Monday, 29 December 2014

Recent Doings

I have been living a complicated life (what's new? do I hear someone mutter?). On Sunday, I loaded the car with luggage and went to stay with Anne overnight. On Monday the Caudwells plus Granny entrained to London and met with grand daughter, Madi, at Yo Sushi in Piccadilly. After lunch, we took the under ground to the Barbican and viewed an intellectual exhibition about architecture and photography. Or maybe it was the other way round. We then made our way to Covent Garden where we had dinner and then viewed Verdi's opera, Il Ballo in Maskerade. Very good. The reviews were rude about the scenery, which was dismal and mostly grey pillars but the singing was good. Then we walked round to our hotel. The result of this plus wearing not-sensible shoes was very sore feet.

On Tuesday we returned to Leamington Spa and I drive off to Birmingham Airport and very nearly missed my plane due to the traffic about. But very nearly is okay and I made it to Edinburgh where my sister met me and now we are back in her house. So that Is it till after Christmas. Service will recommence in a few days.

 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sir Patrick Spens - At Last

I reckon it takes two years from first thought of a book to finally producing it. I see from my records that I started on Sir Patrick Spens in February 2011. So longer than usual but then I had to design and create the lino cuts, 13 in all and get the cover dealt with by a calligrapher (Elizabeth Beattie).

There are two verses to every double page and an appropriate lino cut on the opposite page. The text is set in Bodoni MT. The paper is Bockingford inkjet which is 190 gsm. The thickness is such acceptable to the printer and the new printer has made a decent job of the printing. The last printer skewed thick pages which was very irritating not least because the paper is so expensive. The book is concertina - sort of  or, if you like, my take on concertina. The inside pages are folded in half and glued at the forward edges to their neighbours. Then the cover is folded - twice to allow for the thickness  of the text block, wrapped around the whole book and glued at the forward edges. It has worked which is the important bit. This is the first book. I wanted to see if would go together as I imagined. It does and I have the printed ingredients for another three books. The job for today is to print all the lino cuts. I am quite pleased with this - I get there in the end!
 
 

Friday, 19 December 2014

And Another Bag

 
A shopper. Outer fabric bought somewhere in the East. Velvet tartan ribbon bought in Taipei City rag market.
Inside lining dyed using Procion MX by me. Wrapped up and given as a Christmas present.

Now making the last lot of Christmas presents - printing off two copies of Sir Patrick Spens on Bockingford Inkjet paper. Tomorrow there will be lino-cut printing!



Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Second Ta-Dah

Mallory Volume 2 without any title. That will be done when Volume 1 is in a similar state. Now off to look for the materials for another bag - needed for tomorrow!



Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Two TA-DAHs

I did say I wanted to finish one project per day. Well I managed one and a half today.
Some of you may remember Cally Booker's bag in  the Journal. Well this is made from the same recipe. The fabric is a yard that I did at the end of a warp for the 'Chanel' jacket. It has a Gladstone bag opening which is very wide.
 
If I were making this again, I would make the pockets out of the lining material. The outer fabric is a bit too tweedy to be used inside the bag. On the whole. successful.
 
I had not got a photo of the other TA-DAH as it is all wrapped up carefully with a weight on top. It is the first book I have completely covered in leather and it does look nice. Cords on the spine and all.  But I will take a photo tomorrow. This only coun ts as half a project because I have another volume to do.
 
Tomorrow I will make another bag, quite different design.  

