Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sock Season!

1908 Gearhart Circular Sock Knitting Machine.

If it's autumn, is must be sock-cranking season!

I walked into our area guild meeting Monday evening, and the first words from Laurel were, "Will you be making socks again?"  She orders several pairs each year to give as Christmas gifts to family members.  Yes, I am making socks again.

Yesterday these two pairs were cranked, toes closed, washed/rinsed/spun, and hung to dry overnight on a wood rack.  This morning they were steamed and then placed on the rack again to finish drying.  This evening they are in a bag, tomorrow I will meet up with the woman who placed the order.  The gentleman they are for already has a couple pairs and was very interested in having more.  I hope he likes the color combinations!

Red/Blue/Hunter yarns.

Red, blue, and hunter green work up into a cozy, wintry pair of socks, popular with my customers.

Detail of heel/foot area.

Detail of mock-rib on leg.

In reality, the colors are brighter than in these photos.  It was a very gray afternoon here, and though I took the photos out on the lakeside porch, we were losing light.  Right after I went back inside I heard thunder, and a few minutes later it was pouring rain.

Bordeaux/Grape/Teal yarns.

I had been told I could choose whatever colors I wanted, so the first pair (above) have a cheerful holiday feel to them.  For the second pair I went a bit darker, and used a color combination I hadn't tried before, Bordeaux, Grape, and Teal.  I was prepared to cut it off if I didn't like it.  Happily, I was quite pleased with how the colors worked together.

Detail of heel/foot area.

Detail of mock-rib on leg.

Leaves are starting to turn color in the WI Northwoods, temperatures are dropping, we've already had a couple nights with frost warnings.  Crows "caw" all day long, chickadees and blue jays are heard, squirrels are busy collecting acorns, changes are happening daily.  I'm looking forward to a fall and winter full of weaving, sock-making, spinning, and other fiber activities.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Northwoods Life, In and Out of the Studio

Woven shibori scarf.

Woven shibori has turned out to be a fascinating weaving technique, and my experimenting with weave structures and tie-ups continues.  The scarf above is the last from the most recent warp.  16/2 Bockens cotton sett at 30 epi, advancing twill threading and freeform tie-up.  A new warp is on the loom, and though the tie-up will remain the same (perhaps one or two treadles changed a bit), the threading is another advancing twill and I'm looking forward to seeing the differences.  I need to update my records before I start forgetting details.

A bit closer look.

The dyeing on the scarf is actually fairly even, but the photos appear lighter on the top than the bottom.  The photos were taken outdoors early this afternoon, on the lakeside porch, and I believe the porch roof is giving a shaded or shadow effect. 

Later in October, I'm looking forward to being able to branch out into larger works, as well as try one or two wearable pieces.  It's always good to have new learning and challenges to look forward to! 

Norwegian coverlet book.

A few days ago I was looking at the 2014 class schedule on the VavStuga website, and saw mention of a Norwegian coverlet book, "Om fellen kunne fortelle... akletradisjon til inspirasion" by Randi Breiset ($44.00 US).  It was originally published in 2001, and perhaps has been reprinted.  The book is being carried again in the VavStuga shop.  Of course, I sent an immediate email asking a copy be sent to me.  What a treat!  Beautiful photos, a bit of history about each, and drafts and weaving information provided.  There is also an abbreviated English supplement in the book. 

I am looking forward to the coming winter and continuing my woven shibori studies, and attempting a small version of a Norwegian coverlet.

If you read this blog you are probably aware I am a volunteer rescue driver for Wild Instincts, a wildlife rehab facility here in the WI Northwoods.  After doing this volunteer work for 12+ years, it has been a real treat to be able to be present at the release of a few of them.  If you've ever wondered what the release of fawns was like, the following photos will show you!

Don't worry, they are alive.

The previous day, five fawns were released; on this day, the last six were going to their new location.  The fawns were tranquilized, carried over near the transport vehicle and laid on the ground, where Sharon tagged them (required by State of WI).

Four of the six fawns ready to go.

After being tagged they were each placed in the vehicle.  Ken is one of many volunteers for Wild Instincts.

After arriving, the fawns were again placed on the ground.

Mark gives each an antidote to help them wake up.

One by one, heads started to raise, and when ready they were helped to their feet.

This fawn laid down again, wanting more rest.

They still have their spots.

Fawns were moved off into their new lives, back in the wild.

Next month,... I hope to be there for release of five bear cubs.  Stay tuned!

And now, back to the weaving studio, where another 12 yards of warp for more woven shibori scarves awaits me, and three or so sock orders, and getting ready for the Oct. 5 art show/sale.  Yes, I'm back to cranking socks again,... cooler autumn temps and another winter are on the way!