Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Another Day, Another Warp


Yesterday the turquoise warp got cut off the loom and wet finished.  Those 8 towels are now ready to be hemmed and then all 16 will get their final press and will be ready for tagging.  Of course that won't happen right away because I'm saving up batches so that all of the tagging can be done at once.

Today this warp will get beamed.  I wound spools of the variegated yesterday, put the tubes/spools on the rack, stripped the warp from the Megado and generally tidied a bit.  

The studio needs a deep clean, but the most I can manage is to pick up the worst now and again.  

The weather continues to be more 'break up' than 'spring'.  Yesterday it was grey and wet; today it seems to just be grey.

I've been considering more speakers for the Sunday Series but it feels like booking 12 months into the future is too ephemeral, too far away.  So I hesitate.  I do have three lined up for 2022, with another short list I want to contact.  

The local guild room has been tidied and when it is safe I expect we will resume in person drop-ins.  Not for a while though as the province is not currently doing well with containing the virus and we are starting a three week 'circuit breaker', hoping to knock the numbers back as the vaccines begin rolling out.  A number of friends or family of friends have gotten their vaccines.  We are a couple of weeks away from getting our first jab.  But our appointments are booked - we just need to keep doing what we have been doing until herd immunity.

The on line study groups continue and I need to get back to writing up more Power Point presentations.  I am half done but suddenly find myself hitting the wall.  As a recent meme said, the wall is there to lean against and rest, so I've been spending more time reading and less time fussing about things.  I do, however, have a few things that need to be dealt with and am relieved to say that I have even managed some of them.  My tax papers are now with my accountant, for instance, so that is being dealt with.

So much of the past year has felt like 'hurry up and wait' and I don't have much patience to begin with so I'm dealing with not being able to 'hurry up' and never was much good at the 'wait' part.

As I begin to emerge (literally and figuratively) from the past year, my thoughts turn to what happens next.  Frankly?  I have no idea.  All I do know is that I still have too much yarn and need to weave it off.  So today the above warp will get beamed.  And I will continue to pick my way through each warp in turn and try to stay present in the moment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021



Available on or .com in PDF or hardback.

Also available on or .com as a 'magazine' or PDF

Available from me.  Small monograph.  $25 includes postage.

Workshops available at Handwoven

Study groups - on-going.  Via Facebook/Zoom.  Zoom meetings are recorded and available for viewing at your convenience.  Send me a message on FB and a FB friend request.  There is still room in the Saturday group.

Want to send a tip?  Buy me a coffee?  Link to my ko-fi account is in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Peach and Rose


Yesterday I didn't go to the loom but took a day 'off' from weaving.  Instead I puttered, thought (subliminally) about the next warps I wanted to do.  Then collected the yarn for another warp.  This one will go into the loom after the beige warp that will have the last of the black and the forest green used as weft.

In this photo, the tubes standing in the bottom are the warp - shades of peach, pink and beige with a variegated that has all of those plus blue and green.  The tubes laying flat on top are the cotton flake I want to use up.  When these are used up the rest of the warp will be woven in white.

These bins have been a real help over the years in so many ways.  From sorting and storing the pages and samples for Magic in the Water, through general storage, through sorting and packing teaching samples for teaching the Olds classes, to organizing the upcoming warps, they have been helpful in keeping me organized and on track.  

They stack and are clear, so I can fill and then stack them in a corner or on shelves.  They aren't so big that they are too heavy to carry.  (From being able to carry two at once, I can only manage one - because bad back.)

After the re-organization when I shut down my business, I now have more floor space and the bins can sit on the floor or stacked, as space permits.

Just because I didn't throw a shuttle yesterday doesn't mean I wasn't doing something productive.  Planning ahead, making sure I'm happy with my yarn choices, being able to see how much yarn I have so I know if I can actually do what I plan, is very helpful.  

I'm not saying I won't replace some of this yarn in the future, but right now, stash reduction is the goal.  Using up the yarn suitable for towels gives me a sense of progress and actual productivity.

The past year has been fraught with uncertainty and stress.  Being able to stay somewhat organized in the studio has given me a place to feel as though I am somewhat in control.  Somewhat competent.  Somewhat creative.

