Monday, February 27, 2012

Sandra was right!

Here I am a full week later, still coughing and still under the weather.  Sandra's comment was exactly right.  I have slept a LOT, drunk lots of water, taken Robitussin DM at exact four hour intervals and still I am coughing and feeling out of focus.

I finally decided that I needed to start winding the warp for the large piece of tartan and have begun, slowly.  I am double- and triple-checking myself because I don't feel confident about my thought processes, ability to count, etc.  And, in the case of a tartan in particular all of that counts.  A lot.

I am still going to bed early and sleeping in and hoping to shake this bug.  As Sandra noted, it is a lulu!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Yes, two in one day

The man who designed and commissioned me to weave his tartan came by today and declared himself delighted with the cloth.  Just as I thought, cloth beats paper!

I have some nasty bug, a lower respiratory thing so it is an early bedtime for me tonight.   I warned my customer as I met him at the door and said I was going to keep my distance; he said not to worry, everyone at his house had it last week.  Hmmm.

I had woven enough to cut off and wash a hemstitched piece for him to take.  I had washed and pressed it but it was still a little bit damp, but that means no extra trip from Pleasant Grove to pick it up.

I am going to weave about half an inch on the sample piece I am keeping for my records before I hemstitch it so I can take if from the loom and wash and press it.  

Next stop, dreamland, and that sounds good!

Towels and the new project

The towels are woven and completely finished:
I was thinking of spring when I chose the colors, focusing first on that tender yellow green that appears first before the leaves on my cottonwood tree are fully mature.  Now that they are woven and finished they do make me think of spring.

I jumped right in to the next project as soon as the box of yarn arrived from JaggerSpun.  I was commissioned to weave a tartan by a man in Pleasant Grove, Utah who designed the tartan himself.  It is in some ways non-traditional, mainly because it isn't symmetrical.  I have never seen an asymmetrical tartan before, have you? 

It has been registered in Scotland but never woven until now.  Here is a photo of the first piece on the loom:

This piece is the test to be sure that the cloth looks as he wants it to look and if it is OK I can move on to the nine yard length.  He needs to send a piece to the registry to complete the file they have on this design.  He will see it for the first time this afternoon. 
I am undoubtedly prejudiced, but I think that the woven cloth looks so much more vibrant than the computer generated image.  Cloth vs paper? Cloth wins!

Back to it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Progress....someone to watch/listen for

There is progresss on the towel warp.  This is the fourth towel of seven almost completed:
This is just a corner showing the border coming together toward the end of the fourth towel.  I am enjoying all the color after the white on white warp.

The name you will want to remember is Simone Lamsma.  She is a young violinist (20 or 21) who played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto tonight with the Utah Symphony.  I love this concerto and it was played brilliantly by this young woman tonight.  The audience leapt to its feet when she had finished.  (And this time it wasn't a hold-over from the days before Abravanel Hall when all the concerts were held in the Mormon Tabernacle where the pews were exceedingly uncomfortable so any excuse to stand was welcome!  Now those pews have been replaced with ones that fit modern bodies far more comfortably....) 

The first piece on the program was Anton Von Webern's "Fuga (Ricercats)" from Musickalischen Opfer by J. S. Bach.  Imagine a reading where every word is spoken by a different person so that each person's part makes no sense but when wll the parts are put together you hear the reading properly.  This piece is constructed similarly by taking the notes of the Musical Offering and spreading them out over the orchestra.  The piece uses only the notes Back wrote but presented this way, they are totally new.  Very interesting, indeed.

After the intermission the augmented orchestra (extra players were brought in) played Bruckner's Symphony No. 4.  It is a very big piece, rich and melodic.  During the second movement the viola section carries the main melody showing off the mellow, golden timbre that only the viola can produce.  (Perhaps a little prejudice is showing here since I played the viola for years.)

It was a grand concert.  This week the new season was announced (the program for 2012-13) and the fact that Thierry Fischer's contract has been extended through 2015-16.  The latter is very good news, indeed!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moving ahead

I wove another white scarf on the warp you saw here plus a piece that will become a small bag, once the silk to line it arrives.  (Do you know about

I have been craving color and have a relatively short time left before the yarn for a commission (you will see later) arrives.  I decided it was time to weave more cotton towels.  I usually have some on hand but right now have none at all.  I measured out the warp today.  Can you tell that I am longing for spring?
I took this picture while the warp was still on the warping board.  I usually make a warp long enough to make a dozen towels but this one is shorter because I want to start work on the commission as soon as the yarn arrives.

The borders are a slightly grayed yellow green set into a natural white ground.  Inside the borders are groups of narrow stripes--five colors--that repeat five times.  I like the colors and am eager to see them as the towels are woven.  You will see them, too, of course.

Last Saturday there was a Utah Symphony concert.  The first half of the program consisted mainly of Faure--never a mistake in my opinion with a brand new piece (world premiere) co-commissioned by the Utah Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de la Suise Romande and Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg.   The composer, Michael Jarrell, wrote this piece for solo cello and orchestra.  I liked it a lot and would like to hear it again.  I have never heard a cello make those sounds before; it was very interesting.  Our solosit, Jean-Guihen Queyas, to whom along with Thierry Fischer, our conductor, the piece is dedicated did an amazing job.  Then he played Faure's Elegie for Cello and Orchestra in which the cello sang.  I am partial to Faure whose work always seems to elegant and lovely to me, and I loved it.

After the intermission the orchestra played Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.  I have to confess that at first I was dreading hearing this old warhorse again.  When I was in high school we played this in orchestra and I felt I knew every single note--and I think I do!--so I wondered what Fischer could bring to it.  I needn't have been concerned.  It was played briskly and cleanly with a wonderful transparency that made the piece new to me.  The second movement, the andante, was lyrical and romantic and quite lovely.  Maestro Fischer continues to impress and delight me.  And, next week we hear the Mendelssohn violin concerto which I love followed by Bruckner's Symphony #4.

Life is good.