The studio smells of birch. Dried birch-leaves that I use to dye the warp with. Very exciting. Don't really know what the excitement is about, it is just dyeing thread. But the smell is so good and the colour so nice. Nothing really spectacular, just nice.
I am still collecting green rags for the next rag rug that I will weave around February, I hope.
But the warp being prepared in the loom now is a finer one for a special assignment. I very seldom do special assignments but this one has a long history involving other weaving.
I wanted to depict my world, life surroundings or whatever one can call it with colours and texture.
The colours were somewhere inside the brain and wouldn't come out in the balls of rags that I was arranging. I had an idea but was not able to pull it out and make it visible. Frustrating. Writers get it, Visual artists get it, all creative people get it, it is called ...now my mind is blocked from words. It is a sort of mental barrier that can be overcome.
I kept arranging different sets of colours and you can see one of them in the blog from 29.11. I kept re-arranging and thinking. Day and night. If I would had been painting with lets say acrylics I would had been able to put the colours on the canvas and then paint over it the following day and kind of get there.
But with weaving it is different.
I have to decide beforehand and see it in my mind. Of course I do sketches by arranging the balls of rags.
But when I start weaving there is almost no return. It is possible to rip it out but it is not as easy as with knitting or crocheting and rather tedious and frustrating. That is why I prefer to get it right from the beginning. That is also why I am sometimes stuck in the process of creating.
I got stuck with this piece. But a short weekend trip to Borgarnes cleared my head from the suffocating fog and when I returned to the loom I knew exactly what I wanted to create and how. Ta- ta-ta, here it is. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to "November". Open up the image and enjoy it. I had a professional photographer make the image this time for different reasons not explained here. Kristin Bogadóttir is the photographer and this is her website.
The work in the loom proceeds. It is a November piece. All the thoughts that November has brought into my mind. The short days are getting shorter, more darkness, lovely purple darkness, stars in the sky, occasional northern lights. December looming ahead. Ice, slippery ice and iced rain.
Vinnan í vefstólnum heldur áfram. Nóvember stykkið. Skammdegið eykst, fjólublátt myrkur, stjörnur, stundum norðurljós. Desember á næsta leiti. Ísing og hálka.
My mother kindly knitted a shawl for me from the yarn that was spun in a mini mill in Norway from Icelandic goat down. The hair is called cashmere but as the goats in Iceland have never been bred for anything particular their soft down is of different length. Not the desired minimum of 4 cm. The yarn that Telespinn span for me in Norway is therefore second class yarn, containing bits of the coarse hair which first class cashmere yarn should not contain.
Icelandic goats are an endangered species it means there are not many of them they are now around 815. It is impossible at time being to start breeding goats here only for their hair, but it will hopefully be done in due time when the goats are 2500 and less threatened.
But never the less the yarn is lovely and expensive due to the cost of the spinning.
The shawl is lovely and light and very precious.
As far as I know this is the first shawl ever to have been knitted out of Icelandic goats' down.
That is one more step on the way to save the Icelandic goats.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.