Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Enablers

 


Happy Tuesday to me.  :)

I am blessed with enablers who send me yarn (and books).  On this snowy Tuesday morning, a kilo of fine singles linen arrived from Lithuania.

It's a bit finer than I had envisioned, which means I will have to re-tool my plans for it, but never mind, anticipation is all part of the fun of weaving.  Thinking about what to do, how I may need to make adjustments to achieve the desired results is all part of the fun!

The company sells this yarn either singles, or 2, 3, or 4 ply.  If the singles is anything to go by, it should weave up very nicely, and then wet finishing with a good hard press ought to produce a really nice quality of cloth for things like tea towels.

I'll be pairing this as weft on a 2/16 cotton warp.  I needed more of that yarn to finish off the rest of my 2/16 cotton weft yarns anyway, so it will all come together quite nicely, I think.  Giving the singles the eyeball test, it appears to be a wee bit finer than sewing thread and is labelled Tex 56.  They convert that to 8854 yards/pound.  It has slight texture, and a lovely subtle sheen.  I think I'm going to like the results! 

They also offer it dyed, but I chose the natural colour which is has a bit of a golden glow to it.

So I won't get to this yarn right away.  I have the current warp of blue/peacock to finish weaving, then two more of that colour to finish up, which will give me time to cogitate on how to use this lovely yarn and then order what I need from Brassard.

Thank you to this particular enabler who has given me the gift of anticipation and being able to work with a new-to-me yarn.  

Monday, February 19, 2024

Second Hand Bobbin Lace Books for sale

 The following books are from a non-smoking household, and generally in good condition.  Shipping rates apply to addresses in Canada or the US.


Chart for Lace Identification and the Meshes of Handmade Lace by Lolita Eveleth asking $10 plus $6 for postage



Lace for Dolls and Dolls' House by Ann Collier asking $20 plus $20 shipping



Special Effects in Bobbin Lace by Sandi Woods asking $45 plus $20 shipping



The Book of Bobbin Lace Stitches by Bridget Cook and Geraldine Stott asking $30 plus $20 shipping



Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace by Bridget Cook asking $35.00 plus $20 shipping  SOLD




Complete Book of English Bobbin Lace by Pamela Nottingham asking $40 plus $20 for shipping



A Manual of Hand-Made Bobbin Lace Work by Margaret Maidment asking $20 plus $20 shipping



Lace in the Making by Margaret Brooke asking $10 plus $20 shipping



The Bobbin Lace Manual by Geraldine Stott asking $30 plus $20 shipping  SOLD




If someone wants more than one item, I can check to see what the shipping would be for a 'bulk' order.

There is just one copy of each, first person to contact me will get the book(s).  They will be sent via Canada Post.

Lace Books

 


I have done a search on line for the books I'm offering for sale.  The above pamphlet appears to be highly sought after, but I have put a low price on it because I really have no idea if anyone is interested.

Most of the books are 'classics', still commonly in use and valued, although some are older publication dates.

The books are from a non-smoking household, and while they are used (and some of them quite old) are in decent condition.

Here is the list.  The price listed does not include shipping.  I will be adding $20 each for shipping in Canada and the US.  

I'm not going to run an eBay auction (just don't have the spoons for that - been there, done that, know exactly how much effort it takes).

I will be listing these books on my ko-fi shop, which will simplify payment, especially buyers outside of Canada.  The listings should be up later today or tomorrow - I have to get photos first.  I'm just posting the information here in case anyone is interested, or know someone who might be.

Bobbin Lace Books

Chart for lace Identification and the Meshes of Handmade Lace by Lolita Eveleth  $10

Lace for Dolls and Dolls’ Houses Ann Collier $20

Special Effects in Bobbin Lace Sandi Woods $45


The Book of Bobbin Lace Stitches Bridget Cook and Geraldine Stott $30

Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace Bridget Cook $35

Complete Book of English Bobbin Lace Pamela Nottingham  $40

A Manual of Hand-Made Bobbin Lace Work Margaret Maidment  $20

Lace in the Making Margaret Brooke  $10

The Bobbin Lace Manual  Geraldine Stott  $30



Sunday, February 18, 2024

Memories

 The Dance 

Watch the feet as they step and slide in perfect time, they find their place and never miss a beat 

Watch the hands sure and deft, no wasted motion as they sweep on their appointed path 

Watch the eyes watching: they observe the placement of the hands, the threads, the tools. 

They watch and help to dance the dance 

And when the music ends the dance is done, the cloth is cut the loom left bare then, yes, then the dance lives on a static record left to prove the dance begun 

This solitary dance goes on unseen, a private act seen only from within. 

And if one other sees within the cloth one half the joy felt in the dance, then I have danced for them as well. 

Laura Fry, 1983


This was a poem I wrote for my first (and only) solo exhibit at the local art gallery.

Tasked with writing an artist's statement, I got stuck and could not think what to write.  Then one day, while I was weaving (and everything was going smoothly), these words came to me.

Even though it was not time to stop, I stopped anyway, because I knew I needed to write those words down before they floated away on the river of time.

I used this poem as the dedication for A Thread Runs Through It.  

Today I spent several hours going through boxes of books from a dead weaver's estate.  Although she was older than me, we were in the same weaving class in 1975, so I felt like she was a contemporary.  As she aged, her body began to fail her and eventually she had to stop weaving, but could not let go of her books, looms, yarns.  So, when she died a few years ago, her spouse and children began to give, sell, get rid of things.

The local guild benefitted receiving some of her things - yarn, mostly.  Eventually her spouse also died, and now the children are needing to get rid of the rest.  Hence the boxes of books and some small tools that arrived at the guild room last week.

