Friday, 22 January 2010

Double Cloth Scarf based on Black Jack

Today Michael is being moved from Cheltenham Hospital to Malvern Hospital. I can get there in 5 minutes in a car and, if it snows, I could walk! I think it would take 30 minutes. We are both so pleased. It sounds as though he will be there for 2 weeks before coming home. We need a major overhaul of the house but that can wait until the Occupational Therapist comes to visit. The move was organised by our local McMillan nurse. I cannot say enough good things about McMillan nurses. Over the last two years, they have been very supportive. 

As part of the preparation, I have sent for Mr Darke, our friendly neighbour builder/painter etc who has been rebuilding our house for 20 years. This is to get the loom room redecorated which I want finished by the time Michael comes home. It might seem like a displacement activity but it isn't. We will have to shift a lot of furniture and I don't want that cluttering up the house when we are trying to sort out Michael's living space.

On the textile front, I have repaired and finished the silk double cloth  and pressed it.  The photo on the left  shows it at that stage. It has now been hand washed, dried and ironed and has shrunk from 9 by 51inches to 8.5 by 48 inches. In this photo ,the fringes are quite long. I did cut them to be equal in length but, after washing, they were in a right tangle. Because it is double cloth, the fringes are thick and even after careful brushing, the fringes still looked unkempt and wanted to twist round the next-door bout as can be seen in the second photo.

The knots at the top of each bout can be seen and also the sample plaits. These are going to be much better so that is a job for today sometime. Perhaps because of the background, the second photo is a better representation of the colour and the silk sheen has come out well.

I have also been thinking about waffle weave. I have had it in mind to try this weave out for some years. It is amazing the weave types I still have to try and a reflection on the enormous number of different weaves there are. I sat at the top of the stairs, where the weaving books are and worked my way through a mostly unhelpful set of books. By far the best description is in '8,12... 20, An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving' by Kathryn Wertenberger (ISBN 0--934026-34-3) . I have created two drafts in Fibreworks and found some 2/6 unmercerised cotton in white and red. Quite a change going from 60epi to 20epi! I don't see me winding a warp today. Apart from Michael's arrival in Malvern, I have to go to WRI myself this afternoon for heart tests - I could do without that problem at the moment.

Tomorrow is the start of Kennet Valley Guild's annual weaving course. 6 Saturdays spread over 10 weeks. The first classes are a week apart so that the beginners really get going, then at fortnightly intervals. There are 6 beginners this year and 6 'old hands'. If someone has something a bit difficult to tackle, they come along and do it over the course.  I have a separate half-day to do on drafting. Last year I totally recast it. I used to get them to use paper and pencil but some people found this difficult to  understand - which is always the teacher's fault. Last year, I came up with a scheme which used strips of paper. It went down much better and they got the idea much faster. The text is all written. All I have to do is print out the handout and cut up a lot of paper!!

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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.