Monday, April 27, 2009

An Old Standby

So this is where I left you last time.... dangling bait in front of you!

If the warp on my Woolhouse is 4/8 cotton and is thicker than I'm used to, then this is the opposite size wise. It's 2/16's cotton and will be set 36 epi for tea towels. I have some towels woven by a friend of mine, Gudrun and they are 2/16's. I love the hand and feel of them and you can get them into glasses and cups. They wash and dry well and are a bright cheery addition to the kitchen. 'Santa' brought me some 2/16's cotton for Christmas and I had towels planned for it. I wanted to use a bit of the 'new' greens that seem to be popular right now and so they would be more current for the fashion trends.

With no other pressing projects, I decided to put on 12 yards on the Louet Spring "Lilibet". I chose a favourite pattern, my old stand by, that I have used many times before from Strickler's A Weaver's 8 Shaft Pattern Book, #47 "Breaks and Recesses". It's a straight draw 1 to 8 and the treadling is the same. All the pattern is in the tie up! When you get into weaving something like this and develop a rhythm you can actually pick up speed and you go on 'auto pilot', and then your mind is free to think or ? Some call this 'zen weaving'. What I have been doing is plugging into my iPod and listening to music and podcasts and just loving it.

So now that both looms are fully loaded with long warps and between grabbing a few shots in between house chores and gardening, I'm busy! Then I came home to a message on my answering machine. A young woman who was recommended to me by a friend, wants me to weave her a one of a kind shawl. A commission order.... possibly. Now I have to weave off at least one of the warps to free up a loom! Then I recalled that I signed up for a weaving exchange ( "Spring is Sprung' April 1st /09 post)for the GCW to weave a runner. While this may or may not go ahead given the sign up numbers, it would be smart to plan something *now* and get to it. Life happens!

Update: It seems I will be weaving a commission shawl! We met today and details went smoothly. I will have to place a yarn order (darn! :) and the shawl is to be ready for late September.

On the home front: we have decided to go ahead with ripping off and replacing our upper and lower decks, side decks by the studio and re-inventing our front entry way to the house. When you come in the front door you are cramped into a small space and right next door is a room we barely use. So it looks like a small interior wall is going to come down (or create an archway) and a whole new entry will be built! This means new patio doors, new front door and the stairwell inside will all be affected as well. HUGE job and happily most of it's outside. It will make a huge difference to how the house looks and feels for us. We are, after all, staying here! We are starting on this soon and plans are commencing tonight with a contractor coming to look things over.

So it seems to be a time of fresh starts.... for many reasons. Heck even the dog got a spring hair cut and is looking like a plucked chicken! A cute one mind you....
Here's Connor 'before'... note the surly attitude. We agree that this is a mutually disagreeable activity to be endured. We've been doing haircuts for 12 years now, so he knows when the grooming table comes out!

And after, no doubt feeling a draft!


Theresa said...

Beautiful work as always Susan and congrats on the commission shawl. How exciting. Something like the white one?
Connor looks quite the bon vivant with the spring clip.
Such a handsome boy. Give him a hug from me when he's over his grooming sulk. Hope he's feeling well.


Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

Congratulations on the commission project!!! :) What wonderful news!!!

barbara said...

I like your tea towel warp - I do like the 2/16 cotton for tea towels; they take longer to weave, and I find it is hard to sell them for what they are worth. For my production tea towels, I use 2/8 cotton; and am pleased with them; and these sell quite nicely. You sure are into renovations at your place - will be nice to have them all completed. Congratulations on the commission shawl.

Susan said...

I would agree with you Barbara that this finer cotton takes longer to weave up. So my compromise is to keep things very simple and just 'motor' on the weaving. I'm enjoying the time and listening to past Weavecast podcasts. I never seem to get the time to do this otherwise! I don't really do production weaving but tend to weave more of what I like and if it sells, then great.

As for renovations: well, we knew the decks needed to be redone, but hubby decided on the new entry way and I must agree that it would be far nicer than what we have already. The house is of an age where this stuff needs to be done and once complete, we can enjoy it!
I have seen many situations where the work wasn't done till the house went on the market and someone else gets to enjoy it...


bspinner said...

Connor is one handsome pup.

I've never woven with 2/16. My favorite weight for towels is 10/2 unmercerized. Love your colors and pattern.

Congratulations on your shawl commission.

Be thankful you have a deck area to redo. For some strange reason I just can't get my husband to put in an deck or patio area.

Lynnette said...

Love the colours! Fresh and clean always looks wonderful. I just love to weave tea towels, they are a time to contemplate and just enjoy the time at the loom. I'm looking forward to seeing them all washed and ready for sale....but it seems to me that they often sell before I can get a good look!

Your commission is well deserved; you've worked hard to be a fine weaver and you should enjoy the occasional benefit!

Life Looms Large said...

That's cool that you have both looms warped and moving along! There's a lot to be said for 'zen weaving'!

I love the towel colors together!! Santa chose wisely - perhaps he had help!

Congrats on the shawl commission. That's wonderful. I like that it has a good amount of lead time too - easy for me to say, right?

It's great that you guys are tackling house projects and getting things to be the way you like them! I remember when we cleaned up some problems in our last house just before made me wish we'd stayed more on top of things!

Connor's facial expressions are hilarious both before and after! What a personality!!


Anonymous said...

Susan, I just love the colors you chose for the tea towels! Please show us the finished pieces when they are complete.

Stephen said...

Don't have the book you mention, but I'd love to see the draft for this pattern. You say it is 8 shafts and straight draw? Interesting.

Susan said...

Hello Stephen,
I am unable to insert the draft for you as I simply don't know how to do that other than to photograph the page.

If you send me your email address to weever at shaw dot ca, I can send you the tie up in an email.

Hope this is okay with you...
I do recommend that you get the book. Interweave Press is selling a softcover version right now and it's well worth the $$

PS I have house guests arriving Tuesday so there might be a bit of a delay ....