Saturday, July 31, 2010


one corner of my storeroom....

I confess - I'm a packrat. My DH is even worse. Therefore it is fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your preference) that my tolerance for clutter is rather high.

But face it - in order to put things away, there must be a place to put them! And when your stuff outnumbers the places to put them there isn't much option left but to put the stuff in boxes and stack the boxes where ever there is room to stack them.

Which is one reason why I'm determined to use up some of my stash. No stash, nothing to put away..........

So it is that I am digging into the box in the foreground with the bit of white showing. This is the box with the painted soy protein and Tencel warps that I have been steadily picking away at for - oh it seems like months! In fact it probably has been months. :} And it will be some months yet because there are 12 more painted warps in that box, each warp producing 4 scarves. At a week (average) per warp, that's another 3 months before I'm done. Not counting the time I'll be away beginning in September.......

And then you see the box behind that one? The one piled high with more warps? Yup - another box full of painted warps destined to be shawls.

The shelves above the boxes are filled with mostly wool that I use in workshops. It's not enough I have my production stash, I also have my workshop stash. The yarns that I send out for the various topics I teach. And then of course there's my re-sale stash.

Then there are the binders full of handouts and bins of teaching samples to store somewhere.

Last but not least there are the drawers full of paperwork necessary to run a business. Not to mention various and sundry parts and pieces of booth apparatus for doing shows, a box or two of loom parts I daren't get rid of in case they are needed late some night for emergency repairs, tools, and accessories required for the weaving process etc.

Is it any wonder I close my eyes to the mess most times and call it 'creative chaos'?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Soapboxes

about 30 yards of scarves....

I have two soapboxes - one for each foot, obviously. :^)

One is wet finishing. The other is issues of ergonomics/efficiency.

Handweavers can in no way compete with industry and looms that weave hundreds of picks per minute.

A handweaver is therefore by definition making 'slow' cloth.

People tell me they aren't interested in working more efficiently because they don't want to 'hurry'.

Working efficiently isn't hurrying. It's working with the least amount of wasted effort as one can.

Working ergonomically is working with the least amount of damage to the body. Quite often the two turn out to be - if not the same - closely related.

One of the big issues I see when I teach workshops is that people sit on chairs/benches etc., that are too low. This is very bad for backs. Another issue is how people hold and throw their shuttles. If a weaver only ever weaves narrow fabrics it's not terribly important. It becomes much more important when warps become wider - and longer. Throwing with poor technique can cause lots of problems with necks and shoulders, wrists and thumbs.

Weaving takes time. Lots and lots of time. I don't want to do it any more slowly than I absolutely have to. I've spent years studying, analysing and tweaking my technique. I am more than happy to show others what I do and how I do it. And why I do it so that they can decide if my techniques (I say 'mine' but many other production weavers do as I do) are appropriate for them.

To this end I produced CD Weaver which shows how I wind the warp, beam it, sley it, and how I weave it off, including video clips so that the processes can be seen in motion.

I also present seminars and workshops.

Next year I've been asked to be at the John C. Campbell Folk School Jan. 9-15 for a workshop called The Efficient Weaver. You don't have to be very experienced to take it - just interested in working more efficiently/ergonomically.

You can contact the school here

NEWS has also contracted me to do seminars on both my soapboxes. I don't think their webite is ready yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.

And last, but not least, I have video clips posted both here (click on the video clip label) and on my website

Currently reading A Darker God by Barbara Cleverly

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weave Fail

There are so many ways for things to go 'wrong' during the weaving process.

The project can begin to go off the rails in the design stage when the weaver makes a poor choice of yarn, a poor choice of density, an inappropriate weave structure or a motif that isn't 'elegant'. Why? Probably because the weaver was tired or distracted or maybe learning a new technique and didn't quite get it right the first time.

In this case I'm pleading fatigue with extenuating circumstances.

The error wasn't exactly fatal. Since it was consistent in my liftplan when I noticed what I'd done - 5 pattern picks separating the motifs in one row, 3 in the next - I sighed and labelled it a design feature.

Then of course there are the 'errors' that the loom creates - a shaft lifts when it isn't supposed to, or doesn't when it is. An alert weaver may - or may not - notice when this happens and fix it.

Lastly there are the 'flaws' gifted by the yarns themselves. And in this case - yes there are two points of failure in this scarf - the flaw was fatal.

Rayon chenille does not repair well when it breaks, especially when it breaks at the fell line, no hint of warning that disaster was pending.
And so I have about 30 inches of 10 inch wide fabric that is going to hit the scrap heap unless someone wants it for 'samples'?

