Monday, September 18, 2006

Farewell to Summer

The weather has turned cooler and there is snow in the mountains now. There has been rain which has helped put out the many wildfires around here so that was much needed. But it is obvious that summer is on the way out and autumn is here. I did a review of some of the sketchbook drawings that I did this summer and will share a few of them here. I was consistent in drawing every day and so I have a nice record to remember the summer.

These are a couple drawings from our balcony of the mountains and early summer sky. Whenever the weather is good, I like to sit out for a few minutes in the afternoon and draw the view from various angles.

One day I took a hike up to the "M" in the Bridger Mountains which is the M for MSU in Bozeman. Most of the trail has great overlooks of the valley and I stopped and drew something at every bench along the way so I filled several pages on that hike. Then when I got home, I did this with watercolor pencils from one of the sketches that I did on the hike. Some time it will probably become a tapestry.

About a month ago, we went to Emerald Lake and at the trailhead were several kinds of berries. I asked a guy there if any of the berries were huckleberries because I didn't know how to recognize the famous huckleberry. He was really nice and showed me all the different kinds there and which were which so I was happy to learn about all the berries and get to taste them. I was lucky enough to see huckleberries and so drew what I learned so that I could recognize them again next year.

These were more sketches from my balcony of the weather over the Bridgers. You can see the virga which is rain coming out of the clouds but evaporating before it hits the ground. That happens a lot around here in the summer just when you think there might be some needed rain.

So these are some of the things that I saw and learned about this summer which is our first in this house. Now with the fall weather, I need to get serious about some weaving and I'm also ready to do some baking again which I love but it has been too hot. It is a little sad when the seasons end but I love the changing seasons and so it is exciting to see what the autumn will bring. The leaves are already changing colors and dropping.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Montana Weavers Conference Exhibit

The MAWS conference was the same day as the big Quilting in the Country outdoor event and I did very well there as a vendor last year so the choice of which one to do was easy. It would have been fun to meet some of the local weavers and to see what was going on with weaving in the state too. However, there was a fiber show at the conference and I entered several items in the various categories. Two of my blankets won ribbons and I was really excited about that.

I entered this blanket in the handwoven household items category and it won a red ribbon. One of the blankets was the runner up for the best of show people's choice award and I'm not sure which one it was but I think it was this one. This one is my favorite anyway. It is doublewoven on 4H on a 40" loom. All the yarn is natural colored and handspun 2ply. The border is on all 4 sides and the design converges in the corners.

One year as an impulse buy at a small livestock swap, we bought a little black JacobxCorriedale ewe lamb we named Iris. Her wool was an interesting springy texture and the first 2 years was a dark brown. Then the third year I was shocked to see when I sheared her that she was a silver gray underneath. So I had wool from her that was dark and lighter and didn't know exactly what to do with it since it was such a strange texture. I spun it in singles and dyed a lot of it but still didn't have a plan for using it. One day I brought it out and figured if it would weave into anything well, it would probably make a nice blanket. It is also doublewoven and has various color and weave patterns in plain weave. The hand of the fabric is awesome because the singles fulled up nicely and the springy yarn makes a wonderful cozy blanket.

Someone wove the ribbons and they are quite pretty. The warp is the solid color, maybe embroidery floss and the weft is a metallic yarn. It looks like some sort of multi-harness pattern but I don't know what. No doubt these took some time and work and so it was extra special to get them.

Last year when I was at the quilt show, early in the morning as the show opened, a woman came up and bought a mostly red purse that I had. This year even before the show opened, one of the workers came and bought the one red purse I had. So this week I have been carding and spinning some more red wools for another red purse. I love working with reds but I didn't realize that it was such a popular color so I'm happy to have the excuse to do some more with red. Not sure when I will get back to working on the tapestry since I'm excited to weave some purses and work best when I'm enthused about what I'm working on.