Monday, July 20, 2020

Not yet done-done, but done!

Done, not yet done-done.
The jacket is done! Well, not done-done, because I have snaps and buttons on order, and I'm still debating adding a collar. But otherwise done. It's so warm!

More info on the fabric and weaving process is in this post.  I drafted a square armhole jacket in a class <whose class> in 2019 at Stitches. The fabric is wool, alpaca, silk and nylon (I have no idea of the percentages; I cleaned out the oddball and partial ball sock yarn stash of blues/greens/teals/purples) and is quite drapey, so I interlined with silk organza to give it a little more body. The front facings and Hong Kong seam finishes are done with commercial quilting cotton toughened up with a little lightweight fusible interfacing. The sleeves are Magpie Fibers Swanky DK,  a blend of Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon.

Would I make this jacket again? Probably not. I would prefer something with set in sleeves and a little more shaping. The fabric also presented more of a technical challenge than I expected and I frankly needed more experience to carry this off. And I didn't notice the treadling error that I positioned right across the center chest of the left hand side!!! Still, I suspect I'm going to wear this a lot and enjoy it immensely.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Actually working from my list!

Sometimes I make a list of what I want to do for a quarter and am appalled at how far I stray. I'm not sure it this is an issue with my lists or with my focus! I'm proud to say that I'm 2 weeks into the quarter and nearly right on goal. Few photos, nothing is finished yet...
  • I cut and glued most of the blue outside tile to the eye mosaic (3D mosaic) and played with the andamento on the top, without making any decisions.
  • I played with the design for the next table and have made some decisions; also checked glass supply and I have enough orange glass but insufficient green glass. 
  • I also found these mind blowing mosaics:  https://www.veniceclayartists.com/mosaic-sculpture-art/
  • The ikat is on the loom and being woven; I'm 12+ inches into the first one. I must say it's a very enjoyable weave and I could just do this all day. I'm working on some towel ideas for the next project. 
  • I finally started on the jacket with the knitted sleeves! I'm doing a specialty finish on the seams to encase the unraveling seams so having to sew every seam 5 times... Yep, that's right, 5 times. I'm having a ball and whereas it's not perfect I'm pretty happy with it. 
  • I'm still quilting the border... I'd like to accelerate the process in the next week by devoting some more time to it, so hoping to finish this one day.
  • New! Fun! I got Sharpie dye pens! And I spent some time with youtube videos on Zentangles. Planning on either using the Sharpie or a batik technique to do some Zentangle designs on the Number One shirt.
And tonight was cookbook challenge night. This month, I'm cooking from Paula Wolfert's The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterrean. I made the olive, orange and onion salad and set it on a bed of arugula, then followed it with a spinich and cheese "sprinkle" pie; it's traditionally made with cornmeal instead of phyllo dough with makes it gluten free and gives it a bit of a crust. Next time I'd rinse to olives to make them a little less salty, but otherwise it was a lovely evening meal on the deck with a nice bottle of wine.






Saturday, June 27, 2020

Q2 '20 Finished things (9 or more)


My time to work on things has been curtailed a bit by pandemic and other activities. For awhile, I was doing my own housecleaning and yard work; thankfully I've surrendered that back to the experts. Still, I'm cooking a lot more often, and more project menus, and I've been working out a lot more because it helps me sleep at night. DH has also involved me in a few house projects, and I've spent a lot of time in the Guild library, and in fostering Guild social activities. So I expected to see a list with very little "finished" things on it and was super surprised to see that I've actually done a lot!
Wonderful handmade cotton fabric!


