If I taught a workshop/seminars at ANWG '19 would you be interested?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Underway

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Ferry to England

Waiting for the time to board.
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Denmark

We crossed over the bridge from Sweden to Denmark this morning and just now crossed to another of the islands heading to the ferry terminal. The ferry takes all night to arrive in England.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Summer Top!

Almost!

I cut it out full length but will ask Kerstin to help me shorten it. The cottolin is grabby and will constantly catch on my slacks and hike up. Shorter will wear better I think.

I'm not perfect on matching the stripes but its not terrible. And this is my practice piece after all. ;)
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mangled

Spent part of today beginning to mangle the fabric for A Good Yarn: Linen and Hemp.  The transformation is truly magical!

I have some photos but unsure of how to get them out of my camera into Kerstin's laptop, Kerstin has posted some photos on her blog.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Progress

Slept in but managed to get to the studio to begin working on the sample summer top. Its the least favourite of the colour combinations I wove so no big deal if it doesn't turn out well. ;)
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Arrived

And bagged. Getting some support from the local fauna.
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Stockholm

Waiting for the last flight. Think I will fall into bed as soon as I get to Bergdala!
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vancouver BC

Leg one done. Leg two coming up shortly.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Musing on Warping



As I was beaming the next warp (that I will leave on the loom for some simple and fast weaving when I get home) I started thinking about the latest questions on the internet from new weavers running into all sorts of difficulties getting a warp onto their loom.

I would really like to reassure them that it doesn't have to be painful!  But in order to remove the pain from the process, a few things have to be learned.

Dressing a floor loom is not the same as dressing a rigid heddle loom.  A floor loom is generally bigger in all dimensions, can take a much longer and sometimes wider warp.  It can also handle much finer threads than most rigid heddle loom weavers use.  And those changes in parameters mean that dressing a floor loom is a completely different kettle of fish in some ways.

Regardless of whether you are a front to back or back to front kind of weaver, the warp has to begin by being wound consistently.

As I travel around teaching one of the things I often notice is that weavers will wind their warps, especially on a warping board, with far too much tension.

I understand that winding the warp on the board seems fraught with 'danger' but relax!  The thread merely needs to be tensioned enough that it doesn't sag between pegs but it must be consistent!  If the warp is being wound with a death grip on it, the tension will be so great that succeeding passes of the thread will cause the pegs to bend inwards.  What that means is that the first threads will be longer than the last threads.

It might also mean breakage of the pegs if the tension becomes too great, and that is a disaster that can be terminal.  (In my studio it would be - I would not spend days straightening out that tangle - the thread would go directly into the recycle bin.)

So, a warp should be wound with consistent tension.

The cross should be secured in some manner.  I tie the four 'arms' of the X, not the waist of the cross.  I use a thick yarn of contrasting colour to tie the cross and the choke tie which is about 24 inches away from the cross.  This choke tie must be as tight as possible so that as you manipulate the threads putting them into a raddle or reed the slack in the threads from handling does not transfer below the choke tie.

Some people advocate tieing the warp chain every yard.  Some people say you must wind the warp chain onto a 'kite' stick, or crochet it into a chain.

You must do whatever gives you the best results.  Try all of these things and find out what works for you.  Changing the type of yarn you use may mean changing your process!  For example, if you are working with a yarn with lots of twist energy left in it, winding it onto a kite stick makes a great deal of sense because that will help keep the twist from actively grabbing onto neighbours and causing all sorts of tangles down the length of the warp.

Beam the warp under tension.  My preferred method is to use an actual weight rather than the wind and jerk method.  By using a weight the same amount of tension is applied for the entire length of the warp.  But whatever, use tension while beaming.

Use some sort of warp packing.  Whether that is heavy paper, sticks or my preferred bamboo blinds, it doesn't really matter.  They all work to keep the upper layers from cutting down into the lower layers and preventing tension problems during weaving.