The sun is trying to shine today, but not really succeeding.  At least I can go to the loom and weave a couple of towels and feel some sensation of satisfaction.  And these nice spring colours are calling to me.  But first I have to finish the current warp and do the next one - the beiges with black and green.  And then this one will go into the loom.  Who knows, maybe by then spring will have actually arrived instead of just hinting that it's around the corner.

Currently reading Carrion Comfort by Ailine Templeton

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Ready to Launch


This will be the next warp in the current series.  It has undergone multiple changes but it is time now to say ok, this is it.  So I will wind two spools of the variegated and then when the current warp comes off, likely Tuesday, this one will go on.  I don't think there will be any more edits, although never say never.

With the stated goal of working only from my stash, there are creative limits as to what I can use.  There has to be enough on the tube to wind a warp, for one thing, because if I run out, I run out.  This means sometimes I'm playing yarn chicken as I watch the yarn package melt away, anxiously counting how many more sections need to be wound.  so I know I'll be anxiously watching that smallest tube.  However, I have a variety of beiges of one sort or another, so if it does run out, I can substitute something else in.  And there is a two thread 'excess' so if it is only two sections short, I can just leave it out, no harm.

The weft for this warp has also changed a number of times.  Originally I was going to use the last of the beige cotton flake, then white for the rest.  But it turns out I have dark forest green and will also have black to use up.  So those will be woven first, then maybe the beige.  Those three colours might be enough to complete the warp, but if not there will be white.

The 2/8 goes away much more quickly than the 2/16 and I may start running out of sufficient quantity to use up all of the white cotton flake, at least on the Megado.  I can still do striped warps and weave them on the Leclerc.  I can wind 11 meter long warps and get 8 or so towels from each warp.

Bottom line?  I'll be weaving towels for a while.

I gave up working with 2/20 merc. cotton a while ago, in part because I was having trouble seeing the yarn to thread it.  However, if I go slowly and carefully, I might be able to use it on the Megado if I have enough tubes to wind a warp.  That probably isn't likely however.  So I'm trying to think of what else I can do with it and thinking perhaps weft on a 2/16 bamboo rayon warp, which would make nice scarves.  Or else it could be used as a tabby weft in something.  Ideas are still percolating and no conclusions have been drawn.

Not sure I will get to the loom today but Monday and Tuesday I don't have any appointments so I should be able to weave the last four towels.  Then Wednesday begin to set up the Megado with the beige warp.  3, 2, 1....

Saturday, March 27, 2021



The picture doesn't really do this cloth justice.  It's more blue than green and the variegated yarns (showing up as pale streaks) adds extra interest to the cloth.

In real life, it's meeting my expectations and I'm pleased with it.

But that's the thing - nothing is ever as it seems and it depends on our perspective and distance from the issues.

Part of my fascination with weaving is that I never really know how a cloth is going to turn out.  Sometimes I can take a web off the loom and it's better than I thought it was going to be.  And then I wet finish it and something about it changes.  Usually a subtle difference, but in the end?  It's less than I'd hoped.

A recent example is the one that had iridescence when it was woven, but which disappeared when it was wet finished.  The final result was something rather bland and not pleasant to my eye.  But for everyone else, who had not seen that little magical effect?  They could only judge it on what it was, not on the little bit of magic I had seen while cutting it off the loom.

(For anyone interested in pursuing the phenomenon, Bobbie Irwin's book on the topic is a must.)

As pleased as I am with the current cloth, it is now officially over the halfway mark and I'm already looking forward to finishing it so I can begin the next in the queue.  At two towels per day, that means I should have it off the loom on Tuesday and will likely begin setting up the next and beaming it on Wed.

Yes, I'm counting the days!  Setting daily goals it what keeps me getting out of bed and actually doing something other than moping around the house.

It is another grey dreary day today.  More rain/sleet in the weather forecast.  Temps are still on the chilly side, but next week they should start going up at bit.  If I can find the energy, I hope to begin walking as soon as it is warmer.  The streets are free of ice/snow, but it's still cold, grey and damp and I just...don wanna.

We do, however, have our vaccination appointments.  Still a few weeks away, but that's ok.  I know I need to stay home, wear a mask when I do need to go out.  As more people get vaccinated, things should - hopefully - start getting a little better with fewer restrictions.  But then, the variants are also growing, so the uncertainty about pandemic measures remains.  

