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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Well, Hellooooo! How are you? How have you been?

If I were to meet up with someone I hadn't seen for a long time, I might be a little embarrassed for not connecting with that someone for a while, but I'd be delighted to see them all the same.

So.... "Well, Helloooooo! How are you? How have you been?".

I'm doing well, thank you. A bit hot just now as Tucson is feeling more like Phoenix lately. Gah.
Monsoons have semi-started but they are absent this week and we're cooking. It's about 102 degrees in the shade (1:15 PM). The phone says it's 108 outside. Gah.

So.....I'm off school for the summer, back to working 6 days a week, doing a little knitting, working on the to-do piles around the house and considering what I want to do for my Weaving Independent Study in the Fall. The 3 options currently being considered are Ikat (primarily with Indigo), Summer and Winter Weave or Backstrap Weaving.

Backstrap weaving has been on the "list" for a while and I picked up a book on the topic at the last Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild stash sale. We shall see. I think I'd need to "build" a loom but I haven't read enough to see if I want to go there just yet.

I dabbled in Summer and Winter Weave last semester - seeing it as a type of DoubleWeave (i.e. weaving with multiple warps). I started with heaver yarns and was thinking rude comments like "ugly bedspread" as I started my test. I worked my way down to thinner weft threads and began to see the pattern improve from "ugly bedspread" to "Huh - kinda cool".
{?!? Seriously - I didn't take any pictures of the test on the loom at school?!? Sigh/Head-desk.}

I also read up a little on Ikat last semester and even setup a test during our Indigo dye session. As I understand it, there are three types of Ikat dyeing - Warp based (just the warp threads {which allows more control}), Weft based (less control), and Double Ikat where both warp and weft are dyed. With limited time amidst other class projects,  I decided to setup a card weaving warp with some Ikat resist. (Card Weaving is essentially all warp - you can only see the weft on the edges of the woven strip.) The dye/resist worked well but I have yet to weave it up.

Well, this post went pretty much as though I'd run into you somewhere and I started babbling about the current thing on my mind. Except I couldn't see when your eyes glazed over as I waxed rhapsodic about one of my favorite things. {wry grin}

I hope your favorite things are enhancing your summer and keeping you out of the Arizona heat.

I hope I run into you again soon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Do I still get to have a Blogiversary if I haven't been blogging?

Yep, I started up my computer today and the back of my brain whispered "Blogiversary?".
And the front of my brain paused and mumbled "Uh oh. Isn't that at the beginning of July?"

This led to my logging into Blogger to marvel that folks still visit my blog occasionally.
{What's with the 50-some-odd-visitors on the 23rd?}

Anyway... I quickly found I'd blown past my July 6th blogiversary. "Sigh".
And then I wondered...do I still get to have a Blogiversary if I haven't been blogging?

Yeah, sorta.   Kinda, maybe.    Yes. I've decided "yes".

I'm going to skip the lack-of-blog-post reasons. I already started a blog on that topic over a month ago and it didn't make it to posting 'cause I thought it was boring.

Today I'm embracing the random aspects of my thought patterns (you already noticed that, I'm sure) and I'm just going to post for the sake of posting. What did I see on Twitter the other day...? Something about write every day. Even if it's crap. Even if you don't show it to anyone, still write.
I liked the idea and it sounded a bit like, if you practice something every day, you'll get better at it. {Hmmmm. Pondering the "every day" part of that theory.}

Anyway x 2... what have you been doing on your summer vacation?

Me?    I'm not really on vacation, per se. I'm not taking time off from work and not traveling anywhere. But I am out of school for the summer and I've been indulging my long-neglected organizational desires.
{i.e. "OMG, I can't stand it anymore!!!!!! I must put something away!!!!"}

There's been a fair bit of recycling, de-piling, donating, sorting (yarn into bins), dusting (wherever the cats don't dust with their lounging furry persons), consolidating to-do lists, and finding homes for paper, fiber, school projects, and personal knitting/weaving projects that have accumulated whilst I was dashing from one school deadline to the next.

And I've been...
Well, there were a lot of and, and, ands...in the paragraph I just deleted. It reminded me of when my youngling nieces/nephews would tell me about their day.

