Monday, November 26, 2007

Misty Mountain Tartan class

I want to share some of the wonderful tartans from the weaving class I taught at Misty Mountain Farm a few weeks ago. We had 9 students for the class, and each student brought a loom with the fine tartan warp threaded up and ready to weave. This is Gordon Regimental.
This is the warp for the MacLean tartan - quite a challenge for this new weaver.
This is the Anderson tartan - one of the most complex designs, with many color changes. The weaver is doing an excellent job of it!
This is a re-colored version of the Cunningham tartan. Sometimes these recolored tartans are really beautiful. I find the trick is to pay careful attention to the values of the original colors.
This is the famous Black Watch tartan.
This is the warp for Grant Hunting.

This is Cameron - the student has been practising a color repeat over and over before starting on the pattern proper.

Have you made it this far? Aren't the colors wonderful? I listened recently to Syne Mitchell's WeaveCast episode about Scottish Weaving, and I really enjoyed her description of how she discovered the beauty and excitement of tartan weaving. The weaving itself is relatively simple, just a straight 2/2 twill. The real excitment is in the colors; the bright, dynamic warp, and the many color blends that are created as the weft colors cross over the warp threads.

I love fair isle knitting, watching the color patterns form and reform under my needles. It is much the same with tartan weaving.

And I love teaching tartan weaving, sharing this delightful traditional design form with students and watching their excitement and confidence grow. It really isn't as hard as it looks...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Big Fat Birthday!

We are having some milestone events this year - our 25th wedding anniversary in October and now in November my 50th birthday. A big number. I like to think of it as halfway - one of my grandmothers lived to be 100, although I'm not sure she knew she was 100!

Anyway - I had a nice birthday. This is what I found on the kitchen table in the morning:

I got a great card from our office staff as seen to the left. I did have to go in to the office because I had only worked about 12 hours the week before with my Very Bad Shoulder, but it was a pretty light day at work and my sweet husband took me out to dinner.

We still have lovely color here in Virginia. This is the view from our kitchen window. The window is not very clean, but we have a number of birdfeeders out this side of the house and we like to watch the birds from the kitchen table - the dirty window diffuses action from inside the house. Or so I choose to believe!

The other big news on the home front is that our woodstove is painted and ready for service, and we have lit the first fire of the year. We don't have another source of heat, so this is a big deal. We have a wonderful stove, a Vermont Castings Vigilant. See:

On the fiber front, I got an order in from Fleece Artist, stunning colors as always. I am thinking about expanding my very part time fiber business, Peace Weavers, to include an online website for sales, and I may start with an ebay store, just to get my feet wet and see how it goes. So some of this may be appearing there soon...