My love of color and texture has taken me on a journey from being a glass artist to the fiber arts world. For the last 10 years I have explored spinning, dyeing and weaving. With a side trip into owning a yarn shop for a few years, I am now back to creating fine handwovens, handspun and hand dyed yarns, in my log home studio in the beautiful hills of southwestern Wisconsin.
Our 2nd Monday weavers gathering was a perfect spring day in a perfect setting at Elin and Bob’s place. Coffee on the deck was surrounded by orioles feeding on oranges and magnolias and bleeding hearts giving us a spring show, much needed after a long and hard winter.
There were lots of fiber goodies to see especially from those who haven’t made it to a meeting in awhile. Janet’s scarves were so beautiful that I need to get out my Handwoven magazines and get some inspiration.
Elin treated us to a spectacular meal with some great greek meatball and salad fixins with pita bread and all the toppings; that made for a memorable lunch.
Walking into Elin’s entrance way, she has a mini shop set up with all of her inventory. I definitely have inventory envy. We are both artists in the Winding Roads Art Tour that is coming up fast, June 1-2. It will be a lovely drive through the driftless area hills around Viroqua, Wi. and a chance to get a peak at where and how some some of the areas most talented artists make their art work. And at Elin’s you will get the added benefit of petting some cute sheep.
For my show and tell I brought a fresh off the loom scarf done with a technique called bead leno. An intriguing weave that I had to set up to understand how it works, and it is still a little iffy. Beads are threaded on some of the ends and hover between the heddles and the reed, making crazy sheds that twist the yarns in interesting ways. For those of you that don’t do weave speak, it is just magic. I’ve included one of the pictures showing the tricky sheds. I’m dyeing up some silk for tying on the next two scarves, cause it took too bloody long to thread all of those beads to just do two scarves.
Thanks Elin and Bob for sharing your idyllic setting and giving us a glimpse into the beauty that your hands have created.
our lovely hostess and her dye studio
my bead leno scarf in the works
Beauty inside and out
three intricate and beautiful scarves by Janet and a lovely pink rayon scarf by Elin
With lots of hits and misses in weather, our April weavers gathering took place at Barb and Harry’s place on what seemed to be an actual spring day. Good thing I didn’t know then about the ice storm that would come later that week, that left me and many others without power for close to 30 hours. What can you do, spring in Wisconsin is a fickle beast.
For a rather small group we shared lots of discussion and apparently being holed up in February made for some really fiber productive days. Barb M’s quilt inspired by illustrator Charley Harper is coming along. One more row to go. Hard to decide which was our favorite critter. The quilt she had made for grandaughter Maggie is cheerful and awesome.
Susan’s weaving (Avalanche Looms) is always an inspiration and I believe she combined overshot and crackle on her recent scarves. Barb B has been a fleece prep and spinning maniac along with her beautiful towels and the care of her critters, I’m not sure how she manages to get it all done.
I am into scarf four of my second warp of the beautiful and intricate Bateman weave that is such fun pattern play. I have finally found a scarf that I am keeping for myself. It took awhile since I’ve been weaving for fifteen years and this is the first scarf I’ve kept for myself.
One of my favorite things ( besides all of the really tasty food) to see was the skelatinized remains of tomatillos from Harry’s garden. We all had to traipse out to the garden to see if we could find more. Light as air they were hard to admire on that windy day, as they were airborn as soon as you opened your hand. The ones I brought home have been blowing around the house anytime it has been warm enough to open up the doors. They make me happy.
Well winter is still here, as I write this we are looking to see more -15 degrees temperatures coming back this weekend even though it will officially be March. But then again we have had some great snowfalls and beautiful blue skies. Spring always comes…right?
Our weavers group met once again at our local food coops community room, with lots of energy and some great works in progress or finished objects to share with the group. Olga was getting ready to present a memoir about her grandmother, a painter to her Sunday Morning discussion group. The photos of some of the 70 paintings that she shared with us were inspiring. Especially as I am just getting brave enough to give watercolor a try.