There are many ways to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers, it's a metaphor!)  Find a system that works for you with your loom, space, physical capabilities and budget.  More tools can make the process more efficient, but people have been weaving for literally thousands of years with little more than sticks and string.

Above all, enjoy!  Weaving is a complex process that isn't mastered in one warp.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Something Simple


After cutting the cottolin warp off the AVL I really felt like I needed something that I didn't have to fight with and, since I am woefully short of inventory of place mats, decided to toss a quick and easy place mat warp onto the Leclerc Fanny.

Got the loom dressed last night and jumped on the loom this morning.  The really nice thing about this warp is that it goes so quickly in comparison to the cottolin and it's an old friend which means I don't have to think too much, either.

This morning I got 2/5ths of the warp woven (2 of the 5 bamboo blinds I use for warp packing have hit the floor).  This afternoon I'll head to a friend's for a 'lace day' and hopefully finish winding the bobbins for the bookmark lace-along we are trying to do in between our respective travel schedules.  :}

Yesterday I got in to see the dentist covering for mine who a) confirmed the filling was very unstable and needed to be replaced asap and b) had no time on Monday to do it.

Since I can't at this point cancel the trip without huge financial consequences, I am going to go regardless and be very very careful about how I chew.  Soft foods over chewy ones!  And hope like h*ll I don't get to experience dental care in Sweden or the UK!  Because their dentists probably don't have any more 'spare' time than ours here!

In the meantime I'm trying to think about what I absolutely need to bring with me, not think about my dental woes, and pray there is a cancellation tomorrow!

Administrivia is currently under control.  I have a few small items to deal with (write cheques, write a letter, balance cheque book, pick up and pay income tax) but otherwise?  I think I'm about ready for the final toss of essentials into my suitcases and leave on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The End (of sorts)



The warp is now cut off the loom so the weaving is done.  With weaving however there are so many 'ends' (pun intended) that the actual shuttle throwing is just the beginning.  As weavers we cannot forget that it still needs to be wet finished.  Or that many times what we are making is the raw material for someone else.

In this case, that someone else is still me, but the cloth is intended to be cut and sewn so although the weaving is finished, I'm not.  :)

Doug got two pieces pressed yesterday and I think the cloth is going to make dandy summer tops.  Our summer, perhaps, not a Texas summer, but I don't live in Texas.  :^)

The pale cloth on the left was woven with a fine pale blue slub so is somewhat heavier and more textured than the one on the left which was woven with the same 2/16 cottolin in the lighter turquoise as weft.  It has a lovely handle and I'm anxious to get to Sweden and have a sewing tutorial.  I know how I'd deal with this fabric if I didn't have expert advice, but I'm sure Kerstin has lots of hints and tips for efficiently dealing with a somewhat 'soft' cloth.  Because it is soft, it should drape really well and wear comfortably.

On another front, I am not so 'comfortable'.  The tooth I damaged on Thursday began twingeing after lunch, then settled down into a dull ache.  Concerned, I phoned for an 'emergency' appointment with the dentist covering my dentist's practice while she is away.  They won't guarantee being able to fix it but will look at it at 5:30 today.  I will do my best 'stiff upper lip with tremble' in hopes of a pity emergency appointment on Monday.....

Trying to find a dentist in Sweden and/or the UK just doesn't seem like it would be very much fun....

Friday, April 19, 2013

Inching Along



Yesterday I cut about 14 yards of cloth off the loom so Doug could do the pressing today and I could have some to take to Sweden with me.  There are now about 7 more yards on the cloth beam and if I'm doing the math correctly (always a chancy thing!) there is enough left for one more length and the rest will get sacrificed to the loom gods.  Two yards isn't going to be nearly enough for a top and I've about run out of patience dealing with the errant ends on the selvedges not wanting to play nicely and be an actual working part of this fabric.

