Thursday, 26 November 2020

I am cross

I am cross with myself. I have used thicker weft yarns and yes that is okay. What is not okay is the length of the floats. So I examined the draft with care and yes, there are horrible floats. It will not do. So I will discard the warp. I have worked on a fancy twill (no long floats anywhere in this one. And I will continue with my plan to space dye some wool for the warp. Although I am going to wind the warp and space dye that. So must go and get on with it.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020


It is nearly a month since I lasted blogged and things have happened!! I have warped up the Schacht with a Bateman pattern (see draft below) and warped using Daryl`s method which worked beautifully. Only problem the further I got the more I was worried about the warp. It is cashmere and lovely stuff but it seems very stretchy. I checked the sett (20 epi) by wrapping but - but. When I came to weave the first pattern, it was clear the sett was wildly wrong. Measurements showed it should have been more like 35 epi. What to do? The options seem to be

1) Take off the warp and throw it out. It was a pig to thread up.

2) Resley. Problem is the current  width is 12 inches and if I resley to 35 epi, the width will be 7 inches which is too narrow for a scarf. I have not enough yarn to add to what I have as warp and anyway that would take a lot of effort.

3) try and find thicker yarns for the weft. 

I decided that starting with Option 3 could do no harm and I actually managed to find suitable yarn. The colours are not what I would wish. The original eft was white  wool and the same  black/red of the warp. The replacements are pale lavender wool and a flecked dark brown. The floats are a bit long and I will soldier on. I am thinking of winding a second warp for 20 epi and tyeing that on to what is left of the current warp when I get to the end.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Radio active and all

 The latest in the ongoing saga of my health is summarised by an email from my grandson (father of Libby, my new Great grand daughter). `If there was a good reason to miss a visit - being radioactvve is it!` This is because I spent all yesterday at an Oxford hospital , having a brain scan. After being injected with radioactive stuff. I had to wait 3 hours before the stuff was in the right places for the scan. Nothing like as nasty as an MRI scan. It lasted 45 minutes. So now I am back home and I am going to stay in (it is raining hard) and do some lino cuts. 

But first. I have finished the Echo and Iris course, woven everything off and cleaned up the Schacht. The last bit I wove was a weft of darkblue/grey spacedyed 8/2 tencel. Just to see. Actually I rather like it and if I had tried this at the beginning, I would have done the length of fabric in that. Because I only warped up with a single width of pattern, I wove two lengths with fringes which I am going to sew together to make a runner.

Top Dark blue space dyed weft. Bottom length of fabric.

In tthe meantime, I attended Laura Thomas`s online class for the Complex Weavers. Making mood boards is not my comfort zone but I did it, and did the exercises on colour. Hmph! But, but, I had a great time with yarn wraps. Now the only time I do yarn wraps up to now has been to exstimate the sett, not for colour but I learnt a lot about what works and what does not. Next class is next Saturday. 

And I have finished the calendar artwork and got it to the printer.

And now I am off to work on lino cuts, tidy up the room first and then make a list of jobs to be done.


Thursday, 15 October 2020


I have spent the last week fighting the Schacht about the Echo and Iris course I signed up for. I rechecked the threading and the colour layout, (four colours in succession and repeated ad nauseam) . Still no joy. I wove a single pattern absolute *****. So there I was scratching my head and wondering if I should just abandon the whole project and then I spotted the error!!! My error. I was so taken up with following Daryl Lancaster`s instructions baout front to back warping up that I omitted to put the warp over the back beam. If you think about it, you will see that the tension will go to pot. Well since you can lift the Schacht`s back beam out easily, it was a matter of minutes to correct and get the tension correct. And after that it went very sweetly. My only excuse is that I last set up a warp last November and anyway got confused by this front to back business. One thing I did learn was that that method gives a good warp.

So after al that, I wove four samples, each of one  pattern in four different colours, See the photo below

The weft colours are from top left, clockwise, dark green, dark brown, beige, dark red. I like the dark red best and will leave a length just to show!!

I have spent a lot of time on next year`s calendar. Still more to do and I am not totally convinced by two of the photos. Must get on with though.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Warping up

I decided some weeks ago to warp up the next warp (the one for Marian Stubenitski`s course) front to back because 1) I have put the last two warps on badly 2) The threading is four different colours in the same order across the whole warp. I have never been taught the way of warping up and when I came across an e-book by Daryl Lancaster on this topic, I bought it. It is complex and I have got to the stage of the warp strapped firmly to the breast beam and it is going to be a good thing.

I have not done much on it over the last few days because the printing class has started up. Much taking of temperature, wearing of face masks etc. But I had a great time. I had cut some new blocks earlier and tried them out in the garage but I am using water based inks and Oil based inks give a better result in my opinion. My tutor agrees. So happy days. The ones printed last week are still drying but I will get them home next Friday. 

We had a visitor on Wednesday. Lollipop a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Minute compared with our two but she and Jerry, our rather larger terrier, got on very well and stormed round the house running races and playing tug. I do not know about Lollipop afterwards but Jerry slept the rest of the day!

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. 


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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.