Sunday, 13 September 2020

Back to Tomatoes

Did I say we have a glut of tomatoes? I am off now  to finish making soup  for the freezer. 

The spaced dyed fabric is off the loom and the small errors corrected. I will wash it now and put it on the dryng roller. After which I will prune the apple cordons. I did the pears yesterday and they look the better for it. Lots of domesticity about. Not least preparing for a course on Echo/Iris weaving by Marian Stubenitsky. I have bought 8/2 cotton from Halls and will be using four colours. Not sue about these, certainly not my taste but that is what we were instructed. the course by the way is with Online Guild.


Our last day. First took suitcases to Paddington Station and put them in the left luggage, Tube back to South Kensington. We had quite a bit of time spare before we were due at the V and A. So stopped at the first coffee stop we passed. And did we strike it lucky! It was a French bakery and their idea of patissery was French, superb eclairs and strawberry tarts. AsDorothy said, just as well we do not live in South Ken, we would be round there every morning. And it was definitely not standard prices.We eventually got into the museum and started in the Indian section. Dorothy is doing a work of embroidery based on a map of Delhi is is after material. Then into the Kimono exhibition. Well worth the whole trip. A lot of it shows Japanese originals from 16 to 18th centuries. Yuzen and shibori much in evidence. The shibori ones were spectacular but I suspect only if you know how shibori is done. There were a few obis and other bits and piece. Then there was a good section on kimonos as imported to Europe by Dutch traders. And also as the Dutch had made in India for Europe. The Indian ones used Indian chintzes. The last sections were modern and not to my taste at all. I bought the exhibition some months ago, worried that I would never get there. I intend to reread it this weekend to remind myself of all the goodies there. I recommend a visit to anyone interested in textiles though the way things are going, we will into lockdown again soon. We have a tour of English cathedrals booked for November and have had an email from thr organisers to say they are investigating whether the tour is allowed to go ahead.Coming home was just that. Dogs were delighted to see us. Garden is looking fine. Loads of tomatoes. I shall have to make soup.I will add photos later today. 


 Today was even more peculiar. We had afternoon tea at the Ritz. Before you think I am getting ideas above my station, this was the result of a Christmas present to us both from Anne. Anyway very grand and with much amounts of food, all very nice. Sandwiches, scone with jam and cream, small cakes, large cakes and 18 sorts of tea to choose from! 

After that we staggered round to Tate Britain and toured the British art. Dorothy isgoigthrough a Turner phase and so we spend time there. After that it was going back to the hotel. We did sit in the Embankment Gardens and discuss looms. I have more or less decided to sell the Leclerc 12 shaft. And we discussed whether this was a good idea or not. Problem is I prefer to weave on a floor loom. And the Leclerc has just sat empty for sometime, at least a year. I still have the little Meyer 12 shaft to take to courses and Guild meetings.

I do have some good photos but will not be able to use them till tomorrow evening. We go to the V and A for the Kimono exhibition tomorrow, then Go home. And this was never published!

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

London Day 2

Exhausting but interesting day. Set off for the Zoo at nine. By way of Charing Cross and Mornington Cescent and a walk across Regents Park, we got there in plenty of time. A bit disappointing. I think they have sent a lot of animals to Whipsnade. Highlights were the butterfly house, the penguins, giraffes and zebras. A lot of walking was done along with lots of photography. I would attach a few photos but I forgot to bring thr camera to iPad adaptor. Then returned to Central London, at least Tate Modern. We had bought tickets for Andy Warhol whom I do not like. Most of the exhibits I had seen before. Nothing I saw this time made me change my mind. Oh well.

Then we retired to the Tate’s bookshop which is one of the best for Art books I know. Spent too much money. Again oh well. I have not spent much money this year. 

Sandwiched between lunch and the Tate, was a visit to Bankside Gallery. I have not been there for years and it was just  as good as ever. Michael and I used to be members and went there a few times a year. I must visit again. I should say it is mostly a print gallery.

After resting in the hotel we had another Indian meal. Good and a fraction of the cost of last night!

