Back Forty, fiber art, Slow cloth, tapestry, weaving

Lunch blogging and weaving updates

Hey, I haven’t gotten my laptop up and running yet, so I am lunch blogging from another computer. Just ate an organic peanut butter and local green apple slice sandwich. I’ve been considering going on the Paleo diet, but I just can’t handle the thought of no peanut butter, cereal, or milk. If eating those things make you sick, then no wonder I so often feel like crap! I am, however, trying to cut down on simple carbs.

It’s been nice to pick my breakfast and snacks from the Back Forty this week. I can reach just enough figs to satisfy myself, and the blueberries are a little tart and small for my taste but I actually was able to harvest some this year since I tossed an old screen curtain from the gazebo over the bush. For some reason the critters are leaving the tomatoes alone, so we are enjoying picking our own from the garden again. As usual, the sweetest cherry tomatoes come from the volunteers. We cut the whiskey rain barrels in half and planted Cherokee Purple and Juliet tomatoes in them.

My summer has mainly been consumed with weaving so here’s an update. The cotton huck scarves came off the loom late last week. I wove six different ones off the same light green warp. I washed them in hot water/cold rinse and dried them in the dryer because I like to make sure that my work has shrunk as much as it is going to and people can throw them fearlessly in the washing machine if needed. Then I cut them apart, trimmed them up, and washed them again, this time on warm/warm. They softened up nicely but are a bit thick. I’ll go to a looser warp sett for the next batch. And they shrank a good bit more that I expected so I will weave them longer for the next batch. My friends told me that they like shorter scarves anyway, which surprised me. They will look good pinned on the front side with a nice brooch.

The huck weaving is simple and fancy enough at the same time that I’ve decided to do more with a pink warp. Now, I don’t like pink. I’ve groaned about the proliferation of pink here before. We have a breast cancer research fundraiser coming up at the gallery and I have a huge cone of a very understated pale pink cotton, with some other cones of bright fuchsia and hot pink. I don’t know why or how I got these things but there they are. Taking up room where gold or blue could be. So I’m doing pink scarves, and if no one wants them, I’ll donate them to another breast cancer fundraiser auction. Who knows, maybe I will like them. Maybe I will become a pink convert.

The best thing that I liked about weaving this huck pattern was that I had to concentrate on what I was doing fully or I’d mess it up. The pattern wasn’t so complicated that I had to refer to a treadling chart, though. It was good meditation practice. Being in the present moment helped me a lot. I quickly gave up the idea of listening to podcasts or audio books while weaving huck.

My favorite toy this summer was definitely my little aluminum frame loom that I bought from Loom in a Tube. It is small enough to carry in a scruffy old backpack and it sticks out of the top, so if you see me walking from behind you are distracted away from the sight of my big butt to the artsy sight of a tapestry in progress riding behind my shoulders. I feel so Bohemian walking around with my tapestry loom on my back. I can guarantee you that nobody around here knows what the hell it is.

The Lake Waccamaw found object tapestry is almost done. I’ve finished weaving it and once I take it off the loom I’m going to sew the warp strings over a driftwood stick and into the back of the cloth. Then I’m going to sew a few more things to it that I was afraid would get broken with all the bumping around, such as mussel shells and a few other fun things.

The cuffs are also almost finished. The weaving is done. Once I cut them off I’m going to line the backs with cloth, sew buttons on the front, and attach a loop to go around a button to fasten. I’ll play with it and figure it out. This is on the back of the loom on the other side of the Lake tapestry.

Then, I’m really excited about the tapestry I started about a week ago. I decided that I couldn’t let that extra warp go to waste so I started a tapestry of a cliffside scene from the Dingle Peninsula. The cliff part is now finished and I’ve started on the water. Here is where I was as of Sunday:

Almost everything on the little loom is woven with thrums, the bits of yarn that are wasted on a big floor loom. I love giving things that would normally be thrown “away” a second life.

I struggled a lot with depression earlier this summer and I can honestly say that I feel a WHOLE lot better now. Weaving tapestry makes my soul sing.

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