The only solution was to once again sigh - much louder this time - roll the warp forward, thread the errant warp end back into it's proper heddle and start over. I confess that a few explicatives were likely used after the sigh. :O

By the way, there's a new group on Weavolution called Weave Fail. I joined it yesterday. Just in time, from the looks of it.

Currently reading A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter

Monday, July 26, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle

Some motifs are easier to weave than others. A star, a simple little 5 pointed star, would I thought be easy-peasy.

Not so. These ones look better on the 'back' of the cloth, which in reality will be the face of the cloth. But I wasn't really very happy with them. They sort of look like a male alien. :} More obvious when looking at them straight on. From the side, these look pretty twinkly. :)

So, back to the drawing board - or rather, Fiberworks - where I tweaked the motif slightly.

This time I think the motif looks more like a star and less like an alien, but regardless I'm weaving it up anyway.

Sometimes you have to really watch the obverse - the little butterflies I did previouis to the stars look fine on one side of the cloth and a whole lot like a pansy on the other side. Still, better than the butterflies that morphed into a crying frog that I did not so long ago!

Currently reading Time Weaver by Shana Abe - not bad - a bit jerky but only to be expected in a tale of time travel.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This isn't so much a book review as it is an anticipation of a good read. :)

Show me a book with 'weaver' or 'weaving' in the title and I will pretty much automatically pick it up in case it actually has a weaver or weaving in it. And so when I saw this book on display at the library the other day my hand naturally gravitated toward it.

As usual I opened the book and began reading the first page. If a book doesn't grip me sufficiently to turn to the next page, I don't bring it home.

So far I've only read the prologue but with language like this: "Emerald hills that hugged the heavens, that invited the clouds down low for foggy kisses." appeals to me and I'm not adverse to fantasy either so I'm looking forward to reading the rest. The rest of the prologue slowly changes from bucolic to uneasy menace.

Shana Abe has written a series of which this is the latest. Usually I prefer to read a series from the beginning but will read one to see if it is worthwhile to look up the rest, so that is what I will do with this one.

Abe is classed as a Romance writer although this series is shelved in the SF section of my local library. Romance, as a genre, generally doesn't much appeal to me but I'm not a snob about it. A well written Romance is as welcome as any other well written book in pretty much any genre.

Hopefully the rest of the book will live up to my expectations. ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010


I intended to weave one of this design in turquoise, then had a brain cramp and started a second one. Which then 'suffered' a flaw which will no doubt make it a 'second'. Oh well.

Have been thinking about where ideas come from and how they come into material form. I have ideas. Lots of ideas. Very few of them make it as far as the loom.

Each idea gets filtered through a series of considerations. First one is - is the idea sufficiently original? In other words, has it come out of my own source or have I been unduly influenced by something someone else has done?

If I am sparking off someone else's idea, is my idea far enough from the source to be considered my own, or is it too derivative?

If it is sufficiently 'original' the next question is - in my experience do I think anyone would be interested in buying it? For enough money to make it worth my while to invest the time to make it?

Don't get me wrong - when I'm making something for myself the investment of time is always worth it. :) But my primary goal - beyond working at something I love to do - is to sell my handwoven textiles.

Which then leads me to the question of how efficiently I can make it. If the idea is labour intensive, can I re-tool it to make it more efficiently? If I can't streamline the process, will the results be attractive enough that I can charge more for it? Will it be worthwhile to use more than one shuttle; use a temple; dress the loom with two warps, etc.?

Then I need to consider the materials themselves. Which fibres/yarns would be most appropriate to render this design into material form? All fibres have inherent characteristics. How they have been prepared for and spun will have an impact on those characteristics.

For example, a fibre that has inherently good draping qualities can be given more backbone by combing the fibres so that they are parallel (worsted) and then given a higher degree of twist to make the yarn spun stiffer than it would be otherwise.

So once I come up with the concept, I may go through several different fibres/yarns before I feel comfortable with my choices.

At this point I generally make a sample. Now sometimes my sample warp will be 3 yards long and 10 inches wide - in other words, sufficient to make a scarf (if the concept is appropriate for a scarf). Regardless, a 10 inch width in the reed allows for an easy way to calculate loss of width.

I may weave 6 inches and wet finish the results to make sure I'm going to be happy with the cloth. If I'm not, I may re-sley (looser or denser) or I may change my weft. If my first sample isn't satisfactory, I may try several different wefts. Sometimes the whole 3 yards will get woven off with different sets, different wefts, different weave structures.

