Monday, July 26, 2010

whip up cool summer

A few days ago, a friend emailed me and said, "Have you seen this?" reviewed Knit Green! Lucky me, having friends to tell me this, since I obviously missed this and had my head stuck in the ground like an ostrich or something. How exciting!

I'm not sorry I've missed the heat waves that have tormented my family in Virginia and the Professor's family in NYC. Winnipeg is having a warm day today. It's 30C (86F). Granted, we don't have air conditioning, but I'm not fact, when I have a moment, I'm enjoying the warm (but not very warm) summer weather here!

Free moments are hard to come by. I'm participating in an outdoor exhibit this summer called Craft on the Loose. In theory, this is a really fabulous concept. In practice, I had to come up with something to hang out of doors in rain or sun and create it fast. I managed to get my loom warped just a little more than a week ago. I whipped up this rug to be hung up or laced up wherever the exhibit curators prefer. Here's what the tag that goes with it will say:
Please feel free to touch this rug, made from a torn old bedspread and an old white sheet! This “new” woven rug will give many more years of life to these worn-out textiles.

Joanne Seiff is a fiber artist who works with locally sourced, recycled or naturally produced materials whenever possible. She spins, weaves, knits, and dyes her pieces. Seiff feels it’s important to make and delight in using beautiful handmade things in our daily lives. This rug, created entirely out of recycled or mill end materials, will sit on a floor in Winnipeg one day soon for many bare feet to enjoy.

The Professor summarized it as: "You sure do know how to make something out of nothing!"
It still needs to be washed and finished but that was one quick project. Note: I know the stripes are uneven in width. That is ok with me. I'm a bit uneven in places myself!

At the same time, I am about to finish teaching the first section of my "Technical Writing for Graduate Students" class. I am scheduled to start teaching another section (4 days a week) in August. I suggested the students bring homemade awards to thank each other, as we've done a lot of hard collaborative editing work and I wanted them to acknowledge their classmates' work. It was a whimsical idea for some very serious students. It turned out I got awards too! Here's a handmade crown, from one of my students and her young son.

My favorite part of the crown is this sentence:
"Thank you...for helping me to like to write!"
(A miracle, actually, because this section mainly consisted of Engineering graduate students... and very few of them liked to write at the beginning of this class, I suspect.)

As part of my recent celebration of "cool" textures and ideas, I went wild and took two linen pillow cases out of their wrapping. I've had these brand new pillow cases since I went to Ireland with the Professor. I think we went in 2005. I bought linen textiles for everyone in the family then, but never actually used my own! The pillow cases have careful white on white embroidery on them and their crisp texture really appealed to me when I made the bed. I imagined laying down my head to sleep on this on warm nights.

It's hard to catch a catch a photo of what linen feels like. It will soften and age over the years, and now that I've finally decided to use these things, I can't wait to see how soft they will become.

Do you have linen in use at home? Do you save purchases for way too long before deciding to go ahead and enjoy them? Say hi. Leave a note. :)

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Blogger Jame said...

I like the rug, the uneven stripes seem to have a pattern to them like a Fibonacci sequence.

I like linen, I am working on spinning it for knitting or crochet. Enjoy those pillowcases!

July 26, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

Lovely rug! I wish you lived closer to me--I bought mill ends at Pendleton Woolen Mills in Portland and now I have to learn how to warp my loom (after I learn how to set it up).

White linen curtains hang in my living room and dining room. I bought the linen at a retail store in Los Angeles' fashion district. Then I measured, cut and sewed the linen in to loose lovely curtains that blow softly in the breeze. I love them! I also have more linen that I purchased a LONG time ago in Rome, but I haven't sewed anything with it yet because my plan to use it for a tablecloth backfired when I realized that the dimensions are wrong.

August 1, 2010 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love linen! I knit some funky curtains with it a long time ago, and some washcloths. I am planning on weaving some curtains with cottolin, but have not gotten the loom warped yet.

We moved up here to Maine 9 years ago, and 5 years before that I traveled in Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, France) and bought some lovely linen things. I think they are still packed in a box. Have not unearthed them yet :*)

August 3, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

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