Monday, 7 September 2020

London Day 1

It is my birthday today (85) and we decided months ago to try and get up toLondon for the day. Well what with one thing and another we are at the Strand Palace hotel from Monday to Thursday. A major exercise in booking exhibitions has been accomplished and we started off today. Bus to Reading Station, train to Paddington, taxi to hotel. Unpack and set out for Victoria’s where we had lunch before walking to Buckingham Palace to see an exhibition of pictures and things bought by George IV. The artists on the whole are not first rate. There are two superb Dutch pictures and a couple of Rubens. The ‘things’ were extraordinary. Two umpteen storied pagodas.  reminded me of Kew except that these were six or seven feet high and with lots of gold ornamentation. And a wonderful gold dinner service of which the label said still in use today. That is one in the eye for Trump.

We returned to the hotel and set out later for Veraswamy’s restaurant. An Indian restaurant of the highest class and it has been in Regent street for decades. My dad took me there in the late 50s when  Indian restaurants were very rare. He was a professional soldier and in the Indian Army so he appreciated Indian food. Anyway it is still is exceptional food though not cheap. And stem ginger icecream to end with. That is definitely joining my lists of ice creams to make. 

Tomorrow we do the Zoo in the morning and Tate Modern after lunch. Our tickets are for Andy Warhol but that is just an excuse. They have a very fine bookshop. I highly recommend it for books on art including photography.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

The warp end has appeared!

The end of the warp has appeared! I have perhaps 8 inches more warp before I finish this fabric. Then it will be inspection for repairs, hand wash and think about turning it into a jacket. As preparation I have been working on the colours of the stripes, based on what I have around the house in 8/2 cotton. At one point I had a complex pattern of stripes repeated three times but then decided no. So I have spent time today revamping it to use the same colours but across 24 inches not 8. So I am now already to wind the stripey warp.  The weft colour will be decided when I start weaving. I have allowed one metre for trials

I have signed up with the Online Gild to take part in a course on Echo and Iris weaving by  Marian Stubenitsky. That needs yarn for a warp and she has sent out instruction as to what is required. I checked my stash but no luck. So next week, I will visit Handweavers Studio and buy the four colours neded.

My giant zinnias have started flowering. Below is the first flower.

6.5 inches in diameter. Another has come out this afternoon, so dark a red as to be chestnut and just as big. I wonder if the breeder just crossed a zinnia with a sunflower, I am not enamoured. These are not what I expect from my zinnias. As soon as every one of the plants has flowered, they will be in the compost bin.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Back to Weaving

Yes I am back to weaving. Mainly because I want to get on to the next weaving (fabric for a vest by Daryl Lancaster).  I have bought a pattern from Daryl and also downloaded instructions for making one of her striped warps. I suspect I am going to have to buy more yarn! Not enough 8/2, 10/2 cotton in the stash. Oh well, I am going to do an OLG online course with Marian Stubenitski (echo and iris weave) and need some yarn for that.  But I am making good progress with my dyed silk/merino fabric on the Schacht. Getting near the end and the warp is not well put on so I have to keep stopping and make adjustments to the tension. 

I have cut lino blocks, taken delivery of waterbased inks (easier to clean up) and read several books on linocuts and have generally been crafty.

I am also revamping the garden and cursing. See photo.

This photo shows me (and Jerry) in front of a mound of green about 18 inches taller than me. They are not sunflowers, I only wish they were. I should have read the seed packet. What it said was Zinnia Giant mixed. I did not expect 7 feet, perhaps 3 to 4 feet. Instead it has taken the plants months to get to this size and flowers look as though they will be sunflower size. I will post photos when the flowers appear in a few days. I cannot complain. Fortunately I kept the seed packet so was able to read what it said. So my fault completely but  bah! all the same. I did plant some ordinary ones, about 2 foot high and lovely.  However on the plus side we are being swamped with tomato crop and I grew several different sorts this year, Gardeners Delight, Marmande, little plum tomatoes, Sungold (very tasty). I am bringing in two handfuls of ripe ones every day.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Time Out in Norfolk

