Monday, 19 January 2015

Just a little bit obsessive

Last post I said I was having a clear out of excess paper and I’m pleased to report that I finished the shredding, cleaned up almost every last piece of shredded paper, a few are still appearing, and sorted my back issues of Handwoven so they now have their very own book shelf.  It might look obsessive but it’s really good to be able to put my hand on the issue of Handwoven I want.  There are still a few missing, hiding in various piles of books around the house but they will turn up eventually and be restored to their rightful place.

My warping mill is having a holiday with weaving friend W who wound half a warp, ran out of yarn and is waiting for the rest in a parcel that the post office has misplaced.  Rather than disturb the part wound warp, I have been working my way through the warps lurking at the back of the cupboard.  They’re the ones where inspiration hits, a warp is wound, more inspiration hits, another warp is wound and somehow makes its way on to the loom ahead of the already wound warps.  I’m sure I’m not the only weaver with this problem.

So far I’ve found and woven a dyed cotton warp for glasses cases, they might look finished but still need to be lined.

The painted tencel warp which was on my loom on January 1 is now finished, I'm very happy with the result but frustrated that I can’t seem to capture the sheen of the tencel in any of the photos.

I also found a wool warp, originally planned as men’s scarves about 6 years ago.  On closer inspection it’s really a bit heavy for scarves but I think it has potential for covers for bolster cushions so that’s the current plan and it’s now on the 4 shaft floor loom in a straightforward if somewhat muted, log cabin.

There has even been some progress on the 8 shaft loom, not sure why it’s been sitting there for so long as it’s very simple weaving, simply treadles 1 through to 10 following each other.  The stripes are 5 shaft satin so this is the wrong side and this right side is still hiding under the beam but it’s progress.

Even though it’s the middle of Summer, the weather hasn’t been really hot so I hope to get a some more done while the good weaving weather holds.  There are plenty of warps in the cupboard and if I happen to need to refer to Handwoven that’s not a problem


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Looms Day 2015

Here's my contribution to Meg's Day in the Life of Looms 2015.  So what’s happening with my looms today? Some good, some not so good and some just plain embarrassing.

The good is a painted Tencel warp in a 4 shaft twill variation,on Rasma, my 4 shaft direct tie up Druva loom from the mid 1970s.  It looks a lot like the US Dorset looms, I suspect a common ancestor somewhere.

The warp is a scarf length in blues. greens and aquas, just my sort of colours.  I had to try a few wefts before I found one which worked.  The Ming Tencel was just too ‘Ming’, the Caribbean 10/2 cotton was probably better left in the Caribbean despite being close to the warp colours but, like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, the Greyed Teal Tencel was ‘just right’.

It was different enough from the warp to show up but close enough to blend the colours together.  I can’t wait to finish it.

The 8 shaft Toika Lisa, also from the 1970s and known as Iris after the previous owner, looks as though it is tied up and ready to go – it is, and has been like this since early October. 

It’s the second half of the merino/silk/cashmere warp I wrote about here.  Nothing like having to photograph your loom to bring on a bout of studio tidying so it’s all clean and tidy out in the garage and no excuses for not finishing this warp apart from that Tencel warp which just keeps calling.

My 8 shaft Noble table loom, probably from the 1980s, is naked but this isn’t really an issue.  I use it mostly for workshops and for projects where I need more treadles than I have on the floor loom.  None of that is happening at the moment so it’s just waiting its turn.

And the plain embarrassing – in 2010 we had Jason Collingwood come and teach a rug weaving workshop at our guild.  I dusted off my very first loom, a 4 shaft table loom purchased well used when the guild moved premises in 1985, and did the workshop. 

I confess the warp is still on the loom and I still haven’t finished it.

Do I sense a New Year’s resolution here?

Happy New Year, Happy Looms Day - may your weaving this year be everything you expected