Sunday, July 27, 2014

Round two... and this Time Blue!

Sorry to keep you waiting for a post. Its just *that* time of year when everyone is distracted by summer, traveling and guests. Its a slower time of year.  No rules, and no agenda for many.  We have also just come through a nasty heat wave and the much needed rain that was promised, only fell lightly here and far too much elsewhere !
 We are very dry and you might have heard of our forest fires.   Besides the Okanagan fires, the far north is burning, and there's a huge fire that has taken over one hundred homes south of us in Washington State. 

I also have had another new distraction!

I was doing some updates for my computer one morning and found this program and saw that it was on sale for 50% off. Who doesn't love a sale???  Doing up a family tree is something I have wanted to make a start on for some years now. I have 'special boxes' with letters, cards, photos and mementos.... all with bits of family history scattered throughout.  Printed emails from my Dad with his stories of family long since passed,  and many memories of days and times long ago.    I have dug it all out and organized it into folders based on the families that intersect with mine and starting adding in what I have to hand. Even something as simple as an old letter from a family member gave me a name of a family member and when they died,  an address and a date.  Its all gold on the genealogy trail !

Its also *very* addictive...and it eats time like crazy! You are a super sleuth and solving a mystery.  Next thing you know, you find yourself calling relatives who haven't heard from you in a decade or longer.  Now you suddenly want to know them better  :)

Eventually it cooled down enough here that I felt like weaving again. Yeah, it was *that* hot here. My studio was 86 degrees and that's the above ground basement where its supposed to be cool.

I just kept treadling away and two days ago I pulled off three runners and some samples.  I have one more warp wound to go for third linen runner warp and after that, I'll be hanging up huck lace for while!  I can do this pattern in my sleep now.  Its just more proof that I could never be a production weaver. I like variety too much.... I get BORED !

On the loom and under tension.

Hemming with linen is great. Fold into thirds and press.  The linen simply fold neatly, unlike cotton, or tencel where it can spring back on you unless you press at every move.

Press flat...

Fold one third over...

Fold again to the bottom edge of the hemstitching and press, then pin. {Excuse the nasty ironing board cover. Its time to buy a new one.} I quite enjoy the hand sewing as we relax in the evenings. The longer daylight is a nice bonus.

I filled the laundry tub with hot sudsy water and soaked them for half an hour. Then I rolled up my sleeves and got to working the cloth with my hands to encourage the threads to shift into their groups and also to reduce the reed marks.  I think we are harder on the cloth than the final owner will be as manipulate and press the cloth into its final look!

After gently squeezing out water I lay them onto  older towels and fold it all up like  a parcel. I pull and shape as I go.... it all helps with the pressing to come! ( Heck, I knew of a weaver who would pin out a damp piece until it dried to keep it to a preset size she needed. "All's fair" she said. Since knitters pin out their work after washing, it seemed reasonable to me!)

The big work out is the pressing. Hot iron, lots of steam and a whole lotta muscle!  It seems to have been worth it. I got two all blue runners and one longer one that I mixed with natural coloured linen again. 

9/2 French Linen from Brassards en Fil in Quebec, Canada
Sett 24 epi ; colour is "Vieux Bleue"

8 shaft huck lace diamonds: nicely balanced fabric. 

This runner is 72 inches long and is just lovely!

I also found a source for uber fine Japanese silk in a stunning array of colours, sold by the ounce. They are leftover yarns from a Kimono weaving house in Tokyo that was in business in 1920. These silks are close to one hundred years old.

I thought a penny might give some perspective to the fineness of the yarn.  I think I might ply the silk on my spinning wheel. The sheen is amazing! Hauser Gallery  They even have gold wrapped silks. Take a peek at least....

I hope your summer is going well! Friends, family, BBQ's and sunshine.... Its what we waited all winter long for so enjoy!


barbara said...

Good Evening Susan,
Wow, getting into "family history", good for you. I was very fortunate a lady in New Zealand did the family history on my dad's side of the family going way, way back to Scotland. Someone from the U.S.A. did my mom's side of the family ... so I never did get involved in searching the family history. That will give you something to focus on when you are recovering from your knee surgery.
You French Linen runners are beautiful - you won't have those long in your shop. Thanks for sharing the site where the silk is available from a Kimono Weaving Shop, imagine it is almost 100 years old the silk. Something special will have to be woven with that.
I hope the fires have been put out, and more rain has arrived on the West Coast.
I am recuperating from carpel tunnel surgery, should be able to wind a warp in another 2 - 3 weeks. My incision is almost healed and I can do most things - which is good, I only had the surgery on July 9th.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer. Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

Susan said...

Hi Barbara,
I didn't know about your carpel tunnel surgery but I'm glad to hear you are on the mend! Better this time of year I think than winter when weaving season really hits.

Yes, the fine old silk will be saved for a special project.... but I'm going to ply it for sure! That might get it to a human hair size :)

We have another 5-7 days of increasing sunshine and hear ahead so fingers crossed we don't get too many more forest fires burning here . We have all that beetle kill wood just standing there waiting for a match!