One of the benefits of getting older is that some of the 'panic' has subsided.  Years of dealing with critical deadlines and either making them or surviving the aftermath of not making them have given me the gift of being a lot more selective in the things that I will accept for commissions.

Yesterday I punted a commission to a weaving mill.  My schedule for this year has gotten pretty much filled up and to do the commission would have required a lot more time than I have available to deal with it. The mill has a lot more efficient equipment (especially the wet finishing) than I do so much better to pass the work on to someone else better prepared to deal with a yarn that takes a bit more coddling than I'm prepared to do.  Especially given everything already in the pipeline.

I have another commission that I think is going to wind up being a 'failure' given the issues I've had with the loom with this warp.  Right now I'm thinking of emailing my customer, telling him that I will put the warp on the loom but will reserve the right to abort the project if necessary.  The cloth won't go to waste, I'm sure I'll find an alternative use for it, but quite frankly I'm done with sweating bullets to appease customers for special orders.

I am going to embrace my cranky inner crone and focus on the things that give me joy instead of worrying about work that will bring in money - work that winds up being not much fun in the end and only done for the sake of the money....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Burling (inspecting and repairing)


when something can't be fixed I mark it so I can cut around it


a weft loop in the middle of the cloth:  using a tapestry needle follow the route of the weft through the cloth


cut the loop at the base of the needle and thread the loose end through the eye


pull the end through the cloth and cut flush with the cloth

Into every life a little 'rain' will fall.  This cloth is far from perfect.  Far, far away from perfect.

This morning I cut off the first third, inspected, marked the flaws I couldn't (or wouldn't) fix, pulled weft loops to the selvedge trimming them flush along with the weft tails, and then fixed the larger loops in the centre of the cloth.

I have sufficient cloth to do the Seattle Weavers Guild Bulletin samples (which will get done at a later date), plus two pieces currently in the washing machine.  Doug has promised to press them today or tomorrow.

He's been waiting for dry weather to open the roof and effect some repairs but it's either been too cold or threatening wet to chance that.  So he has time on his hands, so to speak, and is willing to press the fabric.

I'm still dealing with some last minute administriva and trying to weave as much of this warp as possible before I leave.  I doubt I'll finish it all but I'm going to make a serious stab at it.

One of the things I'm working on is offering Magic in the Water on a flash drive instead of a CD.  A local shop has some 2 GB flash drives for not a bad price so I'm picking up a bunch today.  The price will be the same as the CD price and rather than task my webmaster with changing the page on my website, people will just get a flash drive instead of a CD if they purchase that option.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Value/Hue



This is a photo of the effect of value of one colour on another.  The pale blue weft washes the warp stripes out making them look more pastel.  The darker turquoise makes the stripes look bolder.

This cloth has given me fits from the start.  It is also intended for yardage that will be cut up and sewn into garments.  Therefore I am pretty much ignoring the selvedges.  I'm not weaving the weft tails in, just leaving them dangle at the sides.

Once the web is cut from the loom I will inspect and repair what I can, hoping I can cut around the rest.  The weft tails will be trimmed flush with the selvedges.  And then it will hit the water.  The reed marks should be greatly reduced if not disappear altogether.  Since the cottolin is grabby, I'm not so sure the reed marks will go away but since each stripe is in a dent of it's own, the reed marks follow the stripes and it should look just fine.

Only time will tell.

Currently reading Evil for Evil by Aline Templeton.  How appropriate to be reading a novel set in Scotland shortly before I leave to visit there.  :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One Step



Yesterday was amazingly frustrating and therefore stressful as I first fought with the yarns then fought with the loom.

The downside of having as much technology on a loom as I have is that when things go wrong (and they do go wrong!) sometimes it's hard to figure out what exactly is causing the grief.

The first indication of trouble was when the cable for shaft 16 kept jumping out of the finger that controls it when rising.  I worked around that by changing my tie up so that when it didn't rise it would be obvious.  In the end I decided I liked the 'new' weave structure better anyway, given that I am planning on cutting the cloth on the bias.

