What sort of publication would you be interested in?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Spring Flowers..and a trial balloon

We had a huge thunder/lightning storm last night.  Cracks of lightning felt like they were directly overhead - close enough the house shook from the special effects.  Eventually we lost tv/internet although not electricity, thankfully.

We read for a while, then I decided that - since I was officially over the half way mark on the current tea towel warp - I would work on the draft for the next pink warp.  It felt fitting that some 'roses' would be in order.

The first part of the warp will be treadled with an advancing progression - until all of the cotton/linen pink slub is used up - and then in this as drawn in progression using some of the fine linen in my stash.  I don't know that I will be able to sell that many pink tea towels, but...the yarn has to be used up, so...

As for the trial balloon...

Over the weekend we talked about the Olds College program, specifically the master weaver class.  Olds is a small community college, interested in outreach and as such has had satellite classes of their master spinning program.  I know they are interested in doing the same for weaving.

It might be possible to have the first two levels of the weaving program here in Prince George.  If so, is anyone interested in coming here?  In order to convince the college to try this, it would help if I could say that 8 (or more) people are interested.  So far the people who have expressed an interest have asked for it to be held in the autumn.  They would do the program in Olds except June is not good timing for them due to work, etc.

If anyone is interested, email me laura at laurafry dot com

Currently reading Death of a Scholar by Susanna Gregory

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rolling, Rolling

Not the greatest picture in the world, but shows the pattern off quite nicely, I think.  Click to biggify and maybe see a little more detail of the colours in the warp.

And it turns out that this 30 yard warp isn't going to be long enough to use up all those cones of cotton/linen slub!  Once I'm done weaving these, I will see how much is left.  I may give the left overs to a friend who also liked the yarn.

This afternoon I pulled the yarns for the next warp.  You see I have a huge cones of this same yarn - in rose.  I'm so happy with how this is turning out that I'm looking forward to weaving the rose.  The two colours should display well together, too.

Once I have them finished, finished, I'll do a glamour shot.  I'm also investigating an on-line marketing site.  If I decide to pursue that, I'll post a link.  Just one more thing on my to-be-done list, which only ever seems to grow, not diminish...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Forest Part Deux

It took a bit of looking, but with the rest of the warp secure, I was able to pick through the repeat more easily than if all the threads were just 'loose' in the heddles.  By having them through the reed, there was less room for them to tangle and get out of sorts while I rooted through the threads...sure enough I'd missed a heddle on shaft nine which threw the entire sequence out of sync.  Here is where I've pushed the heddles to each side to free up the field of attack...

A quick tying of a repair heddle on shaft number nine and a 'spare' end inserted into the proper place.  The end will dangle off the back of the loom while I weave off the 30 yard warp.  Actually it will dangle off the rod in the ceiling, installed specifically for that purpose many moons ago, and which has since seen double duty as a warping valet.  After each two towels I will take a break, let down another couple of yards of yarn so that for my next session I'm all set to go.  At the same time I will take up the tube with the 'spare' ends - I'd wound a few extra ends just because it was easier than making that one section 'short'.  And besides, my narrow goods friend will be happy to take it off my hands so it won't go to waste.

And here it is, all sleyed, tied up and ready to go.  Since I'm weaving with a slubby cotton/linen yarn I'm not sure how many picks per inch the cloth will be until I weave a sample.  Then I'll set the auto cloth advance appropriately, generate the treadling for an entire towel and away I go.

After lunch!


700+ ends in 700+ heddles...and somewhere in the last 6 inches is a threading error.

Everything was going tickity-boo until the second half of the last full repeat when - instead of an even number of ends at the end of the repeat, I had an uneven number of ends.  So, somewhere in that forest of heddles, I made a mistake.

Now I could have rooted through all those heddles searching for it but instead I chose to continue to the end - I was nearly there, after all - and see if I could find it during sleying.  If I can't find it during sleying, I will tie on and start weaving which will pretty much pinpoint where the error is.

If it was a smaller repeat and fewer shafts, I would have taken the time to find it before finishing the threading stage, but I've been here before and frankly it is a royal pita to find a threading error when I don't know exactly where it is in a 180+ end repeat.  Far faster to just continue and - knowing that there is a mistake somewhere - be on the lookout for it in the following stages.