Frankly, the original estimate for vaccines was for later this year.  I think it's really great that they are rolling out now, in the spring.  We may begin to see herd immunity late this summer.  Time will tell.

I'm of the generation where there were no vaccines for many 'childhood' illnesses, so I had measles, mumps and chicken pox the 'natural' way.  I don't recommend!  I'll have the vaccine for covid, and if we need a yearly boost?  I'll have that too.  I'll take some protection over none.  Just saying.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Good Things


All my life I have read, avidly.  The past few years?  Not so much.  I was busy with stuff, lots of stuff that took my time and attention and left me wrung out, not wanting to engage with a book in the way that I used to do.  So I read in little nibbles instead of large chunks.  But I did read.

I assumed that during the pandemic (when I saw that it was coming) I would take a deep dive into reading again.  But I found my attention span was still measured in nibbles.  So instead of reading a book a week (or so) it was taking me a lot longer.

There are times when things seem to come together in surprising ways.  Just this year alone I have read two memoirs - If I Knew Then by Jann Arden, and just now finished No Time Like the Future by Michael Fox.

On the face of it, these two people have some similarities.  Both in the entertainment field, Arden a singer/songwriter, now actress.  Fox a movie and TV actor (mostly) but also a writer.  Both activists. Both Canadian.  I have no idea if that is important or not.  (Well, Fox is now an American citizen, but still close to his Canadian roots.)

I was about half way through Fox's book when he wrote "Good things can come from bad things."  The same sentence had been used by Arden in her book, and the synchronicity rang loudly in my ear.

It is an observation that I have made myself, although not in those exact words  My search for 'silver linings' in every cloud philosophy.

I read memoirs quite often because I am interested in how a person negotiates their lives.  The thing I have learned over and over again is that everyone - every single person - has some sort of challenge they need to navigate.  Reading about what others are going through helps put my own life in perspective.

At the end of Fox's book he observes that it takes a village to take care of him, but that he is *also* part of the village.  I think this is something that we need to remember now, more than ever.  That it does take a village, but that we are *all* part of the village.  That we *all* need to take care of each other.  

If this pandemic has taught us anything at all, it's that we need to take care of each other.

Wear the mask if you need to go out.  Maintain physical distance.  Have the vaccine if you can.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thinking Ahead


Some of the textile collection at Fort Louisbourg

garment fragment

Garment fragment - two layers sewn together.  

On a trip to Cape Breton a few years ago, I got in to see some of the textile collection at Fort Louisbourg.  These fragments were found in a midden, were obviously scraps that had been thrown away as too worn out to be used for anything and considered trash.

It is speculated that the fragments date from the 1700s and everything we looked at was wool  But we only saw a very small portion of the collection.  (The brown colour is because the textiles were buried in the midden - no telling what colour they were originally.)

The one that intrigues me the most is the bottom photo.  It looks like a part of a garment, possibly a vest, more likely a jacket, with a buttonhole through both layers.  We could not remove the fragments from their archival boxes but it looks like the top layer is woven in 2:2 twill, the bottom possibly woven from a finer yarn than the outer, in plain weave.  Possibly a lining for a cold weather coat.

Many of the fragments are heavily fulled, a not uncommon procedure applied to woolen fabrics, which makes analysis of the cloth difficult.

We were told it could be possible to acquire a research permit in order to take a much closer look.  Not expecting to return I kind of dismissed the idea and forgot about it.

However, the idea has come back to me as I think about the future and what I want to do and where I might like to travel to, once the pandemic has been brought under control.  So I emailed the Fort to find out more, and this morning got a reply.  :)  

I have no idea when - or if - I will feel safe enough to travel.  It's a long journey from coast to coast and I'm a bit leery of long airplane rides right now.  OTOH, I'm not getting any younger, so...

There have been some textile collections that have been looked at in some detail.  Probably one of the best is Woven into the Earth by Else Ostergard - a deep dive into the Norse textiles found in the permafrost in Greenland.  Elizabeth Wayland Barber has looked at the Mummies of Urumchi in some detail.  Other cultures have been documented as well, from John Becker's Pattern and Loom, to examinations of Japanese textiles, to the ikats and batiks of Indonesia.  Most recently an article on the original muslin cloth of India - so gossamer thin it was transparent.  