Then shafts started lifting that shouldn't be lifted.  Usually this is an indication that the sweep arm has slid out of alignment, usually towards the front of the loom.  So I loosened the bolt, nudged the arm ever so slightly towards the back of the loom and commenced weaving.

Now shafts that lifted started to fall down.  This is generally an indication that the dobby box isn't quite close enough.  Since the errant shafts were all towards the back of the loom the box was nudged ever so slightly towards the loom, but only the back 'half'.  (IOW, we only loosened the back bolt, not the front.)

Once all that appeared to be under control the picker on the left side of the loom started to malfunction.  Eventually we realized it probably wasn't getting enough oil through the system.  That, sitting idle for about 2.5 months, the air hoses and switches had probably dried out.  Doug cranked up the oiler and things seemed to improve considerably.  I turned the oil back down, but apparently too much because just before I took a break a few minutes ago the left picker started acting up again.  I've turned the oil up slightly and hopefully after my break it will be the right amount and the loom will start to behave nicely again.

While these issues are teeth gnashingly frustrating when the loom is working properly it's a whiz.  So while I'm stressed about it not working quite right, the cloth I'm weaving is for my own purposes and a few 'flaws' here and there are not going to be a huge issue.  I'll either cut around them, or lacking the ability to do that, remember that it is through the 'cracks' (i.e. flaws) that the light gets in.

Thank you Leonard Cohen.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Warp From....



...purgatory?

To be honest, I have had worse warps.  Truly.  But I'm under critical deadlines and having to fight with not just the warp but the loom, too?  Not fun.

Weaving is supposed to be fun and enjoyable.  This warp is turning into everything but.  More like grit-teeth-and-bear-it.

But the cloth is so nice and I just know it will sew up into some really comfortable summer tops.  And I love the colours.  They are all my favourite clothing colours and will go with everything in my closet.  Since I have two conferences to teach at this summer, I'd really like to have something handwoven that actually fits me, and with a sewing tutorial from Kerstin, I just know I would be a happy camper.  If I can just get the cloth woven!

So I have persisted.  Last night I gave in, realizing that no matter how much I pulled the slack warp ends up they must have gone onto the beam much looser than the rest.  So I started isolating the culprits and hanging weights off of them.  I think I've got them all now and they should not be a problem for so long as I continue to weave on this 30 yard warp.  I'm being entirely honest here - I may not make it through to the end.  I've already warned Doug that I may just cut it off and sacrifice the yarn to the loom gods.

But the loom has also been giving me fits.  It started out with the cable for shaft #16 jumping out of the finger and my weaving several inches with no 16 in the tie up.  Twice.  At which point I changed weave structures to something that would show up if 16 didn't engage.

Then 'extra' shafts started lifting.  Or wrong ones.  At that point I gave up last night.

This morning, refreshed after a decent night's sleep, I watched the loom carefully and extra shafts started lifting again.  Since the loom had been idle during the time of year when the humidity changed, I knew the loom may have 'shifted' somewhat and made a tiny adjustment to the sweep arm.  Usually it 'backs up' from the force of the lift so I just nudged it ever so slightly toward the rear of the loom and tightened the sweep arm down again.

And then shafts started to lift and drop (mostly towards the back of the loom) so the black box got tweaked ever so slightly towards the loom, just at the back.

Since doing that the shafts appear to be behaving so I've got fingers and toes crossed that it is now a happy camper.  I'm nearly finished sufficient fabric for one summer top.  Just trying to decide if I ought to weave another couple of feet to be on the safe side.  This cloth does have flaws and I need enough length that I can cut around the worst of them....

The good news is that I've gotten some of the information I need for the upcoming events/projects and can go ahead with planning for them.  It means more administrivia but I've managed to get some of the pile on my desk dealt with so I can start to focus on the new things coming down the pipeline.

