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 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!