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Change of address


Hey all, if you’ve been following me you’ll find that I moved over to Blogger.  Seems easier to navigate.  You can find me at lodestarwovens.blogspot.com

Thanks and I hope you’ll follow me there as well!

“A Garden of Love Grows in a Grandmother’s Heart”

“A Garden of Love Grows in a Grandmother’s Heart”

It’s not the easiest thing to describe what it feels like when THAT phone call comes…..

I was paying my bill at the doctor’s office when the words that would change my life came. “We’re at the hospital and just waiting for you” said Dad-to-be and I was a mix of joy, anxiety and pride.   I knew that the next few hours would offer up some pain but that the end result was beyond any imaginings.

Well, I got the pain part wrong as mom-to-be made it look like a piece of cake.  In just 6 1/2 hrs, start to finish, I was holding my brand new grand daughter.

Cali Brynn just an hour old...

She was, as any Grandmother will tell you, absolutely perfect!  And I, of course, was in absolute awe of the little fingers and toes, that birdlike mouth and the untold wisdom in her eyes.  It  was such a rush of emotion as I held my  grandchild.  Memories of birthing my own children, watching my parents hold them for the first time, watching them grow and seeing them anew as wonderful capable adults all crowded my mind at once.

Cali is now 8 days old and I can’t get enough!

She looks like her mother did at this age

She’s starting to unfurl those arms and legs that stayed all bunched up for the last few months, sleeps a lot, sneezes, hiccups and mewls!I now understand the words “sleeps like a baby”.  Whomever penned them only had to sit and study one of these little ones for a moment to see how totally immersed they are in that simple act.  I wish I could find that kind of restful escape.  Do you think that babies dream?  and if so, about what?  Cali stretches and waves her arms around as if she’s beating back hordes of intruders then just as suddenly drifts back to this blissful state.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we will do together as she grows.  Never too soon, right?  We’ll be building our own special garden of love, I’m sure.

What amazing things will this little pair of hands do in a lifetime?

True Confessions of a Fiber Junkie


Okay, I admit it…..I’m a tried and true collector of fibers.  Any fibers, all fibers: fibers thick, thin, colorful, textured….I guess you can figure out what I mean…. I don’t know how it started but it has persisted well into the 25 years that Lodestar Wovens has been in existence.  I have a studio that is 15′ x 18′ and it has  two tiered  shelving all around.  It’s full….completely full!

a tiny section of shelving

I have bags and bookshelves everywhere I can fit them and a large trunk that I sit on while I weave or work at the computer.  Guess what?  They’re full too. Can you blame me?         Look at all these luscious colors!

Here is some sari silk and a cowl that I knitted with them.

Sari silk is wondrous stuff.  Here is a link to a shop that explains the process of how it is created:  http://www.recycledsilk.com/patterns.html

(I have no affiliation with this site.  It’s for your viewing pleasure)  It feels so soft and the color combinations are fantastic due to the use of recycled silk fibers.

Lately I’ve been using all sorts of fabrics, laces and yarns that I’ve over dyed to stitch up scarves.  They flew off the shelves at my shows so I guess It’s time to fire up the dye baths and prepare for more constructing.

They’re fun to make and the finished product is always a pleasant  surprise……

several finished scrap scarves

A Perfect Day for Knitting

A Perfect Day for Knitting

Well the winds blowing, the snow is falling and Browndog is the only one who really likes it!

Browndog loves the snow

I prefer to sit in my “nest” and knit.

I pile on a few fleece blankets, put a good movie on and knit to my hearts content.  I’ve been working on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket.  It’s a fascinating pattern that creates a free form piece that is worked into the jacket.  You’d never believe that what you’re knitting actually becomes a garment.

BSJ instructions

I’ve been struggling as it’s been many years since I challenged myself with a sweater, but I’m getting back into it.  The first challenge was learning how to create the corners.

These will ultimately be the cuffs when the odd looking piece is wiggled into completion.  I’ve been working on the body section and am finally ready to begin my cast off.