Other times I will go ahead and set the loom up based on previous weaving experience. After weaving for 35 years I've woven with a lot of different fibres in a lot of different weave structures. Having that foundation of knowledge to draw on means that I don't start out at square one every time I go to the loom anymore. But when I do use a completely new yarn, I generally weave at least one warp that I consider to be primarily for sampling or getting to know the potential of the yarn.

From the onset of an idea to actually putting it into production can take time. Sometimes, quite a long time, as with this scarf warp. I thought about it for months before I went ahead and dressed the loom with my initial 'sampling' and then a further 12 months passed by before I actually got a production warp onto the loom.

Part of the reason for not getting onto the loom sooner is that the warp required beaming two warps and weaving with two shuttles. It was only when I was in a position of needing to weave slowly that I finally went ahead with it.

Now that I have, I'm very happy with the results and find that I'm running out of warp before I'm running out of ideas for designs to weave on it. Sounds like I'm going to have to put another warp on the loom.

Currently reading Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Movable Feast

V-shaped scarf in double weave....

Yesterday a present arrived from Sweden - a birthday/thinking-of-you present. :)

The really nice thing about having weavers for friends is that sometimes hand woven gifts appear.

No, the scarf is not sewn into a V shape - it has been woven this way. (For more information see Kerstin's book Weave A V at

The scarf was a bit of a challenge to photograph. It's actually a darker blue than shown in the picture but over exposing it allows you to see the weave structure a little bit.

The cloth is woven in 'pockets' of double weave that have had small coins (smaller than a dime) inserted into the pocket during weaving.

I've been thinking a little bit about the nature of creativity and why I can't seem to stop thinking about more and new textiles I want to create. I think I'm an addict in the true sense of the word. I get an endorphine rush just thinking about playing with the thread. But it isn't just the thinking about making cloth materialize (I know, I know - baaaad pun!) it's the actual doing of it, too.

There is an enormous sense of satisfaction in getting the warp onto the beam even when the warp is tangled, like the painted warp I beamed last night. (Ha-ha! Take that you snarled mess! I win!)

I actually kind of enjoy threading - when it's going well - and the anticipation of sleying and tieing on just means I'm that much closer to being able to sit down and throw the shuttle. :)

There are some aspects I don't much like about weaving and generally I ignore them in favour of those I do enjoy. For example, I don't much like hand throwing two shuttles, but there are times, like with the Diversified Plain Weave, where you just have to settle down and do it.

But that's the wonderful thing about weaving. The craft is large enough that it is possible to focus on the aspects that do bring satisfaction and leave those that don't alone.

Currently reading Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Textile Blog

No pictures today but wanted to share a blog:

I've been following The Textile Blog for several months now. Almost daily I get a little snippet of textile history, sometimes about weaving, sometimes about basketry or lace or surface design, but always enlightening.

Today's blog post was about the textiles of Islamic Sicily. The photos in the post were generally from around the 12th century and they are pretty amazing.

A few years ago I had the priviledge of visiting Gawthorpe Manor, a house in the National Trust in Great Britain. The last owner of the house had been a single woman of wealth who travelled extensively and collected things. Things like textiles. There was a room fitted out with archive type shelves and you asked the docent for examples of what you would like to examine. In my case it was weaving. The two friends with me asked for lace and knitting as well as some rare examples of sprang.

In the woven collection were swatches that were collected mainly from Italy. While documentation was scarce an attempt had been made to identify when the fabric had been woven. The earliest example was from the 1400's up through the 1700's.

The close examination of these textiles was a pretty amazing experience. I wish I'd had a camera with me, but I didn't, so all I have are my memories.

What do I remember? I remember being in awe because of the fineness of the threads and the complexity of the weave structure. I don't know the precise weave structure as there wasn't time to do a fabric analysis, but lampas was probably one of them, and most definitely a drawloom or a very skilled pickup or inlay method was used. All of the textiles I examined in that all too brief visit were pre-industrial revolution so they had all been hand spun and hand woven.

And they were exquisite.

I don't know if Gawthorpe Manor still allows people to visit their textile collection but if you are ever in the Lake Country of England, check it out.

Currently reading The Devil Among the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flowers or?