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Very Senior Moment

About four weeks ago, I had the Mondeo MoT tested. Today I decided to do a bit of filing and found the bill for the test (noted as having been paid) and various bits of paper saying what tests had been carried. But no certificate. So I finished the filing and considered the matter. I must have misfiled it but first I rang the garage. Yes, Yes, it had passed the MoT and the certificate would have been on the passenger seat along with the bill. Well I had clearly got the bill so where had I put the certificate? I hunted through all the likely files and some unlikely ones and decided to finish winding the linen warp and see if I could think of where to look next. I had just decided to call for the garage, admit to a Very Senior Moment and ask if I could have a replacement certificate when the garage called. They grovelled in apology. It was entirely their fault. The final paperwork had not been done. Would I mind dropping round and it would be sorted and yes I had paid for everything. The point about this story is nothing to do with the garage being wrong but everything to do with me being paranoid about forgetting things. It is getting old and being scared of going dolally that bugs me. How will I tell if that has happened? So I am a bit shaken. And have decided to file papers immediately instead of heaving them all into a wire basket and having a blitz later.

And I did finish winding the linen warp. I am finishing projects at the moment and have the ingredients for a Gladstone bag laid out in the kitchen. One project must be finished each day.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Finished Coptic Bands



I have finished the Coptic Bands. The outer ones are the 'right' side and the central one shows the reverse. Now to warp up the seamless garment. I will do it on the Megado although I only need 8 shafts. This is going to be interesting and I hope I have got it right.  I need to worry about getting it wrong so will add a meter to the warp length, in case I need to rethread.  All I have to do now is to find where I stashed the fine linen yarn I bought a few weeks back!
 
I am still in the business of finishing off projects but had better concentrate on finishing off the remaining Christmas presents!! These consist of several books and two, preferably three bags.
 
Last I went with some friends to see The Mastersinger transmitted from the New York Met. A very good production although some of the caste could do with being thinner! Six hours long. It was shown in the local cinema which has just installed very grand bright red seats! They are more like armchairs than cinema seats. We discovered that Mr Turner is being shown again shortly. All of us missed it first time round so we are going to see it soon.  

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Coptic Bands

Given that I am hoping to move in a few months, I am madly trying to finish half done projects. So yesterday, I lined a dust jacket. You could be forgiven for wondering why but this is an important book. It is THE book by Berenson on paintings of the Italian Renaissance and it was given to Michael in 1953 as a school prize for winning an Open Scholarship to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Which is, I might say, quite something. Anyway the dust jacket was falling apart and Clare Prince taught us how to line a dust jacket with Japanese paper. I have never done this before but it worked fine. It should stand up to wear for another 60 years.
 
I also got started on the Coptic Bands.

The above photo is from Caltech and shows a woven wool band from the 3rd century in their collection with the remnants of the linen garment still attached. The band would have had a wool warp and a wool weft with the pattern done in pick up. 

The above photo shows my take on this. It has a fine worsted warp. The weft has the same ground but a thicker pattern yarn which is 85% wool, 10% cotton and 5% silk but I can be forgiven for that. It is a two-tie weave on 22 shafts. No pick up for me! I do not have time since I need to weave 3.5 yards of this in one week.  It is coming on nicely although it took half of Sunday and all of Monday to get there. I started by tying on to the remainder of the previous warp which was warped up in  a point twill on 32 shafts. My idea was that it would be quicker to wind on the warp, using the remnant as ghost warp, and then rethread and resley. That was a bad idea because the sett was far too close for the warp and I was in trouble as soon as I started trying to get the knots through the heddles so I cut it off. As soon as I had it free, I started warping up from the rear and it is all on nicely and weaving up well. I have done two complete patterns so far, each is about  14 cms long so 8 complete patterns will make up one band.
 
The studio is littered with half done projects, not to mention the office. I lie in bed when I wake up each morning saying , ' Now today, I must - - - '. Actually today I must print off all the Christmas cards I need and prepare and post the foreign ones. I must also start on paring the leather for the Mallory volumes. One piece is nearly done. I need to finish the other by next Tuesday. It is the kind of job that you do not want to do continuously so, if I set it up, I can do 30 minutes every now and then. Setting up involves clamping the leather to a marble slab which in turn is clamped to a stout table.
As above with the paring knife waiting for use.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

PleatedScarf

I have finished the pleated scarf woven in Tencel and spent some time sewing in ends and tidying up.

There are pleated sections at each end.

