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

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
abutilon
apple blossom
pulsatilla

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

APOLOGIES

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.




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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.