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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cashmere Christmas

I had, what I will always remember as, a Cashmere Christmas. I took advantage of my dmil's generously and stocked up on some really nice colours of lace weight cashmere. Richard's company , "ColourMartUK" started out on eBay and has been such a big hit that he has been able to expand and open an online store outside eBay. His prices are very competitive and he is a real joy to work with in that he will do what he can, within reason of course, to be sure you receive quality product and service. I was a little hesitant to order out of country, not sure when it would arrive and what the cost would be for shipping but each time I have had the pleasure of doing business with him my order has arrived in a timely manner, without any complications. Even though I am a handspinner periodically I like to skip the spinning step for what ever reason and move on to knitting or weaving. It may be that I have no resource for a certain fibre I want for a project or I am just in a hurry to get started. I would be hard pressed to find cashmere of that quality and in such a wide variety of colours at the price he offers his yarn

I chose shades I normally don't work with in an attempt to stifle my fear of bold colours. Ordinarily I work, almost exclusively, with natural muted shades. Either the colours our Creator gifted the animal, whose fibre I am working with or, as a natural dyer, the consequent colours produced in a natural dyebath of plant materials, using less offensive mordants like vinegar, alum, cream of tartar which, though more benign. do not lend itself to producing more intense hues. These will offer an exercise in colour, a talent that seems to be second nature for EM, my fibre sister, but for me it can be very intimidating. Trying to work out what colours work well with each other, either complimenting one another or even....collide with grace"...so to say is not as easy as I thought it would be until I started creating my own projects. Though a little scary I intend to have some fun with them. How can one not have fun working with such heavenly fibre.

When searching for the picture of cashmere that precedes this short article above to upload for this entry I came across this one and thought I would offer a peek into a typical evening at home. While dh is usually sitting with his laptop and I am participating in something fibre or reading scripture the furbabies, who normally pretend to suffer each other's company, nevertheless seem to gravitate to one another as the day concludes.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weaving the Purple yarn

As an Orthodox Christian and fibre artist, you can imagine my excitement when I first noticed, in this particular icon, that the Virgin Mary was holding what looked like a spindle in her right hand when the Angel Gabriel approached her "announcing" that she would soon become the Theotokos, "God bearer".

The story that the spindle she holds in this icon depicts can be found in one of the so called lost books, the Protoevangelion of James, in chapters 9 and 10, and reads as follows:

And it came to pass, in a council of priests, that it was said, "Let us make a new veil for the temple." 2 And the high priest said, "Call together to me seven undefiled virgins of the tribe of David." 3 And the servants went and brought them into the temple of the Lord, and the high priest said to them, "Cast lots before me now, who of you shall spin the gold thread, who the blue, who the scarlet,, who the fine linen, and who the true purple." 4 then the high priest knew Mary, that she was of the tribe of David, and he called her, and the true purple fell to her lot to spin, and she went away to her own home. 5 But from that time Zachary the high priest became dumb, and Samuel was placed in his stead till Zachary spoke again. 6 But Mary took the true purple, and spun it. 7 And she took a pot, and went out to draw water, and heard a voice saying to her, "Hail, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you. You are blessed among women." 8 And she looked around to the right and to the left to see from where the voice came, and then, trembling, went into her house, and laying down the water-pot she took the purple, and sat down in her seat to work it. 9 And behold, the angel of the Lord stood by her, and said, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor in the sight of God." 10 When she heard it, she reasoned within herself what that sort of greeting meant. 11 And the angel said to her, "The Lord is with you, and you shall conceive," 12 to which she replied, "What! Shall I conceive by the living God, and bring forth as all other women do?" 13 But the angel replied, "Not so, Mary, but the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you; 14 therefore, that which shall be born of you shall be holy, and shall be called the Son of the Living God, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. 15 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth, she also has conceived a son in her old age, 16 and this is now the sixth month with her, who was called barren, for nothing is impossible with God." 17 And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

18 And when she had wrought her purple, she carried it to the high priest, and the high priest blessed her, saying, "Mary, the Lord God has magnified your name, and you shall be blessed in all the ages of the world." 19 Then Mary, filled with joy, went away to her cousin Elizabeth, and knocked at the door. 20 When Elizabeth heard it, she ran and opened to her, and blessed her, and said, "How is this come to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 21 For lo! as soon as the voice of your greeting reached my ears, that which is in me leaped, and blessed you." 22 But Mary, being ignorant of all those mysterious things which the archangel Gabriel had spoken to her, lifted up her eyes to heaven, and said, "Lord! What am I, that all the generations of the earth should call me blessed?" 23 But perceiving herself daily to grow big, and being afraid, she went home, and hid herself from the children of Israel. And she was sixteen years old when all these things happened.


Monday, January 08, 2007

One down, Three to go

I was finally able to finish the Navy Watch Cap that my DH requested before Nativity. I had to schedule a visit with my Godmother at the Monastery to find time to work on it. Being winter there was little to there do save worship and knit. Not a bad way to spend a few days. I had it all but finished when I left.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I chose an authentic pattern that I found on the Internet. It was an American Red Cross pattern circa 1941, but I am not sure how authentic it is since I chose alpaca instead of wool. And the colour is not exactly traditional either. Still my DH is very happy with it. He wore it the other day and commented on how warm it was. I guess the test will be when it gets wet, how it will respond compared to wool. At least this hat turned out better than my last attempt at a hat, which was actually my first attempt. If you ever question you husband's true feelings, see how well he wears something you make for him, that you would not be caught dead in....he swears he likes it, I just roll my eyes when I see him in it. So now, even though it is not perfect, he has something a little less hideous to wear this winter.

I now have two lace headcoverings and the Celtic cross tapestry left in the works. Hopefully, with the holidays now past, I will have more time to devote to completing these projects. Lent will be starting soon, a time for prayer, meditation and other devotions, which lends itself perfectly to this type activity since I practice prayer while knitting/spinning/weaving and/or other fibre projects. I also enjoy listening and singing hymns, troparia and kontakia when working on my projects. I know I have mentioned this before but I feel in doing so, especially when directing prayer toward the animals, giving thanks to God for those who offer their fibre for my projects, breathes life into my work.

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