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6am be like…

I have a great weaving friend Anastasia Hobson-George, who told me that if I wanted to get my weaving completed in time for the coastal Tlingit celebration in Juneau, Alaska in early summer of 2020 that I’d have to get up early and weave for an hour before starting my day just like the late master weaver, Jennie Thlanaut. I was told that Jennie would wake up early and make tea and weave. I decided that finishing this robe is important enough to sacrifice a little sleep so since July, I’ve been waking up at 6am and weaving for two hours almost every morning (Tues-Sat). I make coffee, I often listen to a podcast with my headphones on while George, the lucky recipient of this robe sleeps nearby. 

In these bleary-eyed early morning hours, I have felt so fortunate to welcome each day with this deeply spiritual weaving practice. I feel every weaver who came before me, guiding my hands – often before I’m awake enough to do so for myself. The only lights on in the house are those illuminating my loom, flooding my workspace with light so that I can ensure the tidiest, most compact stitches. Yes, I’ve made plenty of weaving mistakes but I’m ok with that. I’m not aiming for perfection. I’m aiming for beautiful. 

This robe came into being in the summer of 2018. I spun the warp yarns by hand on my Ashford Kiwi II wheel using merino wool until that ran out and I substituted the remainder with corriedale. I included cedar bark in the warp for the strength and bug repellency (as is the tradition with Chilkat weaving) and am so grateful for the time I put into creating every one of those one thousand yards of yarn! When I dressed this loom on Canada Day, 2017, I had NO IDEA how tedious but precious each stitch would become. I estimated that when this robe is completed, I will have created somewhere in the neighbourhood of 250,000 stitches. I love the time I spend at the loom, weaving threads in and out, over and under. 

I take great care to ensure that my state of mind is a peaceful, pleasant one. If I am angry, I redirect my thoughts to a more positive state. If I’m hungry, I stop and eat. If I’m sad, I step away from the work. Whenever I’m in a state of unhappiness or any kind of negativity, I stop working and regroup. I know I must take great care to monitor my thoughts because they are being woven into the fabric of this robe which will be worn and danced by hopefully many generations of Tlingit dancers. 

I’m not an expert. To the contrary – I’m quite a beginner but an enthusiastic, committed one. I’ve documented much of this process on my Instagram feed but I think I ought to keep some of those images here as well. 

The image immediately above shows bundles of warp yarns hanging in preparation for dressing the loom in the summer of 2018. I was excited, apprehensive, and totally full of inspiration and hope. Once the loom was dressed at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre on Canada Day, I was on my way. I had no idea how my enthusiasm would ebb and flow but as of today, September 9, 2019, I am committed to an almost daily (save for Sundays) weaving practice that starts at 6am. I only complete 3-4 rows at best with each row taking 30 minutes to complete but I am making progress. Daily. 

It is absolutely a challenge to wake up earlier than I’d like and immediately work but I do it. This means that every day, I get to see a little bit of progress which brings me closer to my goal of completion. 

I was so lucky to spend several months at home working on the weaving. I saw diamonds emerging in the Haida Spider Web pattern which was exciting! There were still many moments when I felt as though I’d never be done. I still have those moments all the time. But they pale in comparison to the moments when my heart is racing as I watch a new pattern emerge. This robe is steeped in life experience, love, and joy. It is telling its own story through the design and stitches used but also, it tells my story as the weaver. We, the robe and I are intertwined. We are one. 

The photo of me at the loom above is from early July , 2019. I was beginning my morning weaving practice and was excited to see the fruits of my labour. I also was beginning to see how starting my day with this work was setting the rest of my day and my life to be so rich and fulfilling. 

I foresee needing to record my progress in this storytelling fashion more regularly as this piece comes to life. I have so many thoughts and ideas that emerge during this time at the loom. I gain clarity on my life’s path, my biggest dreams. I have so much to be grateful for and it all starts with my time in this chair, in this place, in front of this work. 

Thank you for being with me as I share my experience. 

V

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I think I need a clone

Copyright © 2014 Sven Müller

I’m not entirely sure how the heck so many weeks go by between posts but they DO go by and instead of feeling like a total dolt, I’m going to remind myself and you that I’m doing my best. Also, fall time seems to be a season of getting shit done and this fall is no different. 

I’ve just posted a series of upcoming classes on Facebook and Instagram which I’m really looking forward to teaching. Also, there will be a few classes held at our LYS, Itsy Bitsy which will be my regular drop spindle spinning and frame loom weaving classes. There’s always a huge demand for these classes so I suspect my fall teaching schedule will keep me on my toes. 

In addition to classes, I’m reworking how a bunch of my online store listings are being launched. I’m trying something new where I knock out a pile of new designs and restock a bunch of the core line and launch them all together at once with announcements on social media. Maybe in the future, I’ll include a newsletter for those announcements but I’m just one person and between making stock (jewelry and woven goods), running the store, weaving on the Ravenstail robe in the early morning hours, and finishing writing my first book, I think we can all agree that I probably have a few plates spinning all at once. No need to mess with what’s (mostly) working. 

So without further ado, here are some of the upcoming classes for September. I’ve created an actual event for all of the upcoming classes mostly for ease of sharing. The registration process is simple and somewhat manual for me. PM/email to sign up. It’s pretty straightforward. Class info is included in each listing and if you click the photo, it’ll take you straight to the FB event. Try it! 

September 3 from 6:00-8:00pm.

Must be prepaid. $75 +gst per person, all materials provided.
Cancellation policy – full refund up to the day before. Class day cancellation will not be refunded but you will receive a kit of materials and instructions or templates when applicable.
Max six participants. Can be paid in store or online. DM for details re: online registration

Location : Wild Yukon Furs || V. Ægirsdóttir – Artist – (the former wine shop) beside Baked and across from The Collective Good.

You will learn back stitch, satin stitch, and French knots. Also, you’ll learn how to transfer patterns.

Hoop, fabric, needles, and thread are yours to keep.

September 4 from 6:00-8:00pm.

Must be prepaid. $75 +gst per person, all materials provided.
Cancellation policy – full refund up to the day before. Class day cancellation will not be refunded but you will receive a kit of materials and instructions or templates when applicable.
Max six participants. Can be paid in store or online. DM for details re: online registration

Location : Wild Yukon Furs || V. Ægirsdóttir – Artist – (the former wine shop) beside Baked and across from The Collective Good.

You will learn how to warp your loom, which materials to warp with, how to select weft yarns, plain weave and finishing techniques to create one of a kind woven bracelets.
Loom, warp thread, weft yarns, and needle are yours to keep.

September 10, 6-8pm.

Must be prepaid. $75 +gst per person, all materials provided.

Cancellation policy – full refund up to the day before. Class day cancellation will not be refunded but you will receive a kit of materials and instructions or templates when applicable.
Max six participants. Can be paid in store or online. DM for details re: online registration

Location : Wild Yukon Furs || V. Ægirsdóttir – Artist – (the former wine shop) beside Baked and across from The Collective Good.

You will learn back stitch, French Knots, how to transfer patterns, and most importantly; how to use watercolour paint on fabric!
Hoop, fabric, needles, and thread are yours to keep.

I do have more classes in the queue and will be sharing them on social media and hopefully on here as well. If you want to see the samples for these projects, most are shown in the posts on Instagram. I seldom put much time into Facebook anymore so if you want to see what’s what, hit me up on IG. 

 

And lastly, if you’ve gotten this far in my post, please leave a comment so that I know someone other than my partner is reading this…and let’s be honest, he’s probably not even reading this. See why I could use a little comment love? 
Thanks for hanging out, homeslice. 

V