Monday, December 20, 2010

Solstice Scarf

Christmas, to me and to so many others, has become overblown and over-commercialized, at least in North America these days. I do enjoy seeing my family, giving gifts, and taking part in all the traditional celebrating -- but the holiday can often be, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, "the best of times, the worst of times."

The day that means more to me, because I can share it with every member of my human family (well, at least those in the northern climes), is the winter solstice. I love to think of the deep silence and darkness of the longest night of the year. There is something holy and sustaining in that ending and beginning.

So here is my Solstice Scarf, in the colors of the midnight sky in late December. A beautiful night sky, from me to you, at this special time of the year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Mom in My Shirt

My Mom is 82 years old and I think she looks terrific in this new piece I just finished. (She did take her glasses off for the photo, I must admit.) The tunic is made of a wonderful scrunchy silk doubleweave fabric with just a bit of Lycra -- purchased for a fairly hefty price from Thai Silks, but it was well worth it. The reason: this fabric is very giving and forgiving as you sew it and when you wear it. My mom usually wears a size large, even though she's not a big person -- but I think that this top can easily fit someone who is used to wearing extra large.

I dyed the fabric several times: first, immersing it in madder; second, clamping some discs in it to get a shibori resist and dipping it in indigo. The results were too bland, a very muted blue, so I clamped the discs on again and immersed it one more time -- this time in an MX Fiber Reactive dye, Bright Red. I did think twice about the aesthetics of mixing natural dyes with man-made dyes, but I decided not to worry about being a purist. Results were what I wanted and I'm pretty happy about the way the colors worked out.

What's on the Loom?

More accurately, what's going on the loom? At this writing, I'm in the process of winding on a painted warp for a Jin design on 28 ...