In between sleeping twelve hours a day, I’ve been working up samples of beaded fringe. It turned out that the beads I was using were too irregular to work well in fringe: one bead would be huge, then the next bead would be tiny. This made it impossible to get a neat netted fringe, and I gave up after a few attempts.
So yesterday I went to a bead shop (Hallelujah! I can leave the house again!) and bought five tubes of Japanese seed beads, which are much better quality, and much more uniform in size. Since then I’ve been working up fringe samples:
Of these, my hands-down favorite is the one with the dark wavy lines. It captures and continues the ripple motif, and the dark beads match the turtles nicely. My one complaint is that the second set of wavy lines – the lighter aqua beads – don’t have good contrast with the pale aqua background, so they don’t show until you’re really close up (click to enlarge the photo). I think I may try another sample with either a darker aqua bead for the second set of ripples, or with all dark ripples. I’ll actually probably try both – I’m really enjoying making these samples!
I’m also enjoying the freedom from time pressure. While being mostly in bed isn’t fun, exactly, it’s also a relief from my usual hectic routine. Because of the book contract, I’ve been running at full tilt for quite some time, with three things to do with every minute, so having plenty of free time is a surprising luxury. Having limited (though improving) mobility is also forcing me to reduce my activities, which means a slower pace and fewer distractions. While I’m looking forward to being fully recovered, it’s nice to have some down time, too.
That does not, of course, mean I’m being idle. Since I am mostly limited to sitting down or lying in bed (plus my short walks once an hour, per doctor’s orders), I’ve decided to take this week and do something I’ve always wanted to do: learn Adobe Illustrator. I want to be able to draw sketches for my work, and because there are a ton of advantages to working on the computer (easy editing! undo! electronic storage and backups!), I’d prefer to do it electronically. But I never had enough focused time to learn Adobe Illustrator. It’s a powerful tool, but also complex, with a steep learning curve. And who has time to spend a week learning how to use a piece of software?
Well, I do, at least right now. So I am taking advantage of my temporary physical disability to do some focused study. I’m about 1/3 through an introductory book on Adobe Illustrator now, and churning through several chapters per day. At this rate, I should be fairly adept within a week. (Then, of course, I will have to learn to draw, but that’s another matter.)
I’m also doing some deep thinking about weaving. In particular, I have been meditating on tied weaves: the interaction between ground cloth, patterning in the ties, and the pattern shafts. I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I can explain my insights, but I’m finding it quite intriguing. I’m thinking I may combine it with my other avenue of study, Marian Stubenitsky’s wonderful book Weaving with Echo and Iris, and try a tied weave with some of her lovely parallel-threading structures as the ground cloth. If I do a divided parallel threading with 20 shafts for ties and 20 shafts for pattern, I should have many exciting possibilities. No idea what will work just yet, but the exploration is the fun part!
Speaking of exploration, here is a rare photo of Fritz the Explorer at the top of my yarn shelf. Normally Tigress is the intrepid climber, but I left one of the boxes of yarn off the shelf, making an easier path for His Royal Furriness to explore the high places.
And where is Tigress? Well, nowhere in sight, but I just saw some of my clean laundry falling off its shelf, so I am fairly confident I know where she is. (sigh) I really need to find somewhere else to put my clothes!