If I get to the point where I'm tied on and weaving, it is close enough to the edge that I don't mind - too much - having to deal with it at that stage.

With any luck at all it is as simple as two ends in a heddle.  The fix would be simple - just pull out the 'extra' end and let it dangle off the back beam.  With a 30 yard long warp, I wind any surplus ends onto a tube and just wind the yarn onto the tube as I weave.  These 'extra' ends are then donated to a friend who weave narrow goods.  She can make good use of a tube with 30 or so yards on it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Onward Stash Reduction!

Yesterday I wove the special order of place mats, re-tooled the warp for the AVL and this morning started beaming it.

The beauty of this warp is that I not only didn't have to order more yarn in, I actually emptied some spools.  I have 15 of the cones of cotton slub/linen and I'm hoping the 30 yard warp I beamed will not only empty all of those cones, but maybe even whittle away some of the fine linen in my stash.

I have to confess I re-jigged this warp three times before I decided I was content with it.  Not 'happy', you understand, but content that it was going to look ok.  Originally the warp was blue/green, but some of the blues were too dark in value and they were going to really stand out, while the other blues were too similar to the weft and were going to just disappear in the cloth.

So the tweaking proceeded and now I think I'm going to be happy enough with this combination.  The beige threads are mostly lighter in value than the proposed linen, so they should not disappear when - if - I weave with that.

The draft is another large twill variation.  The cotton/linen slub will be woven with an advancing twill treadling; the linen with 'as drawn in'.  The two different cloths will look quite different and most people really won't be able to tell they have been woven on the same warp.

Doug will go pressing again on Wednesday so the place mats will be ready to hem by Wednesday evening, then hopefully get their final press on Friday.  Steady progress, tortoise style.

Just finished reading Under an Afghan Sky by Mellissa Fung.  Currently reading Abbatoir Blues by Peter Robinson.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Never Ending

So I wove the 'last' shawl only to discover there is enough warp left to weave one more. 

The temptation to simply call this warp 'done', cut it off and sacrifice the rest was powerful!  But sanity prevailed...I'm nearly out of shawls and having one more is actually A Good Thing.   So I am going to weave one more today and then call it done.

This warp has taken a lot longer than usual because I'm still taking things slowly.   But I am now up to 35 minute sessions.  My goal is to get back to my usual 45 minutes, maybe by the end of this month.   

It will take a few days to dress the loom again, partly because I have a special order of place mats to do on the small loom.  I promised to get them done mid May.   And that's now.

Although I got the yarns for the next shawl warp, I decided to do a tea towel warp next.  I'm out - or at least low - of them, too.   And once they are woven I will have hemming to do in the evening.  I've been knitting and feel like I need a break from that.

After spending the morning knot tying it is time to fire up the AVL and get to work.  The year is almost half over and there are just five months to the first of the craft fairs.   No pressure!   (Much)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Distracting Deadlines

My goal for today was to finish weaving the last shawl on this warp.  I'm pretty sure there won't be enough warp left for anything more and I was looking forward to the end of this one and the beginning of the next.

But...deadlines.  While my goals are a form of deadline setting, there are other, outside, forces at work.  For one thing I'm trying to live a more balanced life, not hide in the studio being a, well, introvert.  So I have been attending knitting drop in Wednesday mornings for a while now and I've gotten quite enamoured of sitting in public, drinking a nice (decaf) Americano and knitting.

Then my library book was nearing the end so instead of heading down the stairs to the studio after lunch I finished that book.  There were also a stack of emails (do emails 'stack' or is that just snail mail?) that needed to be dealt with, one series of which is the much anticipated visit from a friend.

Finally I could not procrastinate any longer and forced myself to go deal with some admistrivia.  That is mostly done - just need to file some papers but that can actually wait until morning when I will - hopefully - be a little more alert.

Tonight is our monthly guild meeting.  We will have a short business meeting, then show and tell from the weaving workshop.  It should not be a very long meeting but I have a feeling that by the time I get home I will be done for the day.