Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Arrives!

So let me begin by explaining that Doug continues to work the closing shift; ergo waking up at the crack of dawn is not really our first choice. But that was exactly what happened this morning when the neighbourhood woodpecker announced his return to the 'hood by using the metal flange covering our chimney to sound his territorial clarion call. Not once, but several times. Until Doug shoo'd him away by tossing several snowballs his direction. :} (Yes, we still have snow aplenty.)

However, I can now state with impunity that Spring Has Arrived! Good hunting Mr. Woodpecker. Welcome home.

On the weaving front, I haven't managed as much on the AVL as I'd hoped. With the weekend workshop and other appointments and meetings, my days have been badly fractured in terms of concentrated studio time.

But I am making progress.

This is the view from the back of the loom showing the roll of cloth on the cloth storage beam. I did four of the green colour, and am well on my way through number two of the red. In this photo you can just see the solid black hem beginning to roll onto the beam, which means I'm about 3/4's done the next one.

Here is a better photo of the woven cloth. The weft is a fairly textured varigated acrylic that I got as a mill end from a mill that closed a few years ago. When I agreed to take a case, I should have looked at the size of the case. I assumed about 40 pounds. Silly me. They were closer to 100 pounds. Needless to say, I have more than enough of this yarn for a lifetime! (Of course I took a case of the white, a case of the green, a case of the brown/rust.......not to mention enough cases of various and sundry other yarns - to the tune of nearly 2000 pounds.........did I mention I have stash to last several lifetimes?????)

The weave structure is a simple 2:2 twill. The challenge for me is that since the weft is so thick it can't be wound on the industrial pirn winder. I have to wind all the pirns by hand and use the AVL fly shuttles (not my first choice). Since the yarn is thick I no sooner get into the zen of weaving - and the pirn empties. The yarn is also textured enough that it tends to get stuck in the tensioner of the shuttle yanking the shuttle off the race and I've spent far too much time playing Ring Around the Loom to fetch the shuttle. I can't access the right side of the loom from the front - I have to circum-navigate the entire loom to pick the shuttle up and re-insert into the fly box. :} And of course it is almost always the right hand side that the shuttle goes flying off into the wild blue yonder.

So all in all, this warp is going much more slowly than I'd like. I had hoped to get it off and at least beam the Ukrainian dance skirts before I leave next week, but right now it's looking doubtful.

One appointment has been postponed - I'll see the specialist on May 4 now, instead of April 14. That will take some of the deadline pressure off as I need to pack all my stuff for the trip to Grand Forks for the Business of Crafts seminar and Magic in the Water part I workshop, then load the van on the 15th for my departure for Kelowna on the 16th and arrival in GF on the 17th.

Here's hoping for good driving conditions as the van will be stuffed with looms (two table looms), serger, flat bed press, yarns for sale, and computers (which will visit the computer spa in Kelowna) not to mention a suitcase full of teaching samples. :)


Sandra Rude said...

At our house in San Jose, there was a red-shafted flicker (a woodpecker relative) who did the same thing, invariably at 5:00am. I'm not a morning person, so this behavior irked me no end. He was a beautiful bird, though, and was simply advertising his presence to the flicker females...

Here's to safe driving conditions on your sojourn!

Laura said...

Hi Sandra,

One of the joys of living close to nature. :) At least it doesn't last too long - hope he finds a mate soon!

Not sure which type of woodpecker it is - it may be a flicker. I think we get them here.



RuTemple said...

Ah, the joys of Spring in a northern clime! In Minnesota we'd exclaim, "O, Spring came and went, and I was in the shower!"

I love flickers, which I hadn't known before the time I lived in the Santa Cruz area. Here are someone's photos to enjoy, since it took me forever to distinguish the flickers from the acorn woodpeckers:

Nice to see photos of your loom, and stuff-in-progress.

Hello also to Sandra! Glad to have met you before you moved over the hills and far away.

Sweet roads and safe home, Laura!