Sunday, February 22, 2015

Long Time Coming

Back last November I placed a silk warp  on the Louet Spring, wove in a header and then a few inches to see the pattern develop.... then I stood up and walked away.  I thought about it for a time wondering about what was ahead for me before I could sit down here again and pick up where I had left off.   Through it all, I kept one thing as my end goal.  To be weaving again! (That bit became a sample as I went with different colours)

Besides a "pat on the wood" a couple of times, my first time sitting to weave was six weeks post surgery where I wove for about 10 minutes and I had about an  inch to show for it!   Go me!

It was a busy time with physiotherapy and doctor visits and all the other things that had been put on hold for the past six weeks.   I would weave a bit but gradually increasing the time as muscles and even the bones adjusted to the new activity. It didn't help that the silk is quite fine and so there's a lot of treadling to get some mileage to show!

Then one afternoon I enthusiastically put in a long session and the following day, I had some serious pain difficulties and so had to take a week off to rest and heal. Then I started slowly all over again. Live and learn huh?   :)

So with a new understanding that this was simply going to be a slow process, I just wove a bit every day or every other day.   There was a huge victory cry when the scarves and samples were finally finished!!

Fringe twisting got under way the following day as well as adding some fresh water pearls to the plum paid version.  Nothing added to the black scarf as it could be either masculine or feminine. How do I know this? My husband did some serious 'jonesing' for it until I pointed out he has several scarves in a drawer!

They got a gentle hand washing in the laundry tub and a night to drip dry.  Next day they pressed up nicely with some steam and I nipped off the excess fringe from the twisted tassels with a rotary cutter.

Then came the beauty shots...   some project details for you.  I used 30/2 bombyx silk, tussah silk, and silk yak blend, all approximately 30/2 in weight as my warp. The sett was 36 epi. I used a twelve dent reed and three ends per dent. The black weft is 30/2 silk commercially dyed for a deep even black. It showed off the "boxes" nicely!  The second scarf took on a different look with a cotton silk blend I bought from Treenway many years ago and hand dyed it myself. It was an uneven dye job so the colours vary from soft plum to a touch of eggplant. This effect created an almost plaid like effect in a soft way.

You can see both sides of the scarf in these shots. One side favours the cream and the other the silver beige of the silk yak.  So you can choose depending on your outfit and mood.  :)

The black scarf is 7 by 68 inches  and the plum plaid is 7 by  72 inches and both are very light in physical weight as the silks used are fine.   (Both were woven to 74 inches so you can see the shrinkage in the length.  They lost half an inch in width.)  I even managed some samples for my files as well.

The next warp or two have been planned and one is well under way.  I discovered that standing still at the warping board really hard on both my new hip, but in particular, my left knee which has been complaining loudly of late.   I would stand and wind like a fiend for a few minutes, then sit down to rest and repeated the process. This seriously hurts my bones and so I turned to the internet and started looking for a warping reel.

Schacht has a horizontal model for $399.00 USD .    *gulp*    Too rich for my budget.  I looked for Canadian alternatives and drew a blank. Then I realized I was staring at the Woolhouse Tools Loom and then turned to their web page to see what they have!   They are winding down their business and so if there is an empty blank line after the product name, it means its sold out and not being replaced.  Well imagine my surprise when I saw they have a two yard vertical warping reel and it was on sale!
My lucky day...  

From ordering to arrival took three days and its now assembled. It can hold up to twenty yards +/-  which is six yards better than my existing warping board.   I completed my ongoing warp on the warping board, but I will give the reel a whirl for the next!

A chuckle for you:  I got the next new warp set onto the lease sticks at the back of the Louet earlier today and was getting ready to spread the warp in the raddle...... and then noticed I had forgotten to take the apron rod up and over the back beam. Oops!   Four months since I beamed a loom and I'm back to square one!   :)

I would also like to announce that has just relaunched their web site and it's a tremendous improvement over the old. Fast, colourful and just plain fun to go and play with the drafts.   I left a small donation via paypal to help with the web fees to show my appreciation. Its a wonderful resource for weavers of any level!

A Reversal of Plans....
We had our realtor in place, downsizing underway and even a possible interested buyer but we soon realized that we simply don't have enough time.  I had a call from my surgeon's office last Monday and it seems that they want me to start my pre-op tests as early as  first week of April and I see the surgeon the third week of April.  My knee replacement can come as early as June...or... as late as October.  We had a discussion on the news and we decided with a time spread like that, a move is not a good idea right now.  (Too much stress as well.)  Another year here will give us time to get things better prepared, and hopefully sell the big loom and a bunch of other stuff!

It does mean I will be coming home to a flight of stairs which doesn't thrill me too much but we'll figure a work around.  Might just move the looms to one side and sleep in the studio?


charlotte said...

Congratulations on the black scarf, it is absolutely gorgeous, love the pattern and the color! I am very happy for you that you can weave again. I have a warping stand like the one on the photo, and it is great. The longest I warped on it hitherto is 52 meters, and it was unproblematic.

Sandra Rude said...

Those scarves are beautiful! Very nice draft - it gives a lot of texture to the cloth.

Karen Reff said...

Your color sense is amazing! It seems I enjoy everything you do!