Currently reading An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Don't Try This At Home...

So the loom is 'behaving' but now the yarn is giving me fits.

A tiny little voice started to warn me that I'd made an inappropriate choice for warp...after the warp was beamed.  Gee, thanks little voice.  Couldn't you have spoken up sooner?

Now that I'm not having to watch the loom I'm having to watch the cloth itself.

The cottolin is fine (2/16), slubby and grabby.  The shed doesn't clear properly and several threads (perhaps beamed under less tension than the rest?) don't always lift high enough to engage in the rest of the cloth so I'm dealing with long lengths of unwoven threads, mostly on the right hand selvedge.  Since I made the warp quite a bit wider than necessary, I can probably just cut my summer tops out around these areas.  (Fingers crossed!)

With such a grabby yarn, the only way to try to get a 'clear' shed was to really crank up the tension on the warp.

Now I weave under a fairly high tension anyway and the AVL tension system is adjustable, to a certain degree.  So generally I have high enough tension that the tension arm is up against the frame of the loom.

For this warp I tightened the spring even further making it more difficult for the loom to advance the cloth with each pick (I have the auto-cloth advance) which means that more tension is applied to the warp threads.

This is how my loom looks in order to get some sort of half decent cloth with this yarn that will no doubt be perfectly good as weft but isn't quite so nice as warp.


I could conceivably shorten the string a tiny bit more but I've done that before and it makes it hard to loosen the cord later so I'm limping along with it this way.

As for this lovely 2/16 cottolin?  Well, I've got lots of 2/16 cotton so no doubt there will be a run of lovely towels with cotton warp and cottolin weft sometime in the future!

Technology Woes

Nice, no?



Actually no.  The cable for shaft 16 keeps popping out of the 'finger' (equivalent to a tie up cord coming out of a treadle) so even though I really like this fabric and would have loved having it for a summer top, I'm going to change the tie up to one that more readily shows when a shaft falls 'out' of the tie up.  The cloth woven so far is insufficient for a top and I don't have the time to fiddle with the loom so I give up.  Uncle!

Broken technology wins.  Weaver submits.  Cloth so far woven can be used for samples for a guild newsletter or something.

On the last warp it was shaft 1 that kept doing this but so infrequently that I got enough fabric woven for my purposes.  This is happening so often that if the new tie up doesn't at least temporarily fix the problem I am going to have to get Doug to watch while I'm treadling and see if he can't spot the problem.  The loom has sat idle for several months so it may have shifted due to humidity changes or it's just having a tantrum.

For now I'm going to forget about it and go meet with my lace making buddies.

(the red is to mark where I'm going to change over and the other thing sitting on the web is one of my padded gloves that I wear when using the fly shuttle.  They help to reduce - somewhat - the impact of the beater)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Satisfactory



Although I am running a couple of days 'behind' where I wanted to be by this point in the calendar, I can't complain.  All of the warps that I wanted to take to Sweden are woven, the 'before' samples taped and cut apart, filed in their bins with my scratch notes and the thrums which will be used to tie the yarn samples.  If I can keep myself from playing games on the iPad while watching tv in the evening, I could actually get them all done before I leave, too.

To say that you are going to create a publication is easy.  Breaking it down into manageable bits and then staying on track in order to get all the 'little' interim jobs accomplished on schedule is the tricky part.

Since I didn't think I could manage to get this much done by now - in fact I assumed this topic would not actually be finished until December - means that I am actually quite pleased with my progress.

A few things have come up since the turn of the year and these opportunities will be much like publishing.  Easy to say, harder to break down into manageable bits and get them all done on deadline.

In addition to production weaving for the coming fall sales I have two quite large commissions (one of which I may pass off to a weaving mill because I'm not sure I can actually weave and wet finish the 50 meters of cloth he needs in the time frame he needs it), conferences to teach at, plus the projects I can't yet talk about.

