In January I took up the offer of a fresh indigo dyeing workshop with Amanda of @theweaversworkroom which was great fun. Later at home I had a play with indigo that I’d grown.
I ran a pin loom workshop at the Guild. Though I told myself I wouldn’t put in the crazy hours of preparation I did for the rigid heddle loom workshop the year before, I still overdid it. Still, it was an excellent reason to try some ideas I’d had, like tiny squares woven from wire.
Using fabric for a failed all-in-one-piece woven jacket project, I sewed a vest.
In February the sewing continued, resulting in two tops made of woven fabric.
And a skirt to jumper conversion. This became my go-to at home cosy jumper over winter.
I wove the “Owl & the Moustache Scarf” and started the “Wiggle Scarf”, both using drafts I designed after the Denise Kovnat Echo and Jin and Deflected Doubleweave workshops the year before.
In March I converted an ugly old 80s coat into the Flying Fox Coat.
In April I made a pattern from a corduroy shirt I love, and sewed a new one. And a chemise to go with a costume for a Regency Picnic.
I also returned to weaving rag rugs, making two twill flannelette ones and a t-shirt one to use up the warp.
Jeanette at the Guild ran a blended drafts workshop that was fun and a good workout for the brain.
June had me taking two pink flannelette rag rugs off the floor loom and another t-shirt one.
And a clasped warp scarf from the AKL.
Then I sewed a series of skivvies, long-sleeved tops and leggings. And another corduroy shirt.
The sewing continued into July. More leggings, more tops, and a jacket made from an old skirt and jumper.
At the end of July I started the Certificate of 8-shaft Weaving at the Guild, just in time for the long lockdown to begin. I also wove a shadow weave kit.
And finished lengthening a vest.
September saw me finish making two indigo space-dyed chenille scarves and a cowl.
In August I bought a new sewing machine, an overlocker and a coverstitch machine, so in September more garments were made.
Some slubby cotton was woven to reduce the stash.
I also did a seven day sketching challenge, and decided to start a daily art project in which I make art every day for a year, to a theme that changes each month.
In October I wove a pinwheel scarf.
The first daily art challenge was ‘flowers’, painted mostly in watercolour but with a bit of gouache.
Since online shopping was unreliable and the post very slow, I decided to make as many Christmas presents as possible. I sewed some sunhats for my parents.
Inspired by a ‘weaving with handspun’ Zoom meeting with the Guild, I wove two twill scarves.
November’s daily painting theme was ‘toys in gouache’. This was much more time-consuming than the flowers, but I was making much more ‘finished’ pieces that could be sold one day. I haven’t painted in gouache much before and it’s now one of my favourite mediums.
By December I was having health problems including pain and weakness in my left leg. I was only able to weave one of the sets of tea towels I intended to make as gifts.
But the daily art theme of ‘hand and feet in pencil’ was much faster and could be done at night while watching tv.
(Sorry about the terrible photo!)
Between Christmas and New Year not much craft was done but I made a warping mill and yarn stand.
Overall, it was a year that began low and ended high both in mood and levels of stress. That kind of balances out.
Though restrictions had eased, I began the year feeling depressed. Eventually I decided that teaching weaving didn’t suit me – at least not as a regular thing. The summer school workshops I’d done were good but too exhausting and, weirdly, put me off the kind of weaving I taught for several months. Occasional one on one lessons would be fine, I think.
So it was with a different intent that I began the 8-shaft course. The pursuit of knowledge was now for my own benefit only. Meanwhile, the long lockdown brought art classes to an end, and questioning why I didn’t paint at home led to the daily art project and the realisation that art would suit me as a regular thing – so long as I didn’t turn it into work.
Then at the end of the year I learned I have a rare condition that can be quite crippling and might explain the neck pain flare ups that sometimes come out of nowhere and forced me to retire. It made me consider a future in which what I can and can’t do may be very limited at times, and how I might change my surroundings and expectations to allow for that.
Despite this, I am ending 2021 feeling happier than I began it. I am ready to let the past go, and the future no longer seems lacking in purpose. There will be some tidying up and simplifying to be done in 2022, but there’s no hurry. I can only do things at a pace that my body can cope with, and it’s still impossible to predict how Covid will affect everything anyway.
What I do know is, whatever happens, good or bad, there’ll be art and craft in my life in 2022.