Thursday, 30 August 2007

Ongoing projects.

Ten days silence here - it must seem like I'm not doing much at the moment. In fact the reverse is true. I've been busy with other commitments, but also doing plenty in the fibre to fabric line.

So, what's happening today?

There samples of superwashed merino wool, dyed today using logwood chips, drying over the bath.

Drier samples of the same wool dyed with dock seed heads this morning, and over the weekend, are on my work table, waiting for me to get to file a record of the latest results.

On the sofa is my latest sock knitting project (second sock of the pair) that gets picked up when I have odd bits of time through the day.

Next to the sofa is a work basket with a jumper I'm knitting in the round. The knitting has been on hold for a couple of weeks as I had to stop and draw diagrams of the planned collar and shoulder shapings. The diagrams were drawn last weekend, and as soon as the sock is finished I will get back to the jumper. I need this jumper finished to wear this winter!

Next to the loom are lying two bunches of chained warp that I wound yesterday evening and the evening before. For the first time I have used more than one colour, three shades of blue, and this presented some new technical problems. That's why I started one evening, then had to stop and think before carrying on. The warp's ready to go onto the loom now.

All around the house are books. Anywhere I might stop for a moment is a book I am reading. Not the kitchen as it's a bit small and full, not the bathroom as it's full of stuff for washing / drying / dyeing wool.

There's Folk Socks by Nancy Bush by my bedside. A French Grammar book is on the landing because I'm revising my French, having bought a copy of Dominique Cardon's Le Monde des Teintures Natruelles, which is on the floor by the sofa because I keep picking it up to learn a little more. Also by the sofa (because it had to move off the table at tea time) is The Art of the Loom by Ann Hecht, and a Textile Terminology by Dorothy Burham. On the sofa are two books that arrived at the weekend: I've finished reading Gosta Sandberg's Indigo Textiles, techniques and history and started Indigo by Jenny Balfour-Paul. Oh, there's a book that's travelling around the house a bit, which is Eight Shafts a place to begin by Wanda Jean Shelp and Carol Wostenberg (and a little Field Guide to Bumble Bees - not strictly relevant here!).

On my work table (close to the loom) is The Best of Weaver's - Fabrics that Go Bump which I was using when planning what to do with the new sample warp. Also (new today) Rita Buchanan's "A Weaver's Garden" which arrived just in time to tell me how to use weld - I have two plants that have put up flower spikes.

It might seem that I spend all my time at my hobbies, but no, they have to fit in with other commitments. I had two full days Tuesday and Wednesday with voluntary work both mornings and paid work in the afternoon. Tomorrow is a full day at voluntary work.

This morning I just got away from it all - books, weaving, dyeing, work, studying, house work - I put my boots on (over handknitted socks) and walked away from it all. It's a wonderful thing to live somewhere I can do that. Very important to me. Up the road, surrounded by fields, hedgerows and stone walls, moorland, woodland, a river. A tiny toad hopped across the road in front of me. House martins were wheeling and diving over new mown hay. Cows were busily grazing, sheep chewing grass and watching the world go by. It was time to create space in my mind and just be alive, no pressures. My imagination and my interest in life dries up if I don't make sure I take time out like this.

More will follow on the above topics, as I get time, and even photos, when I can get to the local library and upload them.

(Note: no t.v. in this house, over the past twenty something years many useful hours have not been spent in front of t.v! That's how I find time for everything else.)


Leigh said...

Oh my, but you certainly have a lot going on even if you aren't posting about it all! I think it's good to have a variety of ongoing projects. No excuse to be bored. I do envy your ability to take walks in the country; something I miss terribly.

Dorothy said...

Hi Leigh, as you've spotted, I don't do boredom! But I do take time to stop and dream, and I certainly don't take those country walks for granted. I lived in different parts of the Greater Manchester conurbation for many years, I still walked then, tramping dreary streets, looking out for trees and admiring dandelions and other weeds for their courage in breaking through the tarmac!