Like so. An interesting technique but I don't care about it enough to try it again. I have a bit of warp left and so I will weave up a sample with different sizes of pleat. But The tension adjustment is a real pain and it is not worth the hassle.

Well yesterday's euphoria has turned to today's 'oh well'. My house buyers withdrew from the sale. They knew the house was in a conservation area but had not realised exactly what that meant. It means you cannot cut the trees down without good reason and improving your view is not held to be a good reason. So back to the drawing board as my estate agent said.

However I am still throwing things out and the car is packed with stuff I am taking to my daughter, Ruth, for her and for her son as well as lots of goodies for the Guild Sales table. I have done most things that I ought to the Guild meeting and I hope to start on the Coptic bands this evening.






Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New House, New Location, New Life?

The last few weeks have been full of drama and incident which I have not bothered to report but the moment has come to tell all.

I am exchanging this Edwardian (1903) house - note the hills off to the left for

this Victorian (1900) house in Mortimer, just south of Reading, Now it is up to the lawyers to get in on the act! This house is bigger than my current house but with a smaller, less intensive garden. I am buying it jointly with my sister. She already has a life of train trips to London to see exhibitions mapped out. Mortimer actually is on a main line with the next stop being Reading which is a big hub for trains only a few minutes away.
 
We have the house parcelled out already. The station for the Megado is decided as is the position of her Horn sewing cabinet. It has a lovely conservatory. Dorothy insisted that the spec include a conservatory as she has one now which she loves. I have never lived in a house with a conservatory so it is going to be interesting.
 
On the textile front, I am steadily weaving the pleated scarf and hope to be finished today. There are errors in it due to warp problems. I have completed mending the maps I started at the workshop last Saturday and have yet to do a lining for a dust jacket. If the telephone would only stop ringing, I would get more done but then the house business is more important than anything at the moment.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An Exciting Workshop

Yesterday I attended a Society of Bookbinders workshop on Japanese papers and got very excited. The tutor was Clare Prince who talked to us all morning about Japanese handmade papers and how they are made. In the afternoon, we all repaired books using Japanese paper. I will get round to that later but in the meantime the exciting bit. Which was that the Japanese use what I think of as textile techniques to decorate paper! For instance
Indigo dyeing. The tutor had several fine examples of graduated dyeing with indigo and, surprise, surprise, some examples of shibori!! The above is very delicate. Most of the examples I saw were robust, dark dark blue/black shading to the palest of blues.


And even more surprising, examples of katazome. Katazome is where you stencilled onto the fabric (or paper) with resist resist, then dip the object in indigo or dye, then wash off the resist. These papers are very high quality and have been over dyed in several colours.
 And these examples are bingata which is a stencilling technique from Okinawa. So what are the dyes used, apart from indigo? They are natural dyes with the handmade paper and use things like alder cones and paulownia.

I have acquired instructions on how to dye paper with indigo and intend to try this out. Any handmade paper I have in store is certainly too heavy so I will have to buy some Japanese paper.




Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pleated Scarf


The pleated scarf, done from double weave, has been warped up and here are the first few inches. Both yarns are  20/2 tencel from Just Our Yarns and are spaced dyed. To keep the scarf warp dominant, I am weaving in 3 and 1 broken twill and remembering to weave the lower cloth upside down! This is a two shuttle job, red with the red/green warp and eau-de-nil with yellow/brown warp. It is quite slow and managing the tension is difficult where the pleats occur. The crucial thing to remember is that, after weaving 2 cm of only the top cloth, to insert the other colour shuttle first before slacking off the tension on the top cloth. If you don't do that, all the top cloth warp threads are floating all over the place.
 
I have more or less decided to weave a section at each end with pleats and do a 'normal' double weave in the middle section but I cannot decide whether to keep the colours constant through the middle section or to do stripes. I think I shall do stripes which are 2.5 cm wide to continue the pleat dimensions.
 