Anyway x 3... I'm going to get back to the reason I turned on the computer in the first place. In excavating my craft room, I became pretty sure that I gifted away a skein of yarn that I had plotted/promised to use in knitting a shawlette for a friend. So I've "shopped" through my stash for replacement options and I was going to e-mail her a oops-I-gave-it-away confession along with a  how-bout-one-of-these-yummy-replacement-yarns offer.

So, I'm off to confess.
I hope life is treating you well.
"Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and CraftLit are helping me maintain my sanity during the home excavation and our country's embarrassing political upheaval. {gah/sigh}
Miss typing at you. I'll try to work on that.
Happy Belated Blogiversary {to me}! Thanks for visiting.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Would a hug help?

Last night, as I inserted the last of those silly, charming, fun, and interesting videos and links into yesterday's blog post, I could hear that the News was on in the next room. Not good news, either.

The continuation of the global brutality and confounding violence, intolerance, and hate has been the top story for weeks now. Yes, I know, the top stories are always nasty, but I think it has been a lot worse lately.

I avoid watching the news. It gives me nightmares. If I can sleep at all. {sigh} I suspect it relates to being a bit too empathetic, a "fixer" {or wannabe fixer}, having a vivid imagination, and tending towards a "Lawful Good" D&D alignment. {Yes, even when I'm being serious my "geek" and odd sense of humor shows.}

The nightmares are definitely bleeding into every part of every day life.
Add to that the potential of my country electing a megalomaniac "reality" TV personality as our president and.....  
       ......      {Must remember to breathe...}


There has been a long pause in the typing.
I'm trying not to write up a tirade of "What the hell is going on?!?!?".

What it comes down to is this...I can't understand what is going on.
I didn't understand what was going on in December 2012.

The only thing I can do is try to help as I can and do the best I can in my tiny place in the world.
{Yes, this is me trying to dial down my personal panic, sadness and fear.}
I keep wondering if some compassion would have stopped these people from doing what they've done.
Would a hug help?
Would a lot of hugs help?

Two more offerings:

These two videos show we are capable of doing better. Of being better.
Heck, that we've been better.
The vast majority of our lives are made up of small moments. Small decisions. Small gifts.
Perhaps the small day to day efforts can inspire change or the culmination of many small actions can result in something big and wonderful and heartful.

E-hugs. Many, many e-hugs.

"Video that will change your life. I have no words left."

"Arigato from Japan Earthquake Victims" 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ya know that "Easily entertained" thing about me? It's still true.

So I've been going through my, uh, substantial pile o'e-mails. It's one of my summer goals to reduce the pile in my inbox by over 400 e-mails. {Well, I can dream, can't I? Oh...well crimony! I've already reduced it by over 170! Guess I should keep dreaming. ;-}

So, during the e-mail perusal (excavation), I have come across a whole slew of "ya gotta see this" emails with charming, interesting, and fun links to a wide range of videos.

Yep, gonna share:

A very recent yarn-y video gift from a newish friend: "Film Muffler".

This is technically a public service announcement - but beautifully presented: "Embrace Life".

And the Louisville Leopard Percussionists kept me entertained for quite a while:
Steel Leopards: "Check Yes Juliet and Happy"


Simon's Cat always has something fun:
"Field Trip"

And has become something I like to check out daily:
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the day. Extremely spiffy!

Lastly, this is an old favorite: NASA/SDO's 2012 Transit of Venus
"NASA/SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit"


Thursday, July 7, 2016

My View of the Loft Yarn Storm

So, I paused in mid-post yesterday having realized I was about to commit spoilage. ;-)

So now I'll post the pictures I took during the Loft Yarn Storm installation. We "Yarn Stormers" started early in the day with some shade, but the Arizona sun warmed up and lit up the Loft courtyard pretty quickly.

(As always, please click on the pictures to enlarge.)
The fully "dressed" bicycle stands. 
I was a 2nd pair of hands to a variety of people and I stitched coverings measured/created by another talented soul onto two of the Bicycle rings. (I stitched a granny-square/lace crochet duo onto a stand somewhere in the center and the pet-able velour woven one in the picture below.)
  (Yep, the picture on the right was my view as I stitched on the velour strips.)

