Sunday, 14 January 2018

celebrating both collaboration and compromise



it's been a while since I had anything really interesting to tell y'all but today I have two things to talk about.
one is the fabulous scarf I was gifted when I visited the Netherlands last (northern) summer, woven from her own exquisite handspun yarns by Caitlin Bongers (she's the one with the voice of the angels who started us all singing by the River Tay a couple of years back).
the other can wait for a moment.

the scarf waited patiently while I sailed in and out of home, emptying suitcases and refilling them, patting the dog, grubbing a few thistles and explaining to my cat just why I had to leave again. it was a busy year. so much so that I consciously cleared my dance card for the first three months of this one, so that I could find some space to breathe, to prepare for the next lot of teaching and to think about what my part of the collab might entail.



I should explain that when I received this gorgeous armful of softness I was quite overwhelmed. I know what it takes to warp up and weave something, and this piece is especially beautiful. I asked Caitlin if she would mind me dyeing it, and being given permission I suggested we regard it as a collaboration.

so this week, in between working on the "other thing" that I will shortly reveal, I sat in the armchair, dogs at my feet, cats and kittens disporting themselves over my shoulders, and decided that I would knot the fringe of the scarf. such gentle repetitive work is good for quieting the mind. while working I listened to a podcast from On Being, John O'Donohue discoursing gently on beauty. it was perfect.




then I was moved to take my needle and do just a little stitching into the piece. just a little.

I soaked it in a diluted iron brew (students may remember it as 'magic potion', made by soaking rusty things in vinegar, and heavily diluted for use otherwise everything can turn black)




it was firmly bundled with Eucalyptus scoparia windfall, and then cooked in a pre-loved dark brew. (it doesn't matter what your bundle is cooked in, it's what's inside the bundle that's important)

when it cooled, I unrolled it, and it just took my breath away.  THANK YOU Caitlin, for entrusting this treasure to me. it will be joining the "essential travel kit".





and the other thing?  that belongs to the 'compromise' part of the title of this post. various people had been kindly urging me to consider making an e-course, but I simply couldn't come at standing and talking into a camera. I'm not good at doing and talking at the same time. something to do with the cerebral hemispheres.

but I do like making books. so the compromise is that I have made a wee book that is a kind of workshop-in-your-pocket (or on your screen if you take the PDF version). it's mostly handwritten rather than typed but I wanted it to feel as though you were looking over my shoulder into a notebook.

what's in it? it contains the secrets of the tsunobukuro, that magical bias stitched bag of Japan that I so frequently share with students. (little ones are perfect for buying vegetables, the in-between sizes brilliant for gathering leaves, twigs or keeping your clothes sorted in a suitcase...and I always carry an extra-large one in case I run out of luggage space.)

it is available at blurb.com and if you send me proof of purchase (via the contact form on my website) I shall invite you to the 'secret' Facebook group where, for the month of February, I shall be posting tips and tricks and one or three "how to's", and where you can post images of the bags that you make, and have conversations with fellow 'baggers' around this marvellous whirled.



thank you for staying with me and for reading thus far. 
here are some related links to explore.







10 comments:

  1. Food for the soul ... every last bit of this. There is nothing more perfect than those things borne from love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you. so much wonder in all of it, for me.

      Delete
  2. I don’t know if this is the web site but here is my order number for the bag book. 6374765 Reid Barnhart ordered 1/13/2018

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. please hop over here

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/1940103989572692/

      and ask to join...assuming your FB name is the same as the above, I shall be able to let you in!

      Delete
  3. Love, love, love! Here is my order number
    Order Number - thank you for adding me. Happy New Year! Tehya McIntosh
    6375468
    Order Date:
    13 Jan 2018


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. please hop over here

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/1940103989572692/

      ask to join, and I will let you in (assuming your name is the same on FB!)

      Delete
  4. Love, love, love! Here is my order number
    Order Number - thank you for adding me. Happy New Year! Tehya McIntosh
    6375468
    Order Date:
    13 Jan 2018


    ReplyDelete
  5. I went for the hardback - can't wait to see it! My order number is 6375664, I would love to join the Facebook group. I will use the link above and request it. Thank you! Debbi Cooper

    ReplyDelete
  6. Carry on with your beautiful wonderful self! -ox

    ReplyDelete