Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dillington Hall

I am at Dillington Hall for a few days, bookbinding. They have tools here that I do not own, most importantly a plow for cutting the edges. The tutor is Angela Sutton. So I have come with three projects to deal with. What I have done so far is to sew a book which arrived in printers sheets and to plow all three edge. Then I made up endpapers which are being pressed over night. Today I shall attach them and then go on to the second project which was originally to makes a small slipcase for a set of pamphlets on gardening but I discovered interesting info about the pamphlets. I acquired from the books of a relative who died recently. There are 12 and all in the same format. Four inches square, stapled on the spine (which had gone rusty and stained the pages, Mr Cuthberts Herbaceous Borders is a typical title. They are priced at 9 pence each. On looking up the web, I found they were published in 1953 and are sold for about ten pounds each these days. Well I like them and have removed the staples and resend some on them. The first job today is to finish the sewing and then start on the slipcase.

The other students are into gilded lettering on leather. Oh well I shall love my books just as much.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The book

For the last few years (I think I started in 2015) I have been working on a book of drafts assembled in 1775 by a Lancashire weaver named Jeremiah Fielding. Last Saturday I took delivery of over 150 copies of  'The Draughts by Jeremiah Fielding'. It is intended as a work book for weavers. There are 59 drafts but some are duplications and one or two have the draft in a mess. But over 50 remain. Of course, the drafts are in 1775 notation which is pretty incomprehensible to modern weavers. So I set to and translated every one into modern notation. There are introductory  sections on the finding of the notebook and the history of the cotton industry at that time but the heart of the book are the drafts. I persuade weavers of my Guild to do one or two or even more samples from the book. and they helped gallantly. Although there were at least two aghast weavers  saying indignantly 'This is double cloth'. A bit of research showed that the poor of 1775 kept themselves warm in winter by creating pockets stuffed with fleece. Because of his own samples, we realised that every one was woven in ecru cotton which shows up the texture nicely. Although some drafts have 8 to 11 shafts and those are patterned. So all the samples were woven in ecru cotton. The book is spiral bound to make the drafts easier to use.

There are 140 teeny samples in the original but they show off dyeing and wood block printing and nowhere are they traceable to a specific draft. The book has taken a long time and I reckon at least 30 Guild members helped in one way or another.

A flyer showing the front cover and the three parts of a weave called Elliot's Cord. Some of the weaves have names which I could trace and some appear nowhere on the web.

We ended up by having more data than we wanted to include and intend to publish that data on a website in the next few months as downloadable files. Two topics which will be dealt with are Jeremiah's house which still exists and we have photos and data! The other one is the usefulness  of the drafts today. Several weavers were so taken with a sample (Myself included) that some lovely weaves have appeared at the Guild's Show and Tell. When everyone has finished this project we will publish them all.

Two photos of a weave using Jeremiah's draft and space dyed tencel.

Any one wanting to buy a copy, it with cost £12.50 plus P&P. Send me a pm.

Sunday, 27 October 2019


I have, at last, found out how to get into my blog with a Spanish WiFi. Mostly done by making wild guesses at the word meaning. Anyway we are in Andalucia and have stayed for three days in both Granada and Cordoba. Tomorrow we move to Seville.

We have been here before but for a half day each city. The Alhambra is overcrowded, in fact the number of tourists has gone up by a factor of 8 or 10. A bit grim for the natives. I have taken loads of photos and eaten a lot of high class food. I recommend aubergine fritters. Lots of lovely fish and huge helpings of meat.
The top photo is from Córdoba mosque and the bottom one from an excavated palace about ten km out of Cordoba.

The excavations are ongoing and we started at the top and worked our way down a very steep slope. The actual excavations are more or less flat so it was only the access which was vertical!!

Earlier we had visited Alhambra which is really rebuilt. All the same it is gorgeous. But again too many people and they have had to restrict access. Nevertheless it is worth seeing.

The bottom photo is from the Alhambra and shows the defensive walls. Not something you usually get shown. The top photo is from their gardens which are still a mass of flowers.