  • I aspired to do a shadow weave fabric of my own design for the study group, and in fact spent some time researching shadow weave and came up with a couple of fun designs... but then decided to reverse engineer a pattern from a shirt one of my guild mates was wearing as an exercise to see if I could do it.  I wove this is mostly 20/2 cotton and one mystery yarn. It's approximately 14 inches wide and very very long and it's destined to become a shirt or vest!
It's almost
opalescent
in real life
  • I finished spinning 250 grams of silk I dyed more than 10 years ago. It's not particularly even and is under plied in some areas... But I had fun and have a great feeling of accomplishment. 
  • I wanted to finish the Festivus quilt but didn't realize exactly how much work it would be! I did finish quilting all 12 of the blocks (well, mostly, I'll go back and add a little more to two of them), and I'm about half way around the border. My biggest impediments to finishing are Owl and Ziggy who think it's a great frame for laying on my lap.
    Hand dyed, hand decorated and
    hand sewn mask now in the
    collection of a master gardener.
  • I wanted to do some other sewing thing. Does 38+ cloth masks count? I made 18 for the niece in ABQ to give to those who need them, 5 for DH and I, and the rest to friends and family. I must confess, I really like some of my masks.
  • I completed a muslin for the Shirt Number One in size large (pattern loaned by a friend)... It'll need some dye on it... but the sewing is done. I'm unlikely to make another one of these; it's too boxy; but it probably would have been better in a softer fabric.
    This fabric doesn't exist
    anywhere else!
  • I deep cleaned the studio and found a shirt I started while still at Canada College... The choice: find a place for it to live or finish it. So I finished it. The fabric was printed to my spec by Spoonflower, and I tailored the pattern to fit. The broadcloth is a bit stiff but causes the shirt to stand away from my body resulting in a cool, comfortable top.
  • I started knitting the Double Your Pleasure cowl; I'm just started and already will have to unknit some of it. But I'm liking the pattern so far. Pictures will appear in later posts.
  • An ikat project is dyed and about to go on the loom.
  • I finished a black and white scarf in crackle. I learned a lot about crackle but not sure if I want to do more. I had some issues with the beat and the sett as well, so not proud of this scarf. 
How can I not have a colorized version?
  • I carved a frog stamp, water colored and stamped post cards, then released them into the world. So far I've gotten lots of positive feedback!
  • And I can take "make peanut brittle" off of my bucket list. I crumbled up most of it and added it to peanut butter ice cream; that was a little too sweet, but the peanut brittle was glorious.
  • I made a small piece of garden art and it failed. But as a recent guild speaker commented, if you're not failing 50% of the time, you're not trying!
I got no traction on these list items...
  • The eye mosaic; and there's another partial piece down there...
  • The woven jacket with knitted sleeves.
I'm unsure how to count what I've done this quarter... Do 38 masks count as 38 or as 1? Do 17 postcards count as more than one? I'll take one for each of these, knowing that a lot more were made...

What's up for Q3? I'll put the last quarters leftovers on this quarters list:
  • Complete one of the started 3D mosaic project.
  • Finish the woven jacket with knitted sleeves.
  • Would it be too much to finish the border of the Festivus quilt?
  • Dye the Number One shirt.
  • Trial another shirt pattern (Patternworks Akita).
  • Carve another stamp for August.
  • Weave the two ikat scarves.
  • Spin the wool for the scarf I'm making with Carol.
  • Design and begin work on a table for the grill area. It would be nice to use it this season.
  • Weave a sample for a coverlet.
  • Make masks for family in Utah.
  • I'd like to explore doing Zentangles on fabric, and also making fabric wrapped rope baskets...









Tuesday, June 16, 2020

No Haiku for the weaving

dark of night filled with
tiny tree frog croaking for
his lost tree frog love
I started carving this linoleum block at Esalen  back in March from the same photo as the frog mosaic; I  finished it recently and did a test print and adjustments today. I'm planning on printing a group of postcards, probably black ink on green watercolor? We'll see.

No haiku for the
weaving yet the shuttle throws
my hand right then left

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The one memorable dish from the pandemic

I made this tofu with a spicy peanut/lime sauce on Sunday. Really easy and extremely tasty. DH declared this will be the dish he remembers of all the food I've cooked during the pandemic, I suspect because the flavors are so unusual.  It was so good, I'd make the marinade just to turn it into salad dressing...

I've started on Rick Bayless' Everyday Mexican in a big way today. I've got a pot of beans in the slow cooker, and I just made the Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa to go on the Grilled Chicken with Tangy Yucatecan Spices tonight. This is not a salsa to casually consume with chips... a substitution for this, if you don't have the chiles, is Tabasco's Jalapeno hot sauce. I licked the spoon after stirring it and had a bit of a jalapeno vacation; that's when what you're eating is so spicy everything leaves your mind except the spice.

Fiber wise:
Failed test piece
  • I continue to work on the quilt... It's coming aong. I think I am done with 1/3 of 3/4 of the border. I'll need to figure out how to quilt the top border...  
  • I have a new project on the loom; a black and white crackle scarf. I know better but I didn't include any length for sampling, and it's taken me the expected 5 inches to get the beat right. So I'm going to cut out the unevenly beat bits and start over. 
  • I've started winding/tieing a warp for 2 random ikat scarfs. I'll find some white fabric and tie some shibori to throw in the pot for a matching mask.
On the mosaic front, I tried to create a piece for the garden. It's on pvc pipe, about a foot tall. I used silicone adhesive to glue the glass to the pipe... it was a little fussy working with dipping each piece in the silicone, so I decided to smooth it on the whole pipe, then lay the pieces on. Easy, right? I smugly left the studio and went to find out how long I needed to let it sit before grouting. The answer is that grout doesn't stick to silicone. I tried to scrape it out but then decided to relegate this to the "test piece" catagory and start over with a different strategy. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Food first, then fiber!