So here is scarf #4. I'm kind of liking this motif a lot and can see it in a bunch of different colours. I'm calling it a flower although it could be a four leaf clover, too. :)

The rhythm of the shuttle throwing is much slower than just using one shuttle, or even two pick and pick. In this case it's two picks of the fine black, one pick of the rayon chenille. While I've reduced the weaving time from 120 minutes to 90 minutes per scarf (give or take) I still find myself zoning out and picking up the wrong shuttle from time to time. Fortunately I'm catching myself more quickly than before, but it's still annoying when it happens.

I suppose that, by the end of the 40 yards, the hop, hop, skip rhythm will become my new default and weaving with one shuttle will feel weird.

Or maybe not. I have a painted warp on the Fanny loom and expect to finish threading and sleying today so that I can weave on that warp tomorrow.

And then I'll be really confused! :^)

Currently reading Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Friday, July 16, 2010

Have A Heart (or two)

cheese grater beam installed

scarf #2 and 3 off the loom, back and front sides...once the cloth has been wet finished I expect the motif side will 'read' better since the chenille will be all fluffed up and give better already has a quite nice hand, though, not like how 100% rayon chenille woven in plain weave feels right off the loom!

Decided that the beams couldn't possibly weigh more than 6 or 7 pounds so when I finished scarf #3 I cut the web off and installed the cheese grater beam.

When I used to weave for a fashion designer, it would quite often be 10 yards of this, 12 yards of that, 3 yards of something else. When she was using rayon chenille and/or the long eyelash yarns it was just a whole lot more efficient to have two beams, one clad with the cg stuff so that it was a matter of moments to change over from one beam to the other.

The cg metal is actually a long strip about 2.5 or 3 inches wide and you install it by winding it in a spiral around the sandpaper beam. I worried about cutting my hands taking it on and off as often I would need to (at the time), not to mention the time it would take. In the long run it was much more efficient to just weave a few more yards to earn the money to buy a second beam. :)

With such a narrow warp my arms will be in danger of getting grated because the web simply won't provide much protection from the sharp teeth so as soon as the apron clears the beam I'll wrap a couple of ex-placemat rejects around the beam right up against the selvedges. I kept a bunch of these flawed mats for rags and other purposes, like wrapping the beams.

This morning I tweaked the tie up slightly to give more definition to the small hearts and wove a second scarf in that design but using a slightly varigated pinkish colour. I don't normally use a variegated in the weft much because so often the colours will stripe in various ways, some of them pleasant, some of them not so much. But this yarn only has the one hue and it changes from a medium light to a medium dark shade.

I like it well enough that I'll do another design with this colour - a traditional motif often used in things like charted embroidery - essentially it is four 'hearts' all with their points aimed at each other. It sort of looks like a flower. Well, you'll see tomorrow. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Auto-Cloth Advance

Peg asked about the sandpaper/cheese grater beams on my AVL.

I was probably one of the very first people to order the auto-cloth advance on my AVL Production loom. I ordered it based on what AVL told me at the ANWG conference I attended in 1981 - both it and the double box fly shuttle options. When the loom was ready to be shipped in November of that year, I found out that neither of those options that I'd ordered was currently available. Apparently they flew a trial balloon at the conference to see if anyone was interested before they actually perfected proto-types. Eventually the fly shuttle was ready in February and the loom was shipped - without the auto-cloth advance, which wasn't ready until the following August. :(

So what I have is the original auto-cloth advance, not the newer, higher pick style.

This photo was taken from above and shows the end of the sandpaper beam, which is covered with a fairly coarse grit sandpaper. You can see the gear at the end of the beam meshing with another smaller gear, then lower is the pick wheel which dictates how many picks per inch the cloth will advance.

Here is a side view - not quite in focus - sorry. But you can make out that there is a pin in the bottom of the beater. (I have the lower mount beater, not the overhead.) When the beater is brought forward, the rod moves forward pushing the pawl which advances the pick wheel. In this case I've set the wheel to advance 24 picks per inch.

When the wheel advances, the chain moves the small gear up top, which rotates the sandpaper beam, which grips the cloth tightly and moves the cloth 1/24 of an inch every time the beater is brought forward.

The fell line stays in exactly the same place in relation to the reed/beater and the only time I have to stop weaving is when the bobbin or pirn runs out. While it may not seem like the savings in time is very large it does make the whole process of weaving more efficient because I don't have to stop every inch or so to adjust the fell.

Now why would I have to use the cheese grater beam for the rayon chenille?

the beam has bits of a very long eye-lash yarn caught on it - I've tried to clean it off but it would take more time than I'm willing to invest and doesn't appear to interfere with the functioning of the beam....

