My December was very full, with making stuff and going places and continuing to apply for jobs.
I identified a loom setup that works for me–sitting on a flat surface with either an upturned bin or a small cardboard box under the non-turning beam at the back of the loom–which meant that I got a good bit of weaving done:
That’s the Not Socks rectangle for Georg, though I did twist the fringe before sending it to her. I’ve been wearing the socks she knit for me a lot lately, as it’s been cold, so I’m glad to have sent her my part of our trade.
Next up was a very late birthday present for Anju:
A merino/cashmere/nylon/organic merino scarf, only about ten months after her birthday. (The warp is MCN from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and the weft is my handspun organic merino, Natural Beauty from Southern Cross Fibre. Plainweave with a 12-dent heddle.) And the colors are somewhat more saturated than they appear in this photo.
I finished Anju’s scarf just before leaving town for a week and a half, so my loom sat idly in a corner for a couple of weeks, but I took advantage of having the house to myself yesterday afternoon to warp again:
This is theoretically a shawl warp for me, using the leftovers from my turquoise sweater, some teal alpaca-blend handspun that was a gift from a friend, and a few other handspun yarns that I thought would go well. I’m a little concerned that I don’t have enough weft yarn, but I’m sure I’ll work something out. Maybe some extra green or tan.
And I’ve continued to knit, mostly on Desdemona:
There’s a lot more border than there was last time! It’s useful that it’s a simple pattern to knit, as the center was, because I’ve been able to knit and either talk (during family gatherings) or listen (at concerts at First Night yesterday). The rows must be something like 500 stitches by now, but they don’t feel like they take all that long to work.
And I finally mustered the time and energy and motivation to try something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years, a felted mask.
This one was a midwinter gift for my grandmother. The base is cormo/bamboo rayon, and it’s sewn with handspun merino/tencel. I’m really pleased with how it came out, and I’m looking forward to trying a few more.
I mentioned going places as well as making stuff: these photos are from our trip south for midwinter.
I love winter forests with trees with light-colored bark (especially birches), but this beech is interesting for more than its compact and mostly-symmetric immediate footprint. The roots downhill from its trunk are a mix of its own, with smoothish grey bark, and roots from the red pine uphill from it, which are more of a red-brown. I like the way they intertwine.
And I’ve always liked the frilly shapes and tonal colors of lichens. I’m not sure the tree is thrilled, but I was happy to see these.
I am hoping for a new year full of more making things and finding beauty in the world, and I wish the same for all of you.