I have also dealt with the Guild Christmas cards which are, this year, based on a specially made lino-cut. I am quite pleased with it, although assembling them took a very long time. No woven Christmas cards this year, I need too many.
 
There has been much more throwing out and the garage table is piled high with stuff to take to the Guild sales table. Off now to continue weaving pleated cloth. There is a lot of radio listening going on!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Iron Man (maybe)


Today I went with Anne, Derek and Alex to the NEC in Birmingham to go to a Christmas Market there. It was all rather boring and so crowded that we were discouraged from buying much. After some hours, we left and walked up the concourse past the other halls to a place where we could have a drink. At our hall, there had been a lot of dressed up characters, fairies, panto dames, and so on. But as we walked away we encountered loads more dressed up characters, finally being swamped by a load of Darth Vader storm troopers, not to mention Vikings, supermen, goths and just about everyone else from the comic world. And that's what it was 'ComicCon'. Only these were not actors but ordinary folk dressed up. The bar was hilarious. At one moment I saw three pirates Johnny Depp type drinking beer at the counter. My favourite was this one. We think he was Iron Man but are not sure. Anne had a camera and I asked her to get him to pose for a photo.  So he put down his paper cup of coffee and obliged!

Cheered us no end.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lino Cuts

I have been very busy this week, mostly enjoying myself at a two-day class in Lino cutting. I am self taught in this technique and, although I have done an online course felt that there were points I was ignorant of. So I attended a two course at the PrintShed which is in the wild and woolly West, that is, west of Hereford and practically in Wales. The tutor was Jill Barneby who went round the class asking why they were attending. My answer was because I have a lot of questions. In fact all of these were answered in the next thirty minutes, after which we all got our heads down and cut pieces of lino.
The above shows the final version of my first linocut in the course. Jill is a great believer in taking prints as you finish another section of cutting and I have four versions along the way of this. I learnt that a vertical press should be used for Linocuts but a roller press for etchings which does account for why I can get better prints on my bookbinders (vertical) press than on the College's press which is a roller press. I went on to two colour printing and generally mucking about to try lots of printing methods.
 
Calladium Leaves of course but with two colour printing.
 

 
The same but printed twice with the second print turned through 180 degrees. I had decided earlier in the week that I would give up on lino cutting bu8t have changed my mind. I really want to master the technique to make books and the prospect of success is definitely brighter. I also cut a lino block for the year's Christmas card but I will show that on Christmas Day.
 
I have been throwing out paper and getting rid of business papers which all takes longer than expected as well as threading up the Kombo. I am very close to the end now.
 
 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Bookbinding




I have sewn the headbands on two volumes of Malory (see above) and will be paring blue leather for the cover today. I have another book I am repairing and 'commissioned' some marbled paper to match what is on the cover. I did not know you could do this but it was explained to me that the British Library and the Bodleian and - and - like to match marbled paper when repairing their books. 

This one was relatively easy. She (Payhembury Papers) has several 'Victorian designs and either T9 or T10 would have done but with the colours changed. She asked for the original cover to check the colours and the papers turned up yesterday. Very nice too. Why have I bought two sheets when I probably only need half a sheet? Because it only takes one slip to ruin the whole cover. And I can always use up the rest. No bookbinder ever buys one sheet of anything. 
 
I am getting on slowly with threading up. I have forgotten the Kombo was such a pest to thread up. If you take off the breast beam (not easy), the whole loom will fall apart so I have to stretch over the breast beam. And there are 960 threads anyway. Anyway I am now over halfway.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pleated Scarf

I have been warping up the Louet Kombo. It sat for four years with the same unwoven warp on it which is now finished as is the Aland Island length of fabric. But I have sold my Voyager. One woman cannot realistically use five looms at the same time. So I am now down  to three.
 
I started winding the warps for the Kombo on Friday and am now one third of the way through threading. The Kombo is, in theory portable but I added two extra warp beams to it which, if in use, make it very unportable and that is what I am doing at this moment. I did try out double weave pleating on the tail end of a single warp a few months back. It works but clearly needs two warp beams so that is what is going on now. Two skeins of Just Our Yarns 20/2 Tencel in  very different colour ways. One is yellow and orange, the other red/blue/ purple/green. This is going to be interesting. I should be finished the threading by Tuesday.
 