And here I am, getting ready to go away for 3 weeks - time and money I can't really afford.  But one thing I've learned over my life - life is uncertain.  If there are things you really truly want to do or accomplish, don't wait for some ideal time in the future.  The future is not guaranteed.  Don't put your life on hold.  Live it while you have it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Of Copying and Copyright

I don't know the ins and outs of copyright law.  I can't afford a lawyer to explain it to me, nor am I terribly concerned about 'protecting' my designs.

Frankly, the label 'designer' is not one I wear easily, although I must because that is precisely what I do.  I take yarn and using no other resource than my own creativity and knowledge figure out how to interlace warps and wefts to create, primarily, functional textiles.  Functional textiles that hopefully add beauty and grace to someone's life.  My own in the making of them and someone else's in the using of them.


In the last post Weaver C was me.

I had two choices.  I could try to talk to the weavers and explain that what they were doing was on so many levels just plain wrong.  Or leave them to it while I waited on actual customers.  I would have had to 'confront' them in a public place with customers drifting in and out of my booth, in a venue where I had paid a great deal of money in order to sell my work to appreciative customers, not hold a mini-seminar in my booth to try and educate well meaning weavers who, in all likelihood either had no clue or - and this is something that I don't want to believe but is true in some cases - simply didn't care.  That they saw my work, appreciating it to the point of wanting to make something exactly like it was on one level a compliment to my skills as a designer/weaver.

The deciding factor in not taking the time to explain to them that it was rude to do a fabric analysis in my booth, taking up valuable floor space and covering my display while they did it was that I had decided to discontinue the line when my materials for said design ran out.  I also did not want to have a potentially angry confrontation in my booth with the public walking into - or by - my booth.  I didn't need that negative energy in my life on any level.

I know that some weavers will appreciate what I make to the extent that they want to emulate it.  I have no problems with someone taking one of my textiles, figuring out how I did it and then tweak it to produce something uniquely theirs.

But as I mentioned in the last post, not everyone is confident enough in their skills to do that.  So they follow directions, buy kits, reproduce precisely what a designer has created.  There is nothing wrong in so doing.  The 'wrongness' is when they then sell that work as their own without acknowledging the role of the designer.

The weaving community is a very small one.  To take something that has been seen in Handwoven, replicate it exactly and then sell it is, as far as I am aware of copyright law, an infringement.  OTOH, it doesn't take much to change the original sufficiently that one can claim it as 'original' work.  Change the colours, change the dimensions, if nothing else, change the threading, tie up and/or treadling and voila, you have a textile that is changed enough from the original to make it count as 'original'.

Ultimately by publishing photos - and sometimes drafts - of the textiles I create my goal is to inspire others and increase their knowledge.  It is partly why, up until now, I rarely publish precise details of my textiles.  (I must for inclusion in Handwoven.)  When I do provide precise details, right down to the supplier, I am well aware that these items may be reproduced precisely.  That is, after all, the whole point of providing those precise details!

So no, I don't get particularly exercised when I see my work either copied precisely or emulated.  By the time I see items similar to what I make in the marketplace, I've generally moved on to my next best idea.  And if not, it is simply a reminder that I need to...


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Musings

last of the warps for AGY:L&H to be woven on the small loom...


Weaver A was sitting at a table in the dining hall at a conference, wearing what was obviously a hand woven top.  Another weaver walked by, did a double take and exclaimed "You're wearing my top!"  Weaver A was noticeably taken aback.  "Pardon?" she asked.  "You're wearing the top I designed and had published in Handwoven."

Weaver B designed and submitted a project to Handwoven.  After publication she submitted the project to a juried show at a conference.  The juror, having seen the issue and the item in the magazine assumed that Weaver B had copied it wholesale from the magazine.  (The jurying was done without the name tags visible for the juror to see.)

