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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Simplifying

Yes, some serious warp chicken has been going on! 🐔  Now the loom sits empty until I work out what I want to do next.    But let's back up on this project to the start for now
 

I tend to weave up complicated drafts and sometimes there's no place to go but back to basics.  Back to simple.  I wanted a nice long warp, easy treadling and to use up some small part cones from the stash.   So here's the answer to that.


6 shaft herringbone twill with a pop of colour where I doubled the colour accents. Using all 8/2 cottons, I used two threads treated as one, sharing one heddle and one dent in the reed.  


I found neutral colours worked best as weft: taupe, ivory, a medium blue... and one towel with royal blue to match the edges.  My favourite? The taupe weft.   One might be appearing in my kitchen soon. 


The warp was wound to 9.5 yards and laced on to save warp. Sett is 24 epi and I only weave 5-6 shots of a scrap yarn between towels.   The towels are woven to 36 inches each on the loom.  

The cloth roll got nice and chubby!   Very satisfying.  

Between warp and all the weft yarn, you become aware of the weight of it all when you roll it off the loom. So I wrapped it all up tight and weighed it.   3 lbs, 3 ounces!


My old White serger, running well after a tune up, chugged through all the cotton as I separated the towels.  A wash and dry, followed by a steam pressing and then they were prepped for hemming. I'm a fan of hand sewing hems as I'm not a fan of the stitch ditch line.  It breaks up the flow of your patterns. More honestly, it also shows I can't sew a straight line!  😁


So I was able to eek out 9 full-sized towels but no samples this time.  I can live with that!  So here are some of the beauty shots....








One of the ivory weft towels is on its way to Georgia right now as part of a towel exchange in honour of dear departed friend Padre Wayne. He would have loved this..... and also be annoyed he can't join in.  I'll post my exchange towel next time...





The towels are soft and generously large  21" by 30" so big enough to wrap around a large bowl.  They would suit any kitchen decor and be a fun colour accent.   Practical and pretty. 

So what have I been up to lately?   Well, I have been enjoying my Hansen spinner! Here's my first rolag experience. 


Today my most immediate project is to resolve this hole:


This is where my large Tissart tapestry loom was. Its on a ferry going to its new home on Cortez Island right now as I write to a very excited new owner.  I'm going to rearrange some items in the studio and so free up more room near the Spring loom.  It feels a bit crowded over there and I'd like more room to manoeuvre  when warping the loom up.   I still have a Mirrix Little Guy tapestry loom so can play with that.   

Simplifying things.   Its been part of my plan for time now as I downsize to what I really need and will use.   It feels good!


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Spinning Our Wheels 🚗 🔥


First of all, let me state that this is NOT our car but it was someone's reality just yesterday.  I fully sympathize as it was on my mind on May 21st.  {although it is apparently a Hyundai car}



This is our new to us 2019 Hyundai Tucson which we bought recently and  it was done basically on the spot.   It was a lovely Saturday on a holiday weekend and I had an errand to do in Courtenay about a 35 minute drive south of us. Hub was going to stay home but I talked him into coming along and enjoying the drive along the ocean.   So we headed out and got about 10 kms south of town when we noticed smoke coming out of the steering column!  We immediately turned around and slowly headed back, through town and out to the Hyundai dealership. We had the windows rolled down, and I had tucked the insurance papers into my purse and we were prepared to bail in a hurry if need be.  😳


Long story short, it would a spendy repair and a 2-3 week wait for the parts, for a 12 year old 2010 Santa Fe. It has been very good to us, very reliable.... until it scared us and we couldn't trust it anymore. So we went and kicked some tires and brought home the 2019 Tucson.   We're very happy, even if we do have a car loan again.  I'm also very grateful that Bruce came with me for the drive that day, otherwise I would have had to buy a car all by myself!  😁   Its fun to drive and I love the back up camera!    Smaller cargo space but then we don't have a large dog like Calli any longer or her big kennel....   still miss that girl!


After the long weekend, Bruce had to go back to the dealership to get help with some of the features and was stunned to see that a large portion of the building had burnt down! It would seem that a Santa Fe was up on the hoist and it caught fire.  Our hearts sank when we heard this news, but they quickly told us it was a 2015 Santa Fe and not ours.  Our old car is actually the white car to the left of this picture.  They were only down a weeks time and in that time they had cleared away debris and brought in building materials already....


So this Hansen e-spinner has been a wonderful distraction for the past weeks as my shoulder healed.   I have become quite at home with the machine now and using it for both singles and plying. There is a difference between an e-spinner and a conventional wheel but nothing difficult. Its more about a change in technique really. I know my feet appreciate the break and so I've decided to sell off my spinning wheel.    If you want to keep doing the things you enjoy, you must adapt.  The Woolee Winder has made using the e-spinner much easier.



So, yes I am weaving but not anything fast  or even every day.  The shoulder injury is simply something I don't care to repeat if I can avoid it.  I'm easing back into things and slowly building on time spent throwing a shuttle. The spring loom has 9.5 yards of cotton for towels, and I'm up to towel number 4 of  8 or 9.   Simple 6 shaft herringbone and cheerful colours which seem to make everyone happy who see them. 


