Sunday, 17 January 2010

No Snow!!

The thaw is here! It has been a few days since I blogged but then it has been a few days since I was in the house. On Friday with a light drizzle, I took a deep breath, put on warm clothes and boots and set about digging the car out.  When I had cleared 8 inches of snow from the top and bonnet of the car and dug  away the snow in front of the Saab, I walked up to the road. Buses!! And cars! Not 4 by 4s! The road's tarmac was totally visible. Great except that the snow plough had left a ridge of compacted snow 16inches high all down the gutter. So I dug that out too and dug back across the pavement to our gate.  That meant if I came out of the drive too fast, I had a fighting chance of stopping on the pavement.  Our exit is totally blind so I did not want to slide into the road! I wondered about doing a practise run but decided against it as I was afraid of compacting the snow between the car and the gate and then sliding around on that later on. All this was accomplished by 9 am.

At 1300 I loaded up the car with things for my daughter, Ruth, and an overnight case for me. And very gingerly drove up the ramp to the gate and on out, stopping neatly to check on the road traffic. The Saab behaved impeccably. I had expected tail-sliding but nothing at all untoward happened.

I drove to Cheltenham, booked into the George Hotel and walked round to the hospital to see Michael who was bored at not having any visitors for five days due to the snow. Ruth arrived from Kuala Lumpur an hour later and he was delighted. We stretched the visiting hours a bit, left at 2000 hours, ate in the hotel and went to bed happy. Saturday morning was devoted to retail therapy. I don't know about this recession, Cheltenham folk were burdened with bags and parcels and the cash tills were ringing merrily. Saturday afternoon Anne (daughter from Leamington Spa) appeared with her daughter, Maddie, at the hospital and I gather there was much gossip and laughter. I went in late so that Ruth and Anne could see a lot of Michael. Afterwards we adjourned to one of Raymond Blanc's brasseries and had a very good meal plus bottle of wine. The meal was notable for Maddie (aged 11) having Moules marinere plus roast duck and trimmings and demolishing the lot as well as three slices of bread.

Today was a lovely clear warm day after all the rain yesterday. The snow has goen in Cheltenham.  I bought books at Waterstones, one of which is a nice textile book, stocked up at Waitrose and went to see Michael who is definitely improving.

I then drove home to find the river Severn lapping at the edge of the road at Upton-on-Severn and all our snow gone. That road will be flooded tomorrow. The flood plains are all under water already.

I have thought about textiles during the last few days. I have had an idea for a jacket for some months but could not quite see how to achieve the effect I wanted. I suddenly realised that I need to wind 12 warps, each for a 2 inch wide section and tie dye each of the warps twice. Basically white with darkish blue and red. I would quite like to do it in cotton but I don't like dyeing with Procion dyes as I have not enough experience. So I will do it with Texere's 2-ply white wool yarn and acid dyes. The weft will be the same undyed yarn and I will use a 3-and-1 twill to bring out the colours. But I do need to clear the garage out before I start dyeing. I have just bought some storage from IKEA for the garage in an attempt to rationalise the dye collection. That needs dealing with before I start on a major dyeing project.

I also have to make a start of the next fan reed weaving  on the Louet Kombo. I am giving a talk on Silk to the London Guild this summer and have promised to include a section of weaving silk with a fan reed. I have samples already I need to produce an avi as well to show how the fan reed  is operated. I want to include a dark line between sections.

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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.