The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Friday, April 10, 2015

~ April ~ A Time For The Winds of Change ~

I have changed some things is the studio.

1) I have made more room by selling off a LOT of threads that I am no longer going to use to weave.
2) I have helpers now......and it's wonderful!
3) I have started planning and weaving blankets.....which I never really abandoned, but never seem to have time to weave.
4) I will "hire out" my twisted fringe, so I have more time to weave.....I love fringe but didn't always put it on my blankets because it takes a LOT of time.
5) I am not weaving scarves anymore.....the few I have in my little Etsy Shop is all I will ever have!
6) I have made so much room on my Studio shelves, that I have a place for know the joke about "The one who dies with the biggest stash, WINS"......well I will NOT win. (See #1.)
7) I have rearranged just about every job on every loom.

Growth, downsizing, changing, streamlining, is good.......never standing still....

Hey......Look around at your work could YOU make it work better for you?

I'm sending out thoughts of good change, improvements and Miles and Miles of Smiles....... Cat B.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It is 2015 and it's come in like snow....cold and silent.....light as air but difficult to walk through. I am revving up for another batch of Hearts on White while getting ready for my tax work season.

I am also about to start a new Desert Nights and can weave many yards of it! I have been working "behind the scenes" rather diligently to get this warp wound on the loom named Margaret. I am really fond of this is the first warp that was measured out by my helper, Jean. I love the gentle blend and the lovely colors....

 I'll be back to the old routine of winding bobbins in the evenings because I don't want to take up 'studio time' for such a rote task.

I have decided on the wefts for my first fabric....Light Turquoise and Rust.

Rather fitting for New Mexico!

I wrote many of the treadling drafts for this fabric, but I didn't write the threading draft.

This Desert Nights Shadow Weave is full of fun and is a great way to start 2015!

And here it IS!!!

To the left is the most recent five fabrics I wove on Hazle for Hearts on White. Of course, they have been finished and shipped for weeks now.

I already have planned the next five Hearts on White and really look forward to throwing shuttle again!

I have been doing a new thing! I have been listing yarns and threads on eBay! I am beginning to see that I will not have time to weave some of the fabrics that are in my head, so I am passing them on to other weavers (or crocheters) who will enjoy them and enjoy the making them into something!

Here's the link to only one of my listings.....just for example:

Boy! This has been one learning experience! I am meeting with success and, though things are flying out of there, things are moving about as fast as I can handle! Wish me luck!

I am very hopeful about this new year. Last year was a time of healing, both mentally, physically and spiritually. This year might bring something resembling THRIVING, which is something that I am ready to take on. I am hoping the same for all who read this many hopes for more than survive.....LET'S THRIVE!

I am sending along these happy thoughts along with Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weaving In Change

Life keeps rolling along and, with it, comes change. I don't resist it, but, rather, embrace it with welcome. At least I know that I'm not camping out in my own life, but living the full.

As I have been amended, so has Creations Studio a good way. How can I say it other than I have had a LOT on my plate! But, at least, I keep working, trying, enjoying and forever counting my blessings.

Another way to say it would be is BOOMING!

THAT'S an understatement, if ever I heard one. I am proud to say that I have risen to the challenge. That being said, I have been working from dawn till dusk and hardly known what a day off is in ever so long...

Don't get me wrong. I am so totally happy and proud and astonished and grateful.

Okay, I admit it....I'm feeling rather smug!

My orders are delightful, I get to work with wonderful people all over the world and I get to weaveweaveweave...  What could be better than that?

 And, I have just recently decided it was best to hire help which, I am so glad, could be found like beautiful treasures right here in our little Village of Magdalena!

I have their purrrrrrrrrrrrmission to tell their first names and I am so proud to do is named Annie and one is named Jean. They are both very well-informed and skilled artisans in the fiber field and they have been such a joy to me almost every day since I announced the need for jobbers a few weeks ago!

They are helping me so much with the initial preparation for weaving. They will save me bunches and BUNCHES of time and their work has been so carefully learned and well done. They will not weave for me, however, as weaving is not their skill set, but they will enable me to turn orders out faster with the same quality level.

Instead of me spending hours of valuable time at a warping reel measuring out anywhere from 6 to 70 (yes, I meant seventy) yards of warp, THEY are doing it. They will also be performing that ever needed "dummy-on" process that helps me preserve those original patterns I have been writing!

I will also perform the arduous task of winding on all warps after they have been so skillfully measured out by my helpers. Also, to repeat, I will do all the weaving that is produced in this studio! Cat Brysch Creations Studio progresses in life, so will this old weaver. I am so proud and happy to be in the company of these talented ladies and I am thinking that, with their support and interest, we will move things right along!

I will now be more free to ride my Harley, create the fiber art that I miss sooooooooo much, and even take a day OFF now and then!