One of the core projects was to create "people" from the posts on the front of the Loft Building.

I thought the mirror-face was very clever and I love the "wooly" popcorn. Ah - and you see now why legs were knitted? Spiffy, yes?

For the post above, the hair is roving and {durn it!} I didn't get a side picture - there are tufts of colored roving in the hair to match the painted mask. The middle portion is woven neckties (very clever) and I'm smitten with the multiple technologies that go into the skirt. It was ?crocheted? from VHS tapes with CDs attached to the skirt with cassette tape.

This is the excellent felted face above was created by the ladies at Spirited Hands. The picture soooooo does not do it justice.

I should have taken a closer picture of the face on this one - the lips were hand made and the eyelashes were, well, eyelash yarn. Obviously some nifty weavings were included in this figure too.

The above figure has hair made of wool roving that was partially felted so the hair was a bit like dreadlocks (cool!). Obviously I was most intrigued by the top and bottom of this figure {wry grin}.

 The planters in the courtyard were also all yarn-ed up and looking spiffy. Several of these were "tagged" by Textile Tagger, Kristin Wolfe from Phoenix.
(She also covered the eastern-most bicycle loop in my first picture at the top of the blog.)
 I believe the above were covered by the Tucson Yarn Stormers.

 And I understand the three above were created/covered by Kristin Wolfe.
Remember the sheep with which I was so smitten at our Birdhouse Yarns meet up....yep, now you can see why I was so surprised at the size of his "fleece".

We had a couple of small scale visitors (pun intended) but I only got a picture of this one.

 For some reason, this above picture is one of my favorites - I LOVE that someone made a yarn-y string of lights. (There were tassels on the trees too but I missed getting a picture of them blowing in the wind.)

Folks stitched various bits together, wove strips through the fence (I helped some with that) and a particularly talented and zealous crafter Pre-Yarn-Stormed an entire bicycle:

As previously described, some shawls were donated along with some lovely felted bits and even the bench in front of the theater lobby was re-covered.

Lastly, the two sculptures in the area just east of the main theater took on a whole 'nother artistic vibe:
Remember the flowers from the Birdhouse Yarn meet up? 

 Beautiful, clever, web-weaving and ya gotta love a spider in gold high-heels!

The movie itself was fun, inspiring, artistic, whimsical, charming, and offered a perspective on small, subtle art and powerful grab-you-by-the-lapels installations.
My favorite would have to be the installation by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. I want to go play!

My favorite Barbara Kingsolver "Where It Begins" quote from the movie would have to be:
"Drape is the child of loft and crimp; wool is a stalwart crone who remembers everything, while emptyhead white-haired cotton forgets. "

In typical Tucson Monsoon-ish fashion - it rained. {wry grin} Over an hour before the movie time, the rain poured down - right over the Loft Theater. The Yarn Storm held up very well in the Rain Storm. And people still came out to see the movie and the yarn graffiti that night!

All in all, the surprise, admiring looks, smiles, and general delight of the people who came to the Loft Cinema last night was charming, heart-warming, and such a gift. There were also quite a few non-guild members that joined the Yarn Stormers before the movie in knitting, spinning, etc. in the Loft courtyard. It is a truly lovely thing to be surrounded by people who share similar creative interests!

The Yarn Stormers met this morning to pull down all the fiber-y delights that adorned the Loft Cinema courtyard for just two days. It took about 20 minutes to remove whilst it took us nearly 3 hours to install.

More Yarn Storms are planned for later in the year and I think all the fiber folk that were involved in the Loft Cinema Yarn Storm are looking forward to our next Yarn Monsoon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Blogiversary Yarn Storm!

Ok, the Yarn Storm is not actually in honor of my Eighth Blogiversary (although that's kind of a neat idea...Hmmmm). It just happened to fall on my Blogiversary and I got to help!

The Loft Cinema inspired all this by having the good taste to plan to show a Fiber Artist documentary called "Yarn". They also had the excellent taste to invite the Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild to be a community partner and to apply yarn graffiti (aka "Yarn Storming" or "Yarn Bombing") to their courtyard and theater lobby.
Excellent Yarn Storming definition courtesy of the very spiffy Deadly Knitshade :
"Yarnstorming: The art of enhancing a public place or 
object with graffiti knitting or crochet 
(and running away giggling)."