The coronavirus has made everything very complicated We had intended to celebrate Dorothy`s 80th birthday is great get together near Chichester  but that had to be cancelled. We had booked the dogs into their favourite dogsitter, so we left that booking and organised ourselves to visit Cally Booker (Dorothy`s daughter in Dundee) but at the last moment entry into Scotland turned iffy and we cancelled that idea. Using a lot of searchig we found a large caravan for rent for a week in North Norfolk (one of my favorite bits of the UK). And we spent the other week pottering about, that is, visiting Kew and Wisley, both of which had to be booked. The rest of the week was  spent in `Arts and Crafts`. Dorothy was printing on fabric and I was doing linocuts. I have not done them at home before although I have the necessary gear, press, drying rack, sheets of glass, inks etc. I used a Burnisher rather than the press but not satisfactory. Next time - which will be a few days, I will use the press. But I got some acceptable prints.

And then we went to Norfolk and it is a nice place. We fond an art shop in Wells and I spent far too much money. My only excuse is that I did buy a few family Christmas presents but I fear that most of the money was on a rather fine linocut of the locality. On the last day, we went on a seal trip to Blakeney Point. We seemed to be moving too fast for photos so I just pointed in about the right direction and went click click click. I was surprised when I only had to throw out 4 photos out of 35. Two were terns flying across and two were people getting in the line of fire.

The photos are from top Wells fairground, beached boat and baby seal. Aren`t they podgy!!

So I need to end with a note about my health. The hospital visits culminated in an MRI scan of my brain which was very unpleasant because I am claustrophobic. And was a waste of time. Nothing at all wrong said the consultant and referred me to the heart people who I visit it next week. However at one such meeting, I was put on aspirin and ever since starting that, I have got better. I would say I am about 95% of what I used to be. Getting through crafts like I used to. Lots of linocuts and bookbinding and an awful lot of gardening because I did not do any from February to July. In fact I am currently planning to revamp the garden altogether, next year early. I am going to a course at West Dean later this year where my ideas should be finalised.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Reading Hospital

I am fed up with visiting Reading hospital (Royal Berks as locally called). They are as perplexed as my GP about what the problem is. However I am doing well and getting up earlier every morning and accomplishing a great deal. For example I could not find my lino inks on Thursday and decided I would have to turn out the bookbinding room. Now the bookbinding room is a very small room. We put a single bed in it when we moved here  five years ago and it was a tight fit. So it became `the bookbinding room (no bed). But it has a metal cupboard and a load of shelves and a desk to work on. Anyway I got only half way through yesterday. I got up at seven this morning and went to work on the room again and by 0830 it was finished. I was a bit scandalised by what I found. A number of totally unused sketchbooks!! A workman's carrying box full of graphite pencils, pastels and so on. and a very large number of unused lino blocks, boxes of paints Oh and my inks! Which I want anyway. So the moral has to be. If you want any art materials, search the metal cupboard before buying anything!!

I have managed to make  fabric covers for two books and create a concertina book on The Owl and the PussyCat. see below.

The illustrations for the concertina book are all photos, mostly taken by me. The idea was that this is a trial in making - actually the first version was awful and badly made. This is the second version but in fact, it is merely a dry run for the final version which will have lino cuts everywhere in place of the photos. That will keep me occupied over winter!!

The other bit of news is that my family and, I fear, the doctors at Royal Berks, are all adamant that I stop driving. Too dangerous - which I admit is true. So my nephew is taking it over and I am coming to terms with a very different lifestyle like giving up my linocut class on Friday because I do not want to wreck some family member`s Fridays. But actually I can do a great deal at home because I have a little press and a professional drying rack. The restriction will be on lino block size. A4 is too big but A5 is okay. I could, I suppose, buy a Columbia press (The Rolls-Royce of Victorian presses) but we  would   have to rebuild the garage to get it inside. I asked my nephew who knows about floor loading and such like topics and he listed the things we would have to do.