I went to a concert in Worcester Cathedral last night. Faure Requiem and Jonathan Dove's work of 2009 There Was a Child. Surprisingly large forces required for the Dove, large choir, slightly smaller childrens' choir, sizeable orchestra including two harps and a couple of soloists. Very good but the words were not clear throughout. That was not the choir failing but the way the work was written. The Faure, though beautifully sung, is not my cup of tea. I prefer someone like Victoria. Yes, I know he is centuries earlier but it is the same words.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Towels Finished

The towels are finished, hemmed and about to be washed.

Next on the list is finishing off the last headband. I am putting handmade silk headbands on the two volumes of Malory. I have one more to do. I have also created a draft to weave the clavicles for the Coptic shroud. The more I looked at pictures of 300 AD tapestry-type bands, the less I liked the idea of using an inkle loom, because it means lifting warp threads by hand and I need about four yards! So I worked on drafts till past midnight last night and this is what I like best.
I will have to say 'inspired by a piece of Coptic fabric in CalTech' but that will be okay. Now to find some very fine worsted to weave it in. 



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Frog in the House

There is a small frog in the house - some where. I suspect the office but I am NOT looking under the desks for him. I left the front door open yesterday while I unloaded the car, then took a call before I was through unloading and I think he must have come in then. We met each other in the hall and were both very startled. I shot into the sittingroom to think about it and he leapt 15 inches in the air and made off down the corridor to the office. So I have not seen him since. He will starve in this house. He is leaf brown and about two inches long in the body.
I am weaving off the rest of the Hana Ori - as towels. I thought about using Four Colour Double Weave but I have enough lengths of that already and decided to find twill patterns which would use a point twill on 32 shafts. I adapted one of Strickler's patterns  which was for 8 shafts (blue above) and two from Pennington which were for 16 shafts. One is the brown above. The weft is 6/2 cotton (blue) and 22/2 Cottolin (brown). I am zipping through these and should have all three done by tomorrow at the latest.
 
Then it is fine linen and the seamless garment. I am getting worried about the inkle bands an d have almost decided that I would find it easier and quicker to use a table loom. This is because I have never warped up an inkle loom and do not thin k I have time to learn. I have signed up for a class in January but that is too late. I need this finished by December

Monday, 10 November 2014

Guild Weekend

Thirty-odd members of Kennet Valley Guild met up at a local hotel for two intensive days of textiles. The weaving group had decided not to have a tutor but to take part in a Black Jack game. There was a lot of consultation and laughter and some extremely funny jokes which are not suitable for a family audience as the Guardian puts it. My three Black Jack cards read
1) Dark rich colours
2) Tweed like weave
3) use knitting
 
My use of knitting was to dye blanks of machine knitted stuff (thank you Marion Proctor). The dyed effect was not what I wanted. I wanted a slow gradation between red and purple through grey but I produced a sharp change from red to grey and a very patchy result from grey to purple.
 
This is the red end. I can persuade myself that it gets paler towards the top. The warp is the Aland Island space dyed yarn and the stripes areteh effect of the space dyeing
 
And this is the blue end which does shade from grey to purple.
 
 
And here is the intermediate bit shading from purple at the bottom to red at the top. Not good.
 
Actually not much of it was any good. It was a mistake to use the warp I did. It is really knitting yarn and kept separating at the edges. So I replace the four outer threads on each side with worsted yarn and that stopped the thread breaking problem.  I was going to make a waistcoat but will wait till I have washed it to decide. It is a long time since I wove up a whole project and mended all the ends in two days!
 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Finished the Hana Ori

I cut the Hana Ori off the loom on Sunday and yesterday made all good in the way of ends. I used a strip of fusible lining down the selvedge to trap all the ends because there were too many ends to tie together neatly and I would not have done a neat job.

