Saturday, 19 December 2009

Warping Up (5) and the Weather

Yesterday (Friday) I got to 17 completed sections which was quite good considering that I spent the morning in Worcester Royal seeing a cardiologist (yes there is something wrong, no it's not life-threatening, have these pills and we will set about testing you in January). Oddly enough,  I felt very cheerful after that. The consultant was female about 35 and quite impressive.  We finished off the Christmas cards in the afternoon and posted them all too.

So the plan was to thread at least 8 sections today and finish the threading tomorrow. To which end I was going to get up early and do two sections before breakfast as I must do some Christmas cooking today. However something or other about best-laid plans for mice and men - and women too. I was rudely awoken by the telephone early this morning. This was our Anne (youngest daughter, the finance wizard at Npower) - stranded in Dover plus car and family on their way to France for a skiing holiday, using the tunnel. The tunnel is shut indefinitely with 2 broken-down trains inside. The North of France is snowed up, The Port of Calais is shut and, as a result, so is the Port of Dover so no ferries. So what else could they do? Both Michael and myself were on the web searching for open ports with ferry crossings to Europe available today. And remember that South East England is snarled up with snow and traffic. (Personally I think Scotland manages these things much better - the English go into panic mode when it snows and that makes things worse - but then I am Scot). So after considering Ramsgate, Newhaven and so on, we ended up by booking them on to the afternoon Portsmouth/Caen ferry.  And they are on their way.

This seemed to involve endless web searches to find a good route from Dover to Portsmouth. The M20 is closed as it is being used as a car park for Europe-bound lorries. So they are going to Portsmouth by way of Canterbury, M20, M25, M3 which should all be cleared of snow.

We do not have any snow here but there has been a hard frost. I feel as though I have been up for hours and it is just after 0800 hours. So I think I will go and do the grocery shopping.

And just to show that I sometimes think of other things, here is the end paper for the book I am going to bind in leather in January. The book is Omar Khayyam and belonged to my father. It has his signature inside. He was very fond of this work and I have already replaced the board covers but I would like to do him proud and intend to cover it in green or blue goatskin. The book is slightly smaller than A5 and I thought I would create my own end-papers based on the first and last verses. This is the one for the front end-paper and is A4 size and will need trimming. I cannot quite decide whether to write the verse on the end-paper as well and I may try it out. It might spoil the effect. Fitzgerald's translation of the first verse is

Awake! for Morning into the Bowl of Night
Has flung the stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And Lo! The Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Tower in a Noose of Light

 This is the basis of the back end-paper - a photo I took at Hardwick Hall. It will have a glass of wine superimposed.

And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scattered on the Grass
And in thy joyous Errand reach the spot
Where I made one - turn down an empty Glass!

I have put a wine glass on top of this using Photoshop but it was a photo off the web and it is not entirely suitable so I intend to take a photo of same!!

Two points for consideration. Firstly do I put the text on? And secondly the styles of the two end-papers are very different. Do I mind? I think I do. I am loathe to change the front one so maybe I have to rethink the back one. But as yet I have come up with no viable ideas.

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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.