It's because the rayon chenille has a pile to it and therefore the sandpaper beam will stop gripping the cloth. When this happens the sandpaper literally sands the pile off the surface of the cloth. The cheese grater metal has much longer 'teeth' which dig into the woven structure of the web more effectively.

While the sandpaper will work for several yards it's a pain to have to stop and cut off and re-tie after every 2nd or 3rd scarf, so I will get Doug to help me swap the beams over after I weave another scarf or two so that I can weave all the way to the end of this 40 yard warp without having to stop and cut/re-tie.

Once the entire warp is woven the cloth storage roller will be moved to my inspection table at which point the scarves will get cut apart and serged.

These scarves will have hems, not fringes. The two different yarns in the warp are not going to make attractive fringes - in my opinion - so I'm weaving hems with just the fine yarn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diversified Plain Weave

a little oopsie...see the line???

This afternoon I tied on and started weaving on the Diversified Plain Weave warp I had prepared a while ago.

DPW is an interesting weave structure consisting of two different yarns, generally a thick yarn and a much finer one in both warp and weft. The thick yarn is what creates the pattern, the fine yarns hold it all together. The weave structure is perfect for using rayon chenille as the pattern thread as the plain weave tie downs hold everything together and help prevent the rayon chenille from 'worming' (backing out of the weave structure creating little pig-tails of yarn).

Given the complexity of the threading, even though I used a simple point progression for the units, it was a good idea to start with something simple to prove that everything was correct.

In fact, everything wasn't correct - I'd made a simple error in the treadling and while fixing it I left a slight imperfection in the spacing of the wefts. It may come out in the wet finishing, it may not. If not, I guess I have a new scarf. ;) Or it can go as a gift to someone who doesn't mind my 'seconds'.

It also became apparent that I did not have the tension set properly on the two warps - the fine warp was too loose - the thick warp was too tight.

I also realized after I'd tied on that I ought to have used the cheese grater breast beam but hopefully I'll be able to weave at least a couple of scarves before the sandpaper beam stops gripping. When that happens I'll have to cut off and insert the other beam, tie on and set off once more. Since this is such a narrow warp it may even go to more length before I need to change it but when it fails it generally fails catastrophically so I'll probably be a bit conservative and cut off before that happens. Hopefully.

The pattern in Diversified Plain Weave is balanced but opposite colour will show on the two sides. In other words, what is red on the face will be black on the back. You might be able to see that on the face there are thick red stripes and thin black ones while on the reverse there are thick black stripes with thinner red ones.

When this situation exists, I will tie up my loom so that I lift the fewest possible shafts. Which means that for some of my patterns I may well be weaving them back to front.

I also need to bear in mind that what I am weaving are scarves which generally get draped over someone's shoulders. What will be upright at one end of the scarf will be upside down on the other. So motifs that are directional will quite often get alternated in their orientation.

While I have a number of ideas for motifs/patterns I've not actually hammered them out so my next task will be to start generating the liftplans (treadlings) for more.

Weaving on this warp is, as expected, very, very slow. But right now that's not a bad thing. :)

Just finished reading Hook, Line and Sinister (short mystery stories revolving around fishing). Currently reading The Complaints by Ian Rankin

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good news

What I thought was wrong with me apparently isn't. Now to try to find out why I've been feeling the way I have.

Life is rarely simple!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Big 6-0

extra special bd prezzie...long narrow knitted lace scarf in Sea Cell - thanks Sheila!

George Carlin has a wonderful monologue about aging. He talks about the milestones along the road - the milestone resonating with me right now, about making it to 60.

I grew up in the 50's and 60's when the watch word amongst my peers was to 'never trust anyone over 30'. Well, look at us now!

In fact, I like being the age that I am. (Consider the alternative - I have, many times during the past 2 and a half years.) I like that I have experienced so much, met interesting people, travelled to fascinating ports of call, learned from so many. I like the knowledge that I've accumulated in my nearly 60 years of life. I enjoy having answers to questions that come from my learning and experience. I also enjoy sharing that with others.

That isn't to say that I know it all. That is what keeps me coming back to the looms - always something more to discover. It was what drew me to weaving in the first place. I saw that one could spend a lifetime exploring, learning, discovering. That journey is what keeps me getting up every day.

Even when I'm doing a long run of plain weave scarves I delight in how the colours interact. The current blue/purple/green warp has turned into something really exciting because the dyer has applied colour with gay abandon and the section I just finished weaving is especially pretty with highlights of a sort of golden glow. What's not to love?