Next month we are planning a road trip to see the Helen Louise Allen Textile Exhibition at the School of Human Ecology at UW Madison. Should be fun.
a beautiful winter day, complete with eagles
my blue rose scarf, another Bateman weave threading with some creative treadling.
Barb B’s waffle weave towels
a lovely picture book from Judith’s winter stay in a small cabin where she worked on some beautiful weavings
Barb M’s lined mittens and winter quilt top underway
Barb B’s has joined the Livestock Conservancy to explore and support rare sheep breeds
Elin’s rugs/ Kathleen’s prize winning silk tie dyed eggs/ Janet’s heart twill/ Kathy’s newest vest fabric off the loom
Judith’s book of the Folly Cove designers. A group of women making incredible block prints on textiles from 1941-1969. The lady in the bottom right pic is jumping on a block to print it. I tried it on my last block print without success.
In an effort to avoid winter travel woes, January’s 2nd Monday weavers gathering was held in the community room of our incredible newly renovated Viroqua Food Coop. One of our weavers is Jan who also just happens to be the manager of the coop and she graciously offered to host the group and boy did she treat us like royalty. From the soup and chili, great bread, salad and salmon tray, nobody went away hungry. I should have photographed the beautiful desserts but I was thinking I could avoid them if I pretended they weren’t there. Turns out I couldn’t.
This was a pretty large group, I think maybe 15 of us all together, so there was lots to see. I haven’t been weaving lately so I dug into the back of my closet and found a coat I had made probably fifteen years ago in a Weave to Wear class that friend Nan and I took at Siever’s School on Washington Island. Nan wore the vest she had woven in the class along with one the the necklaces she made recently and she looked great. My coat was never finished and I am looking at that fabric and thinking I will make a vest out of some of it.
It’s hard to say what the new year will bring but one thing that I know for sure, is that these great fiber ladies will be part of it.
Next months 2nd Monday meeting will be at the coop again so stop in and say hi.
cheers to the new year! and to the yummy cranberry liqueur that I made to celebrate it.
Nan’s vest and my coat, modeled by Sonya, woven for a long ago class at Sievers
this is what a room full of fibers fanatics looks like
Jan puts on a great spread
Carole’s supplementary warp scarf, Judith’s crackle weave, Barb M’s quilt in progress and I believe Janet’s twill scarf
Barb B’s napkins. So beautiful and at 400++ ends quite the accomplishment
This Decembers weavers gathering was at Sonya’s and Cecil’s house in town. It was such a beautiful drive into town, with the trees covered in sparkle frost that I had to stop for a photo. On the way home an eagle was sitting on the post of my bridge just as I was about to cross it. I had a bit of a jaw dropping moment as he unfurled his wings right in front of my car and flew away. Even though I see them often around the nest they are building right across from the house, this was a much more personal encounter. Yeah nature!
Our gathering at Sonya’s was a great way to kick off the holiday season. There were gingerbread houses made by Sonya and the kids and friend Lucy and even Sonya wreathed in the crown of Santa Lucia complete with lit candles and pine boughs. She led us in song and it just doesn’t get more festive and joyful than that.
Cecil’s soup was wonderful and we had no lack of sweet treats to share. Some of us even had some fibery goodies to show. Our 2nd Monday group will be meeting in January at the community room of our Coop in Viroqua if anyone wants to come and hang out with us.
Looking forward to some cookie baking, present sharing and raucous laughter when my girls make it home. I hope everyone’s holidays are joyful and filled with peace.
on my way
Santa Lucia Sonya
Olga and Barb’s blanket
Barb B’s lovely dorset buttons and shawl/ she is looking at the Scotland/Ireland picture book I am giving my hubby for xmas
Elin’s cosy vest and rug and Anne Marie’s knit undershirt
Olga’s embroidery show and tell
Bonnie’s old pattern book and her knitted scarf and stocking along with her bought hat that I would love to replicate. Fresh off the loom before wet finishing, twill woven table runner by Janet.
