Happy new year! Our holidays were spent back home in Jamaica. It was the mix of what we call Christmas breeze, friends and family that made this trip extra-special.
Inspiration came by more than sheer natural beauty. The island is still dealing with the Chikungunya virus outbreak. It is transmitted by mosquitoes, and last October the government declared ChikV a national emergency. We are not infected but close family members are still coping with serious joint pain, and other symptoms.
In meeting ChikV, the economy, and not to mention personal challenges, I am inspired by the strength & creativity of people back home. Things are difficult for so many that we know & love.
Any view of the Blue Mountains is beautiful. This was on the patio after lunch at Eits Cafe in Newcastle. I grew up with a similar tree-line view from the bedroom that I shared with my brother. The land is green.
Our waitress at dinner in St. Mary on the north coast came back to make sure we understood how the snapper would be plated. “That’s what we want! Whole fish!” She smiled, approvingly.
Returning to visit the first art gallery I ever loved. The old great house, Harmony Hall is just as lovely as ever. We enjoyed our visit & the freshly-squeezed limeades immensely.
Every good beach no matter how small needs good shade. The best seashells came home with me to Canada (hints: look under the seaweed; use a stick; avoid sand-flies). These two saw immediate love with the cotton spinning!
Just looking down at the beach, sometimes you might find fossilized coral. This one survived the area’s blasting.
We spent less than 48 hours on the north coast this trip. Even so, I have happy thoughts about the Art Gallery of Burlington’s curated show this year. It is “Colour of Water.”
This is 1 of 6 handwoven towels that I finished in time for Christmas. Taking the other 5 home for hand-hemming was how I got them all done!
I rushed to weave more towels in this 2/8 cotton using the denim colour for warp. The progress story & were surprisingly popular with friends & family, so I had to make 2 extras!
The towels were all loved. A little too loved since I found myself saying over & over, “No! You totally should use them!”
These are the Keep it Simple towels by Mary Ann Geers. Diane helped me fix a sleying error after the first towel, and she flagged what I soon discovered was a silly tie-up error.
Another friend, Margaret, has enabled me into some excellent weaving pattern books just this week. Lots to learn this year about structure!
Luckily, there is still more inspiration in baby form. My brother & sister-in-law are expecting! We are so thrilled, and this is the launch of All The Plans!
The top book here is very important: “Knitting Counterpanes” by Mary Walker Phillips. I think my handspun Romney yarn may be perfect for a small-sized knit counterpane.
See the two folders above the backstrap loom book? They are pick-up patterns recorded by Catherine A. Stirrup from designs of Peru & Mexico. A weaver kindly sent them to me with the backstrap weaving books in her destash.
To much fan-fare, I opened a superbly packed box with the 2 Tabachek spindles (right, above) & a surprise. This was late last year. When my friend, Devin, offered the spindles to me, I was so thrilled! They are a favourite make, and holly was a quiet dream as well.
Devin, they are loved, and see regular use both at home, and at spin-ins! The grey fibre is yak/merino/silk top.
Cheers for 2015, everyone! Looking forward to lots of projects, new friends, and especially becoming an Auntie!