Thursday, February 28, 2019

Another pottery class

We both thoroughly enjoyed our pottery experiences and decided that some additional instruction would be a good thing. So back to the studio we went!

I had some pretty specific pieces in mind but Chris was all about technique. He didn't turn out as many items as I did, but he sure did improve on his skill set. I made some improvements too but didn't experiment nearly as much as he did. 
Learning to turn a bowl
Demo of a vessel
Glazing experiment
My attempt at a vessel
Forming a coil
Attaching that coil
Keen observation
Learning to make a pot
Bubble glaze!
This was a six week course and we spent every spare minute in the studio. We were there 3-4 times per week and had a wonderful time learning and expanding our skills. It was a great way to use up some of the winter - I can't believe it's already of February!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sewing wings

I typically make something for my grand-niece's birthday. I've done a bunny backpack, doll clothes, and hand puppets. This year I decided to buy a pattern and make some wearable wings. 
A lot of parts to these wings
It was actually more complex than anything I've sewed so far. There was quilting, interfacing, and lots of fiddling with layers.
The top of the wings
In the middle of all that complexity I took a break to make a fleece blanket. My Mom had complained of being cold when she got her chemo treatments so I'd made her a blanket. When we found out our friend was about to undergo treatment himself, I quickly made one up for him too. He's been using it at treatments and says it really helps make him comfortable.
Manly colors
Back to butterfly wings...

There was appliqué on the wings too. I definitely learned a lot doing these!
Completed top side of wings
Stitching to reinforce the shape
They're really going to flap well.
I got the pattern from Twig & Tale and their instructions were excellent. Lots of tips on their blog and there were video tutorials included with my purchase of the pattern. I'm still new at the whole sewing gig and this was my first real foray into using a pattern. I'm glad I started here!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

This winter...

has been particularly hard on us. Lots of snow, lots of ice, and lots of cold.

The fence rail is now at my head. It's supposed to be 7' tall.
We've burned through a good bit of the wood pile already. We typically put up a year and a half each season. Looks like we'll use up last year's left-overs as well as this year's allotment.

We try to enjoy it though. We snowshoe with the dog every day. We put crampons on the boots and skate down the driveway. We snuggle up inside and work on projects that otherwise get ignored when the weather is good.
It's pretty, isn't it?
And we remind ourselves that we chose this location. Winter is a time for reflection, planning, and learning new things. 
Really pretty.
So I'll ignore the fact that we got another 6 inches of snow yesterday and just enjoy the new Inkle loom that Chris built for me. Odds are he wouldn't have had the time if the weather had been good...

Monday, February 25, 2019

Learning to Weave

I took a 2-day weaving class a few weeks ago and loved it. Absolutely adored the whole process. The class was taught at a local place called The Textile Studio owned by a lovely couple who have been weaving together for years. It's both a production studio and a store where they sell clothing made from their own cloth. So cool.

Three of the floor looms were already warped when we arrived so that we could get busy creating but they'd left one loom empty so that we could see how to tie up a warp. Oh my. It's not hard exactly, but it does require attention to detail and time. That's obviously a skill set that will have to be developed.
Table runner warp with example weft in Natural
I thought a darker color would make the warp colors pop more so tried black. It worked!
Changing the weft to Black
We were shown how to change warp colors mid-stream too. Not for the faint of heart!
Changing warp colors
There were three of us in the class and with Cecelia and Richard on their looms we had five going at once. They're surprisingly quiet and we really enjoyed the whoosh and clack of the looms as we went along.
A productive studio
I managed to turn out three pieces and I'm inordinately pleased with them. I've worn the scarves multiple times already and the table runner is happily sitting on the table right now.

Steadily weaving - for five hours...
In process - my new scarf
And here are the three pieces I finished:
Chenille in gorgeous olives and oranges
Wrong & Right sides of the table runner
Pinwheel in purple, green, and natural
Of course the downside to all this is that I'm now in the market for a floor loom. I've got searches out up and down the east coast and if it wasn't winter I'm pretty sure I'd have headed to Maine once already. So far I haven't found the magic combination of price, location, and loom type. It'll happen though. Wish me luck!