Everything Old Is New Again

Coat1

After two year languishing in a plastic box my coat has been resuscitated by the efforts and generosity of Shirley Bergert.  Shirley took my deflected double weave class at NEWS this year, and when she saw the sad “fit fail” of the coat she offered to help me re-tailor it. Incredible generosity! After a couple of months of schedule wrangling we got together at Shirley’s house in Connecticut.  I had a fabulous couple of days – after we seam ripped together Shirley toiled away while I enjoyed her lovely house filled with her amazing creative projects, fresh cappuccinos made by Shirley’s husband, homemade bread and vegetarian delicacies. Shirley adopt me! The above pic is of the “new” coat.  It fits, and it is warm and perfect for the coming winter.  I love my fiber buddies!

After finishing the coat I headed to Texas to see my grandmother who turned 100 in July. She is a real firecracker still fretting over her jewelry – can you see those sparkly shoes? She never wove, but she embellished every garment she ever had with beads and embroidery, sewed for us and made the best dolls and stuffed creatures when we were little.  I credit her with a lot of the “make-y” qualities in our family. My mom and sister are to the left.

Texas1

We saw a couple of my mom’s paintings in her gallery in Las Villetas. One of my favorites is below – seen with our German exchange student and charming fellow Tobi.

Texas 21

And another fantastic piece as seen with my dad (another charming fellow) and Tobi.Texas 22We went into downtown San Antonio to see some of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations.Day of the Dead1

After getting home I got some lovely studio time to get a rep warp on the loom for a set of placemats I have been wanting to weave.  The warp is mixed linen and raw silk in three lovely grey/brown colors. I set the warp at 40 epi, and used 12 strands of the silk as the weft. The warp is slightly loosely set for rep, but looks really good with the silk weft. I planned for eight placemats, but (again-doh) didn’t quite account for the large take up in rep – so I have 7 and 3/4 placemats ready to be hemmed. Placemats ready to be hemmed1 These are a re-do of a set I wove a couple of years ago and gave away.  I wanted to make another set, and recently found some more of the mill-end raw silk that I wanted for the project. Some might shake their heads at the use of silk for placemats, but the former set has been in use for years and just wiped to clean – who knew?Rep on loom1

So my revived coat, my sweet, lively 100-year old grandma, the remembered dead of the Day of the Dead celebrations and my re-created placemats are all my personal All Souls celebration – a joyful embrace of the old and the new.

10 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again

  1. Yay! I love that coat 😀 I think I need a Shirley in my sewing life too hehe

    And YAY to family hey! Your grandma looks great for her age. My grandfather will turn 100 in April and he has been talking about it for AGES. He’s even got a big party planned.

    And, how interesting about the wipe down qualities of the silk placemats. As a child I vowed to never use placemats when I grew up (we had ugly vinyl ones), and to this day I never have 😀 Though now that I weave… maybe I’ll reconsider.

    • Hey Claire,
      Congrats to your grandpa, and if my Grandma is any indicator he will continue to talk about it for months to come. I think more power to them – pretty significant accomplishment – we told my Grandma that she SHOULD celebrate it every day.

      We never used placemats and I was always a little foggy about the purpose, but I really love these natural looking ones, and they are another useful rectangle for handweavers

      • Thanks for stopping by, I am so green on weaving its not even funny! I am still trying to build the courage to put a new warp on my loom :O). I have exhausted the one it came with, just playing with different yarns and fabric strips , as I didn’t know what pattern it was to be.

        I have only shorn my Angoras once , with a friends help. Lots to learn there :O). I have managed to learn to spin a beginner level yarn on my spinning wheel.

        Where I work does a lot of work for different designers in Dallas. We are about an hour out the east side of Dallas. Yes, I agree the fabric district in Dallas is wonderful to go to!!

        • Proceed fearlessly!!! You are the best kind of weaver in my book – someone who isn’t cowed by the “rules” . . . yet:)) I wrote a short end piece for Handwoven quoting Anni Albers’ praise of the “barbaric beauty” that comes from not knowing what you are supposed to do . . . WEAVE ON!!

  2. It was satisfying fun to help Lisa tailor the coat she made to fit her well. You really can’t see from the pictures how gorgeous the fabric is that she wove for the coat — you just get a hint. We will happily adopt Lisa for the pleasure of her company and Ed pledges to make her endless cappuccinos. . .

    • Yay!! I’m adopted. But now I have to compete with the other beautiful, smart, adventurous, world-saving, Paris-dwelling daughter. Well – I will gladly be the disappointment for a some tailoring wisdom (and cappuccino:)

  3. Wow, wow, wow, LOVE how your coat came out, it’s always been so beautiful, and now it fits!! Also nice to be ‘introduced’ to the rest of your family, so attractive and talented too! Now we know where it comes from!

    I’m finally weaving the fine bamboo defdw – I watched your video on how to handle the edges – I may need some help! If I can’t figure it out, I’ll email you!

    Anyway, thanks for the great update!

    • Hey – great to hear from you Kim. I am glad for most of the family traits, but I wonder if I will follow my Grandmother into the realm of the sparkly shoes? My Mom was grumbling the other day when she and my Grandma were at odds over something, and my Mom said, “Why does she always get to be Dorothy and I always have to be the witch?” I would love to chat edges and I can’t wait to see you at Convergence.

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