Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Pressing Matter

Or perhaps I should say, a matter of pressing?

I've mentioned my industrial steam press in previous posts, and since I had my Blackberry with me (I'm finding a camera phone amazingly handy!) thought I'd take some pictures. :D

So here is Puff.............

Doug installed Puff in my 'annex' which has two areas. The front, which has no windows, is where Puff resides. The other area has one tiny window and is crammed to the rafters with stuff!

Here is a shot of the drying rack with some of the tea towels I pressed this afternoon.

I don't mind doing more than one of an item. I find that customers buying placemats or even tea towels, quite often want more than one of the same design.

My goal is to use up as much of the yarn in the background of this photo as possible in the near future. The yarn to the right is a high quality acrylic and I've been doing throws, using it for weft. But I've got an awful lot of it...........

Here are some photos of the tea towels that I gave a finishing press to today. They are now ready to be tagged, priced and sent out for - hopefully - sale. The natural linen looks a bit green in this photo - it's actually much more beige. I think it's partly that the blue is coming through from the other side of the fabric. I wove these towels in August/September and finally got the last of them hemmed.

The following towels were woven in Nov/Dec/Jan. I've been lagging behind on my hemming, so it felt really good to get these dealt with today. The blue and beige are cotton and linen, the blue and white is all cotton.

Yesterday I cut and serged the last warp and those are the towels on the drying rack above. Well, some of them. There's still another load to go into the washer/dryer, but probably not until later in the week, now.

Today I got a phone call from a gal I met in December at a craft fair. She does surface design using embroidery techniques. She called to invite me to a drop in for craftspeople every second Wednesday. The next drop in just happens to be tomorrow, so I'm going to go and bring my tub of hemming. ;)

One of my goals was to be less of a stick-in-the-mud and try to develop more of a social life. The call felt like an invitation that I really wanted to accept, even though I'll miss the next one as I'll be out of town.


Anonymous said...

Your work and your philosophy are so inspiring. I live reading your blog and your posts on the weaving list. Thanks so much for being my long-distance mentor!

Anonymous said...

Laura, You are an inspiration to us little small town weavers - thank you. I was wondering how you hem your towels, could you do a little show and tell demo for us? Seems like a simple request, but I find that many people finish handwoven towels differently.

Love your blog, keep up the great work. P.S. I have major studio envy!

Best wishes, Martha

Laura Fry said...

For hemming I just serge the cut ends, wet finish, press, then turn the hem under twice so that the serging is tucked in and hem by hand.

Since I do the hemming in the evening while in front of the tv, doing it by hand is more convenient for me than having to drag the sewing machine out. :)

It's also portable, hence the trip to the crafter's drop-in this morning, bucket of hemming in hand.

Thanks for the kind words - we used to have a lot of weavers in this town, now, not so much, so internet contact with weavers has become my main interaction with others of like interest. :D



Life Looms Large said...

I have wondered what Puff looks like for a long time, since I've seen you mention him on various weaving lists!! Somehow I had a bigger, more dragon-like picture....perhaps if there was an action photo with lots of steam! (Not saying you have to take an action photo!!)

You mentioned a "high quality acrylic" in your post. I've just finished a texture sampler, and have a hankering to make some throws. I used one acrylic in my sampler, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wove up pretty nicely. Are there certain acrylics that you recommend for weaving? And are there certain acrylic sources?

Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your knowledge with the weaving world!

Laura Fry said...

Well, Puff does look a little more fierce when the steam is being used. :)

The acrylic yarn I have is weaving yarn, not knitting yarn. As such it is not overly elastic/stretchy, it doesn't pill and it can be used for either warp or weft.

My stash of acrylics came from a mill that was closing out. I don't know what they used it for - I suspect upholstery - but it makes great throws, whether I'm knitting or weaving. :)



Janet said...

Okay, so I love the towels, especially the August/September ones, and am thoroughly envious of Puff -- but I'm dying to know where you got that drying rack!

Your stash photos are making me feel much better about my yarn room, and your ability to actually work through yours is an inspiration. I just might start in on some of mine...

Laura Fry said...

heh - I think that rack is just about as old as I am. I scooped it off my mom when I started weaving 30+ years ago!

It's great - it folds up nearly flat for storage. I got those shower rod plastic cover thingees to cover the wood bars, which were starting to get a bit dried out and splintery.

As for my stash, if I can use up enough of it, I get to buy new stuff! ;^)

Powerful motivation, that!!!!