Sunday, 15 July 2018

The village fete

This weekend’s excitement has been the Sulhampstead and Ufton Nervet Produce Show. Or SUN for short. It is about 1.5 miles away. So there has been much reading of the schedule and the rules. In the end I entered five classes, French beans, sweet peas as well as three photos. They were set up yesterday and we went round this afternoon. Two firsts and two seconds! So I took photos.

The French beans are mine. 

A winning photo. The other winner was a close-up of a frog which I have shown here before.. 

Other news is that at last I have started weaving on the Schacht again and very nice it looks too. I will post a photo when I have woven a bit more. I have ripped the warp off the Meyer and tidied it up. It has been put in a cupboard until I decide what to do.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

All Sorts

First of all, my tutor has delivered his verdict on my final assignment which was very flattering and rather surprising. He was at me to do some more OCA courses which has caused me to think hard about what I want to do. I am missing the work for the photography course. Because, I guess, I am missing the problem solving. But I do not  think doing another course will fulfill my requirements. I could get one-on-one tuition by going on another course like the Iceland one in January. It would cost less than an OCA course. I have started one project which is taking photos of seed heads. I have worked out a method of displaying them.

Then again, years ago, I bought a book which contained a different photography problem on each page doublet. I got nowhere then but intend to start it up again. If I can find the book!

The next problem is that of looms. The Megado is its clunky self and works for me. I have recently laid out the power and signal cables so as to get everything up off the floor and outside chewing distance of a small dog. The Schacht is working fine. The 12 shaft Meyer is driving me crazy. The  problem is the down side of its size. The distance between heddle and warp and breast beams is very small. The space when shafts are lifted has to be big enough for a shuttle to pass through. So if the tension is good for the lowest shafts, the tension on the raised ones is enormous. Cotton can take it but fine wool cannot. So the tension on the lowest shafts has to be reduced. Then there are skips in the weaving. The last scarf with a fine wool warp is very poor, indeed embarrassing. The Meyer is being retired for cotton only demos and classes. So what am I to use for narrow small projects? The last two days have been taken up with poking round the internet at loom websites and asking questions. The smallest Schacht is too heavy. Remember this loom has to go places. I will not buy another Louet, too flimsy. Ashfords are too big. And so on and so on. Until we reach LeclercVoyageurs. Now I got rid of mine when I got the Meyer. So what about a Voyageur 15 inches weaving width and twelve shafts and coming in at less than 10kg. We found in one of our cupboards a stout bag intended for a sewing machine whose size seems exactly right. I will mull over this solution but I have a strong feeling ——-

And just to finish off, I have been out and about with the macro fitted. This is a cosmos raised by me.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Textiley Things

I have actually managed to complete some jobs! First off, this hot weather made me think of T-shirts and the fact that, in the winter, I had a clearout of same. So what does a girl do? She buys three white cotton T-shirts from M and S and ice dyes them!

Not quite as I envisaged but then that's ice dyeing for you.
I also finished off a green scarf for Rosie from her Regent Street yarn and decided to have a play around taking photos of it. When I enter an item for a juried exhibition, these days it requires a photo. I have never been able to decide how to take these. Should it be a 'show it full length? or should it be an artistic photo with props? So that's what I was trying out. And the following four photos are the best.

For a juried exhibition, it would have to be 1 or 2 but for a record, I like 4 best.

Next up is another Rosie scarf. This time in reddish orange and thicker so weaving will be faster. I am very fed up with these but I have enough yarn to weave another four. Currently I am using a thin oatmeal wool as warp. I am thinking of warping up the Schacht with the same reddish yarn so I use twice as much in one scarf! Trouble they would come out very thick.  

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Progress? Not much.

I see it is a few days since I last blogged. Not a lot of weaving has happened. An awful lot of watering the garden and allotment has happened. The allotment has turned out to be very heavily productive. Broad beans, French beans, spinach, lettuce not to mention a lot of sweet peas and cornflowers (blue and maroon!) And of course there is Jerry.

