Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Sketchbook

I continue my Summer Reset, those last few precious days. One of the delights has been my obsession with my little sketchbook and I feel the need to share.

I may owe the initial push from my tapestry friend Janette Meetze who has inspired many of us on Facebook with the sketches of her travels. I often do the same but not as a daily practice. I decided to take on the challenge.

Watercolor artist Cathy Johnson reminded me of the simplicity of the "meander book" made from one page of paper - instructions found here. I folded up a piece of paper and realized it was a perfect opportunity to use one of the tiny tapestries from my handspun landscape course for the cover.

This book has two covers so you can work from either end of the accordion. Sometimes you get to a two page spread which feels rather special. For this one I documented my dyeing session on the deck.

My sketchbook starts July 27, the day before my daughter arrived from Spain and continues through 24 days of family visits. It shows the importance of everyday life - a strawberry eaten, coffee made, a trip to the laundromat. Each day is dated with just enough words to evoke the memory. I used ink, watercolor, pencil, whatever it took to tell the story.

I enjoyed the break from the loom, I need that time to recharge. Next weekend is Labor Day, but there are still a few more slow days of summer. Sketchbook and coffee will be in my future till then.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Color in the Dye Pot

Ah, summer.

I find myself sitting on the deck an inordinate amount. Perhaps we could call it meditation and the goal of this summer's meditation is color.

It's been awhile since I've dyed yarn, but I seem to be recreating my past a bit this summer. I purchased Sabraset dyes from ProChem, reviewed the process, which is far less daunting than you might imagine, and began recreating the swatchbook of dye samples I used to have. Color memories returned. The delight I felt dyeing gradations in canning jars 7 colors at a time, seeing the shift from magenta to turquoise and the purples in between, is pretty indescribable.

I promise myself I'll not begrudge a child's urge to see things in rainbow order. Those little skeins in a row...so satisfying.

There was a time when each tapestry I wove used dyed yarns based on a pair of complements. I'm contemplating blue and orange or red and green, whichever way it plays out, the middle tones will be exquisite, something you just can't buy.

Stay tuned for designs that once again grow from the dye pot. In the meantime, I'm heading back out to the deck.