Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Being Creative in Idaho

It's been wonderful seeing snow on the mountains again. The weather has been rather strange this year-one week it will be snowy and cold, then the next week it is almost 50 (10C)! I'll take the snow and cold any day, that's for sure.
One of my goals this year is to explore rug weaving and tapestry more. To that end I found a washed Lincoln fleece that had been in my attic and I'm currently spinning that into a thick singles that will be dyed.
This fleece had been stored for years and was rather compacted. Months ago I had asked Marshall if he could make me a wool picker, which opens up the fiber and helps get rid of vegetable matter. He built me a prototype box style picker, which works quite well.

This picker took a matted fleece and opened it up to fluffy Lincoln wool that will be a breeze to process. Thanks, Marshall, for once again creating something that makes working with fiber that much easier.

I took advantage of the warmer weather the other day to have a dye day on my back patio. I dyed half of my BFL top in bright red, orange and yellow.

The other half I dyed using burnt orange dye solution and orange drink mix, pouring it full strength in areas, then diluting it by half and then by half again for a mottled result.

I thought that I'd use the light mushroom spindle that Marshall created for me to spin sock yarn out of the BFL since it turns the fastest and it will make it that much easier to put a bit more spin on my yarn. I'm excited to see how the two singles blend with each other!

Back to tapestry weaving, I tried a couple of small samples at first and I simply sewed the ends to finish these samples.

Then I decided to put a long warp on my Harrisville Model A loom to give myself a chance to practice tapestry techniques and also rug techniques. I'm allowing myself more room between samples to that I can knot the warp ends and turn these into useable mug rugs. I'm using two books for inspiration: Tapestry Weaving by Kirsten Glasbrook; and Rug Weaving Techniques Beyond the Basics by Peter Collingwood. This sample was taken directly from Peter's book, which is an outstanding book to have-

Then I decided to play with it a bit-
On quilting news, I've been stuck on a quilt, with the pieces cut out on my sewing table, not knowing really how I wanted to proceed. So while I'm vacuuming or walking my dogs, I'm puzzling over the quilt or weaving issues, trying to figure out the direction that I want to go. Do you find yourself doing that? More on that quilt later.

On another day I pulled out my textile paints to recreate some Idaho scenery from one day of walking my dogs.

I think that I'll cut these apart to maybe create embroidered textile postcards. I carved a potato stamp to recreate the pod.

There's something quite inspiring about going on walks here in Idaho, and being able to explore the beauty of an Idaho winter.

Thanks for those of you who have helped me through the past several months after I tore my meniscus in my right knee while hiking with my dogs in late October. Thanks for letting me whine on about my injury and not being able to cycle/ski! Sometimes it's rather easy to drone on about health issues, so another huge thanks for listening. Since being injured I've learned to not take good health for granted, that's for sure. Thanks, too, for good doctors who listen to you when you say that you're hurting and they actually do something about making it better-caring medical people are truly a blessing! I have a surgery date for next Tuesday, so hopefully this injury will be fixed and I'll be able to get back to doing most of the things that I love. Not skiing this year, but there's always next year to dream of....



  1. I will continue to pray for you and the upcoming surgery and recovery. You have made the most of your time and I thank you for sharing these latest projects. Marshall is a big help to you. May God bless.

  2. Do hope that all will go well for you on Tuesday and will be keeping you in my prayers. As usual, so many lovely things to comment on Judy Lovely weaving your your wool dying looks good too. Have you geard of Ewe Kente weaving? My brother visited Ghana last year and bought me a lovely book about the different styles of weaving. Weather around the world seems to be doing strange things - enjoy your snow. xx

  3. You are up to so many wonderful creative adventures. Your quilt can wait, quilters always have unfinished quilts stewing in the background, it's just part of the process. I really love your rug weaving, such wonderful patterns . Your box picker looks a bit like a medieval torture device- watch out fleeces! It must be great to see an end in sight for your injury, hope all goes well.

  4. Hope all goes well with the surgery Judy

  5. It sure takes forever to heal, doesn't it? Good thing you can still enjoy the walking with the dogs and soak in winter's beauty. :) Love your dyes - nice cheery colors.

  6. Well slowing down certainly has some rewards especially for us that get to see all the beautiful things you have created! I am positively green with envy over your little water color series. Sigh, I just have no talent in that!

    Best of luck with the surgery, I know you'll be up on those ski's next year and frankly, if yo have to miss a year, this skimpy snow one might be the one to miss. Keep us posted!

  7. Glad you are scheduled to get that knee fixed! I will keep you on my prayer list for speedy recovery and quick return to health :*) LOVE your orange/red/yellow colors - yum!!! The weaving is very interesting. I have a few friends who weave, and I am always amazed at how versatile it can be.

  8. Best wishes for your surgery! Love the pic with the river and the hill behind. I bet those bright colours make winter cheerful for you too.

  9. Agreed... if you're going to study rug weaving, you must have Collingwood. He was a stone cold genius

  10. Always an interesting read, Marshall is a talented guy and obviously knows exactly how to make you happy . Wonderful dyed wool and weaving samples . All the best on Tuesday , you will be in my thoughts . hugs Sheila

  11. Alles Gute liebe Judy, für deine Knieoperation! Das wird bestimmt gut kommen damit du nächsten Winter wieder mit den Skis unterwegs sein kannst.
    Deine Webkünste bewundere ich sehr, du bist so vielseitig begabt, das ist wunderbar.
    Alles Liebe


  12. Hope everything goes well with the surgery and you'll be able to ski again soon.
    I love the tapestry samples!

  13. Hi Judy - Happy New Year to you and yours. Hope all goes for you today! Thinking of you. Your creativity seems to know no bounds and it is no surprise to find that you think about your 'makes' whilst walking the dog, or whatever! Me too. Except I have no dog, but you know what I mean! xCathy

  14. Dear Judy,
    Just stopping by to wish you well on your upcoming surgery and to tell you that we are praying for all to go smoothly and for wisdom for the doctors. Your weaving is just lovely! I will be back to see some of your other projects!

    Sweet blessings,

  15. Best wishes on your recovery!! Mildred at Blackberry Lane suggested her readers visit your blog! My husband just had a total knee replacement this week and we hope it will be life changing for him!! Love all your fiber art...beautiful

  16. Coming over from Mildred's blog and adding you to my prayer journal.

    Certainly enjoyed reading your post and seeing your pictures.

  17. I came over from Mildreds! You can never have too many people saying prayers for your recovery:)

  18. Hoping your surgery went well. All your creations are beautiful.

  19. So sorry you had to have surgery. I also had to have knee arthroscopic surgery and therapy. I know with your great attitude that you will be fine.
    That pink yarn in a later post is just so pretty.


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