On the right are the samples for the motifs and on the left is the copy of my Okinawan version.

And here are the samples ready for posting to the States for the Japanese Textile Study Group. Now the problem remains of what to do with the remaining warp. The threading is a point twill on 32 shafts and I have been wondering if I could weave a version of four colour double weave as I did with the donsu. I am glad this is finished. It has not been fun. Very simple but let your mind wander for an instant and you are into unweaving.

Tomorrow I am off to London to a Complex Weavers Study Day on Thursday, then on to the Guild Retreat for the weekend. This time the weavers are working on their Black Jack projects which will be fun to investigate.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Scuplture at Gloucester Cathedral

There has been a sculpture exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral for some weeks and today is the last day. So I went with some friends yesterday and it was first rate. There is sculpture everywhere and hundreds of people looking at it. I can only imagine that heavy lifting gear was employed. And how they got some pieces into place inside the cathedral I cannot imagine. The photos below are a small selection. The range of styles was enormous from Damien Hurst's angel which is realistic and highly polished to an abstract piece by Anthony Caro.


A more than lifesize bull in the Cathedral Close.
My favourite piece. This was inside the cathedral in a side aisle. Made of laminated wood.
This was astonishing as it is a lion by Bugatti outside in the Close. Astonishing because I would have thought it was far too valuable to put where children could climb on it.

This is 'Reaching for the Sky'.

And last a warthog. I wouldn't have minded taking him home. There were many many pieces varying in size from two handfuls to the monsters shown above. I am glad there were so many people to admire the exhibition.
 
We had a nice lunch in  a tucked away corner. That is what comes of taking someone who knows the city - me. We used to live in a small town a few miles from Gloucester and Gloucester was our natural shopping centre. I have always thought the cathedral was under estimated. You might recognise bits of it. It was used for the Hogwarts films!!
 
I have nearly finished 6 samples of Hana ori. There is not going to be much warp left, thank goodness. I am very tired of it. The weaving is very simple and yet, if my mind wanders, I have to unweave it to get rid of errors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Brighton and Purple

A very apt title. Brighton and purple go together nicely. However they are not connected.
I was asked to rebind this little guide book to Brighton. from 1950 The text, which includes fold out maps was in excellent condition and indeed it is a sewn book, in perfect condition. But the one piece cover had become totally detached. I had to remove the glue off the spine, glue on a strip of special cloth to the spine, making it 15 mm wider each side, wait till it dried, then glue the cloth on to the cover. The photo above is of the book repaired.
This photo is of the front inside. The white stripe down the fold is the special cloth and the whole seems very sound. I have been working on the two volumes of Malory. Endpapers done and attached, cover boards prepared. This is to be covered in blue leather and so the boards have to be laced on and the headbands worked. This is to be as good as I can get so I will create the headbands which is a sort of weaving! 
I have dyed the second knitted blank which was done differently. I painted the dye on, shading as I went and then steamed it. It all worked well. There is a good difference between the purple and the grey. The other major occupation has been weaving the Hana Ori. I have now woven five samples and need nine. I should be finished by Friday
 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hana Ori Sample

I have to provide about eight samples of Hana Ori for the Japanese Textile Study Group of Complex Weavers. I originally thought I would weave each person a complete sample which is 24 inches long and takes me about three days to weave at 2 or 3 hours a day. This is altogether too much effort! I cut the draft down to show a few samples of the motifs and reduced the number of colours from 9 to 6.
This is the complete sample and it is 9.5 inches long. I managed to do one in just two hours so I will aim to weave one per day for the next week or so.
 
Today I drove to Amersham and back, a round trip of 250 miles. I was attending a committee meeting to organise the Association's Conference for 2018! Got home, after a stop at Anne's house, at 5 pm and started in on the Hana Ori shortly thereafter.
 
