Monday, May 23, 2016

Juice Boxes




It seems the faster I try to go, the further  behind I get!   We have been continuing  to get things around the house tidied up for summer and have been busy doing odd jobs. Windows done (inside and out) deck railing and glass, some  gardening..... every day has been full.   We have decided to put our house and property on the market in the weeks ahead so we will continue to sort and down size.  That's the big decision hinted at in the last post.  We need a smaller yard and one level house on the main floor (at least). I have no doubt that there will be more joint surgery to come in the years ahead. I'd rather we change our situation voluntarily while we can and have choices,  rather than have it forced on us later.  ( I have watched and learned from my senior family members before me)

There is an additional air of pressure as we have two sets of company coming soon to visit!    The first arrive this Wednesday so I baked some goodies yesterday and grocery shopping is later today, with last minute cleaning Wednesday morning.  Phew!


I'm so grateful that I have much more of my mobility back again to be able to do all this!   For the past few years I was leaning so much more on my hubby's help... and some days I couldn't do much at all. So now that I seem to have the worse of two surgeries behind me, it feels like I've reengaged with Life again!   Thanks for hanging in there Bruce!


Don't you love this time of year with all the flowers bursting out everywhere? 

There's been time for some weaving all well.  I wove off two scarves from this warp but they are so completely different, that I'm showing them to you one at a time. The second scarf will be another post.   So here's the first and I call it Juice Boxes.   The warp is a lovely rich grape colour (think grape juice! ). Its 20/2 silk and I set it at 28 epi but to be truthful, next time I would try 24 epi instead.  Its perfectly okay and has a lovely hand, but I'm are always looking for where improvements can be made.


The weft is Bambu 12 which is quite fine. Its a mint green with just a touch of blue in its base and so it works with the grape quite nicely!  The pattern is an eight shaft Classic Drall ( #228 as found in The Weaver's Book of Eight Shaft Patterns).   Its a two block turned twill weave on eight shafts and a nifty weave.  There is something about the neat and tidy arrangement of boxes that appeals to the eye. Like stacked "juice boxes".    


I like to have a picture showing the length of the scarf and Madge my lovely assistant does a fine job of demonstrating  that


Then we can get to playing around with draping and going for flourish!


Classic Drall  is so versatile for either table linens, or for scarves.  I'm thinking it would be neat to try a three block version  on 12 shafts. I'm going to play around in Fiberworks and see how it could work visually. 


Here are two views of the scarf and full fringe and you can really see how deep the grape colour is. The hand is soft as you would expect for a silk and bamboo combination. The bamboo tightened up nicely with wet finishing and the steam pressing brought out the soft sheen of the silk.


These  pretty girls gave it a round of applause! 



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Heart Felt

We went over to Vancouver for my son's 40th birthday this past weekend.  The year he was born, it was also Mother's Day.  I squeaked in under the wire at having him at 10:55 pm and then I asked where my flowers and card were?

Well, I thought it was funny at the time....

Anyhow we were over there visiting this weekend and had a party one evening, where I went dancing with my grandson to a live band (thank you Dr Jacks for fixing me!),  and a Mother's day brunch at their home the next.   My son and grandson Ethan made the yummiest, light as air waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.    And there was flowers and a card too.

Here they are pretending to be going very fast on the back deck on the Thomas bike:



We had bought our grand daughter a pretty dress for her birthday in early March..... and she wore it Saturday night to the party.


I think the term is " she has us wrapped around her little finger".

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Class Act



I'm weaving classy "classic Drall weave".... in between tax prep, yard work, window cleaning,  and catching up on Life.  One side effect of deteriorated joints and surgeries is that sets you on the sidelines and you watch other people doing things and going places.   Like you used to do.

Well, I'm feeling stronger and more myself again and I have some serious catching up to do! Some decisions to be made.


Like what colour weft to use with grape 20/2 silk?  How about mint fine bamboo?    These are going to be nice once washed and pressed up. You can see the silk's sheen coming through already as it turns the corner on the breast beam.

Next scarf? I'm staying with fine bamboo and either an old gold or ??   I'll show you what I decide next post.

I'm losing ground on the stock situation as my neighbour came over and bought two scarves for his mother and aunt both turning 90.  I'm very pleased he thought my scarves worthy of a special gift like that.   I'm going to have to keep plugging away and try to get my sales chest built back up again!

I need towels, runners and shawls  so check in from time to time and see what's being dreamed up and made real.  

That's what we do you know.... take an image from our mind and make it real.

With help from your friends of course....



Its only fair as I helped him at his job some years ago....


This is how I spent two weeks over Christmas 1984. The Via  passenger train.  The engineer, my husband Bruce,  sits on the right hand side. Everyone thought I was running the train and I was happy to let them keep thinking that!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

... And Sometimes More is Better!


That last project was fun.... and I *loved* the results. So why not do it again?   Some changes to the project this time round:
  • I increased the size of the 'boxes' width by four ends per box. The overall width went up by half and inch to 7.5 inches
  • I added an extra black warp thread to the selvedges, so when it gets compacted its still the same size as the central dividers. Nit picky I know....
  • I changed two colours to brighten things up, but left three as they still complimented the colour scheme.
I'm like this when I follow a cake or main dinner recipe too. I follow the rules and recipe faithfully the first time, then I make adjustments to suit me.   It works....



