I had a lovely Christmas (which I find amusing, since I’m a mostly-lapsed Wiccan and the entire rest of my family is devoutly atheist – but, as my mom says, “No good Chinese person would turn down an opportunity for a celebration!).Â Actually three Christmases, one with my brother, his wife, and my mom; one with my dad; and one with Mike’s family in Chicago, where we arrived yesterday.
I got some really cool gifts, including a gorgeous book on haute couture from Mike’s parents, which is inspiring me towards ever-more-complex AIDS Lifecycle costumes.Â Rhinestones and pearls and big poufy bows, oh my!Â Much of it is not practical for cycling (or anything else for that matter) but some of it can be adapted.Â The fabrics are gorgeous.
I also got to meet Claudia! and Bonnie Inouye, who arrived with a big bag full of the most amazing weaving.Â We didn’t have enough time for me to fully understand the concepts behind some of her work (I suspect that may take a couple of years 🙂 ) but it was very generous of her to show me so many different ideas in one bag.Â I had no idea you could do all that with cloth!Â It’s given me ideas on where I want to go next.Â Four color doubleweave and woven imagery top the list.
And on the plane I got to playing with two more drafts.Â The first is a fairly pedestrian three-strand Celtic knot:
Looks ok, but nothing special.
Then I decided to attempt a traditional Chinese good-fortune knot, the pan chang or “eternity knot”.Â Here it is:
This I liked a lot more.Â I decided to get romantic and added a heart in between, but the proportions are off, so it doesn’t look very good (yet); I need to shrink the heart so it doesn’t battle the eternity knot for attention.
Heading further into the Chinese motif, I’m working on a double-happiness symbol.Â Because of the complexity of the symbol, though, I think it might be better done either in doubleweave or as woven imagery.Â This falls nicely into line with my desire to study doubleweave and woven imagery, so I may take some time this week (or on the plane back) to read up on the techniques, and essay some drafts.
Finally, I should mention that I’ve been reading my way through Doramay Keasbey’s Pattern Techniques for Handweavers.Â It’s an absolutely fantastic book, although fairly dense and very encyclopedic.Â It would make an interesting guide for a study group, I think, though it would undoubtedly take years to complete.
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, and will go on to have a Happy New Year!