Did you know that it is possible to rent, by the hour, a large field which is securely fenced in which to train your dog. We rented one this after and it was great fun. Mind some things are difficult to train out of. What do you do with a dog last seen standing on his head in the waste paper basket and scrabbling with his back feet in an attempt to get them into the bin too?. As for the floor, the less said the better.

To return to the horticultural matters (at least it stays where it is parked.). I am growing okra this year for the first time and we have recognisable okra-ettes on the greenhouse plants.  And the squashes and courgettes are scrawling all over the allotment and looking fine.

The only point of interest in weaving is that I joined a Weave of the Month club which is Swedish. And got sent the drafts for January to June in one batch. Very well done and some weaves are interesting. 8 shafts only.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Back to normality?

Jerry is causing mayhem since he got back from the dog sitter. Today Dorothy is in Cambridge seeing friends and I am minding the dogs. So for the first time ever I took them both for a walk. I can report that no other dogs or people were inconvenienced, no vehicles ditto. The only problem is that I am laid out. 

Jerry’s legs have got longer and stronger and he will not hesitate to jump. He made it over a large fallen tree trunk yesterday with no problem. However as a result he has decided that if he needs a little nap the best place is my lap. So there I am reading the newspaper when it is invaded in a single leap and no amount of saying NO or Bad dog has discouraged him. At the moment he is sprawled over the chair arms and me and snoring.

Tomorrow I am off again, this week to Dillington Hall for a week of bookbinding, except that it is not. I want to make some boxes to hold important (to me) books. Boxes, not slip cases. The books are Duke Bluebeard’s Castle which I bound and a copy of a 1914 edition of Alice which has wonderful illustrations. They printed 500 copies then packed it in because of the war which is a dreadful shame. All the copies are numbered. I bought it from the States and it cost more than I have ever spent on a book. I was startled when it was delivered. The packaging and the insurance were quite something. I did not realise you could use a specialised. Courier for this sort of delivery.

It is six weeks before I go off again and some weaving will be done. I have wound the next warp for the Schacht which is going to be tied on to the last one. It is cashmere and cotton,has a lovely feel and has been dyed lilac. I intended to tie on this weekend but realised I might not finish it so, because of small inquisitive animals, I have put it off till next weekend. Much of my time this weekend has been spent gardening. Both the garden and the allotment are flourishing. And I am bringing produce home. Broad beans have been frozen, lettuce and radishes eaten and cornflowers and sweet peas put in vases.

The big treat in the garden is the sudden flowering of Iris ensata. I did not know that one had survived the move from Malvern. I have only one plant but it has several spikes of flowers. I am hoping for some seed. The irises really like it here. The first flower has wilted but two more will be out today so a photo will follow 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Anglesey Day 6 Boat Trip

This morning we went for a boat trip which was much more exciting than I imagined. We left the harbour of Cemaes behind and set out into the Atlantic for a couple of small islands, Mouse Island..  these are bird sanctuaries and the birds are there breeding at the moment. Lots of sitting on eggs but a number of fledglings as well.

Then we went into the next bay and found —- a ruined brickworks! According to the guidebooks, this is very difficult to get into these days from the land side but we got marvellous views of it. There were three fishermen there setting out lines but they had clearly come in by boat. 

I have taken about 500 photos this week and am going to have to sort them. Back at home,

This satisfactory day was rounded off by buying fish and chips from the local (prize winning) chippie. And very good they were too.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Anglesey Day 5 Beaumaris Castle

Sixty years ago the family took a holiday cottage somewhere under Snowdon. We walked up and I remember my mother’s indignation when she arrived at the top to discover she could have taken the train. She took the train down we walked. One day we went over to Anglesey to see Beaumaris and I was impressed. Today we went back. Even with the scaffolding and yellowhatted workmen everywhere, it is still impressive. It is to start with enormous, then it has the outside ring of towers and then the sea moat. I walked on the top and Snowdon was just there across the water. Hardly any people up there. The staircases were narrow and slippery but I got there. 

A few residents

And lots of stone

The weather is still hot and I only hope my instructions about watering the pots and greenhouse have been followed.


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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.