This was not a complicated weave to treadle but this one took time as I had hurt my new knee and so I had to be more careful and weave only in small timed sessions.  After months of pain and recovery, I do not want to mess it up!   Spring has also arrived here and so we have been tackling other jobs such as taxes, yard work,  spring cleaning in the house and our ever present "downsizing stuff".   Its an energetic time of year and the outdoors beckons again.  The calendar is also starting filling up with plans for trips,  house guests and summer events.   

Finally, the scarves were all done, the fringes twisted, hand washed and dried over night. A good hard pressing and fringe trimmed up neat.    I dragged Madge back outside again and she and I did some poses.  She's a rather wooden and stubborn model but the only one I have. Next gal will hopefully have arms!



Hanging straight to show over all length.



Then some flips and folds for flare....





... and in this one below, I turned the centre to show the opposite side. Its fully reversible.



Then I got my own private black  rain cloud and so we dashed back inside and shot a few more.  I used every light I own, a white back ground and a flash so sorry if these are a bit dark.


They do show how rich the colours are! Tencel is super for the rich deep shades they have, plus black does make the colours pop.




Here you can see the reversing twill more clearly. 



These two (above) show the finishing details: small neat hemstitching to secure the edge threads and tight twisting.   No beads this time as they are busy enough as they are.

So now what?  I have some 20/2 silk just beamed on the Spring loom and I'm two thirds through the threading for classic drall.    Here's my other studio helper, Bruce.  He's right there when ever a new warp needs beaming or loom needs lifting. That's the  drall silk in the picture.... a nice grape purple!


An upgrade in computers means the Megado is waiting for  reloading of USB to serial port drivers... again.   So that's on the 'to-do' list and will be done shortly.

I'm slowly working through more family photos and work on them at night as we watch the TV.  I'm somewhere in the range of 1500 scanned now and probably as much again to do.    "Eating the elephant one bite at a time"   I must state for the record that no elephants are harmed here and I personally like them.   🐘

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sometimes Less is More

I spent the entire day today on computers.   Setting up a new Mac and preparing my old one for Hubby Dearest  to use.   We 'migrated' stuff using Apple's programs and troubleshooted some other issues.   Such as this one:  I've been using a program called iPhoto to do all the hundreds of old family pictures and apparently  Apple has dropped it from their roster. I clearly did not get the memo.  I have a back up drive with all the pictures as saved in iPhoto.... but where do they get to go??  The new Mac didn't come with iPhoto so I had a moment of panic.  As luck would have it, we found that I could download the program from the  'previously purchased' list at the App store, and after that download, they all went like homing pigeons into their folders!  iPhoto won't receive updates anymore so I will have to work out where to shift them to next, but I'm putting out one bush fire at a time !

So I'm using my new Mac for this post and hubby beside me is happily on his learning curve with the MacAir as he's a newbie. ( iPads and iPhones don't really set you up for a full on Mac).  His other PC laptop died after only six months, which is just crazy.  Its a lot of money to be out after a few months, not to mention the aggravation factor!   The Apple conversion in this house is now total and complete!     He was a tough nut to crack but like water on rock.......     :)


I had four or five cones of 8/2  (or 2/8) tencel sitting on my desk for some time.  Old gold, mineral green, taupe, Pompeii, and slate gray. There was something about the colours that drew me and they seemed to just go together but what to do with them?   I wanted to use all of them and try to keep the colours separate and distinct if possible.  I spent much time looking through old drafts, old samples looking for inspiration.   Then in a stack of old drafts  which I call my 'some day' pile I found a 6 shaft reversing 2/2 twill.   Then I found some similar colours in my Fiberworks. Not accurate but close enough for me.



Aprox 200 ends, 24 epi and 6 yards in length. I wound the warp and it hung  around awhile waiting its turn, but at least it in the queue now!

After the ombre scarves came off, the warp went on and Bruce was there to help.  Here he is all set to use his new trick of a pvc rod in the paper roll to stop it from going wandering while being wound on. It really seems to help!


Then I used my usual lacing on and two stick start. It really reduces the loom waste.  I only nip off the knots later and all that becomes my twisted fringe later  instead of going into the trash bin or thrums bag (which I don't keep).


I checked for mistakes, prepped my floating selvedges and got busy.  It met all my desired criteria of keeping colours separate and altogether, fully reversible, and having visual impact but simply done.  It sure looked better than I expected!    


There was a nice 'melding' of the colours, which are all of a similar value and depth of shade.  The black dividers nicely pop the colours, as well as the little boxes shine through.

I wove two in these colours and I can't say how important pressing is to the final wet finishing at the projects conclusion.   Its the shine on the apple.     I hope you can see these two examples clearly.... maybe enlarge it to see better, either by clicking or spreading with your fingers.  One scarf is washed and dry.... the other washed, dry and pressed.



The cloth becomes softer,  more drape to it, beautiful sheen, and ready to go somewhere!



Showing the length.



Here the fold has been turned to show the reverse side.



I was thrilled with how they turned out!   So I wound another warp to do it again.... next post will be the second warp and how getting excited about weaving again, did me in   :(      But I'm doing okay and ready to start again but in a more sedate fashion.   More tortoise, less hare.   

Speaking of rabbits, I hope you had an enjoyable Easter.