Weaver C had a very successful line of place mats she was marketing at craft fairs and consignment shops.  During one craft fair 3 weavers strode purposefully into her booth, extracted notebook and measuring tape and began to do a fabric analysis...in Weaver C's booth.  One of the three approached Weaver C and proudly explained that they loved the place mat design so much they were going to copy it and put it into production in order to sell it in their craft co-op.

As a weaver/designer/author, how do I feel about people 'copying' my designs that make it into publications?

One part of me (my ego) is pleased that they like what I've done enough to copy it.  Another part of me (still ego) wishes that they would at least change the colours and/or the texture.  Rather than copy wholesale, it would be nice if people would have enough confidence in their own creativity to use published designs as jumping off places.

But not everyone has the time or inclination to do their own design work.  People live busy lives, time is at a premium and it is much faster to work from project notes someone else has put together.

My issue with such 'copying' is when that person then sells the item they have made without giving credit to the designer.

The weaving community is a very tiny one.  (Just as a for instance, Ravelry, geared towards knitting and crocheting with a small corner for weaving, has 3 million registered users.  Weavolution, geared towards weavers has something like 10,000.)

There are very few people who routinely design and publish 'patterns' and we all pretty much know who they are.

Since my primary focus is to design, make and then sell my own original work, it is always interesting when I see that people in a given region (I sell my work all over western Canada) begin to emulate my work.  I generally bring at least one, usually two, new scarf designs to market each year.  If I see too many items that look too much like my own designs in the same marketplace I know that it is time to drop that particular item from my inventory.

It's no big deal.  It's just time for me to move along and make sure I come up with something new.

Currently reading Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Wire

As in coming down to, home stretch in sight.


Just now cut off the #8 warp for AGY: L and H.  In the photo you can see the 'plain weave' (although there is no true plain weave with this threading) cut line and the mark the apron rod has left in the cloth.  The latter will, of course, disappear during wet finishing and the cut line will remain so that I can easily separate the cloth into samples for the publication.

And here is #9 in the queue ready to be wound and dressed.  I'm just stopping for lunch and may visit with my neighbour if she feels up to it.  But this afternoon the intention is to wind the two warp chains and maybe even get the warp beamed.  We'll see if I get any further than that today.


And some good news.

When dealing with chronic dis-ease (that's not a typo, but on purpose because I'm not sick, just dealing with a body that is trying to be as healthy as it can be given my genetics and the current state of my health), one celebrates in terms of how well one is coping with things.

Today my doctor expressed concern about my cholesterol levels but was happy enough to just up the Niacin to 1500 instead of the 1000 I have been taking.  And I managed to ask some questions about bp before he got called away to deal with something 'critical'.  We are both now satisfied with how my bp is behaving so we will continue on as I have been while I continue to monitor it daily (when at home - I don't bother when I'm away).

Bottom line?  I truly am as healthy as I can be given my allergies, CAD, etc., etc., etc.  So I am eagerly looking forward to the trip.  Two weeks from today I will be in Sweden, hopefully in Vaxjo, not stuck in Stockholm, but I am going to investigate alternatives to the rather, um, iffy customer service I have so far received from the small regional airline that flies from Stockholm to Vaxjo.  And pray my flight across the pond and to Arlanda will not be delayed so I don't miss my connecting flight!

That means I have about 12 days to accomplish everything that I'd like to get done before I leave.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....

Currently reading Speaking from among the Bones by Alan Bradley (the latest Flavia de Luce)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Weather Outside...

...is frightful...



No, that is not angel dandruff falling.  It is snow.  Snow!  Dear Mother Nature, did you not notice the date on the calendar?  Who am I kidding.  We have had snow as late as May 9 - I even have the photo on this blog to prove it.

I am just everlastingly grateful that yesterday, as I drove the 450 miles or so home from the 'wet' coast that the weather co-operated and the bulk of the driving was in dry, even sunny, weather.

Ah, home.  Where if you don't like the weather, wait a while.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Langley BC

Hard at work weaving samples to be wet finished.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Incredible Crispness of Linen



Finished taping and cutting the 'before' samples this morning and serged the rest in preparation for wet finishing.

