This is the first section of handspun on the warping mill. It is one complete colour pattern and there are seven of these. Each is 6.5 yards long.
And this is the same section tied on to the ghost warp. The lease sticks are in place and, at the bottom of the photo, a piece of wood is visible. This was made (to my design) for the Newbury Coat. I once watched a professional in a factory mill, tying on a new warp. I reckon he did one tie every two seconds and I believe the speed was because both threads were under tension. So I designed two hefty pieces of wood which are clamped together with the new warp between them. It applies the same tension to all threads. Two were made, one for each loom, and I managed to acquire one clamp at the end of proceedings. I have a board which fits between the Megado reed and its breast beam on which all the equipment rests.
Here the warp tying is completed. The warp has been checked and six threads put on Shafts 5 and 6 for the tabby selvedges. It awaits a helper (Linda Scurr whose handspun it is) to wind the warp on and get on with weaving. That is happening on Friday.
In the meantime, this morning I turned out the hall cupboards which contain my holdings of cotton, cottolin and silk yarn. And I found all sorts of things which I will never use. I seem to be on the receiving of deceased textile artists stash these days. I presume that is where a large bagful of cotton and rayon knitting yarn came from. I certainly would never have bought it. I will take it to the next Guild meeting. However three cones of oatmeal coloured bourrette silk (17/3Nm)
was greeted with cries of joy and were turned into a warp this evening. I have plans to do some pieces for a Midlands Textile Forum exhibition at Craven Arms and had thought that, if I could find some silk of right thickness, I could tie it to the ghost warp when the handspun is woven up and resley it. The bourrette should be 20 epi compared with 9 epi for the handspun and so the width should be about 16inches. I am not allowed to have a width of more than 8 inches in this exhibition so I will weave two pieces side by side at the same time. This has enormous advantages because I want to paint the warp so I have several 8 inch strips hanging down forming a view of the Malvern Hills from Castle Morton Common. . Having two pieces side by side for painting will make for continuity. I would like to include the pollarded black poplars. I am wondering about turning my photos, or maybe drawings of the poplars into a ThermoFax screen. The first thing to do is to paint a picture of what I am intending to weave.
Now for something very different. For some years, I have been aware that I did not know enough about using my Canon camera which is very portable. So I have been attending classes at the local Technical College. My camera is definitely bottom of the league. Everyone else has lenses and a rucksack to carry everything they need for the camera with them. However I have learnt a lot about photography - and lots about my camera. I have even found the manual and read it! This photo is of a glass chess set. Taken in the evening classroom - with all the lights turned off and the only light coming from a few computer screens dotted about a large room. Not bad for the cheapest camera on the block. On Aperture mode with 800ASA if you must know. I don't know if the photos above of the ghost warp look better to anyone else but they were not taken using Point-and-Shoot as I used to do. I have discovered how to deal with White Balance!!! What is more interesting is that I decided at the beginning of the course that, if the higher class cameras were much better than my Canon, I would consider buying a new one for the forthcoming Central Asia trip. I didn't want to because they are so much heavier. Well now, I have discovered that the facilities are pretty good, I will not be changing it.