This Novembers gathering of weavers was at my house in the hopes that I could host before the snow flies and getting up my driveway becomes a leap of faith. Other than a couple of panicked parking situations everyone made it up and we proceeded to have a fun and fibery gathering. Plus I always look forward to making my squash and pear soup to an appreciative group, since it is not my hubby’s favorite.
I got to show off my eagle pair that are nesting again this year within sight of our great room windows. We even had an eagle fly by at window level, as we were at the table eating lunch. My winter is measured in eagle time. Nest sprucing up in November and December, February or March they are sitting on the eggs and then sometime in April new little eaglets to watch for, until the trees start to leaf out and I can’t see much until the eaglet fledges. Yeah nature!
This group was large enough that I am sure I missed some of the show and tell. One highlight was Kathy’s newest woven top. After a lot of coaxing we managed to have her model it. Just lovely, and it always cracks me up, that most modeled items have everyone’s hands also in the picture cause we just gotta touch.
After seeing Jean working on her quilt I ran upstairs and brought down my one and only quilt, made when I was in my twenties, entirely sewn by hand. I left it out to show my girls and Rachel was inspired enough to think about doing a quilt of her own. Especially after I showed her the book The Quilts of Gees Bend.
I had intended to get a scarf started on one of my looms before the group got here, but the 12 yard 18/2 cotton warp was in time out after giving me fits, trying to wind it on. Turned out that was just the start of the problems. I forgot to write down an error in threading, when I wove this pattern this summer, and had to unweave and rethread those border sections. We’ll see if I remember to write it down this time. Good thing that I love playing with the color changes in this scarf now that I am finally able to get the weaving started.
Maybe that is one of the best things about weavers getting together; they understand the pain of your weaving errors cause they have probably had more that a few of their own.
Kathy modeling her newest handwoven jacket. She is getting all the feels and lots of admiration. Judith was pretty happy to see one of her paintings out in the world and well loved in its place of honor above our fireplace.
Judith’s Crackle weave scarf and Olga modeling it
Barb M’s knitted dolls and the haul Barb B brought back from the Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival in New York
Lots of sweet treats, beautiful wee hat model, Jean and her quilt and a knitted piece I believe modified by Olga
Our October 2nd Monday weavers gathering was at friend Elin and Bob’s lovely country home. There won’t be too many more beautiful fall days and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the day than with like minded fiber friends. Seeing Elin’s big Glimakra loom set up for the start of a rug is giving me an urge to get back to weaving. Good thing too as Novembers meeting will be at my house and it would just be wrong to have nothing on the looms.
oranges and table runner
Elin’s dye studio and her table runner in progress there
Elin’s poncho,Barb M’s knitted cowl, Judith’s tencel crackle weave scarf and Anne Marie’s knitted skirt
Admiring the top Carole made from her tencel twill fabric
Barb B’s projects that are gifts for her fellow Rhinebeck fiber fest friends. I can’t wait to hear some tales of her trip there.
lots of great food and book that Elin showed me that her uncle did the wood block images in.
Our September weavers gathering was a hot sunny day at Anne Marie’s country home. It is fun to travel these winding roads and see the homesteads tucked back into the hills where gardens are bountiful, children are raised and life just happens. After driving these back roads not so far from my own house I am not sure how Anne Marie and her husband ever manage to leave in the winter months. It makes my steep driveway seem lots less intimidating. And that is good as I am writing this just a few days before our next weavers gathering ( what can I say I procrastinate); summer is gone and fall has been mostly wet and cloudy so far. I can feel winter just peeking around the door and waiting for her entrance. I must smell all the smells and absorb all of the color before the land is laid to rest. One last filling of the hummingbird feeder to help the travelers on their journey and a few last hardy flowers left to pick. Glad to throw those tomato plants to compost. I wait all summer for their bounty, get just enough for a couple of BLT’s and then they seem to wither and die well before I am ready for them to do so, making the farmers market the most welcome back up to being a crappy gardener.