Textiles are ephemeral.  I am supportive of efforts to document the remains that have been found and examined.  I don't know if I'm the right person to look at the textiles of Fort Louisbourg, but maybe it is something I need to consider.  The first step is getting a research permit.  Then see what happens.

Photo credit to Janet Dawson who got me into the collection in the first place.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Not Perfect


Over the weekend I did two Zoom meetings.  The topic was one that I had carefully crafted, done a Power Point presentation, photos and text to explain and then did a verbal explanation in more detail.  It was the third time I'd given this particular topic and someone caught a mistake in one of the slides.  During the Q&A she asked for clarification and with a sinking stomach I realized my mistake.  

What did I do?

I told her she was correct, that I had said the wrong thing.

Sometimes as adults we like to think we don't make mistakes.  But the truth is that we do.  And just because we are supposedly 'experts', that doesn't mean that we are immune from having a brain cramp, or get tired and forget what we meant.

My philosophy is this - if I make a mistake I own up to it and correct it.  Because I'm not perfect and I do make mistakes.

Sometimes I have to admit that I chose the wrong material or process or equipment.  Learn the lesson and grow.

Once the presentation was done I opened the Power Point file and corrected it.  Now when - IF - I do this topic again, it will be correct and will remind me to say the correct information.

However, the first two recordings continue to have the incorrect info.  I will go into the first two groups and let them know I said the wrong thing.  Because it's the right thing to do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Guest Post (part II)

 Note correction in the comments section

How to measure warp tension


As a student I have been given information on various practices for setting tension, such as gently releasing the brake, which ratchet and pawl to tune first, counting the brake clicks and feeling the warp itself. I wanted to find a way to measure warp tension, so that I could use numbers to guide me in resetting my tension after each warp advance.

 After searching on Amazon, I found a precision spring gauge, referred to as a dynamometer (also known as a tensiometer)  with a scale of 1 Newton or 100 grams. The price was right, starting around 8 dollars and I purchased the Eisco precision spring scale at a cost of twenty -four dollars. After experimenting with different ways to attach the tensiometer to my loom , I finally settled on this set-up. I first advanced the warp and did not reset the tension, next I hooked the scale ( yellow end) onto a few warp threads in the middle of the warp. The other end of the scale ( measuring hook part) was attached by a slack Texsolv cord to a central treadle on my Glimakra loom.


 Now that the tensiometer was  positioned  I started my measurements. I measured how far my warp threads sagged under the weight of the tensiometer alone and then I started tightening the warp, one click, two clicks and so on and at each point I measure the displacement and noted the force being measured on the tensiometer. The table below summarizes my observations. The direct measurements are the displacement and the force from the tensiometer and these two direct measurements are sufficient to provide guidance on resetting the warp tension after advancing the warp. The right side of the table shows the calculated warp tension in both newtons and lbs. The warp tension is calculated using the formula T=F*L/(4*d), which is a reasonable approximation for small displacement, d and large distance, L between the breast beam and the warp beam. 



Number of Brake Rachet Clicks        (increasing tension)

Warp Displacement (d,cm)

Force (F)


from the scale

( Newtons)


Warp Tension


( Newtons)

Warp Tension

Calculated      ( lbs)
































So what did I learn from this little experiment? First of all, warp tension is measurable, just like they measure guitar string tension or the string tension on your restrung badminton racquet. The tension on the warp in this particular experiment increased by 30 times from an initial brake position to the tightest brake setting. For my cloth I learned that I was looking for a displacement of around 3 cm and a force of about 0.3 N on the tensiometer. This setup is unintrusive under my loom, so I can leave it on and practice resetting my warp tension as my weaving progresses.

 Changing materials,  looms and many other factors will change these numbers and therefore these exact numbers are not to be relied upon, but rather demonstrate the possibility of learning how to effectively reset warp tension through measurement. I hope  you will give this a try and develop your own guidance for the materials you like to use.






Monday, March 22, 2021

Posture and Position


Over the weekend, I did two Zoom meetings focusing on ergonomics and efficiency in weaving.

One of the things I see on line is photos of people sitting in ordinary kitchen chairs at a loom.  This is not a great idea.

Ordinary chairs for sitting on are usually raked towards the back of the chair.  This tends to position one's bottom slightly lower than the knees.

