Life is good

I have been busy. I have 2 shows coming up and find myself a bit stressed over them, so I’ve been creating. The first show is just one day. I haven’t done it before, but I’m hoping it works for me. I know from the indoor show I did last year that I need to have a few big pieces along with my many smaller pieces.

poster for show at Temple B'rith Kodesh

Way back in July I showed you the jacket I made using a nubbly cream cotton and several inclusions of browns and blues. I’ll have that at the show. I am deciding – I may sell the red one I made for myself as well, because the reality is my social life is such that I have occasion to wear it just once or twice a year. My tentative plan is to wear it to the show, and if someone wants to buy it, to let it go. We’ll see about that.

I did finally finish the ‘extra’ length of fabric from the cream jacket. I tried a few different options and decided to leave it basically as is, not make it into a mobius or anything, but I had to remove all the dangling threads and decide on finishing the ends. I chose something I’ve almost never done, which is a line of machine stitching for stabilization and relatively short, unfinished fringe. That required some unweaving by hand to create the fringe the same length on both ends, but didn’t take forever.

cotton scarf/shawl with loose fringe

But….I’ve also decided to sew up some pieces of handwoven yardage I made years ago but never did anything with. I’ve gone as far as getting a few patterns that might work with it, but not beyond that yet. Scary, and takes time.

Although not big pieces, in the never-ending quest to use up stash, I decided now was the time to use up one of my favorite hand painted yarns that I purchased some years ago. Poinsettia rayon chenille. I had enough to warp for three scarves and set to weaving. After using that same yarn for weft on the first scarf (on the left in the photo) I decided I wouldn’t use the one remaining skein for warp of a second, instead opting for solid color wefts to hopefully highlight that beautiful warp.

handwoven poinsettia rayon chenille scarves

The middle scarf has mostly a burgundy warp with a few stripes of pink & red. The scarf on the right, my personal favorite, uses a deep cranberry warp. I’m hoping they sell at the October show.

Remember those slippers I felted? I’ve decided to sell them as well. Again, I won’t really wear them as I have 2 pairs of slippers I love and wear all the time. (Plus, truth be told, I can’t wear them barefoot as this type of wool – Bergschaf – is too itchy for me.) So after I sewed on a non-slip bottom, I decorated them to make them more desirable.

decorated felted slippers

Despite the fact that the white needle felting isn’t completely symmetrical on the two, I’m happy with the designs. (I’ve added the missing turquoise French knot since this picture was taken.)

I know from experience that my handwoven towels will do best at the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale in early November. My towels usually do pretty well in my Etsy shop too, so I don’t have a lot of them in my cupboard. So I’ve been trying to get more towels woven, too. I had another…interesting…experience with them. I had a warp I’d hand painted a few years ago. It’s autumnal colors called to me. I had to add some solid color stripes to make it wide enough for towels, but did that smartly this time, having learned from my last experience. Here it is during the beaming process.

beaming Autumn towels #1

The orange and yellow stripes are a rick rack/zig zag cotton. I assumed they were the same grist (yards per pound). Nope. I knew I had to sett them farther apart than the rest of the warp as they were larger yarns. After beaming, threading, and tying on I tried my first warp. Absolutely no good. As you can see in the photo the yellow looks…BAD. I walked away from the loom for a day while deciding what to do.

previewing Autumn towels

I ultimately knew I had to replace the yellow with something else. To be most successful, that meant pulling the whole warp forward, adding in the replacement threads, and winding it all on the back beam again. Maintaining tension on those threads the entire time, that was merely time consuming. Here I am beaming it again, with the yellow replaced by burgundy/cordovan/some other color I can’t name but is part of the autumn leaves of my oakleaf hydrangea.

rebeaming Autumn towels

I also had to unthread the reed and some of the heddles, because I had to add in more 4 heddles for each of the two burgundy stripes. This was a less onerous process for me than making string heddles. I’ve now woven 3 of the 8 towels in this warp, all successful. I haven’t had time to do more yet.

In addition to embroidering the slippers, I sewed more bead bags (no pix this time). I missed September completely so it was important to me that I get 10 made for October.

Unrelated to fiber pursuits, I had to snap a photo of this interesting take on decorating with pumpkins that I saw in my neighborhood. They used skeleton parts to add arms & legs to the pumpkins, which I hadn’t seen before. But most appealing to me was the eyes & eyelashes – hand prints! What a great idea!

skeleton hand print pumpkins

And now for SSSid. Here are the last 10 rocks placed by neighborhood people. They didn’t all come on the same day, nor clearly were they by the same person. Varying degrees of artfulness, friendliness, and types of paint used.

the last 10 painted rocks

I’d already thought about the fact that SSSid would probably have to go away before the mischief-making day of Halloween, especially since we get lots of people coming to the neighborhood for trick or treat who don’t live here. Then the stake for the SSSid sign rotted at ground level and broke off. Would I find a new stick and replace it for a few weeks? I decided not. So I made a new sign.

SSSid brumation sign

That sign has been up for a few days now, and so far only 3 rocks have been taken. I expect several more to be brought home in the next week or so. I also wrote a thank you to the community for their participation. SSSid grew to 91 rocks! More than I ever expected!

SSSid thanks

I’m at an age where I really must do what moves me – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Dancing does it for me for sure. So I’m doing more and more of that, and made the bold decision to take a big step back from the Weaving Center. I’ve been the (volunteer) General Coordinator of the Center since 2016, and I have now told everyone that I won’t do this forever. If someone steps up to replace me I’ll be done at the end of this fiscal year (May 31, 2024). If no one come forward by then, I will stay until December 31, 2024, but no longer. Fingers crossed that it’s sooner rather than later, but I can see the light at the end of that particular tunnel.

In that dancing vein, tomorrow is a line dance party in Buffalo. 15 people from my group are attending, with lots of carpooling going on. The theme of this is trail ride/barn style. Easy to get a ‘costume’ from the closet – jeans, a plaid flannel shirt, and a bandanna. I wanted a cowboy hat so went to a few thrift stores to find one. Got a plain black fake-velvet hat and decided it needed to be ‘blinged up.’ I still have literally thousands of beads in my basement from my jewelry-making days, so I added a decorative rim to my hat.

decorated cowboy hat

Going to head out in the cool, Autumn sunshine to do some more garden cleanup. Or will I head immediately to the loom and work on those towels? At this moment your guess is as good as mine.

2 comments to Life is good

  • Judy

    You know how I’ve always loved that pointsettia chenille… and I agree with you that the photo on the right in that group is my favorite too.
    Love the trim you added to your hat… makes it extra cute.
    Just ever so happy that you’re doing what you love to do! That’s the BEST!!!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Judy. I so appreciate how fortunate I am that I am able to spend so much of my time doing what makes me happy…so many people don’t have that possibility. Every bit of grace and kindness that we can add to the world is important.

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