Tuesday, 12 January 2021

The Owl and the Pussycat

 Some months ago, I started out on a bookbinding project using The Owl and the PussyCat as the text. The idea was to make a concertina book with a verse on every page and an appropriate linocut on every page. But first I did one using photos, partly to see how it should be laid out. That was not quite okay so I did another one with different photos andtat looked as though it would work using that layout and photos. So the linocuts were of the cat, the owl(based on one of my grandson`s photos), the peagreen boat (North Norfolk photo), the bong tree (Boabab tree in Namibia), a gold ring, a spoon, a guitar. The spoon and the guitar on the first go were too small and I could not get the detail in. So I made those two three times bigger. Which is fine because all the lino cuts were integrated into the book in Photoshop. First one made was not okay because I printed on photocopy paper and used PVA to glue up. End results wrinkles everywhere. The next three were printed on 160gsm cartridge paper and glued up using a Pritt stick!! They look fine. The paper is a little thick for creasing and I think 130 gsm paper would be better but the 160  gsm stands up by itself with no need for a stiffening of the covers.

As you can see, this all took time. But the results are okay.

So that is that project completed and I have started on a reduction print. Never done one before and it could easily go very wrong.

And to cheer up the whole family Libby can stand up very securely if her Dad holds her hands. Not walking off yet. I have some photos but I do not feel I should include them here. Very cheering in this lockdown where I am very bored. 

Monday, 28 December 2020

Red Twill

 A sample of the next twill. White wool warp and red wool weft (part Bluefaced Leicester, part Shetland) natural dyed and a bit variegated but rather nice. 

The other side is colour reversed and looks good. I have yet to decide what colour I should use for the second scarf and have plastic bags heaped on the work table each one holding a different possible yarn.

I had thought to do some lino printing today but it is far too cold in the garage. There is a heater which can be put on but it makes precious little difference even after several hours. I would like to get on with proofing the last three lino blocks so I might put the heater on at 7 am and hope it is a bit warmer at 10. Snow had been forecast for us today but it has just rained heavily instead. I suppose it means the temperature is a bit warmer but try telling the dogs that why there is no after lunch walk. Fortunately we got their early morning walk in without getting wet at all. I am off to prepare a treat for their supper.

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Boxing Day 2020

 Everyone agrees 2020 has been a very odd year. And I made a big discovery on Christmas Day. I am well again (Famous last words. Am I tempting fate here?) And the discovery all has to do with the Megado and weaving. I have taken off the two twill scarves I have completed in a fancy twill draft with point twill on 8 shafts.

On Christmas Eve, I wound a warp with the same number of ends and 5 m long, tied this on to the warp ends, got it wound on and now need to retie the treadles. On Christmas Day, I looked at the drafts I had already created for fancy twill and was not inspired, so created four more. General feeling of dissatisfaction. These are all very boring. Now the theme for the Guild`s exhibition in autumn 2021 is `The Sea` and I was vaguely wondering if I could use several  shades of blue with a fancy twill. On Christmas Day, I decided that there was no way I was going to do any more fancy twills after what is on the Schacht was been finished. And a thought came into my head. I wondered if a 4 colour double weave using shades of blue and a little green and black might not be more fun for the theme of the sea. The next thing was I found myself looking up my notes for a 4 colour double weave which was exhibited in Convergence 2010. A very nice draft using 17 colours (!) of 90/2 silk. Well I cannot see well enough for that sort of yarn these days so I have reorganised the draft to work with 8/2 cotton. I already have plenty of that and in shades of blue too. But I will get some more colours from Halls when I am ready to start on that project. It needs 32 shafts which means I have to clear the Megado of the 6 yards of curtain currently on the warp.  And at this point, I suddenly realised that I must be well. I am no longer frightened of the Megado! And I am looking forward to the challenge and 2021. By the way, I no longer have any of the silk, of which I had many cones. I gave it all to my niece, Cally Booker, when I realised I could no longer see well enough to thread up such a fine yarn. Shades of the days when I warped up with a140/2 silk. 