This blue version was started yesterday......


I'm also planning a shawl warp with a beautiful painted warp I bought on line so that's next up for the Megado. It currently has two scarves underway but more on those next time. 

So that's may update on the goings on and interesting turn of events around here.  🌺 🐝

Some of our gardens right now....


chest nut blossoms


Clematis



snap dragons and white iris







 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Late in Coming

I would have to say that today was our first truly warm spring day. You know the kind of day where you can open the doors and windows and feel comfortable.   We have had a very late, rather cold, wet and blustery spring so far.  I'm not one for heat, but even I was saying "enough already".   Our gardens are about 2-3 weeks behind and the bees are only just making an appearance.   🌺 🐝 

Also making a late appearance is me....  I actually threw a shuttle today for the first time in  2 months and oh, my.... is my arm ever weak and the legs are downright pathetic.    Its going to take some time to build up my weaving muscles and tone up again.   Always at the back of my mind is the shoulder area that gave me grief and "will this go out on me again?"   Still don't know what caused it to begin with. 

I spent the time spinning on my Hansen e-spinner and plying up old full bobbins from my other Rose wheel.   I'm at ten skeins so far.   I've had time to think about my studio and situation and came to some decisions.   

  • I'm selling my large Leclerc Tissart tapestry loom.
  • I'm selling my Majacraft Rose spinning wheel.
  • I'm selling my Janome Pro 4DX serger
  • I'm selling my back issues of Complex Weavers magazines.
  • ......and basically downsizing to what I actually use and enjoy, and the rest is optional.
The big tapestry loom is upgraded but I never seem to find the time or motivation to make a start.  I'd rather have the real estate back and besides, I have my Mirrix Little Guy tapestry loom.

The Rose wheel was harder to part with  but after spending time with the Hansen and getting truly comfortable with it, the Rose can find a new home too.  My feet are very arthritic and so treadling is painful some days.   Circumstances change and you must adapt too.

The serger? well, my needs are simple and its a machine with more bells and whistles than I need. I have my old White serger and we are old frenemies that understand each other after all these years. 

I was also very busy with the Guild of Canadian Weavers testing program this April. I'm the test administrator and we had a number of tests submitted for marking by master weavers. I'm the go between markers and candidates.    Lots of emails, waiting for parcels to arrive,  and finally congratulating successful graduates and a bunch of record keeping to do.     Normally its a once a year busy job and occasional emails through the year but I have agreed to organize my records going back to 1947 and scan them for the GCW archives.  Its literally the whole of our 75 years and reason for being.    This will start in the fall and be done slowly as time permits. 

Other "better late than never" items are these two scarves. I was able to (slowly) twist fringes and eventually use the iron to smooth for presentation.


My personal favourite os this one.   Its 20/2 black silk warp, 28 epi and the weft is 8/2 bamboo in a neutral gold  beige.   One side is a tad bit darker... the other a bit lighter, but not by much. So nicely reversible.


Its a 9 shaft 9 treadle twill where there are three separate blocks of 3 shafts.  You can make any of them wide as you like when threading, or as big as you like when treadling. It creates an interwoven affect that is very reminiscent of pattern #246 in Strickler's  8 Shaft Book of Patterns.   I could see the possibilities for colour play and it would make great lap throws, baby blankets, runners....


I'm positive I found this draft at Handweaving.net but several attempts at finding it there again have failed. I was trying to get the number.   So I say clearly, it not my draft, and if you get the number for it, please let me know. 




The second scarf is all silk. The weft is 20/2 bombyx silk in natural.   I found its a bit slippery on the weft turns and so would do some thread diving. I eventually used a large blunt needle to ease them into place.  So a weft with some 'tooth' to it is recommended if you want to avoid this issue.


It was a bright, but high cloud sort of day when I took these pictures. I had given up waiting for spring and just did my best with the day.



The over all block size were smaller with all silk and I was tempted to add repeats to build it up, but I decided to go with the same and have a tighter pattern affect and I like it.   Good to try things out and see how it goes.  Call it a full sized sample  😉



So here's the draft.... see what you can come up with!
Have  great May long weekend!






Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter! 🐇

 

Eggs by Shari Bailey


All around the World, I think we are all a bit Ukrainian this year.    Everyone wants and needs peace and stability in their lives, especially these poor proud people suffering, and fighting for their lives and country's right to exist. 


🌷🐇🪴

I will have some weaving to share  next post but have to share with you that I put my right shoulder and arm out again and so have been focusing on getting better and coping with pain. I did this last November as well, but this time it is worse.   I'm limited to what I can do with my right arm and have even been sleeping nightly semi reclined  on the couch as it hurts to lie down.  Its been a rough 2-3 weeks but it is slowly improving.   What did I do?   I have no idea!  I wish I did know so I can be sure not to repeat it again. 

I am able to spin on my Hansen so have been enjoying that for a change of pace.    I'm not able to throw a shuttle  or wind a warp but I have been project  planning, fringe twisting and I was able to beam a warp today with a lot of help from Hubby.    So the looms will be ready to go when I can..... but it will be a very slow start so not to set myself back again.    I guess I'm not a spring chicken anymore !  🐣🐥

Saturday, March 26, 2022