Friday, 13 September 2013

This Week Has Been Hard Work

I see that it is some days since I blogged. The week has been hard work. I finished the three scarves of handspun, tied a new warp on and wove two more scarves. Then tidied up which meant sorting out the Voyager, tucking a few ends in the scarves, making fringes, washing and ironing them all. They look good. They need labels sewing on and washing instructions attaching. I have not taken any photos of them yet as it has been raining steadily for teh last few days and is very dark outside. I will deal with the final jobs on Sunday.

Tomorrow, the Guild (or rather some of the Guild) are having a day winding, tying and dyeing warps for ikat. On Wednesday, I made up some equipment to hold a warp horizontal while it is being tied. And yesterday set about a trial run. I created an ambitious pattern and transferred it to squared paper, then tied up where necessary with raffia. The cotton warp is 2.5 m long and it took two and a half hours to do all the tying on. It was dyed using Royal Blue Procion MX and I could tell at once that I had a problem. The raffia all turned blue whereas it has always remained uncoloured before. This was a new pack of raffia. When I rinsed out the warp and untied it, the tied sections were not white but pale blue. This has never happened to me before. So tomorrow we will be using strips of plastic!! I have laid out everything ready to be loaded in the car. The trouble is that there is a pile of stuff to do the warping and tying and another pile of stuff to do the dyeing.

Last Wednesday, I had help to move stuff around the house. Two thousand slides and lots of photos have gone into the cellar. Yarn has been moved into the space vacated. And we have decided what to do in what is known as the Fax room (I have not owned a Fax for at least five years!!). New shelves are going up. The objective is to turn the upstairs office back into a spare bedroom. The family is complaining that, while I have a large house, the current spare room is tiny, in fact the smallest bedroom in the house. I have promised this will all be done by Christmas. We have made a good start.

I have taken loads of photos of the ikat warp process but they are boring.

More interesting is my Shanghai jacket!!


  1. Please describe more about your jacket. It is beautiful.

    1. The jacket is of black boiled wool. In other words, heavily felted but not stiff. The collar is lined with red silk brocade and the edges of the pockets are in the same material as are the Chinese fastenings. The body lining is black. It was made to measure for me in the Textile market of Shanghai which is four storeys of heaven. I was measured on Sunday and it was collected on Wednesday afternoon. The fit is excellent which is a triumph because I speak no Chinese and noone in the shop spoke any English!! I hold the identifying number for the pattern and measurements and could order another one by email!!! Get one with a blue brocade lining? I am pleased 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.