Thursday, November 8, 2012

How do you define slow?

As I was laying out ribbons for another Free Lace scarf, I began musing about how differently people perceive various (art) projects as quick (and easy) or slow (and tedious).  I began thinking about this because these scarves feel very quick to me--I have finished two already this week and am starting a third.  And yet I spend literally hours very carefully laying out the ribbons to make a pleasing pattern.  If they ever watched me as I do this, many people would say the process is very slow and think it tedious and boring.  Yet because I usually work on jackets and feel very productive if I finish two in a month, these scarves feel very fast to me.  One more example in life, of "it's all relative."
Here's a picture of the scarf that I just finished.  This is another one that was inspired by one of my jackets--specifically the thread couching pattern I used on it.

As I said it took me hours to lay out the ribbons to make all those box patterns, but to me it was far from tedious or boring.  I loved watching the pattern grow and seeing the interplay of the colors.  Working on something like this really helps me to live in the present moment, paying attention to and deriving joy from the details.  So this part of laying out the pattern and then doing the stitching to hold everything together is the calming, meditative part of the project.
The "rush" comes when I wash away the stabilizer to see the completed scarf, and again when I put it together with the jacket that inspired it.  Here's the combination for this scarf.
I was happy enough that I decided to make another one something like it - but I'm trying triangles this time - and very different colors.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Celebration Ensemble

It's gray, gloomy and cold outside, but I'm inside where it's warm and I'm having fun playing with color and texture.  As soon as I finished one Free Lace scarf I started on another.

Here's the one I just finished.  As I mentioned in my last posting, this one was inspired by the jacket I finished most recently.
I incorporated small squares of hand-dyed silk charmeuse in colors that picked up the colors of the jacket and used some of the same slub yarn that I had couched onto the jacket.  I cut the silk with a wavy edge rotary cutter so the edges will fray a little but not totally.  When I washed out the stabilizer the threads shrink up a little giving the silk squares a bit of a scrunchy look.

Here's the full effect with the jacket.  What do you think??

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meditative Stitching

My week is off to such a lovely start, I just had to share...
I got to the studio this morning about 9, after a refreshing water fitness class at the local Y.  By about 10, the sun had come out and burned away the clouds.  It is now streaming through the windows here in my studios, warming it up so nicely I have taken off the bulky sweater I was wearing over my turtleneck.  Glenn has Gregorian chant music playing in his studio across the hall which seems the perfect accompaniment to the undulating lines I've been stitching on a free lace scarf.  It gives me such a nice content feeling...
My plan is to create several new free lace scarves this month to put in the Winter Lights V show at The Loading Dock Gallery later this month.  The scarf I'm working on now is designed to coordinate with the jacket I finished most recently.

I call this one Celebration because I was working on it when I found out that I was a fully qualified juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  It uses a combination of a bluish purple linen-like fabric and a cotton with a batik-type pattern.  (The fabrics were someone else's cast-offs, so I can't be sure of the composition.)  The bluish purple has a lovely sheen to it.  I think it might be a linen and silk blend.  I have embellished the cotton by couching over it with a variegated slub yarn.  I have used that same yarn in the free lace scarf.  I'll let you know how it looks when I'm all finished.