Our visit with Anne Marie was a most welcome respite from a busy time preparing for the Driftless Area Art Festival. It was so nice to sit outside and share our knitting and weaving projects with a cool glass of lemonade.
I was so impressed with the lovely artwork and pottery that is a natural blend with Anne Marie’s old farmhouse. Apparently her husband Will is as talented of a potter and painter as Anne Marie is at spinning, knitting and cooking with heart. Altogether another inspiring visit that will be a good memory to pull out when I need some warm; bees buzzing about, wind in the grass, sounds of combines at harvest, thoughts to get me through the colder months ahead.
my pinwheel and deflected doubleweave scarves made with alpaca/silk
wool and lemonade
sheep in the shade
not slapping each other, just admiring Sonya’s scarf
my tencel and silk undulating twill scarves
Anne Marie modeling Barb B’s lovely cabled sweater and a camisole knit by Anne Marie
good food and lovely plates made by Will
great pottery work area on the porch and a sample of Will’s work
This years Driftless Area Art Festival happened despite the devastation that took place 2 weeks earlier from extensive flooding in our driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin. Thanks to the diligent work of the organizers and many volunteers the fair was relocated from the park in Soldiers Grove to the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Gays Mills. This venue made for a lovely fair but we will be looking forward to the recovery in Soldiers Grove and our return in 2019.
My thanks to the many who visited my booth; it validates what I have chosen to create and re-energizes my desire to weave… just not right away. Hopefully these photos entice you to visit this great festival next year or perhaps volunteer in some capacity.
Crawford County Fairgrounds in Gays Mills/ What is left of the gazebo in the park at Soldiers Grove
Art patrons at the entrance/ A view from Kathy Aaker of Riverweave’s booth
Award winners Gordon Browning, Best of Show with his lathe turned vessels, and merit award winners, weaver Elin Haessly and basketmaker Lori Hungerholt
This months weavers gathering was hosted by Janet and Tony at their condo in LaCrosse right across from a lovely garden and the Mississippi River. It didn’t take us long to take over the community room tables with piles of handwovens and yarny goodness. Lots of great food, as always but I especially loved the cherry pie Tony had baked from Balaton cherries.
I had fun showing the diversity of 2 new scarves from the same Bateman weave scarf threading that I had used on my previous St Andrew’s cathedral scarf. A pattern from the book Weaving Innovations from the Bateman Collection. Now that I am finished with that warp, I am itching to put on a much longer warp and just play around with the patterns. Especially when I have more time and am not trying to weave fast for an upcoming art fair.
Barb B’s pink and gray overshot scarf was particularly inspiring. Looks like overshot has captured me too, although I am still not a fan of 2 shuttle weaving.
I had seen a picure of Judith’s blue crackle weave warp is it was getting threaded; on Instagram and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. I knew it would be a thing of beauty.
Barb M had recently been in New York City and at at a museum (I forget which) and came home with a poster sized piece of paper which showed pictures with the number of people killed in one week in our country, by gun related violence. Sobering. She said there were stacks of these. At least someone is trying to make us aware of the gun violence that is rampant in the US. I wish our politicians would get onboard with figuring out a solution to this.
Judith’s, hot off the loom crackle weave. This is even more stunning in person.
images of people killed by gun violence in one week in the US
Barb B’s next warp/ table runners by Elin and two of Kathy’s recent ponchos
View from the community room at Jan’s condo in LaCrosse and a pic of some of the great food.
My Bateman weave scarves and their hang tags ready for the Driftless Area Art Festival. I am kind of wanting to keep at least one of these.
new weaver Biddy’s first weaving and Barb B’s overshot
camisole by Anne Marie and socks by Barb M. And a particularly serene page from Judith’s art journal