Getting rid of the "too much" in favor of sanity

Getting rid of the "too much" in favor of sanity

Sometimes I think there are two different people living in my head in regard to stuff. There is the massive-yarn-stash and weaving-tools-collecting Rebecca and there is the woman who can head out for a month-long backpacking trip with 15 total pounds of gear (plus food and water of course) and be totally happy with the items in my pack.

I have a decision to make about an upcoming residency at Hambidge. I have been saying for months that I was going to drive to Georgia as The Hambidge Center is a difficult place to be without a car. But if I'm totally honest, the real reason I wanted to drive was because I could fill my little Subaru with ALL the tools. I could bring my spinning wheel and boxes of yarn and all the drawing materials I wanted. I could bring my hot pot and a folding chair and my yoga mat and even my favorite foods. It was about the stuff.

The Tapestry Heart Project, #thetapestryheart

The Tapestry Heart Project, #thetapestryheart

Valentines days seems like a day to remember this particular struggle and maybe we should just admit we are human and start with showering loving attention on the people nearest to us. While I'm not a big fan of this ultra-commercialized "holiday", I do believe that humans need to come together on a heart level, now more than ever.

So this Valentine's day, join me in a little weaving project. Let's see if we can weave ourselves a community of understanding and have some fun in the process. Below I show you how I wove a little heart. At the end of the post you will find a link to download a PDF with instructions and a template for various size hearts.

It isn't entirely my fault... a national seine twine shortage

It isn't entirely my fault... a national seine twine shortage

The United States is out of cotton seine twine. You can't blame it entirely on me. Other tapestry teachers recommend the same warp I do. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

If you've tried to order cotton seine twine warp for tapestry weaving sometime in the last three months almost anywhere in the US, you may have been disappointed. Yes, my online classes are partially to blame, so I'm here to update you on the shortage.

A whole lot of tapestry weaving in one place

A whole lot of tapestry weaving in one place

I attended the opening for American Tapestry Biennial 11 in San Jose last weekend. Here are a few thoughts and photos from a weekend full of old friends, new friends, and tapestry. The video gives you an overview of the show. . . .

Discussion ranged from why tapestry was their preferred medium and what the strengths and weaknesses of tapestry as an art medium are, to contemplating the sublime in tapestry. I was silently egging Barbara Heller on in her desire to talk about the place of tapestry in the art world and the tendency of tapestry to be shown mostly in medium-specific shows, but alas, this was apparently not the forum for that potentially divisive discussion.

A game of yarn chicken

A game of yarn chicken

I finished the piece today. Emergence VIII. Three panels, total size, 54 x 54 inches. Though really I should say I finished weaving the piece. There is still a great deal of work to be done before it is hanging in the client's home.

At some point yesterday I realized I might run out of one of the colors in the spiral. This almost never happens to me with weaving anymore. Because it used to happen a lot and now I dye much more yarn than I think I will need for a piece (see photo, right--yarn for this very piece). But I miscalculated a particularly wide spot in the spiral and there I was. 5 inches from the end with an amount of yarn that looked suspiciously slim.

Refusing to panic, I looked around for another ball of the missing yarn.

Deborah Chandler and the Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

Deborah Chandler and the Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

Deborah spoke at the Handweavers Guild of Boulder's January meeting last week and I was able to go hear her. She is an engaging speaker and she kept us laughing and following closely her stories of the weavers and explanations of the weave structures and looms. It seems to me that, just like here, there are many types of looms used there. The difference seems to come in flexibility. I was fascinated to hear Deborah describe how each person specializes in one kind of weaving and they rarely do anything else. Their string heddles are tied together in the patterns needed for that shaft for the particular weave they are making and to re-tie them means to get someone who knows how to do it involved, and with most things that become expensive and complicated, it isn't done. So weavers specialize.