2015: A Toast to Our New Starts

IMG_3298Anticipation builds. We’re on the brink of something.

It’s exciting and new.

It’s starting well.

IMG_3302Everything is tidy and ordered and smooth. All things seem possible.


Difficulties may occur, problems to solve, tangles to unsnarl.

The best-laid plans could be flawed. The pattern may not develop as planned.

But it might turn out even better than hoped . . .


And so it begins.

Fresh year. Fresh projects. Fresh start.


So far, so good. Here’s to the makers and the things we make this year!


77 thoughts on “2015: A Toast to Our New Starts

    • I had to Google Lem-sip–I was afraid I knew what it was and it turned out I was right. I’m raising a glass to the day when you feel well enough to raise a glass of something much nicer, to toast a healthy new year!

  1. I love this!!! Maintain your focus…..it really helps (I’ve found! LOL!). Your “start” looks very good (warping was always my least fave but quite satisfying when finished!)……great analogy for the beginning of this new year!!!!!

    • Warping is a big old drag! I was so thrilled when I got done this time because it was the first time I managed to do it without any threading errors! And if that isn’t a good metaphor for a new year, I don’t know what is!

      • Yes!!!! I have never had, or warped, a larger loom but know enough ppl who have and this opinion is pretty much universal…….just a step that needs to get done so one can get on with the ‘fun’!!!!!!

          • I have somewhat overcome that (and this would work for “warping time”, too!) feeling by spending the time really looking at the quilt top (as I pin–baste) and planning possible stitching motifs. I have almost reached the point of enjoying the process!!! This time, also, affords me opportunity to “trouble-shoot” any potential problems that may arise because of construction issues.

  2. I love the pattern and the colours Kerry! I’ve always found it fascinating that the fabric gets woven on a loom in this way and produces such beautiful cloth and textiles. Very best wishes with all your wonderful creative products this year! 🙂

    • Thanks! I agree about the fascination with cloth appearing from simple threads–it seems like alchemy to me! And I find I’m paying more attention to all kinds of fabrics now, and wondering ho they were made.

      • That’s an excellent word to describe it Kerry – alchemy! Some of the intricate patterns must have taken hours to make especially using traditional methods. I guess it’s easier nowadays with modern machinery!

    • Thank you! I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. I haven’t been weaving long enough to be able to envision what the fabric is going to look like, really, so I’m always a little nervous when I start weaving.

    • The neat thing about this weaving is that, based on the way I threaded the loom, I can do several very different patterns. They’re dishtowels, again, but, if I did everything right, they should look entirely different, except the colors. On the other hand, I may have screwed something up that hasn’t become apparent yet and then–who knows?!

    • I’m loving the pattern, too–I tried to line it up with the color stripes and that worked out pretty well. Have an absolutely wonderful year, Kate–I’ll look forward to your adventures!

  3. Three days in. So far, so good! 🙂 A toast to the makers! You have just coined a lovely phrase, which I’m sure will catch on. The pattern you are creating as you weave has such a delicacy, and is intricate and interesting and subtle. The warp looks straight and true and what a careful dance you must be doing as you weft. It’s like life isn’t it? Do you know the story of the Three Norns? From Norse Mythology, the Fates who, representing past, present and future, work through storms and crisis at their looms and weave the lives and fates of the Midgard dwellers ………… They sprang to mind as I studied your pattern. A toast to the weavers! xoxo

    • Thanks for the information about the Norns, Pauline! I didn’t know about that story but I’m becoming fascinated with all the different ways that weaving and spinning turn up in the myth and legends of different cultures. I’m going to start looking into all that more. And, yes, I can find lots of ways to see how weaving stands as a good metaphor for life!

  4. Love this. I was very excited to see your loom and your beautiful start on a fabric. And your toast to the makers reminded me that in old English (I think) a ‘Maker’ or Makeris was a poet and poetry isn’t only created with words!

    • What a fascinating comment! I hadn’t never thought to look into the etymology of “maker” before–but I love that it’s related to words. My Ph.D is in rhetoric and public address so, along with my interest in crafts, my love of powerful words has guided a lot of my life!

      • Your interest in words is not surprising. It’s such a pleasure to read. There’s actually a poem by William Dunbar called Lament for the Makers. I didn’t mention it earlier as it’s a very good illustration of the losses older people go through and how some of them might think of death. In the course of the poem, he names many lost friends–Chaucer, Gower, Eglintoun. Perhaps it’s time for a long poem called Toast to the Makers!

  5. Your photography is outstanding–the lighting and composition are always spot on.

    Are you or have you ever been a professional? I shot professionally for years for newspapers, magazines, modeling portfolios, and more–and so I know what a struggle it can be to get great shots–especially with color transparency film.

    But I get the feeling you are shooting digital. Am I right?
    Please tell me exactly what kind of camera you are using; I am thinking of–finally–getting a digital camera someday. (My Nikon SLRs are in a box somewhere–gathering value instead of dust–so I keep them for now, waiting for the day when a collector wants them. Same goes for my darkroom equipment.)

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for these comments, Eric–I spend a lot of time envying photography on other blogs so it’s awfully nice to hear that someone likes my pictures, too! I’m not a professional at all. I learned pretty much everything I know by trying to take good photos of vintage linens for my Etsy shop! Crazy, huh?

