Sunday, May 10, 2015

Woven

As if I didn't already have enough crafty stuff going on around here, there's something new: a small loom.  A rigid heddle loom, to be exact -- just about the easiest kind of loom to work with. I've been looking at other bloggers' weaving projects for the last year or two and finally decided to take a class at a local shop.  Just before the class, I went to Stitches West  (a huge yarn show in Santa Clara -- sort of the equivalent of PIQF except it's pretty much all vendors!) and saw a woven scarf that I knew I had to duplicate -- and here is it:


The yarn has lovely thick "blobs" in it that I pulled up into puffy bits of texture in the weaving. It was so much fun that I had to buy the loom.

I've just finished my second project, using some recycled silk sari yarn that's been at the bottom of my stash for quite a while.  We recently replaced out 25-year-old sofa -- can you guess why? I have no idea what possessed us to pick out that huge floral print...
 The new sofa is simple and bright, and the silk yarn became accent pillows for it:

The yarn is like one of those old-fashioned surprise balls we used to get as gifts -- a way long time ago, before everyone decided it was a bad thing to give tiny little toys to small children -- as the lengths of spun cloth are joined together in no particular order and you never know what color will come next in the ball.

I have about 2 balls of yarn left, so there will probably be another colorful shawl coming up sometime.


Where have I been?

Well, I think 6 weeks is long enough!  There's been some travel along the way (Lisbon and New Orleans, both for work) and a new little hobby (weaving) but mostly just "too lazy to write".  I think I'll do at least a couple of posts so anyone left reading this blog doesn't suffer from overload all at once.

I'll start with Lisbon, since that come first.  I'd never been there before, and now I'm dying to go back and spend more time all around Portugal.  I had a free day the last day, so I took a food-and-wine walking tour that lasted nearly 6 hours.  We had traditional, extremely strong coffee and pastries, cheese and port, cherry liquor, beer, a variety of seafood treats, and local wine -- along with a bunch of stairs, a ferry ride, and lots and lots of history. It was fabulous!  Our guide spoke beautiful English and was so knowledgeable.

Lovely and very rich pastries at Pasteis de Belem  
(sorry, I can't figure out how to add the accents in blogger...)

wall ornament seen from the trolley in a hilly area near the castle
Wonderful graphic design for one course of a great dinner -- I think this included a scallop, a turnip, and about 8 other flavors!
One of many mosaic sidewalks
One of my favorite views -- looking at the castle

Shortly after returning from Lisbon, my sister and I were off to Asilomar to take a workshop with Hilde Morin. It was called "In and Around Town" and the project was to create your own vision of a town, cityscape, village... working from a photograph.
  

 I used the photo from Lisbon for inspiration, and here is my finished top. I have the backing ready to but haven't started quilting yet.

The class was one of the best I've had! Hilde was full of information and helpful ideas, patient with everyone, and taught a variety of techniques -- and she'll be there again in 2016 if anyone is interested...

Next up: New Orleans, and more pastry!