Summer Exercise Program

I began my summer exercise program today, which consists of mowing at least once a week. Under normal conditions, it takes at least an hour to mow both front and back. One time I used a pedometer to count steps, or miles, but no longer remember the numbers.

imageFor some reason the henbit is having a glorious season this year. Now, henbit is kind of attractive when it’s out in a pasture, and it looks like a wave of lavender. But when I have to walk through a crop that’s 18 inches to get from one place to another—forget it! It holds moisture and I get wet.

Every year, I am always surprised when I come across this little patch of muscari hyacinths. I didn’t plant them. They have bloomed every year since this house was put here, and every year, I wonder where they came from. And, yes, I do know about birds!

imageSomething else that suddenly cropped up a few years ago is hairy vetch. This is a good plant in that it is a legume and enriches the soil. But it clings to everything, and I would be happy to let it go somewhere else.


Maybe you can tell from this post that yards with perfectly manicured lawns are not really important to me. In fact, I mostly think that they are a huge waste of resources. If I could, I’d plant a prairie of native grasses and wildflowers.

For another kind of plant harvest, go here. You can read about the willow harvest of Donna Kallner. Look at the sorting process here. Here is a portfolio of Donna’s work.

I will be weighing some skeins of yarn tonight while vegetating in front of the TV. I hope to mordant tomorrow and do some natural dyes. I have been inspired to do this again, after a long hiatus. There’s a big container of handspun and other “specialty” yarns that will be used for this project.

Goals and the to-do list

in-progress Struggling with goals and being accountable has been a problem the last couple of years, so I have decided to take a Master class with Lisa Call. I have some goals that I want to accomplish, but feel frustrated with breaking those down into small bites. Overwhelming! One of those goals is a certain number of finished pieces by April 30. I can get in the studio hours to finish, but everything else falls to the wayside.

One of the things that I knew needed work on, in addition to the everyday stuff, is being able to critique art—my own mostly, but it applies to all art. Well, only the art that I like! I need to know what is in the art that makes me like it. Turns out that critiquing art is a component of this class.


Just throwing the shuttle until it’s finished. Cut it off Tuesday.

From the goals that I have, I make a weekly to do list. This is where things start falling apart for me. They include studio time, yard work/summer exercise program, designing, dyeing, and socializing. Each week those vary, according to what’s going on. For the studio, it’s mainly logging in the hours weaving, and being the nerd that I am, I made a spreadsheet with increments of 15 minutes. Writing it down in a notebook just wasn’t working. I am fairly liberal with what I call studio time, though—finishing work, dyeing, designing. This other stuff like writing falls under another category, although I don’t know what to call it. Here’s what my lists have looked like for the last couple of weeks.

This week—July  12-18

Finish piece on loom

–Clean studio

–Do finish work on two pieces (not my favorite thing to do)

Clean off table, sort and put away stuff currently on table—required for the above

–Begin dyeing yarns for next piece

  • Plan colors
  • Weigh yarns
  • Print spreadsheet with formulas for each batch
  • Set alarm
  • 3 hours yard work
  • Extras:  –Design

Last week—July 5-11

  • 25 hours in the studio Yep, did it!
  • Get ready for guild sale on SaturdayDone
  • Go to docent tour of Wari exhibit (this is my socializing “chore.”)—Going next Tuesday.  Will have to work really hard to not back out.
  • 1 hour of doing yard work 3 times—Only did one hour. I have to get up really early because it’s so hot right now, so setting alarm is on my to do list for next week.

I did get more socializing in this week—visited with friends.

Two things on my list are causing angst: yard work and socializing. The yard part I understand, but the socializing? Frankly, I am pretty content to stay at home and do what I do. When it comes to getting out the door, which involves dressing appropriately, well, I’d just rather not. But I’m working on it! And besides, it rained this week. Obviously too wet now.

Yesterrday I planned to new set of yarns that I’m going to start dyeing–grouping the skeins by weight and assigning colors to each group. This afternoon will be spent on finish work, not one of my favorites, but I’m grateful to have some pieces that need finishing! Studio time to log in. Yeah!

Next week? Finally get out in the yard? Cut brush? Haul it away? Stay tuned…

Not today!

Sherri’s Summer Exercise Program is underway, but not today. Yesterday and the day before, I cleared brush and made a pile. Brush pile-May-2013 The picture of this pile does not do it justice. In the picture it looks really small, but my body tells a different story. And I am no where close to finishing this job. But not today. Today is a studio day–weaving and wrapping ikat. The ikat section that I’m working on now is going pretty fast or I’m getting better. The biggest problem is keeping up with the order and orientation of the various sections. My cartoon for the final product was broken into three sections, then each of those sections has been broken into smaller more manageable sections. So, there’s 3A and 3B. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D. The number 3 sections are finished and I’m working on the 2 section now. The reason that orientation is important is nothing will match during weaving if you don’t know where to start. I seem to start at the bottom and work up. My start is on the left bottom, so a written Tyvek label is attached giving the section and orientation: 3A, bottom, left. At the top is another label: 3A, top, right. The labels must be of some material that can withstand the dye pot. And maybe, just maybe, if it’s not too hot (or whatever), I’ll go out and work some more later to day.

Inkle weaving and then tapestry

The Fort Worth Weavers Guild had a one-day inkle weaving workshop. So lots of women (and man) weavers got together to learn about weaving on an inkle loom. It was a great workshop, and Barb did an excellent job getting all the materials together and teaching it. Even though I had trouble even warping my loom, I came away with lots of ideas to try. The warping will go better the next time around without the distractions—and a couple of thumbtacks on the loom to hold yarn that is not actively being warped. Plus, I will think of a better way to keep up with where I am on the “draft.” Barb suggested a magnetic board with strips of magnets to place where you are in the warping, a great idea. Added to my errand list.

Well, my summer exercise program starts this week—you know, all that mowing stuff. And, for a little something wonderful. If you haven’t seen this, take a look. I am so amazed with these tapestries.