So what about weaving? I bought one of Daryl Lancaster's patterns for a gilet (she calls it a vest) but I really fancied using some of her striped fabric. So I got a copy of her instructions for weaving a striped length of fabric, hunted through my wool stash and got all sorts of lovely stuff and designed a stripey fabric. So now I need to finish the fabric on the Schacht. Silk dyed warp and wool weft. On that note, I will go and weave a few inches!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Getting better - probably

I see it is some weeks since I blogged. Well I have been taken up with being ill. Things went being bad and eventually my GP got fed up and said `Hospital. Now. Let's see if they can work out  what`s wrong with you.`  And I got an ambulance and all! Anyway They got very excited and decided it was a brain problem so I got shot to the head of the queue and my brain was scanned. Unfortunately there is nothing wrong with my brain. So they decided that it had to be one of the many drugs I take. And there sent me home saying `stop all drugs`. And I think they are right because have had two days of normality (except for feeling a bit feeble). Monday Dorothy and I went to Wisley and Tuesday we went to Kew. Today I seem to have spent the morning potting up plants. WE have a greenhouse full of tomato plants now and I have actually done some weeding.

Not much weaving has happened but I am definitely thinking about it. I have developed a dreadful memory which is bothering me and Dorothy. But maybe that will recover a bit.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Better News

The rather startling news out of the CT scan was `There is absolutely nothing wrong inside. Absolutely clean` so I have to go through the whole thing again next week while they take tissue samples but they have prescribed a drug which will put a stop to everything. So there is much to be cheerful about.

The garden is blooming. I am frantically potting seedlings up and trying to find places in the garden for flourishing seedlings. This morning I found room for a wigwam of bamboo stakes in the front garden and planted out my sweet pea seedlings. I still have a load of seedings in the greenhouse to pot up. Man-yana!

 In spite of the need for gardening, I have done a lot of weaving and bookbinding. I am creating a fold out book of the Owl and the Pussycat. I started by intending to use linocuts to illustrate it but have ended up with photos. Not at all sure about this. But I have decided to finish it off and then look at it carefully. I am certain I will want to recreate it.

And in the meantime, the garden !

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Not doing a lot

Now I must confess I have been ill since before lockdown and after several talks with my GP, I have been referred to Royal Berks Hospital and have an emergency appointment for a  CT scan on Tuesday. The hospital thinks the worst but I am not so sure. However at least I have been put on the emergency list for treatment. The countdown to the CT scan is horrendous  and everything I am allowed to eat today and tomorrow is laid down. I am going to be very hungry by Tuesday afternoon.

The only thing I have done recently is to watch webinars by Nigel Forster on photographing landscapes. He is very much my style and I am pleased. I got very little out of my year`s course with the Canadian which has now finished. But if I am fit enough I will go on a course with Nigel. One result of his webinars is that I bought a  wide angle Nikkor lens. But I have yet to try it out.

Not much else has been accomplished. I have done no weaving or book binding for the last two weeks. I have managed to keep up with gardening. Lots of little plants in the greenhouse and quite a few need planting out in the garden which is very colourful.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Still surviving

I am still here although I have an emergency appointment at Royal Berkshire hospital for an ongoing condition. It does not bode well and I am a bit scared. I have been through this thirty years ago and scared me then. But I have not been able to do much lately as I get hardly any sleep.

To change the topic completely, on the Tate website there are a few How-to videos, most are on painting (How to paint like Turner) but there is also `How to weave like Anni Albers`. Very do. She is working on a floor loom, four shafts I think and wizzes through designing, warping up and weaving in a few minutes. I cannot think who the video is aimed at. It is too fast for a new weaver, an experienced weaver would know all that. I was interested in the draft but that was never mentioned. To encourage someone to take up weaving? do you think?

In the meantime, I have gone round the garden with the macro les on the Nikon and got some nice photos.

It is very early for the peony as it is for many other flowers this year. My overwintered geraniums are madly flowering and have had to be shifted outside and the auriculas are flowering well too.


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Surviving the Lockdown

The garden has been getting attention and Jerry has been running around outside - helping.