So anyway, I’m off to the nest now to burrow in and “waste” a perfectly good day doing something that I love.  I’ll be sure to post the finished project!

More About Wetfelting

More About Wetfelting

I promised to share a little more about wet felting in a recent post so here I am, back with a few more pictures and some more ideas for those of you wanting to try this wondrous art form.   As I stated before I learned this technique with Nicole Chazaud Telaar of Festive Fibers.  You can find her web blog link to the right on my blogroll.  It was a fantastic experience!  We were gathered around a swimming pool in a hotel in Connecticut at the infamous Art is …You retreat.  There were about 14 of us covered in soapsuds and laughing all too much as we rolled (and rolled and rolled and rolled!) our new creations into being.  It was a silly wet mess by the time we finished but it was surely worth it!  Here’s a few shots of the bag I made in Nicole’s class.

The finished bag

Close up detail of the bag's interior

You can see a lot of detail in this last picture.  Partially felted wool strips are laid against the raw fleece fibers and then felted into them to get this result.  After getting home I did a lot of experimenting and starting making smaller pouches on my own.

One of my finished pouches

Here's another

Here's another

It’s always a lot of fun to see how all the different colored fibers will work together into a finished piece of felt.  These pouches are all done over a form so that they are seamless.  It keeps things interesting, believe me!  Never underestimate what a corner might want to do when welt felting….a three dimensional challenge.

If you’d like to try wet felting a felted flower is a great place to start.  It’s a bit more forgiving than something larger.  Here’s a picture of one of my finished flowers.  I use them to create scarf pins and to embellished handwoven pouches.You can find these things listed in my etsy shop.  Just click on the top picture of the Red Messenger Bag to fly your way there!

Some Words of Inspiration On This Cold Rainy Day


f4CG18FPCj0  oh well, guess I haven’t quite figured out how to embed things!   Click on the link, please!

Felted Soaps

Felted Soaps

have you ever tried wet felting? Wikipedia offers this:

“Felt is made by a process called wet felting where the natural wool fibers, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water), move at a 90 degree angle towards the friction source and then away again, in effect making little “tacking” stitches. While at any given moment only 5% of the fibers are active, the process is continual, so different ‘sets’ of fibers become activated and then deactivated, thereby building up the cloth.

This “wet” process takes advantage of the inherent nature of wool and other animal hairs. The hairs are comprised of unidirectional scales, and they are also naturally kinked. It is this combination which reacts to the friction of the felting process, forcing the scales on the hairs to lock together and thus causing the phenomenon of felting. It tends to work well with wool fibers because their scales, when aggravated, readily bond together.”

I was introduced to felting by Nicole Cherzaud   of Festive Fibers at an Art is You  retreat class. http://www.festivefibers.com/.  We gathered by a pool and played with wool fibers, soap, water and LOTS of elbow grease! I made a bag in Nicole’s class.

Felting soaps uses the same techniques but on a less exhausting scale.  I need a good bar of soap, some dyed and carded fleeces and lots of energy.  Once I have wrapped the soap in numerous alternating layers of fleece and topped that all with some accent wisps I begin the process of felting.  Hot water, soap and constant manipulation of the fibers eventually results in a felted surface over the soap.

Hand dyed, carded and felted fibers are laid layer by layer over a soap bar and with lots of elbow grease become a tight, compact and pleasing addition to your nightly shower or daily hot “tub”.  They shrink in size as you use the soap, lather very generously, and provide a stimulating scrub.

Why hand felted soaps?  Well, the reasons go on and on….

Consider the combination of a wonderful aromatic soap and the exfoliating benefits of a woolen felted surface.  Trust me, it’s a perfect pairing! As you use your soap it will provide a  continuous refreshing experience.

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some of the raw ingedients for lavender soaps

a selection of felted soaps

You can find a selection of felted soaps on my etsy site listed under the blogroll.  At present I have Lavender, Peppermint and Sandalwood.  All just finished last week and looking for new homes!

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