Then people have a tendency to slouch into the chair and sit more on their coccyx than more upright.  This is a 'bad' position for doing something like treadling a loom.  There is a reason loom benches are flat or have a slight incline towards the loom.

As we get older and our bodies begin to age and take longer to heal from physical exertion, we need to pay attention to our position and posture before we injure ourselves by doing repetitive motions to the point of setting up inflammation in our muscles.  

Once we have chronic inflammation in our body, we take even longer to heal, not to mention the lingering pain we experience.

I am not a medical professional so I strongly suggest if you are having physical injuries that seem to be made worse by your weaving (or any other) practice, see a professional.  A physiotherapist, one who specializes in sports injuries, or has a degree in body mechanics, might be a good possibility.  Then explain to them what it is you are doing and how you do it.  Let them see the motions you do, over and over again, and the posture you use while doing it.  Then listen to them, work with them by doing the exercises and stretches they recommend.

We only get one body.  Take care of it.  

Currently reading No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox

Sunday, March 21, 2021

A Wall


Just now I read an anecdote about someone who says to a friend "I've hit the wall, I can't keep going."  The friend says "Sometimes a wall is there for you to stop and rest against."

This simple statement kind of hit me between the eyes.  Wham.

I have spent all of my life running.  Here, there, every damn where, at times.  I knew deep in my heart that life was never going to be easy, that I would have to work hard.  And I was willing.  I was so willing to work to make my dreams come true - once I knew what those dreams actually were.

When I 'found' weaving (finally) it was with clear eyes and no amount of delusion that things would be easy.  First of all, weaving is hard, physical and demanding.  This realization was no detriment to me.  I had always worked hard.  Now I would be working for me.  I could do this.

At times I have worked myself into complete exhaustion.  Into being ill.  What's that they say?  If you don't choose to rest, your body will choose when you do rest?

So, walls.  Barriers.  Obstacles.  Or support to rest against when you are too tired to go on.  It's all in our perspective.

Right now I find myself still dealing with health issues that have become chronic over the years.  But I am still here.  I am still able to teach, even if it is over Zoom.  I am still able to talk about weaving.  Explore the interaction of warp and weft.  How it all fits together.

I can still dress my loom(s) and weave.  Goodness knows I have plenty of yarn left.  It won't go away quickly - fine yarn provides a lot of 'play' time.

If I never get to another conference or cross the continent again, I will have regrets.  But not all that many.  I have done so many things I had no idea I could, would ever get to do.  There are still many places in this world I would love to see in real life, but there is the internet, tv programs.  I can see them vicariously.

After a lifetime of running, I can rest.  And who knows, there may be opportunity to travel again.  Time will tell.

If you are tired, rest.  If you are weary, rest.  If you cannot go on, rest.  Breathe.  Begin again when you feel able.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

More Adventures in Zooming


Yesterday I got the first two towels woven on the new warp.  I'm actually really happy with them - they are looking pretty much exactly as I'd hoped.  

On the other hand, this morning's Zoom meeting did not go nearly as well.  Out of all the Zoom meetings I have set up, the Saturday study group was set up as a recurring meeting.  I don't know if that was the problem or not, but Zoom wouldn't let anyone else join the meeting.  It wasn't until I left the meeting then came back in that people were able to join in.  I have no idea why, and now I'm nervous about the rest of the Saturday meetings.

I may go into Zoom and cancel the recurring meeting entry and set up the rest of them as individual meetings instead.  None of the rest of my meetings have been an issue.

But it just goes to show - some things turn out, not.

However, the meeting went reasonably well, given I don't know how many other tried and failed to get in and gave up.  The files are being downloaded from Zoom onto my laptop and I'm about to review the recording and then will upload to You Tube.  Unfortunately the studio is chilly and sitting down there without weaving means I've gotten chilled.  I think it is time for a sweater and maybe a cup of tea while I do that.

Hopefully the recording went well and I won't have made too many mistakes in my presentation.  If I have, well, I can correct them in the FB group.

Better get started.  It's going to take a while.

Friday, March 19, 2021



Spring here is more about getting through spring break up than flowers blooming.

But that's the thing about life transitions - they are frequently messy, dirty, and take a long time to resolve.  

