Christine here. This morning I was about to respond to an email with my usual Eor-like fervent pessimism when I noticed the sunshine streaming in over my braiding detritus left on the coffee table.
Sunshine is not a frequent visitor to my home. We are surrounded by trees that block the sun in summer, and the lake effect makes 285 days per year cloudy and overcast in Pittsburgh. The sky is usually a dim white to gray. But today, it is a beautiful clear and cold blue.
One of my resolutions for the coming year is not to use this blog as purely a ranting place to vent my less than happy mood. So I’m starting, today, with appreciation of the sunshine. It may be brief, but it is beautiful.
I had some good news today: I heard that the Valley Forge Rug Braiding Good swept the awards at the Pennsylvania Farm Show with first, second, and third places (I’m the second). As soon as I get a photo of the 3rd place, I will post them all. I’m so pleased with the guild for promoting rug braiding in this state. It is a wonderful craft… and winning is always satisfying, too!
I have been working on the next issue of the newsletter, but I have been seriously hampered by the presence of house guests. No matter how lovely they are, house guests always drive me bats. They impair my ability to live in the state of creative chaos in which I am most comfortable. I have to spend my time curtailing the natural entropy and refrain from being impolite. It is truly a stressful condition, no matter how kind or amusing the guests are.
My natural de-stress mechanism is always to reach for an oval rug, so this is the one I’ve been working on:
It is a combination of peaches, pinks, browns, and camels. At various points I have thought it was a boring sort of rug, but I like its calmness. I was considering introducing some soft turquoises, but at this point I think I’ll just keep it calm and pink and brown.
The newsletter that I’ve been working on will have a few variations on 6-braid spiral hexagons, as well as butted pentagons.
I made one for Christmas, but it has a hole in the center of it that I’m not certain everyone will like. I’ve been experimenting with ways to fill in the center hole, and it’s harder to figure out than you might think.
The next hexagon I made, the blue and white one, was so full in the center that it has a little hat shape sticking up.
The next version that I made, with hot pink and maroon, worked a bit better but still is only partially filled in the center — and the loops are pulled quite tight to do so.
I’m left with considering braiding half of the braids a tad longer, and the other half shorter, so that 3 of the braids will reach into the center and the other 3 will rest just outside of the center.
The experimentation process — trying new designs, seeing what works — is always my favorite aspect of writing the newsletter. Unfortunately, each “experiment” takes time to braid and lace, and I have a newsletter to get out!
Between getting the guild website up to date with information on the braid in, cleaning my house for guests and entertaining the guests, I am pretty far behind on the coming issue. But, it will get done… sometime… before the end of January.