I must also mention that I have tried to figure out how to change my "heading" at the start of this blog which claims that I do "all the work myself with no computers or helpers", but, for quite a while I was unable to figure it out.... But I kept 'visiting' the blog to try and learn how ~ AND I'VE DONE IT!

With a relaxed, happy smile, I am sending out Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Monday, May 19, 2014

You know, sometimes you just have to say something right out loud. What keeps crossing my mind is to be grateful and to notice the good things in life. Sometimes things are not going so well....sometimes we don't feel very good, sometimes we face challenges that remind us how human we are, sometimes family or friends are a source of sadness or distress, intended or not.

Well, here is one of those reminders....yes, even this block of wood is an example gratefulness!

Okay, I was processing handwoven fabrics for separating them and washing them and I have a pretty good system going that, when needed, I can have all set up in about 10 minutes.

As I am ready put each raw fabric edge (not selvedges) through my serger, I gently cut each fabric apart from the huge roll that usually holds 5 separate orders. I begin to cut between the orders which, sometimes if the colors in the cloth are very similar, I'll weave 1 or 2 rows of a contracting color, so I can see clearly where to cut. So, I set one end of the cloth roll on my serger, the other end goes into a holding stand (that I'll show in a later post) so that I don't have to try to hold onto that VERY heavy roll of fabric!

Just past my hand cutting along the "line" to separate 2 fabrics accurately, you might be able to see a "cradle" that I can put the 'serger end' of the cloth roll in, so it won't try to roll around as I unwind each fabric. Do you see it there?  It's made of wood, it's got a flat foot and an upright area that the roll can drop in with sides to hold it...

Well, when I was setting up the equipment needed to accomplish this task, I needed to raise the OTHER end of the cloth roll about 2 inches to make the roll be held horizontally (and I usually use books)....and in walks my master wood worker husband (Jim Hokett of Hokett Would Work) with what was left over from a totally UNrelated job he was doing for me....and guess what!

It was the block of wood that appears at this top of this post!

I quite often say, "The universe will give you exactly what you need, WHEN you need it." And here's yet another example of that.....I could write a BOOK about things that have happened like this just when I was needing them.

Now this is not earth-shattering, nothing seems different, nothing special is happening here.....except being grateful for the little things that happen around us that seem to have the power to encourage us, spur us forward, make your day, make a difference.....little blessings.....

Just be grateful, count your blessings AFTER you count your sorrows....we all have them....

And.....we all have both.

Thinking of you with Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

One Heart A Day.....

Well, anyway....that is the goal right now. You see, I have so many projects in the works at one time, that I learned years ago to set goals for each day. This has helped in my "job" of working full-time at this craft that I love so much.

This is the current goal list: Measure 1/2 chain for the Hearts in Black, Weave at least 1/2 yard on the Desert Nights Narrow, Thread one heart a day on the Old Structo.

Seems simple enough to me....

I find I do better if I have a daily goal clearly stated in my mind (or out loud) that I know I can reach. It should have some meat to it, you know, not like....okay, today I'll dust off the loooooom. But I am an understanding boss/worker in this weaving studio... So, if something comes along that is irresistible, I can change my list, alter it slightly....quality of life goes on in this place, too, and I've learned to respect that.

So, if I need to get my 10 minutes of sun a day right NOW, I'll do it (and try to work a little faster to make up the time...). If I have an invitation for a bike ride....well, I'm not gonna pass THAT up!

But, I am still goal oriented and that works best for me. It keeps me focused (and a little driven) and gives me a sense of pride when I fulfill the goal for a day (daily endorphin fix!). I was recently asked by a very nice Canadian lady how I handle so many looms and so many projects....well, this is the answer. And the title of this post came to me while I was gloating over the fact that I had just finished the first heart pattern on my Old Structo on which I am threading an 8-Harness Huck Lace Heart.

In my mind I said, "Ta heart a day..."

Being able to change one's mind in mid-stream is an added path to productivity and the project on the Old Structo is a good example. You see, I had threaded a nice tight little twill on there that was going to be just fine for baby blankets and stoles, and I also had my pure tabby weave to give me MORE variety... 1)  I could weave a combination of twills, 2) I could weave "twill as overshot", 3) I could take that twill apart and weave some vertical patterns with its components, 4) I could weave plain weave with a bunch of sizes of threads and yarns to give lots of textures and colors, while making the blanket heavier or the stole lighter....perfect, right?

It was....well......... booooooorrrrrrrrrrrring!

I "hemmed-and-hawed" for a few days and realized that this was why the Old Structo had been standing still for about a was getting lonely, too. I like to keep all my looms humming along, doing what looms were made to do....I current have my third sofa throw going on Doris, my seventh baby blanket going on Deedle, more of the lovely cotton and linen going on Grace, a small bit of yardage going on Jimmy, weaving off the Desert Daze warp from Stanley, and contract work zipping along on Margaret, as well as weaving Desert Nights Narrow on Arlene and dressing Hazle with the Hearts on Black. BUT, I am sure to meet my daily goals first.

