I could have done a few rows as we waited for the show to begin - one must always bring knitting to while away sit down time.......

We had our second Spin In for Providence and we spun and chatted and spun and contemplated - it was great. Our next spin in is Monday April 11th - 10 until 2 - bring a lunch and spinning wheel. Wool and refreshments will be provided. Betty is the best hostess and the farm is a fabulous place to spin - just wait until it is warm enough to spin in the gardens - heaven!

I have uploaded my first video - Alberta spinning at Providence.
Our 'hardwork' for the day - wool and wool and alpaca blend
This was an interesting yarn. I spun an alpaca/wool blend z twist, and an s twist alpaca and then plied them together in an s twist and got this very elastic boucle - very cool

This is where the wool comes from - Providence breed!

I had yet another wonderful experience this past month. I attended the Ruth Anstey Memorial Lecture presented by the Victoria Weavers and Spinners Guild. Barbara Heller was the guest speaker and I must admit that is why I went. Barbara is a tapestry artist that has a studio on Granville Island for the past 30 plus years. She is internationally known and her work is superb. I first met her in Medicino at a Tapestry Symposium and was wowed by her weaving and then I had the pleasure of working with her and many other greats, on the Dr. Peter tapestry in Vancouver one summer. All I can say is wow - she is awesome.

It was a lovely evening and I was quite nostalgic. When I was a young weaver of 20 I came to Victoria and was welcomed into the guild and made a fuss over. Edith Niven, Ruth, Miss Marjorie E. Hill, Mickey Jossel, Jeanne Wallace and countless others that fed me, gave me materials to weave with (I was poor to say the least) and supported me in my quest for learning. I in turn helped anyone that needed a warp pulled on or threaded. I have a soft spot for the guild and am eternally grateful for those early days.

The studio has been busy with lots of students both young and 'up there' in age. A great bunch of weavers came through from Sooke which made my day - what a great group of women - thanks for making my day.

 Some warps that are being woven in the studio - they never fail to amaze me with the thoughtfulness and 'stories' that they tell. My students inspire me every day and I am overwhelmed by the heartfelt beauty that they create. I am certainly blessed by the energy of my students and by the visitors I have come through my door. Thank you thank you thank you.....
This one has been on for a while but almost complete - 2/2 Broken
Undulating Twill 
 "On Alder Pond" - a facinating design story by my friend Kate. Handtowels like no other and I can hardly wait to see each one - the pond in all its different lights.
When all done, I may do a whole blog on this warp.

A little meet and separate with pretty ribbon
I have been dyeing both spun yarn and fleece - having a great time. This lot was dyed in the same dye bath in stages - mohair and wool blend and mohair fleece as well as nylon ribbon. Trying to get a 'fix' on a series....I loved the richness of the colours - and of course all of this had a story to begin. Michelle again actually. She needed a weft for her second blanket and we couldn't find anything in the goldy range.......of course I dyed seven skeins and it just didn't really look that great in her blanket. I threw in this big ball of commercial mohair into the dyepot and it was the winner. The mohair wool blend from Eastwin Farm is beautiful and I am knitting some socks with it - they look great.

I have been a little obsessed by the Cowichan River these days....I travel by it a couple of times a week and have taken many pictures of the colours of the river and of course the colours around it - I have no idea where this design idea is going, but I love the contemplation. My little still life above is a 'gathering' of objects that remind me of my small exploration. I encourage all of you to collect your ideas and enjoy the journey. It may not result in a project, but the process, the moving forward of your thoughts will result in something. Just remember that we have all these gifts surrounding us encouraging us to be inspired.

I love my young students - some are weaving, some are knitting and some are sewing. My first young student, Hannah is constantly drawing in her 'idea' book and coming up with awesome ideas. Her kite flowers that she designed and then transferred onto fabric embellishing with free motion embroidery has now become a quilt for her sister. We used these wonderful Pentel dye crayons that I just happened to pick up at Opus  - my grandson and I had a great time there - it is almost as good as The Loom.......

I had quite a few weaving and spinning retreat participants come through this last weekend which was so much fun. My friends from Metchosin came through so happy and enthusiastic about their weekend in Nanaimo that it was quite infectious - although they make me happy every time they come through.....and their sheep sweaters were wonderful.....

Well I have saved the good stuff until last!!!!! Leola's Studio is expanding. I will be bringing you up-to-date with all the news as soon as we organize ourselves. But already looms are being loaded into the new space. So now there are two spaces, the original one and the new one around the corner where we had the Unfinished Project - guess the Unfinished Project matured into something else! There will be workshops, rent-a-loom, on going rag rug warp, and lots of ideas being generated daily by all my regular weaving friends. If you are interested or have suggestions or want to teach a workshop, let me know.

Thank you for your continued support. I am so happy to be doing what I am doing.