Currently reading West of Kabul, East of New York by Tamim Ansary

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Yesterday I finished the red/orange warp and beamed the blue/purple one. This morning I started weaving. As usual I started with a few picks to weave a header, then rolled the warp forward to leave about 6" for the fringe and started weaving again.

And started thinking about necessity.

When I first started weaving, I was told it was 'necessary' to weave something into the fringe part of the warp. So I did that. I had a fistful of cardboard strips cut 1" wide that I would diligently weave in between placemats.

Very soon I became frustrated with the strips. The weft would catch on the strips and I'd have to stop and untangle the weft. Then when the warp was taken from the loom I would very, very carefully slide each strip out. I tried cutting between the strips but they would still get stuck sometimes pulling the warp ends causing problems within the cloth itself.

Fed up, I tried weaving without the strips and discovered that no, they weren't necessary at all.

This revelation led me to question all of the processes involved in weaving. All those "you must" commands that someone at some point had decreed to be true.

Some of them I found were, indeed, necessary - but not all of them.

Over the years I developed my own list of things that were necessary - things that were true for me, given my equipment, my abilities (and disabilities) and my focus. For a while I thought that everyone else should subscribe to my list!

Eventually I realized that there is more than one 'truth'. That everyone needs to find the truth that is true for their reality.

The problem is, though, that quite often a beginning weaver gets told The Truth without ever knowing that there is more than one way to do the processes involved in weaving. They don't understand that what works for one person may - or may not - work for everyone else.

Whenever I take a workshop I like to rummage in the instructors and other participants tool boxes looking for a new technique that I can apply to my reality. That's one of the great things about weaving - it grew up in so many different cultures with so many different tools and techniques that it is possible to learn something new all of the time. My most recent new technique I learned just a few years ago - how to sley more efficiently.

It's one of the things that I love about weaving. No matter how long someone does it, there is always - always - something more to learn. A new technique, a new tool, a new weave structure, a new fibre.

How exciting!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Piling Up

to be done on sofa; done on coffee table...

Today was a rather chilly day - perfect for pressing. So I pressed another 20+ tea towels. They were still a little damp so I left them there to dry completely. There is one more load of towels to be run through the washer and dryer, so the stack on the sofa is approximately 1/2 of the total yet to be finished.

With one more week to go until I leave for Vancouver, hopefully to get 'fixed', my energy levels are not great nor can I weave very much, so the next couple of weeks seem like an ideal time to seriously attack my finishing mountain. :)

Once the towels are hemmed, they will go back to the press for a final pressing, then get their hang tags attached. And then they are finally ready for sale.

My hope is that I can have the simple fix on the 12th and be back weaving by the 19th. The Diversified Plain Weave scarf warp is set to go and if I work diligently on that 40 yard warp for the rest of the summer I can look forward to having them ready for the first sale in September. It will be a bit of a time crunch, but do-able - once I'm feeling better and my energy returns. And if it takes longer, there are sales in October, November and December, too. :)

Currently reading A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison - I'm reading the series out of order because I had to get some of the earlier titles in on Inter-Library loan and they are coming in as they are found and shipped here. But I'm not finding the out of sequence reading too much of a problem.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Withholding Judgement

You might remember waaaaay back in February I was having a problem weaving this warp.

I was not loving this warp at all. In fact, my first option I disliked so much on the loom that I only wound up weaving one towel in that weave structure!

So my own words have come back to haunt me. You know - the ones where I tell my students not to judge their work on the loom, but wait until the cloth has been properly wet finished?

Yup. You guessed it. The one I disliked the most on the loom I actually quite liked after the pressing was done.

That's not to say I'm deeply in love with this fabric. I still think it's a bit drab - especially given today was a grey, dreary day. But that's not to say that it doesn't have its virtues.

I'm not overly fond of the speckly look of the cloth, but in the right environment it will probably look quite nice. When the towels were all hanging on the drying rack I could see that they would go quite nicely in a kitchen with say, granite counters.

So what would I change so that I would like this colour combination better?

Well, partly what I don't like about it is the high contrast between the pale grey and the darker blues. I think that next time (no doubt there will be a next time given I still have a lot of these yarns left in my stash) that I would be happier with a more structured stripe instead of an overall sprinkling of the colours throughout.

But that's just personal preference. I'm satisfied enough with the cloth knowing that the yarn combination will function well as towels that they will go into the fall sales. And then the customers can decide for themselves whether they like them or not.

If nothing else they can be used as donations or hostess gifts. :)