I should say we have had really good food on this trip. And tomorrow we are off to Seville..

Saturday, 12 October 2019


Yesterday my book came back. This is a bound copy of Two Points East which has been away since April, touring Norfolk, being on show in 7 or 8 venues, The organiser included a flyer and a catalogue ( photos of every binding) and it was nice to see all of these in close up. Looking at the binding I am pleased. It is one of the best things I have done. Now I have to bind the author's second book on Norfolk coast!! There are some problems,
1) It is in the form sent out by the printer which means much folding and pressing - and then when sewn,
2)the edges need guillotining and I do not have one big enough.
3) Until 1 and 2 have been done, I cannot read it and so have no ideas on bindings.

 Oh well, what would life be without problems.

The weaving is going well.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Working out what to do

I warped up with some of the charity wool which Rosie Price supplied. It has all been spun by Guild members. I have woven several scarves before and put on an orange-brown warp which called for 10 epi. I put on enough for three scarves. It was stripes of 4 shaft twill interspersed with tabby. And I can get several different drafts out of it without rethreading. I have some nice handspun grenn and started out with that. And had a great surprise. It required more like 20 epi!! The problem is that each spinner had a different colour and every spinner has their favourite thickness. Well that would not do so I hunted for something thicker and found it - Worked very well for the first scarve.

For the second one, I used a red chenille (see below). The pattern does not show up that well but better than the photo shows.

I have found some suitable pastel wool which will do for the third scarve

I have restarted my lino-cut class. Had a happy time printing many Xmas cards and then cutting a new block showing Battersea Power Station. Next Friday, I shall do a proof and finish cutting. I do like lino-cuts.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

It is a long time since I wrote a blog. I have been busy catching up meeting deadlines and generally getting on. I have made progress in weaving. The last thing I finished was a tablecloth with trees on it, intended for the Guild exhibition. I have put in two stewarding sessions at the exhibitionand lots of questions asked.
What I then put on the Schacht was a Swedish overshot which I got from 'The Weave of the Month Club'. It seemed rather interesting. On four shafts with a black and white ground and, in my case a red pattern. The draft was given with instructions and they used a brown linen pattern. After a few repeats, I decided against this colour scheme, finished off that one and started gain with maroon which was thicker anyway and looked much nicer.  But I did not like it, mostly because the repeat is 40 wefts and it is difficult to keep all the throws correct. Although I worked out a method of reducing errors, I would not swear I got everything correct. I will not be doing this draft again. A couple of photos are shown below.

So all tidied up and ready for the next project and I have just changed my mind about that. I was going to do some Quigley on the Schacht. Sure enough, it is only 8 shafts but the treadling is horrendous. I have a lovely draft but not for the Schacht. For the Megado and this needs another 7 yards weaving. So I will do something less taxing.

I have done another job which took the stuffing out of me. A friend of mine is currently editor of the yearbook for the British Iris Society and she decided that it was time an elderly member told the BIS all. Because I live very near him, I was nominated for the job of taking down his words (He cannot write well these days) and then I discovered it had to be done by the end of September so a mad scramble. It has been delivered to the editor. But - - much shaking of head.

The other thing (nice thing) that is coming up is the start of the autumn print classes. I have been to a wonderful exhibition of 1930s lino cuts at Dulwich Gallery. In October, I am off for ten days to Valencia, our summer holiday.

Friday, 23 August 2019


It is five years since we last rented this house. We have done it five times since the start which was 2000. Interesting that there is a full family turnout. Even one grandson,currently working in Australia has returned to be with us. So there is a fair assortment of cousins.

Today is my turn to cook and, by request it is French fish soup.A lot of work for 13 people. Work is dished out equally. This means some days you can do what you like and just sit down to supper! On Wednesday we made a much longed for trip north to the viaduct de Millau. We extensively patronisedthe service station at the north end where there is a good viewing platform. The station also includes a fine cafe and a deli!

The point of the visit was photography. The views that I could get were not the best I could imagine. I reckon the best place was in a helicopter down the valley about level with the road!


Blog Archive

About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.