Sitting on the top step and clearly in charge. He loves to doze in the sunshine. The dogs are getting as much walking as we are allowed. Most of the family keep in touch with the phone. Apart from that Dorothy and I are engaged in craft activities, weaving and bookbinding for me, painting for Dorothy. I have been tidying up and have found all sorts of useful stuff.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020


Progress has been made on several fronts and backwards in one important topic.

Firstly the little wood next door to us has burst into spring with the best show of bluebells I have seen here and the anemones are doing their usual showing off. We walk the dogs there. The wood is a bit of an oddity because there are various entries from our estate but all of them hidden and no general access from any road and so very few people are ever there and a code of behaviour has been adopted. If you see someone else, you put your dog on a lead and retire into the bushes by 15/20 feet until the others have passed. But that rarely happens.

I have been bookbinding and have finished a rather nice notebook. I bought 6 text blocks before lockdown and intend to do one a week. I have stacks of endpapers and cloth prepared for use as book covers. This one, for my grand niece who is 12, is shown below.

and last  I have been weaving the space dyed silk warp. Very slow until I remembered that I had two ski shuttles. The problem with a boat shuttle is that I do not get much yarn on a bobbin and a stick shuttle is quite short so needs manoeuvring through the shed. But the ski shuttle works and has speeded things up no end.

I am not very keen on the idea of a jacket in this fabric but will reserve the final decision until it has been washed. It would make a lovely baby blanket and I do have a great grandchild due in August. But a silk baby blanket is not good for machine washing in very hot water. I have been considering whether overdying would be a good idea. Indigo? What other colour would work?

And the backwards project? We have terrible trouble with  internet on our desk tops. Not with ipads in the rest of the house but the computer room is a long way from the WIFI input with brick walls between. It is very difficult to watch an online class in daytime. I have tried all sorts of solutions and none of them are any good. I now know more about the WIFI signal than I did but it is not helping. I feel really upset about this. 15 years ago I owned a software firm and earnt money out of Fortran programs. Now, I am quite ignorant and it upsets me.

Friday, 10 April 2020

The Garden is flourishing

The garden has been transformed in the last fortnight. You would think it was summertime. And the greenhouse is full of little plants liking life very much. And needing watering every day. I must set up our summer irrigation system. Anyway - here are a few photos.

In order from the top
pink lily flowered tulip
our garden steps
apple blossom

And the auriculas are coming out as well.

I have decided to sign up for a photo critique. Ten photos have been despatched. I await with anxiety the comments. And I have done a lot of tidying up. The garden shed has been partially done. It needs a lot more attention than I bargained for. But the greenhouse has been tidied and the dirty pots nearly all washed ready for re-use.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020


Last week I was tidying up my hard drive and came across a nice draft blog about Corfe Castle. Never published so I pressed the Publish key and it went out - with that day`s date on it. The draft dated from our holiday last summer in Dorset and did not mean that we had taken a day out from imprisonment to drive to Dorset and back. But because it was dated last week, a lot of friends are very upset. I apologize and assure everyone that I have been at our house in Berkshire  for the last several weeks and look like being here for lots of weeks forward as well. The dogs are very fed up and I spend time throwing the ball for Jerry in the garden. He has learned how to bring the ball back so we both get a lot of exercise.

I have nearly finished warping up the space dyed warp. And I have finished the album which now contains my lino cuts.

But mostly we have been exercised by the poor Wifi signal we are getting at the moment.. It is sometimes so poor that it is non-existent. I have been reading up on the web how Wifi operates and am slowly improving our system. But I suspect that a lot of the problem is just local overload.

I think I shall go away and warp up some more. At least there is something to show at the end.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Another Project Finished

I have been making and album to put my linocuts in. Problems have stemmed from its size which is slightly bigger than A3 and that mean I had to create endpapers from scratch as standard paper is not big enough. Oh well I will know bigger next time.

The cover is done in a linen bookcloth (rather nice and I wish I had bought more of it) with a recessed area in which to insert the lino cut. Lots of empty pages left, by design and should see me out!!!

The other area I have worked on is the spaced dyed silk. Here it is just before threading up in a straight draw on 8 shafts.

More rainbow than I intended. In fact this is so unlike my original ideas that I think I will dye another warp to achieve it. Next time it will be space dyed wool dyed in acid dyes.