I am very happy with the collection so far.  Since the majority of linen yarns are natural or half-bleached, I have included some cotton to provide a bit of colour and also because linen is expensive, one way to keep costs down is to use a cheaper yarn.  Cotton is also less needy of special requirements so it makes good sense to use cotton for warp and the more expensive linen for weft.

The majority of the samples have been done on 4 shafts with just one on 8.

Quite frankly I am getting quite anxious to finish the weaving and writing for this publication because my inventory of textiles for sale is dreadfully low and I really need to be concentrating on making more sale items.  I know the pressure will really ratchet upwards once I get the painted warps back from the dyer, so I'm concentrating on at least getting the weaving for AGY:L&H done before I leave for Sweden.  Plus I want to cold mangle them there, too, so lots of reasons for getting a hustle on.

Sample number 8 is threaded, sample 9 needs to be designed and woven, while sample 10 is on the AVL waiting for me to get to it.  Probably after I get home from Sweden because I'd also like to have some fabric for summer tops to bring with me and maybe even sew one or two of them under supervision.  I'm quite sure there will be hints and tips for sewing on the bias.  I vaguely remember something about that from sewing class but that's 50 years ago!

My how time flies when we are having fun!  Am I really that old?  Yesseree, that I am!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Piling Up


The warps for AGY:L&H have been coming off the small loom in quite a satisfactory fashion.  In order to get as much weaving done as I possibly can before I leave on Friday, I've just been piling them up where ever I can find a spot where they won't get creased too badly.  Normally I wouldn't worry about that too much but since half of each is going to be preserved for the 'before' samples, I don't want them messed up.

So for the moment they are simply draped over the back of the work table and AVL (since I'm not currently weaving on that loom, anyway) along with the thrums for making the yarn samples and my scratch notes.

Hopefully I will remember what I did when it comes time to write up the project notes!

What can I say?  I'm an optimist!

Kerstin has kindly agreed to give me a sewing tutorial so I also want/need to get some of the fabric for my planned summer tops woven and wet finished before I leave on the 23rd so I can see that the two weeks between my arriving home from Langley and leaving for Sweden are going to continue to be a little, um, pressured?

And yes, it is all self-inflicted!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Flash or Not


without flash


with flash


Need some photos for publicity purposes and decided to try without flash as well as with.

While the without flash shows the colour gradations more accurately, the with flash makes a better picture.

So that is the one I will be going with.

In some of my software programs the without flash photo looks better than the with but since the image will be printed, I'm thinking the brighter value image will look a lot better for that purpose.  I think you can also see the sheen of the cloth much better as it reflects the light back at the camera.  It also looks to be in a little better focus - one of my biggest challenges!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Spools not Fools



Meg fromNelson suggested people share their spools, which I think is a much finer idea than trying to 'fool' people.  :)

So at my Leclerc Fanny, the bobbins wound last night, left 'soaking' up moisture in a plastic bag.

Beside my pirn winder, my box of pirns.  I will be using these on the warp currently being put onto the AVL - one of these days.  I decided to concentrate on the warps for the small loom so that I can bring them to Sweden with me.  Right now there are 3 left to do.  I doubt I'll get them all done before I leave for Langley on Friday, but I might be able to manage two of them and then the last can easily be completed after I get home and before I leave again on the 23rd.  She says, optimistically.

Today I got an update on an opportunity that first arose at the end of last year and it looks like full steam ahead.  Plus another opportunity from the same quarter.  Details when I can share.  I don't like to say too much until the project is actually underway - because there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip, as they say.

I have also been reminded (by the scale) that my intention was to try an lose some weight this year.  So far I have not been exceptionally successful (iow, not at all!) so the time has come to get serious about that.  Wish me luck!

Currently reading Murder by the Book by Susanna Gregory