delicate lace crochet collage
October Project: “Quarter Turn Lacy Canvas Collage”.

November is the time for giving thanks and regardless of our challenging times, we all have much to be thankful for. I feel so blessed to be healthy, loved and have the freedom to create my life anew every day.

I was excited to have my pretty smile restored this fall, but I mostly have to keep it under wraps due to Covid19. It is hiding behind my assortment of Irish lace masks; they get lots of attention wherever I go. Anyway, early October was my last dental appointment to pull a troublemaker way in the back. After my talented dentist pulled the molar, he held it up to the light and remarked about the shape of the root, which had a noticeable (at least a size K) hook. I told him that several of my previously pulled teeth had hooked roots, which is somewhat unusual. It makes them harder to pull of course, but I always took it as a good sign to have a crochet hook theme all the way down to the roots of my teeth. I added the beautiful molar to my special collection.

October also seemed a good time to inventory and straighten my studio. I noticed that I had acquired many of the beautiful specialty yarns that come in twisted braids which require winding before being used. That, of course, often kept me from spontaneously reaching for one to immediately turn it into something that was already formulated in my head. So, something needed to be done! I do have a yarn winder, which I use frequently, often assisted by the back of a chair or a pair of propped up feet. During the cleaning of the uppermost shelves in my studio I discovered some long-forgotten treasures, a bow maker, small shaker boxes with scraps of silk and short ends of long finished projects. But in the very back I found a long skinny box that was given to me many years ago. At the time it wasn’t needed, so I forgot about it. I am so glad I kept that skinny box! It turns out that it held a Japanese umbrella reel, like the kind you see in the yarn stores.

This discovery gave me a reason to straighten my work bench. Then it was fun to set up the yarn winder on one end and the umbrella reel about 3’ away. Then, to test my set-up, I untwisted a braid of my beautiful bamboo yarn and spread the large circle of material around the reel, found the starting point and secured it in the yarn winder. Voila, success! In just a few minutes I created a lovely and easy to use yarn ball. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day winding braids into balls. When done, I rolled up the yarn labels and slid them into the center of the ball, since that is important information to keep. Because I can close the umbrella reel when not needed, the winder and the reel are now permanent fixtures on my workbench.

I also located an accumulation of beautiful bits and pieces of lace, swatches, flowers, leaves and coaster designs, all made over this last year from several light shades of bedspread cotton. I decided to feature them in a collage and purchased a square canvas, painted it and arranged the pieces on it. Once finished with a pleasing arrangement, I secured the swatches with acid-free adhesive and after some drying time I found an interesting surprise – due to the square shape, the piece can be given a quarter turn for a completely different look.

Of course, I got some work done as well. An interesting restoration of knitted squares featuring a leaf pattern, crochet together with a crochet edge around the entire spread. The weakened connectors needed to be reinforced and some of the edge and the leaves restored. In between I continue to make masks and berets for my next demo session at the Folk Art Center November 13 through 15.

October was a fun month of discoveries in my studio. They resulted in several new and unusual projects. Sometimes it pays to straighten a corner of our universe! I highly recommend it.

Enjoy your month of Thanksgiving, even if we have to distance from loved ones, there is still so much to be grateful for. I certainly appreciate all of you fiber friends!

Straighten a corner and you may find forgotten treasures and unfinished projects. Cook a turkey, make some pies anyway and enjoy!

“I do what I love and I love what I do.”