So here I am, in the midst of spring break up.  The snow is mostly gone and the remnants are piles of dirty snow receding to show brown grass.  The streets are still full of the sand that was laid down to make the roads drivable.  Or as drivable as possible given snow/ice.

The air is beginning to fill with the dust kicked up from the lingering sand still on the roads and any day now the street sweepers will be running, trying to clear the grit off the ground, which will kick even more dust up into the air.  This will happen just as the trees begin their yearly pollination efforts.

I happen to be allergic to dust and pollen, so spring break up isn't my favourite time of the year.

In years gone by, I was usually out of town during this time so I would miss the worst of it.  

Patience, I counsel myself.  Patience.   This too shall pass.  When you are going through hell, keep going.  And all that.

This weekend there is supposed to be more precipitation, possibly sleet, maybe rain.  I hope that the temperature will continue to warm and then for a hard rain to knock the dust and pollen down.

We bought an air filter a month or so ago.  My weaving produces a certain amount of fine dust and it has already had the pre-filter cleaned.  My bad.  On the other hand, removing particulates from the air seems to be a good idea, given we both have seasonal allergies.  Well, truth be told, mine are year round.

I'm also taking a drug that causes sinusitis so most days I'm not feeling very chipper with sinus headache and all that goes with it.

Yeah, I know, tiny violin.  I'm feeling tired and the day is dreary.  OTOH, the drug is keeping me alive, so there is that.  Small price to pay?  Yeah, but annoying, nonetheless.

We have made it through one year of pandemic.  Now to make it through to the end.  A few more months and things should start to resolve.  Most people will have had their vaccinations and hopefully we can begin meeting in real life again.

The border between the US and Canada is still closed for non-essential travel, but it is looking like that might get lifted this summer.  Time will tell.

In the meantime, the clock keeps ticking, one day slides into the next.  We transition from one season to the next.  Our lives may also transition in one way or another.  For me it is a constant working towards my goal of stash reduction, something that I will be working on for a long while yet.  But I'm also getting to the point where I am going to have to consider buying more yarn to help use up some of what I have.  With four towel warps planned and at least 4 more needed to use up the cotton flake, I may need more 2/8 cotton.  But I also need some 2/16 cotton to use up the dyed 2/16 cotton that isn't enough for warps but can be used for weft.  Plus the linen stash, some of it quite fine.  

The other day I also dug out the 2/8 cotton/hemp from Brassard, a quite nice yarn also good for towels.  Yes, I have lots of yarn.  Lots and lots!

I have no idea what I will do when I'm done using up the cotton I have.  This is the 'spring break up' of my yarn stash.  It's messy, dirty (dusty) and going to take a long time to resolve.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Starting Again

 Yesterday I got the Megado threaded and sleyed after pressing the place mats I'd wet finished the day before.

I've been chatting with some folk about working in series, something many creative people do.  Working in a series is an opportunity to explore various aspects of a design.  In my case, I come up with a quality of cloth I like, then play with colour options within that quality of cloth.

In a seminar, Allen Fannin made the point that the amount of time we spend developing a design is a huge investment of our time.  If we came up with a brand new design/product for each and every warp, we'd never get anything much made.   Which isn't an issue if you aren't trying to earn an income from making textiles.  

But I was.  

I had already been exploring developing a design and then interpreting it in different colours and as I sat with his comments I realized how true they were.  For me.  

Others disagreed.  

It all depends.

It depends on what you are wanting to do. 

Another person asked him how he stayed motivated to get to the loom every day and his answer was the wolf at the door.  When you are relying on weaving to pay the bills, you go to the loom, even when you don't want to.  Even when you are hurting.  And if you work in series, you have a plan, a road map to follow.

This approach to weaving isn't valid for everyone.  Of course it isn't.  But for me, they were wise words.

During this time of transition from fully production oriented to 'retired', a pandemic that makes going anywhere a not good idea, I have found that working in series is comforting.  When my brain was too stressed to think very hard, I found myself reverting to the tried and true rather than the deep intellectual dive I had thought I would plunge into.

Of course I wasn't feeling well for a good chunk of time, either.  Riding a wave of 'comfort' weaving kept me going in more than one way.

My goal became to use up as much of my fibre stash as possible, rather than personal growth.  I may never get to that deep dive I had been contemplating.  And that's ok, too.