I came across a draft blog this morning dating from 2019 (August) at Corfe Castle and just pressed the Publish key. I have had someone point out that I ought not to be going to Corfe Castle at this time. Quite right and my fault for not reading the draft for a date. Anyway that blog  is now deleted and you can all be sure I have been safely in  this house in Burghfield Common for several weeks.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

A Project finished

I set up a warp on the Meyer which was based on an 18th c draft altered by me. And it is finished. There never was much warp so, regarded as a scarf, it is rather short at about 1.20m. I like my scarves to be longer than 1.5m. Anyway the pattern is okay. I have tidied up and found more things to rearrange. But the next job, which will be lengthy, is to put the silk space dyed warp on the Schacht.  I am also getting on with book binding and have done a load of weeding this morning. My son-in-law says he has turned out their utility room and it did need it but I cannot imagine where he has put everything. I would have thought a trip to the tip was called for.

The only other thing of note is the tale of the abutilon. I like abutilons. I first saw them in full bloom in a Cotswold garden, about 15 ft high, pyramidal in shape and covered with lilac or white blooms about 3 inches across. I really fell for them and managed to lay my hand on some seed which turned into plants (too many) so all my Malvern friends had an abutilon in their garden. But they are short lived. Less than 10 years despite their size. When I moved to Reading five years ago. I got some more seedlings going but I promised Dorothy I would dig it up when 7 or 8 years old as she thought it would be a bit big for our garden. Last year, it got to 7 foot and had a few lilac flowers. Oh it flowers in May. Well first of all it has shot up over the last winter to 9 or 10 foot now. But what is more, it is flowering. Now!! and it is covered with flower buds. So I said to D that next year I would have it out and she said Oh no need for that, it seems to be getting along fine. Well I never!!!! Let us not argue!! I can look forward to a few years of abutilon pleasure.

Added later. I forgot. Last night (Friday) I watched the first of Covent Garden's free offerings to the public. Peter and the Wolf as a ballet. Done by the youngsters of the Covent Garden school. First rate!! It seems to be available for the next week. Next Friday they are doing Cosi Fan Tutte. I am looking forward to that. Lots of similar institutions are making similar offerings but none so good as Covent Gardens. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Lots of Dyeing

Given that I am confined to the house, I have done a lot.

Firstly I have finished the deflected double weave from Melanie Venes. See photo below.

Secondly I have woven some of the 18th c draft. It is on 11 shafts and on a table loom with a repeat of 16 weft throws. That is a pest, asking for errors which I have got but nice all the same. Big problem is that I used a two colour warp and I get only one showing up nicely, depending on whether the weft is lighter or darker than the warp.
The biggest project has been space dyeing a silk warp. I wound a warp from each ball of a Debbie Bliss cream silk- ten warps in all. And decided to use Procion dyes not acid.  See photos.

First red was applied to 5 warps, then after an hour, blue was applied. The other five warps were dyed, blue first, then red. The dyes leaked from one place to another and the result is not the tidy dyeing sequence I had planned but I do have ten multicolored warps in toning colours. I shall put these on the Schacht as soon as they are completely dry. The green comes about because the silk is Cornish cream colored, that is, a lot of yellow in it.

We are surviving the lock down. We walk the dogs in the local woods at 0630 am.  and try to get another short walk in later in the day. We have a small wood beside our house and our own gate into it. It has been a sea of mud recently but we thought it might be okay after the last few days of sunshine. And it was. That will make life easier for us.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Battening Down the Hatches

We have been making sure we have all the materials we need to keep from going stir crazy in the next three or four months. Not so fussed about toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. My sister, Dorothy, gets supplies from a medical supplies (she was a GP all her working life) so  we have lots of the right stuff already. I found I was short of yeast though and went into Sainsbury to bu some. I was staggered to see that the many shelves normally full of flour held one pack only. Do not tell me the world is going to make its own bread. I do not believe you. I, on the other hand, have a bread maker and 90% of the bread we eat comes out of the bread maker. We both have a weakness for a certain sort of Sainsburys bread which they were well stocked with.