Since the guild was founded just as we were beginning our weaving journey, the guild already has many of the books in her carefully kept library, so we are selling the duplicates or the ones that are very specific that we don't think the guild members will be interested in.  Some of her books date to her home economics education, and I'm hoping to find someone who really wants one particular one, because a quick search online indicates that it is still prized amongst seamstresses/tailors.  There are a few other 'precious' books that I hope people will be interested in having - a signed Peter Collingwood Rug Weaving, Allen Fannin's Handloom Weaving Technology (2 copies, like new).  No Common Thread - with handwoven samples, by Dini Moes and ? Heggtveit.  Two copies of Linda Heinrich's The Magic of Linen (like new).

As I look at my book shelves, I find that I still cannot part with what books I have left (after purging my library on at least two occasions).  I suppose someone will be tasked with getting rid of what is left in my studio when I move on to...where ever the weavers hang out.  

Anyway, if the guild decides to run an eBay auction, I will be sure to let folk know.  


Down Sizing

 


It's taken me a while to get to this point, but this morning I decided to finally begin downsizing my bobbin lace stash.

I will keep two pillows and all of the handmade/painted bobbins made by my friend Jacqui Southworth (Larkholme Lace) because, well, she (and Eric) made/painted them.  I will keep my original cookie pillow because I prefer it over most others.  It was purchased from my first bobbin lace teacher, made by her spouse and is filled with sawdust.  It's just the best pillow I've worked on (imho).  But it isn't the best for some applications, so I'll keep one of the others which is a little bit more versatile.

The rest I'll offer to my lace student if she is interested in continuing, although she may find that she doesn't 'love' it enough to invest in the equipment.  Or she can make her own.

I've sorted the bobbins that I am willing to sell into packages.  Most of them are spangled, but not all.  I'm not interested in investing in beads and wire to get the unspangled ones spiffed up so I'll offer them as well.

Then there are the books.  I've 'inherited' a bunch of lace books and have duplicates of some, and some I'm not interested in, so those will get listed and hopefully sold off.

I'm old enough, and my eyesight is not great, so I'm not going to work with anything very fine.  I'm using sewing thread right now and managing, but I certainly don't want to go any finer.  And I don't want to invest too much time into a 'big' project.  So I will work on small items - ornaments for xmas trees, or window decorations.

In the photo above, there are 3 pillows - one roller pillow, the others are cookie or square with foam.  The two bags are full of books.  This coming week I'll be looking for where to list these for sale and try to figure out 'fair' prices, given shipping is so expensive now.  

I hope the pillows will stay in western Canada due to the cost of shipping them.  However, I would be willing to ship via courier *within* Canada.  Especially if someone buys a pillow and some books or bobbins, for example.  

If anyone knows of a sales site for bobbin lace makers, let me know.  I found 3 groups on Facebook, but none allow sales.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Not Done

 


Latest 'tiles' design, loom state

Yesterday I cut the first seven towels off the loom so I finally got a good look at what is intended to be the 'right' side of the cloth.

It's still not 'finished', so it will change when it hits the water for the first time, but the photo shows it pretty accurately.  

When it is finally 'done' (wet finished, including a hard press) the warp and weft threads will shift into their final place and the overall design will resolve and become more cohesive.

And this is why I keep banging the drum - it's not finished until it's wet finished.

Right now the cloth feels loose and not structurally sound.  Individual threads can be pulled or shifted out of place.  When I cut into it, the raw edges will fray.  Which is why I use a serger to protect the raw edges.  

After wet finishing, this cloth can actually be cut and not have it fall apart.  Yes, it will fray somewhat, but it will not disintegrate before your eyes/in your hands.

One of the intriguing things about this weave structure (whatever it might be called) is the textures that build which add depth to the look of the design.  It has been quite fascinating to push and pull the design lines, this way and that, and watch how the weave structure changes the overall look of the design lines/areas.

 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Expectations/Reality

 


Re-learning bobbin lace is almost like starting over again, from scratch.  OTOH, I have been a bit surprised - and very pleased - that if I just trust my hands, they actually remember.  Quite a lot, to be honest.

I made dozens of these little birds about 20 years ago, so I got pretty good at making them.  Now, I'm having to re-learn how to move the bobbins through the pricking (the pattern) and come up with something that doesn't totally 'suck'.

This little bird is several skill levels higher than I'm currently at, so it's been a bit of an exercise in frustration as I pick my way through making each.  And there is plenty to improve upon.  However, I have a very large spool of a very bright lemon/lime, a friend who adores that colour and has no interest in learning how to make lace, so I'm re-learning how to do it by making her what will likely turn into a flock of these little birds.

The design actually comes with a separate 'tail' which I'm ignoring, because she is a quilter and may want to use them to embellish a quilt.  Or hang them in a window, make a mobile, or...whatever she may choose to do with them.  

They are serving a purpose - I'm getting comfortable with moving the bobbins through each other, and studying the results.  The bottom bird was the first I made, using option A but I really didn't like the 'logic' behind that one so I'm now using option B and finding that a lot easier to work.  I'm not working it the way the pattern says but using my own approach.  Which, when it comes to lace, is pretty standard, from what I understand.  

I'm not going to starch them, as per the instructions, because I don't know what my friend will want to do with them.  The thread I am using isn't very stiff so they are pretty flexible.  But if she wants to spray starch them. I'm pretty sure she knows how to take care of that.

We have another sunny day today.  I may try to get photos of the rest of the Matrix towels.   They are dark navy warp with dark weft colours and don't photograph well so I've left them on the back burner for a sunny day.  

Looks like today is the day.  Check my ko-fi shop for the new towels with more coming, perhaps later today.