Finally finished: Mom's Silk Lace Scarf

This is a project that I’ve been fiddling with for quite a while. I finally got it finished up, blocked, pressed, and gifted the week before Christmas. The photos have been hanging out in the camera since then – finally, all the *other* holiday business is done, so I got a chance to fiddle with them.

I got to experiment with pressing silk lace with a steam iron – and I definitely like the effect!

Tussah Silk Lace – photos and more details

I know this is off the beaten path for my journal – nothing to do with Dreamland or the textile arts – but I think there are probably a lot of folks on my Friends List who would enjoy this link as much as I have!

Green Linnet is a site that sells Celtic music albums. Lots of traditional stuff, like Tannahill Weavers, but also more modern interpretations.

The coolest part? You can listen to WHOLE ALBUMS at a time for free on the Internet! It sure helps figure out what I want to buy, and it keeps me entertained at the office.

Silk Gut on a Fishing Fly

I’ve found someone (actually, he found me!) who makes authentic old-style tied fishing flies. I’ve read references to the use of silk gut – WARNING: silkworm gut is exactly what it sounds like! in them, but no clear detailed information on how it’s actually put together. These are some photos of a fly-in-progress by Paul Martin.
Photos and description

Teddy bear!

I made this for my new nephew. On the wise advice of a friend at work, I made another one in a coordinating color for my neice, so that there wouldn’t be issues about Who Got A Present.

The yarn is called “Velvet Touch.” I got it from another knitter at a garage sale. 100% synthetic, but really, really soft, and washable. Pattern from Sandra Polley’s Knitted Teddy Bear Book. It’s Oscar – but doesn’t look like it in the face.

"Larval Marvels"

I’m going to be reeling silk at the State Fair of Texas! I’ll be there each Sunday and Monday for the run of the Fair *except* for Monday, October 3. I’m on at 2 PM at the Texas Discovery Gardens.

Here’s some press about it:
The Observer did some “creative fact-finding” and added some stuff that wasn’t in the press release. They used the photo, though, which makes me happy!,97380&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&item_id=36131
The Guide follwed the script a little more closely.

The Dallas Morning News did a similar brief listing, but they make you register to read it – I haven’t seen the print version yet to see if they included a photo or not.

Soanyways – if anyone wants to come see me reel silk and wave my bugs around, I’ll be there! Let me know if you’re coming so I can look for you.

When do you go PRO?

Something that I’ve been thinking about, and would love some input on – when do you call yourself a “professional” with your avocations/hobbies?

I was filling out entry blanks for a State Fair this morning, and I had to decide whether to enter in the “Adult (Amateur)” or the “Professional/Teacher” categories. I’m having some internal conflict about how to decide – am I a pro? A teacher?

To help out, they’ve provided the following definitions: PROFESSIONAL: A person who engages in an event or activity for monetary profit (more than $2,000) per year: a person who teaches and/or instructs a particular craft or skill (i.e. sewing, baking, and so on). AMATEUR: A person who engages in an event or activity as a pastime, rather than a profession. In the latter sense, I’m definitely an amateur textile worker – I work full time in an office for a nonprofit facility, and get a salary with benefits, and I love my day job and wouldn’t want to give it up. Weaving is definitely something I do as a pastime, for enjoyment.

I haven’t made any money actually selling my textile crafts, so I know I’m safe on that count. I’m not a professional weaver/spinner/silkworker, regardless of the level of sophistication I may achieve. If we figure price-of-goods-sold ($zero) minus price-of-yarn-and-books-purchased (don’t even want to add this up) then making money is sort of the opposite of what this pastime does for me. I like the fact that they put the dollar limit on it, so that you can differentiate between someone who sells a little on the side for pin money, and somebody who puts bread on the table with their weaving. I’ve won a couple of cash prizes by exhibiting my work, so far totalling the towering sum $175. I had a nice celebratory dinner and buy some books and yarn. Definitely not quitting my day job.

The teaching is where I start to get into sticky territory. I’ve taught classes in weaving, and a couple of workshops in silkwork, and in one case actually got paid enough to cover more than just my gas for the trip. I’ve been featured as a speaker for a couple of guild meetings. I’ve published an article in a national glossy knitting magazine, and there are folks who use my website for classroom curriculum material. Despite all that, teaching is not something I do on a weekly or even monthly basis. All told, between the teaching, speaking, and writing, I haven’t made a thousand dollars, quite. I’d like to work this in such a way that it continues to give me a little extra cash for doing something that I love doing – but does it make me a professional teacher? I do my best to behave professionally in all my dealings, but I know that’s not the same thing.

I ended up going with the Amateur category, partly because there was no pro category for handspinning (that tells you something right there, doesn’t it?) – and although they didn’t say so, I’m applying their dollar limit to the teaching aspect in my own mind. I’m interested to hear what others think about it; I know that several of you have dealt with similar situations in your arts/crafts/handwork.

InKnitters article

This has been one of those challenging projects, and I didn’t want to jinx it by announcing prematurely – but my article in InKnitters is finally in mailboxes. I haven’t been able to find a copy at any of our local bookstores yet, and their website is still showing Spring’s issue – but I’ll post a picture when I get one!

I don’t know if it ended up being four pages or five, because they were doing some format work on it – but it’s mentioned on the cover (so I’ve been told) and what I saw as a proofing galley looked very nice. It’s amazing what a little layout work and some editorial spit and polish can do for one’s writing.

Needless to say, I’m very excited! This is my first article in a national magazine, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

More Mystery Lace

This stuff is slow going – especially with having to rip back several inches when I dropped some of the live stitches and they instantly raveled back.

I’m quite pleased with the way this is working out. I’m 5/6 of the way through the first Full Repeat, and there will be 4 Full Repeats by the time I’m finally finished; it’s going to take a lot more of the “soldiering bravely on” mentality to get through this.

For scale, it’s 27″ edge to edge and 17″ top to bottom at this point.