Studio Life Series #1: January: Time to Exhale

Deep breath, and another …deep, deep breath. After a frantic rush to complete 20 yards of Hudson Farm Cloth sewing yardage, 8 unique lap robes, 5 twin blankets, 4 baby blankets, and 4 queen sized blankets between November 12 and December 13, remembering to breathe can be challenging. The Christmas push in the studio is no joke.  And it seems to happen every year, despite my best planning, but of course that’s just life, isn’t it? Projects never, or rarely, take less time than estimated. It always goes the other way. And Christmas has a way of gathering all the delays of the year and presenting them to you as a full lost week and a half, like the mismatch between the amount of spaghetti and the amount of sauce at the end of the meal.

But that makes the quiet of the New Year all the sweeter. Yesterday my studio assistant and I spent 3 hours sorting through projects and ideas for projects that had been set aside. It’s almost embarrassing to see how many cones of yarn, languishing in a bag or on a shelf, have been awaiting resolution. Some were just waiting for time but others have specific issues. I have about 30 lbs. of leftover yarn from the Fountain House order of the 8 unique lap robes, ordered for their gift shop for Christmas. Fountain House is a charitable organization focused on providing work, education, and residential spaces to mentally ill individuals. Their retail craft shop in New York City is but one of their many employment opportunities for their clients. Do they want more lap robes? It is a gorgeous wool/alpaca blend in nice neutrals and a soft deep blue green, lovely to weave, and finished like a dream. I’d love the chance to finish that yarn, and have a little more time to enjoy the process. Despite producing a ton of product, I’m deep down a process weaver, thoroughly enjoying handling the yarns, the colors and the melding of it all into fabric.

Fountain House blankets on the loom
Fountain House blankets on the loom.

Plus the looms could use a little love. January is the clean, lubricate, tighten, and re-balance month. Looms don’t last forever but they can come pretty close with decent maintenance. Ahhh, January… time to stroke a little more of the alpaca, noodle into loom corners with swabs and silicone spray, and plan the tentative weaving schedule.   Let’s see if I can keep it on track, somewhat, maybe just the next 6 months. 🙂

About the author

Lilly Marsh

Lilly Marsh Studios can help you bring your fiber ideas to reality. As a farmer growing your own fiber and looking for finished products for resale, a designer looking to source local/regional fibers for private label sales, or some combination between, I can help you through the entire process. If you have raw fiber in hand, the Studio can assist in yarn design for specific projects and shepherd you through the milling process. If you are looking to source fiber, we can help find high quality regional materials suitable for your designs. We have small minimums but can also handle larger orders in a wide variety of bed and camp blankets, throws, wraps, home decor and sewing yardage in our solar powered studio.

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