I won't be dropping names here since I don't have permission from everyone, but I have to say the folks that embraced this concept and ran (knit/wove/crocheted/knotted) with it are truly stellar! And the woman who organized the whole shebang is amazing and I'm pleased and proud to know her.

Artists and crafters from outside the guild joined us in planning the Yarn Storm decorations as well as how to utilize the strips and squares knit/woven/crocheted/etc. by sooooo many folks.

We had a few meetings to plot/craft together and many people came by to drop off knit swatches, woven samples, partially completed sweaters, placemats that had woven up just a little too small, experimental or beginner projects as well as nifty crafted items (like a snake) that were well-executed but awaiting the revelation of it's true purpose in the series of Yarn Storms planned for this year.
Our first Yarn Storm meet up.
 I know...ignore all the glasses and focus on the fiber and busy hands. By the way, our meeting was also an ode to World Wide Knit in Public (WWKIP) day - and we were very public (although a week early).

The above is a coiled (and very cleverly made) snake and a pi-shawl that was donated to the cause.
I wish I'd gotten a picture of the snake being passed from person to person down one side of the table looking like it was slithering it's way down the long edge of the table.
The pi shawl was someone's 1st design effort but she indicated it had too many errors and she didn't really like the color - so it was donated to the Yarn Storming effort!

Our 2nd Yarn Storm meet up. 
I mostly knit strips and squares and offered my 2-cents worth on various sub-projects during our meetings. I expected to be at work during the installation so I didn't pledge to graffiti anything specifically but I did my best to support the effort and enjoy the atmosphere.
Ooooh - the atmosphere for the 2nd meeting was at the Spirited Hands studio. (One of their workshops will definitely be on my Christmas list.) They felt such lovely things and they created an amazing felted face for the Yarn Storm!!  (Picture included further below**, although the picture doesn't do it justice!)

Our fearless and creative Yarn Storm leader started making wigs from the donated roving and sheep locks. Fun, clever...and warm to wear. ;-)

I continued to knit strips and honored WWKIP day the next week when I hung out with the DH and his best friend (a Cleveland Cavalier's fan) as we watched the final NBA playoff game. (I had concerns if the best friend would make it through the game or fall over from the stress.)

One of our last meetings was at our newest LYS, Birdhouse Yarns.
Folks had been creating more things for the Yarn Storm. LOVE the knitted legs, crocheted Converse sneakers and especially the Flat Rat underneath the right shoe. Why knit legs? You'll see.

The sheep you see above...well, aside from being very cute, he surprised me later with the size of his fleece!   The apple was cleverly created....yep, to go with the snake.

And people were knitting, crocheting and making loop flowers!! A full garden (or courtyard) worth.

So the day of the install, (turns out I didn't have to work!) we met at the Loft Cinema with knitted, crocheted, woven, and stranded fabric strips, water, hats, needles, yarn, scissors, stepstools, etc. in the early morning hours. {Our thanks again for the Loft Cinema staffers who answered questions, met with us in the early morning, sat and waited for our creativity to run it's course, and especially for bringing the Yarn documentary to Tucson!}

Kudos and appreciation are offered to all the folks, like me, who provided strips of fabric, supplies and much encouragement.
Admiration and thanks are also offered to the various folks who worked to create a particular look, theme, project, and all the general spiffiness you'll see in the following pictures. **
Talent and imagination lives in Tucson!

Hmmmmm. Sorry. **  No, really - sorry.
I'm going to pause here. I will finish this post tomorrow. I just realized it would be mean of me to post pictures of the full Loft Yarn Storm when folks would/should see it tonight at the theater without spoilers from me being posted earlier in the day.

So - more tomorrow - after we've dismantled the Yarn Storm at the Loft Cinema and enjoyed the Yarn Storm by twilight tonight along with the YARN fiber artist documentary.

Kind of appropriate for a Blogiversary, really.
With the promise of another blog post - tomorrow.