We are celebrating 2020 with all too much food, chocolates, fudge and ginger iced biscuits (a Christmas special by Dorothy). I wish you all a Happy Christmas and definitely a prosperous (= successful) New Year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

More on Fancy Twills

 I have one pattern to weave (about 1.5 inches) and the second scarf will be completed. I have just enough warp let to tie on another warp. So I now need to wind another warp which I will make a little longer than the first one. I have collected up suitable wefts and will change the treadle tie-up to one of my other fancy twill designs.

Lino cutting has been progressing. In particular I have been getting on with the linocuts for The Owl and The Pussycat. I printed all that I had done in the printmaking class on Friday and then carefully wrapped them up in tissue paper so that I could get them home to my drying rack. This operation was successful and I was looking at them together. All satisfactory. However two I was printing for the first time were very poor. The problem was that I was trying to get too much detail into too small an area. So decided to scrap them and start again. I will make them twice the dimensions and, since everything gets assembled in Photoshop, I can shrink the final prints.

Dorothy has been doing online classes from West Dean as part of her diploma work and has produced some good stuff. Below is one of her machine embroideries. I love the tuk-tuks. And if you had not guessed, it is of Delhi.


Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Fancy Twills

 I have created several fancy twills on 8 shafts. They are all quite pleasing, provided you get the right colours in warp and weft. All drafts have a point twill in warp and weft, what changes is the tie up. I decided that I could do several and have set out on that project. The space dyed warp has been mounted on the Schacht and It have started out on one draft. There is enough to weave two scarves with the current warp. (The white tape in lower left is my measuring tape). When I have finished this brown scarve, I will do another one in dark red. Then I will wind an warp ad tie it on, change the tie-up and weave a difernet draft. Do not ask what I am going to do with all these scarves. Keep them till next Christmas?

And now is the time to relate why Jerry is not speaking to me! On Friday I was cutting lino block which involved the use of a roll of tracing paper. This lives in the box it came in. I used the paper and put the box and the roll on a table next to me. Jerry had it down in a flash but I confiscated it and put it far back on the same table. Now Jerry if he stands on his back feet is not big enough to see what on the table. But he is if he jumps and he spent the next 15 minutes jumping vertically and whining. End of story for Friday. On Saturday I was back in that room and he immediately started jumping and whining and then he gave an almighty jump swiped his left paw across the table top and knocked the box to the carpet. Then turned to find I had got there first. So it is now visible and on a very high shelf and he sits and gazes at it. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Next installment

 I have been doing a lot of acid dyeing. First I wound the warp (white wool) 4 m long, Actually as two warps. Then chained the two warps. Then after the usual treatment with synthrapol and vinegar, painted them with three shades of cyan. Steamed for 45 minutes and hung up to dry.  I got the effect I was after and tomorrow I will warp up.

Given that every thing was laid out in the garage and I had lots of dye left, I looked through the stash and found lots of white or cream wool but all in balls. Feeling lazy, I decided to injection dye. It all steamed up okay which I could tell, because when put into warm water after steaming, no dye came out. All I have to do in to wait till it s all thoroughly dry. Mind you, I think the yellow/cream on the right below is not wool but possibly acrylic because it has tuned horribly hard.

Other things? I have finished repairing Dorothy`s recipe book which is more than 50 years old. One problem was that she has been tucking scraps of scraps into it so the newly bound one has a pocket for these. Not something I have done before.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

I am cross

I am cross with myself. I have used thicker weft yarns and yes that is okay. What is not okay is the length of the floats. So I examined the draft with care and yes, there are horrible floats. It will not do. So I will discard the warp. I have worked on a fancy twill (no long floats anywhere in this one. And I will continue with my plan to space dye some wool for the warp. Although I am going to wind the warp and space dye that. So must go and get on with it.


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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.