So the next warp is ready to tie on and start weaving.  That won't happen today as I have appointments and doubt I'll feel much like jumping on the loom when I get home.  But my days of needing to produce X number of items each and every day is behind me now.  I can take time 'off'.  

A number of weaving teachers have been observing that when they do a Zoom meeting the rest of the day is toast.  Personally when I do the study group Zooms from 11 am to 1 pm, the rest of the day is spent dealing with the video and nothing else happens.  Much.  I certainly don't expect that I will weave.  Sitting cramped for 2 hours, trying to stay on track and on focus and present solid information?  That takes all the brain power I might have for the day.  When I'm doing this sort of thing in person, I am on my feet, mostly, but I'm moving.  I'm engaging with the audience, watching for reactions.  The furrowed brow.  The puzzled look.  I can tell when some people tune out to dump the info into long term memory.  I have a giant white board on which I can draw diagrams.  I have a table full of samples I can pick up and talk about, then send round the room.  I can see questions and answer them immediately.  I can even go on tangents, which is part of the fun of doing in person events.

For Zoom I have to really keep my line of thought focused and concentrate on saying exactly what I mean and saying it much more clearly because I don't have that giant white board nor do I have all day.  I compromise and use a small one, but can only do small diagrams or else they can't be seen on camera.

This weekend I have Zoom meetings on both the Saturday and Sunday.  Both the same topic, which is good in one way, bad in another.  Prep time is less, but then I forget if I've said the info already and may forget something.  I do generally review the video which allows me to catch when I mis-speak or forget to add something, which I can then correct in the FB group.  But that all takes time - another two hours to watch the recording.  And more time spent cramped in front of the laptop.  

But spring is coming.  I may start going for a walk once the recording is being uploaded to You Tube.  Get out into the fresh air.  Move.  

And tomorrow I'll get started on this next warp.  There are four more bins with yarn pulled for future warps.  Stash reduction proceeds.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021



The bouts are taped to a stick, then brought forward to sit just behind the shafts for threading

I'm not entirely sure where the first half of March disappeared to but we are over the halfway mark now.  One year since the pandemic was named as such.  A year of events cancelled, things put on hold, suspension of life as 'usual'.  

Yesterday was reasonably productive.  Doug effected the adjustments to the Megado that needed doing.  I suspect some of the problem was too many months of low relative humidity and wooden machines shrink as the wood gives up the humidity in it.  Of course I do weave most days on it so it could have just been vibration.  Or a combination of both.  Anyway, it didn't take very long and it's back to weaving more towels.

Yesterday I finished off the 'last' place mat warp.  I'm sure there will be others, but not of the current design.  My body just can't take the heavy beating needed for it.  I may do something else, in the future.

That warp got cut and serged while Doug got the Megado ready, then into the washer/dryer with them.  Today they'll get pressed and there will be more hemming to be done.

Once that was finished I beamed the next warp for towels.  This combination was a late addition to the queue but was brought forward because I want to use up as much of the dyed cotton flake as possible and I think the black will look very nice on this intense turquoise/emerald warp.  Three ends of a variegated with some of those colours in it were added into the mix.  There is probably more than enough black to finish this warp with some left over.  I have another deep value intense combination pulled on which I'll finish the forest green, then whatever black is left.  And then it will be on to the white.

There is a beige combination pulled and the last of the beige cotton flake will get woven on that, the rest will be white.

For the blue combo, there is some blue flake left, then probably the last of the rose. I do believe there isn't enough of any dyed colour to use up after that and then it will be all white, until it's used up.

I do have some dark blue cotton boucle, but I will likely weave that in plain weave and the 2/8 cotton is starting to get used up so I will likely wind striped warps on the warping board and switch to the Leclerc.  I can probably use the live weight tension system on that which will mean no stepping sideways to release the tension.  But I'm not sure.  Will have to rig it up and see.

Today I will start threading and should be able to get it all done.  But tomorrow is personal maintenance day, so not liable to get started weaving.  Friday, I guess.

But this weekend I have two intense Zoom meetings and I very much doubt I'll get any weaving done then.  But I should be able to get cracking next week.  So the goal is to get this warp off by the end of the month.  Fingers crossed!

Currently reading Son of Trickster by Eden Robinson