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.





LONDON DAY 4


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. 








LONDON Day 3

 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.





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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.