      I do use a digital camera and have for years–a very early adopter. I got a DSLR last year and love it but, honestly, most of the time I just shoot in automatic mode. My camera is a Canon Rebel T3i–I’m sure they have newer incarnations of this model now but I love the one I have. I am a Mac user so all my photo editing is done in iPhoto. The thing I like best about digital photography is the freedom to shoot dozens of pictures and never worry about wasting film/money! I still have my old film cameras but I’m not even sure where they are!

      • Thanks for the info.

        The way you learned is not crazy at all. I got my first newspaper job without having any writing or photography experience–no degree–nothing. Just a desire to turn a couple of my hobbies into a career. So once I got the job at a weekly with a distribution of only 12,000, I had to learn “on the job”, as they say.

        I shot roll after roll, trying to master flash photography, and so I know what you mean about not wasting money with digital.

        I’m also on a Mac and use iPhoto. I wish it had more features, though.

      • I would love to learn one day… my grand-mother was a force to be reckoned with. I won’t be able to learn from her, but I could strive to keep the tradition going. I look forward to seeing your project done.

    • Thanks on both! When you can start to see the pattern in the weaving, it gets very compelling to continue. Actually, that’s true of writing, too, isn’t it?

  6. I love that you used a variety of stripe widths, and that the twill lines go in different directions in some of the colored stripes. All that adds so much interest to a traditional draft and gives it a fresh new twist!

    • Thanks! It’s all accidental, which is pretty typical for me. My husband wound the warp for a project that he wanted to do and then lost interest. So, I looked for a draft that would fit the 4/8/12 thread pattern of the stripes. I do like the way it’s turning out, though!

    • I agree about the process being the best part! But I’m a very practical person and I hate waste so it makes me happy when I can combine a satisfying process with a useful, hard-working product.

  7. Love those colours together! Do you start weaving with a project in mind, or just go along and see what you’ll end up with? Wishing you a very happy new year, cheers!

    • I do start with a project in mind, because I would use different fibers for different items. In other words, I wouldn’t use this cotton thread for a scarf I wanted to wear to keep warm and I wouldn’t use wool for dishtowels. But, even though this project started as dishtowels, I could certainly use some of the length to make napkins, if I chose to. I hope your new year is absolutely wonderful, Marieken!

  8. I like everything about this post. The photography, the project, your writing (always!), and most importantly the message itself. There are correlations to life in gardening also, as I’m sure you can imagine. So while you were so complimentary to my garden, I am equally as admiring of your ability to weave such gorgeous fabrics. I love sharing these abilities with one another, don’t you?

  9. Inspirational and thought provoking Kerry and a post which I have purposely mulled over for a couple of days. You made me realise that I, too, could start a new project. But if that was the case, what would that project be? Then I began to see what amazing opportunities lay ahead of me; the beautiful things I could make and do this year.
    I was a watercolourist for 20 years, with exhibitions all over the country. I think I might like to paint again. I love sewing and yet never have the time ( so I say). And I want to start exploring the Tors on Dartmoor- a world of such stunning beauty on my doorstep!
    I love the photos of your work progressing on the loom, it is so intricate and pleasing to see. It feels to me as if it is a perfect example of where the two hemispheres of the brain unite and work in perfect harmony. Although I imagine that you would tell me that when things get snarled up and tangled, that harmony goes out of the window!
    Thanks for a great post and let’s all look forward to creating and sharing our journey in 2015.

    • I, for one, would love to see your watercolors! I did some work in that area in college and was hopelessly awful at it–I think it’s such a challenging medium but you must be very good! And, yes, sewing and hiking Dartmoor–I get the same way at this time of year, wanting to do it all! But then I feel stressed because I take on too much! I guess it’s all about balance.

      The weaving is very interesting and, so far, very satisfying. I like the analytical aspects of it and I like that the product is useful. And, honestly, the time when inner harmony is most important is exactly when the threads get tangled!

      I’ll look forward to everything you post in 2015, Karen! Here’s to our adventures!

      • Being confined to bed with a cold and cough is giving me an opportunity to catch up on my blogging housekeeping!
        I had missed your reply to my comment and looking through your skeins of messages and responses following all your posts, I am struck by the commitment and interest which you invest in all of your followers. But I am also in awe of the time it must take you to be there for all of us too.
        Stopped, as I am in my tracks by feeling ill, I am struck by how I, too, take on too much, aim too high and push myself in every way.
        You are right Kerry that it must surely be about getting the balance right. But how can we do that when there are so many exciting projects to start?
        All I am doing whilst ‘resting’ is planning more ever exciting things which I want to make or achieve. I have been dipping into Mrs Beeton’s book of Household Management and I think that the answer could be having a Butler, a Ladies Maid and a Cook! In fact, I think I am going to start writing a post for my blog about that! Ah……I am happy now, for I have found another project in which to sink some of my creativity!

        • I am at a place in life where I have it so much easier then most people–retired from a profession that has given me a secure situation. I don’t need to worry about money so I can do what I want with my time. And one of the things I’ve really enjoyed is the time I’ve spent writing here but, even more, interacting with people like you. Even having said all that, I have trouble finding time to do everything I want to do! And, yes, even when I’m not feeling well physically, my mind is racing to come up with new ideas to jump into, as soon as I’m feeling better. I hope YOU feel better soon and can tell us about all your plans and projects!

  10. Beautiful! I really like the color palette and design that you selected.. January is the perfect time to begin a new endeavor. I’m looking forward to updates

    • Thanks, Sheryl–I’m enjoying the colors and design, too. My husband picked the colors–he thought he was going to make something with these threads but then lost interest. I picked the design and am loving it!

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