Monday, January 25, 2010

A Pleasant Diversion

Yes, the work is starting. Not all at once but a few frantic hours then, nothing. Then you wait for the next trades person to arrive for a quote. Can be hours or days... Then there's the scheduling and rescheduling. These boots belong to a young plumber Chris who installed a new hot water tank. This was part of the planned energy update for the house under a government grant program. The new tank is super well wrapped to retain heat and we have noticed an improvement in efficiency already.

I have the local Home Depot building supply store on speed dial, then in the store every other day for purchases and then inevitable returns as we change our minds... and now on a first name basis with half the staff, which should tell you we have been somewhat preoccupied of late. Underlayment?... back splash tiles and grout? .... drop pendant lights? Its a sad statement when I'm shopping at Cosco and get excited at finding an 18 gauge stainless steel sink for $136.00!! I'm trying to stash kitchen stuff and also shift the dining room and kitchen contents into a ever reducing available space on the same floor level.
Then while out running errands our car battery died and happily it was in a mall parking lot as I don't carry a cell phone (but will soon!). Unhappily the battery and installation was $200.00. When the heck did they get to be that expensive??

I need a diversion! a fibery diversion... (actually, I'd rather leave, go on a nice long vacation and come back to it all done.... to be truly honest here...)
So, the plan is to load up the big countermarche, Emmatrude with a towel warp that is easy to thread, a 10 shaft point twill, and has all the colour in the warp, stripes! The treadling is simple: runs of treadle 1 through to 10 and back again. Sound familiar? It should as I'm doing a reprise of this project. The goal is to have something I can treadle and throw a shuttle for a few minutes while chaos reigns over head. Something that needs no real thinking so I can wear my iPod and tune out. Well, that's the plan... reality may be otherwise!

Here's the warping board and the warp is wound in one inch bouts and securely tied off every yard... for 24 inch wide, 10.5 yard long warp of 2/8 cotton, sett 24 epi. {Yes, last time I did 20 epi, due to a mistake in warp calculations and said I would use 22 epi this time, but the 'correct' sett for 2/8 in a twill is 24 ends per inch} The warp bout is taken directly over to the back of the loom where it's wound on 'fresh' from the board! (see this for a description of my hybrid warping method)
You can see my cones of colours above... I'm thinking spring already. {Sorry, but we have been having warm temps, heavy rain and the end result is spring bulbs coming up and shrubs are budding up. There are moths flying about and I saw a frog in the driveway. What winter Olympics?}

I must confess this fully loaded warp took me the better part of a week to wind and load. Terrible! In my defense I did lose a day to shopping and visiting the beauty parlour. I came home sporting a cut and a touch of colour. Must have some fun!

I was grabbing a few minutes of time when and where ever I could in between calls, housework and endless shopping errands and the ongoing packing up. I must confess to not feeling overly creative and inspired with all the chaos going on here right now. I thought I could go into the studio and tune it out but this seems to be a lot harder to do than I originally thought.

Yesterday I loaded the lease sticks up and hung them behind the shafts.... and started threading. It's a simple point twill using 10 shafts. The colour sequence is very precise and repeats every eighteen ends. This makes it easy to see when you have goofed and need to back track. So that's where I am right now.... slowly working across the warp.

The colours are a soft melon, salmon pink for the centre of the stripes, then the outer colours are a alternating plum and sage green. There is a neutral cream in between the colour stripes. It has a soft spring colour appearance, which is timely.

We never really had a winter in the usual sense this year. One dump of snow and one bad wind storm. That's it (so far). Just lots and lots of rain.

Take heart all those of you wearing winter duds and pushing shovels....this is coming to a garden under a snow bank near you! This primula is by my front door...

My Louet loom is patiently waiting for me to rediscover the black silk warp. Its going to have to wait longer as I know that I don't have the mental gymnastics to handle that treadling right now!
My next post will be a special one and one that most weavers will be quite happy to hear all about! Once I have the final details posted, I'm hoping that you will help spread the word either at your guild meetings, newsletters, by linking to the coming post. Its worth the wait... :)


DebbieB said...

Enjoyed the link back to your towels - very nice! Hope the home improvement continues apace and with no mishaps. Hmmmm... an intriguing teaser for your next post!

Benita said...

Oooo!! Something fun!

I really like your color choices for the warp - soft, gentle colors and a great distraction for you. I can hardly wait to see the towels.

Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful choice for colors in the new warp! The flowers outside your door are breath-taking! I sympathize with the reno blues....

Synnøve. said...

Nice picturers thoe I dont understad what you do.
Please feel free to correkt me if and when Im writing wrong.
I liked the picture of the flowers.
Soon spring will come.

Today we have minus 17 degres celsius here. Its not so bad. Im gonna take a walk later today.
But I have to put on warm clothes.

Have a nice tuseday.
Hugs from Norway.

Dorothylochmaben said...

Susan - I love the colours for the towels, they will be soothing for you when you are trying to shut out the chaos ! Feel a bit sorry for the Spring being left out - how I wish I could just nip round and have a go !!!
Primula is lovely and will last for ages.

Silky said...

I can totaly commiserate with the reno's going onin your house been there done that. Your towels look like they are going to be lovely though. And the flowers at the door, I guess thats what they call living in the now. Now I can't wait for the next post????

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for what you're going through! Eyes on the prize. Short of leaving on vacation while it's underway, I've often thought it might be nice to somehow induce amnesia when big projects are over.

Primroses already! Mine are just dollhouse-sized cabbages.

Life Looms Large said...

I am insanely jealous, not of your reno, but that you those flowers outside right now! Very cool!!!

That is a really good deal on a stainless steel sink!!! I still remember how much ours cost....perhaps because it got stolen during construction and had to be purchased again.

Great idea to put on a long calming warp. I'm putting on a long warp that might be a little too calming. Not having fun threading it. Maybe if I blog about it, I'll feel more motivated!

Fingers crossed that your reno keeps moving forward without too much swearing or sweating!


Susan said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone! Found an electrician today and some great new pendant lights (on sale no less!) Painters quote came in and looks okay. So it's all a matter of timing now and getting them here to do the work.

Dorothy: if you lived closer, youi could try your hand at my Louet Spring all you like. I'd sit at the other and we'd natter away!

Amnesia? Now there's a good alternative! Holiday is better though... two birds with one stone (rest and reno)

I plan a quiet day in the studio tomorrow and will carry on with my sleying the reed and the tie up (at least) No doubt the phone will keep on ringing but the answering machine is for!

charlotte said...

The warp colors are beautiful! And not to talk of the flowers... The olympic athletes can always ski on artificial snow if necessary, but I guess there is still some snow left in the mountains of BC.

bspinner said...

Kitchen remodel. I'm sure I'll be jealous when you're finsihed but not what you have to go through before until then. Good luck!!

Like the colors you pick for your towels and can't wait to see them when they are off the loom.

Sharon said...

I'm glad you talked about the sett because I thought it was 20 epi for 8/2 so will use 24 on my next set of towels and see how I like it.

Susan said...

Hi Sharon,
Just to clarify 2/8 is normally sett 20 epi for plain weave, 18-20 for lace weaves and 24 epi for twills.

Interweave Press/ Handwoven has a great master yarn chart at their site and it a free download.

My old project was set looser as I had messed up and had to 'fudge it'

:) Susan