A long time ago, I was lucky to get some very good advice (to paraphrase), “being busy is a good way to avoid looking hard at yourself and your relationships, to avoid peeling the onion.” It has been a tough month and a half but we are climbing out the other side and I have some time to peel my fiber onion. Before I do, though, I feel a need to peel part of my personal relationship onion. My household will always welcome people of all races, religions, and sexual preferences but no one who is mean, bigoted, or uncaring. “Love is love is love is love…”* Now for my fiber onion.handspun-scarf

My weaving and I have had a tense relationship lately. This is sale time and I have not had time to produce much this year. My Etsy shop is in disrepair (next on my list to fix) and my big loom has only a partial warp on it. I have had a chance to use my rigid heddle loom for my second handspun scarf (yay!) and, well, with any new equipment comes new challenges and a learning curve. Plain weave shows every change in beat and every moment of inattention for the selvedges. Given that, my scarf is okay and verymug-rugs-underway cheerful.

My major effort on my second loom (mug rugs) was a flop. The concept was okay – I warped up for four across and wove in a succession of color patterns to make cheerful Christmas-themed squares. I used my sewing machine to stitch across each set anstitching-underwayd up and down the fabric. Then I cut them apart along the marker threads. They are, unfortunately, too small, my seams were not accurate enough, and pulling out the threads around each one to create fringe might drive me to eat the stupid onion rather than peeling it. I am figuring it takes 15 minutes for each little square AFTER the weaving, sewing, and cutting. If I do this again I will use a looser sett for the plain weave in between the squares but I may need some time before I can look at that idea.

boucle-newMy good fiber relationships are with my knitting and my spinning. I took some great classes at theme-and-variationthe beginning of October: Sarah Anderson and Judith McKenzie for spinning and Arne and Carlos for knitting. All four are the marvelous teachers. They make learning fun and inspirational – I always go away full of ideas of things I want to try. I used some lichen (Judith) to dye mohair locks our spinning group has and then created a little boucle yarn (Sarah). I might even make some more. And the hat we knit in the Arne and Carlos class got me itching to experiment with other motifs. After watching Judith judge fleeces, I purchased half of a prize-winning merino fleece that I promise will be featured here at some point. Blooming onions all!

Okay, I have pushed that metaphor way too far. Still, in peeling back those layers, I figured out I need time to get inspired. So, a breath, a look around, family – maybe the timing is right? Enjoy your holiday feasts and family. I know I will be – this little boy is my current inspiration. taavi

*Lin Manuel Miranda – Tony Awards, 2016 – hear his sonnet here