Everything I might have visited/attended in the next 3/4 months has been cancelled and refunds are following into my bank account. Oh well. The way things are going, there might be horrendous financial follow-ons after this is all over.

So what have we got planned. Dorothy plans to make some quilts which she has been brooding over. I have just finished warping up the Meyer with a pattern from Jeremiah Fielding`s book (only 'adjusted') and will probably start weaving today. The Megado needs a steady amount of attention and I aim to set about dyeing a whole load of silk. A month or so ago I wound all the silk (9 balls of Debbie Bliss silk) into 9 separate warps. Each will be dyed differently. And I hope for a jacket out of the fabric.

The original Jeremiah draft in its modern version is shown below along with my version of it.

Original Modern Draft

My draft (one unit)

Showing a few repeats

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Megado Sorted

Dorothy has pointed out to me that I never reported on the end of the Megado problem. A quote was indeed forthcoming from Louet. It was very large indeed. A substantial fraction of the cost of a new Megado. So Alan suggested he have a go at repairing it and came and fetched it one Monday. It was returned the following Sunday - working!!!!!. Apparently at some point in its life a repair had been done in the control box and the solder had given up with age. So he cleaned it up and replaced the solder and VOILA - one working Megado. I wove about six inches, wound on and discovered, to my grief that I had tied the warp on very badly so attempted to repair it and made the warp tension worse. I cut off the newly woven section, pulled through all the faulty threads, tied on again (VERY CAREFULLY) and wove a section again, then wound on. All is well. How stupid can you be! Quite is the answer if you are me!!

And he charged less than 10% of Louet's quote.

I also ought to say that my sick days seem to be behind us. I was sick for the day on average, one day in six or seven. The medication was changed. Not only do I not have sick days but I am much more energetic. I have completed all sorts of deadlines. I even found time and energy to go and clean up in the garden today. It feels good to have joined the human race again!

The Meyer - Problems

I have just had a very odd experience which took 24 hours to resolve. Later this month I am going to stay with my daughter and thought I would take my small loom, the 12 shaft Meyer, to occupy myself while the others were at work. So I designed a draft which used Bateman on 8 shafts, wound the warp for it and dug the Meyer out of its cupboard. I was quite shocked. It had a white and blue wool warp on it already and about 8 inches was woven in a  complicated pattern. I remember nothing about this and between us (Dorothy and me) we could not even remember when it was done - except that it was some time ago. I investigated  the threading - complex and on 8 shafts. No notes on it anywhere. In the end I tried tabby which looks okay but rather dull to weave. There is by the way quite a length of unwoven warp on the loom. So I retired for the night. Got up this morning determined to sort this out and eventually found the threading plus the rest of the draft in Melanie Venes handout of Autumn 2018!! And then remembered. Melanie came to do a two day course at the Guild and I did a sample draft from her selection of Deflected Double Weaves but I did not like what I had chosen and, when I got home, I cut off the sample, re-threaded with another draft and started out - and instead of starting a new entry in my notes, I wrote a few cryptic remarks in pencil on Melanie's handout!!!!. So all is now well. The only problem that I have now is that the weft is brown wool quite thick with some thinner blue. And I can see me running out of brown. Some where in the house is some more brown. I would not have started weaving with those colours unless I had enough yarn.

And on the topic of photos, our garden is showing signs of life. So I have been out with the camera.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

More on the Megado

I got round to opening up the box of electronics on the Megado. Inspection showed that it was surprisingly undusty and that the capacitors in the power supply were okay. I am not expert enough to carry out more tests so I consulted with Alan at Handweavers Studio and it was clear that lots of testing would be required. It also turned out that buying a completely new box was nothing like as expensive as I expected and that would have some definite advantages. So Alan is going to get a formal quote from Louet. But this is clearly going to take some weeks to get the Megado up and running again. So I am getting on with the red cashmere scarf I described in my last blog. Warp is wound. And when I have finished a spot of framing photos, I will install the warp on the Schacht.

I have finished binding `Amusements in Mathematics. It is shown below.


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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.