A trio of shibori fabric masks.
Food first!

I've continued to cook out of Great Foods without Fuss. I made a lovely curry shrimp, which I paired with a sweet and sour eggplant recipe (the eggplant was heavily modified because of ingredients). I also cooked cod with mint and onions, an Italian recipe, and was frankly shocked at how well mint goes with fish.

I also tried the easy pot de creme recipe.  I don't know where my brain was but I used unsweetened chocolate instead of semi sweet chocolate in a recipe with no sugar. The resulting product was really very interesting but not enjoyable to eat.  I'll have to try it again but with the right chocolate.

Saturday we had a zoom with some friends... DH adorably asked for some tapas, maybe patatas bravas and chorizo. Turns out I had everything I needed! I used The Food Lab's recipe for oven roasted crispy potatoes (I swear they taste crunchy fried but without that much oil), made a bravas sauce with a recipe from the internet, and made chorizo braised in red wine, also from the internet.  Sunday we had ribs off the grill and some cole slaw. I'm rockin' the SIP impromptu "what can I cook with these ingredients" menus. This week it's back to rice cakes and fuzzy water!

DH has chosen one of Rick Bayless' Mex cookbooks for June.

Graduated to the yarn stash!
On the fiber front,
  • I raided the hand dyed fabric stash, and make this trio of shibori masks; one for my sister, one for my landscaper, and one for me! I fussy cut some of the other fabric and came up with some crazy designs. I really need to have more mask fun. Anyways, tally 4 more masks to my total. 
  • I finished spinning and plying the silk... I now have 250 grams of silk yarn instead of 250 grams of silk roving. 
  • I cleaned up the studio and came across a shirt that I'd stopped working on because it had frustrated me, but honestly can't figure out what is wrong with it. Faced with a decision of finding a place to put it or finishing it, I finished it. Photo to come later.
  • Just last night I finished weaving my shadow weave project! I now have 3 1/2 yards of 14" fabric; I'll have to wet finish it (and it'll shrink up a bit more) before I figure out if it's suitable for a shirt or if it needs to be a vest. 
And one more photo just because he's so darn cute...





Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May news


18 masks for ABQ
It's now a month later and I realized I'm neglecting this blog as time passes by... Here's a rundown on the projects I'm working on.

I went on a mask making spree, supplying masks to friends and family; I also sent 18 to my niece in Albuquerque who has been giving them to her friend and co-workers. I'm about masked-out. Today I made three more from some shibori fabric I dyed a few years ago. I'm quite proud of these.

A perfect trio of 3 shibori masks

On the spinning side, I finally finished spinning the 200g of silk I dyed in a Merike Saarnit class years ago; I still need to ply it up a bunch.  I'd like to order some silk from Redfish Dyeworks and use it together in a shawl.

I started knitting again; I cast on Laura Bryant's Double Your Pleasure cowl with a kit I bought at Stitches a couple of years ago; am knitting along with K and T from one of my knitting groups.  I finished the first couple of inches and have realized I need to pull back a couple of rows... Meanwhile here is the yarn.

Double Your Pleasure 
I've also been putting a lot of time into quilting on the Festivus quilt; I'm working on the border but will need to put a few more stitches into a couple of the blocks, as well as do the setting strips. I'd like to finish this soon!

And finally, I'm still weaving a shadow weave piece of fabric destined for clothing. It's slow going.

Double weave on the loom

I've spent considerable time in the garden in the last couple of months, and hoping to be spending more time doing other things in the next couple of months.


Bangkok chicken, rice with
turmeric, roast aspargus and
yummy Slovenian wine


Finally, the cookbook challenge! The April cookbook challenge was Lopez-Alt's The Food Lab. I made a butterflied roast chicken and some amazing crispy roasted potatoes that I'm craving now... I also set off the smoke alarm with the chicken and was forced to learn to clean the oven. May is Great Foods without Fuss by  McCollough and Witt; a fabulous cookbook!  I made the Bangkok Chicken with grilled chicken and will make a curried shrimp dish later this week. There's also a recipe for pot de creme as well that I'll try before the month is out.