 
 
 

Friday, 24 October 2014

Woe is Me

I have been making up a jacket for Anne out of handspun fabric. The toile was okay, the body was okay. Today I started out on pockets - which are inset into the fabric, not applied. Big mistake. The fabric, though backed with fusible interlining is a bit thick for little fiddly bits and the pocket looks awful. At one point I decided I was just putting in one pocket. But I have now decided to remove that front, cut a replacement and do without pockets. Just as well I wove far too much fabric. Bah.

Last night I started in on the inkle loom I have borrowed. It seems straight forward and I have woven quite a lot. Thank goodness for something that works.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Dyeing Knitted Blanks

Marion Proctor very kindly used her knitting machine to produce two knitted blanks for me Each is about a metre long and 24 inches wide. The idea was to dye these in a graduated fashion between red and purple similar to the colours of the Aland island wool I bought there (and which is now a warp of my Louet and looks good). On looking carefully at that warp, I discovered that the base colour was grey not cream. Presumably they are like Gotland sheep. But that accounts for the rich colours. So I started by dyeing both blanks grey.
 
Then I wrapped about one third of a blank with ikat tape, being careful to do it loosely at the start so as to get a graduation between red and grey and rigged it up in the garage.
 
With the wrapped section suspended from a clothes line.
 
The red has come out a lovely colour, almost chestnut and will fit with the warp well but the loose wrapping just resulting in two small ticks of red! I did not want to paint the blank and steam it because it is a large bundle to go in the steamer and I thought it might not heat through properly but I have decided to try it for the next blank which will be dyed violet. That might be done this afternoon. This morning I am stuffing envelopes for the Society of Bookbinders Conference next year.
 
 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Knitting Exhibition

Last week I ended up staying with my daughter, Ruth, in Englefield Green and on Saturday we went into London and viewed three exhibitions! First the Nevinson exhibition. He was a WWII artist (etcher) and some of his work is very powerful. I don't think there are exhibitions of his work very often.  I can't say I enjoyed his work but it is very good. Then we went to the Fleming Collection which shows only Scottish art and looked at a photographic exhibition.
 
Then off to London Bridge to the Fashion and Textile Museum where there was a Knitting Exhibition. It covered 1910 to the present day. I had not realised that knitted clothes, as distinct from  hosiery, only came in about that date. They only allowed photos in one room
 
A selection of knitted dresses.
 
There was a high proportion  of evening dresses. I wonder if they just survived better because less worn. There was a whole display of Fair Isle pullovers which looked quite felted with multiple washings!
 
Then it was off to Anne's in Leamington Spa and, on Sunday, we went to Bicester Village along with the rest of the world. This is an Outlet village where you can buy last year's leftovers of (say) Alexander McQueen's designs. Well I didn't but I did buy a Missoni cardigan! The others bought lots of glamourous clothes but then they need to look smart for work.
 
To get home. I went home by train  which took me 3.5 hours instead of the one hour it would have taken by car. Oh well. Back to textiles today. I am hoping to do the first dyeing of the knitted blank today. I am off to do an hour or so weaving now as I need to get the Hana-Ori finished and will weave first thing every morning for a bit.
 
 
 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hana Ori 2

In all the tidying up and throwing out, I have not done much weaving but I have managed to finish Section 2.

This section is okay, apart from needing a thicker red yarn. I am currently using a 16/2 cotton doubled and it is not thick enough. I dealt with the fancy yarns yesterday and have yet more bags to take to Guild. Most of yesterday was spent finishing off a job started months ago. I bought a clothes horse, probably 1930s for not very much money but its problem was that the seller had put a coat of white paint over  it and, to be honest, I think it was distemper. The last few months have seen me slowly sanding this all down and yesterday, I put on two coats of wood varnish. The screw knobs are a bit fiddly and need another coat but the rest is ready. So that is this morning's job along with having a flu jab at the surgery and shopping for food.

After that I need to start on Anne's jacket. I promised I would take it to her to fit tomorrow! I may be up late tonight.


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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.