I want to write about my little adventure on the Old Structo, but, when I do, I'll just add it to my page called "The Old Structo". Until then, I'll keep being my own boss (gee she's a good enough ol' girl), keep my goals reachable but challenging and keep sending out Miles and Miles of Smiles....Cat B.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hazle is Sighing....

How do I start...Yes, I really mean sighing... Okay, just let me explain...

I have been repeatedly 'reminded' by my loom named Hazle that it's just been TOO darn long since I have woven on the project that she is holding. Every time I would walk past her, the paper I use in the rolling up of the warp swings in the breeze and brushes gently on the floor....and it makes a sound that is exactly like sighing!

It's like the loom is saying, "Here she comes....Here she comes...."
and then I pass her by once again on my way SOME where else in the studio..... "SIGH!"

I haven't written just a whole lot about Hazle...yes, the name is spelled right. She has taken a back seat to all the busy-ness of my hard working studio. I am weaving on yardage on Hazle and it's one of the most intricate, lightest, loveliest cloths I have made.

It's a 12-Harness Bronson Lace that I wrote myself. And, though I am very fond of this light fabric of tencel, rayon and silk, I must say goodbye to it as soon as this warp has run out.....

I call this pattern Squash Blossom and Beetle. The 30/2 weft is the wonderful work on "Just Our Yarn" from whom I bought this hand-dyed thread in their booth at the last Convergence. Here's Just Our Yarn:   They are awesome and dear ladies.

The joy, the balance, the dance of weaving this delightful cloth will be lost, but, if I really, really miss it, I can thread it up again someday....that's the charm and wonder of weaving. It's an advantage that we weavers have in the work that we do.

As soon as I can get this fabric woven off, Hazle will have other work to do....with holidays, taxes, orders, life, it will probably be in a month or so. I began weaving on her again on a schedule about a week ago, and it's been such a delight. Sometimes we gravitate toward the work that will pay most quickly, but Hazle, with her sighing, has reminded me that there's more going on in this studio besides weaving and we must do what we love....too.

What's that saying?

"Do what you love and the money will follow....."

As always, while working diligently in this endorphine factory that only LOOKS like a weaving studio, I'm sending out Miles and Miles of Smiles,
Cat B.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Yes, The Wonder and the Magic of .....Threading?

My last show of the season found me in my booth listening to a relatively new weaver talk about threading her loom and doing all that work and not liking that part of the work and she starts to get all these aches and pains and it seems to take forever and she can just barely tolerate it and she makes errors and she is wishing she could get someone else to do it FOR her. She had pretty much decided that, well, weaving was not for her....

I have heard this so many times before...

It is rather the unromantic side of it, isn't it? But, we all have to pay homage to our crafts, ALL of us do, and...well... this is one of them.... And then there's getting down on your knees on that cold floor to change those darn tie-ups. Then we are REALLY bowing down to pay homage!

Look at the importance of this part of weaving....look what incredible magic takes place here. Look at this as a chance to see a new design. Look at the fun of trying a new weave structure. Look how you can make or break you fabric right HERE...

In our fast-paced world, few of us are so content to just slow down, let ourselves relax and get down to one thread at a time and that's what threading IS.

And, I think, there's a tension, too, a worry....a what-if-I-make-an-error-tension that creeps into our minds and takes away all the fun.

So maybe it's not weaving at all, but our forgetting that this is our craft and we can take the time to enjoy the wonder of it. It does take time, too, that one-thread-at-a-time job of threading. So what can we do to make it better?

Okay, we can put on pretty music, we can thread for small bits of time (so we don't get overtired), we can let the phone go to voice mail (so we don't loose our concentration), we can make sure the light is good and well-placed (most weavers don't do this), we can drop the back beam, remove it or fold up the loom (so the job is easier to reach!), we can make sure that the height of the stool we are sitting on is just right (so we don't get a back ache or neck ache), we can have the right threading hook for the size thread and the size heddle, we can have the right glasses on (some people have trouble with their bifocals and get a single-vision for "threading distance"), we can attach our threading draft right up there on the back of the last harness for ease of sight, we can add markers to that draft (so we can quickly keep our place with a clothes pin or something), we can thread in small "groups" (so we can stop and check our work every 12 threads or so), we can say that we are going to take the time... it's well worth it... we are well worth's an investment of effort...

We can also approach the task with the knowledge that, if there's an error, we'll just fix the darn thing.

We can fix anything....we are WEAVERS!

Gosh, it's beginning to sound like we have to CARE about this whole part of the weaving process and, if we are thinking right now, "Who the heck could I just HIRE to do this part".....

Well, with thoughts like that, we will never find the joy.... never.

Okay, so go sell the loom and go play golf or something....but like SO many parts of weaving, so what do you do?

 So make peace....finally, just make peace.... and go thread...

With Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.