Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday Tidy-Up Day

Yesterday was Weaving Course Day and, as promised, I took a photo , with permission, of Marie FitzSimmons stunning sample for the Kennet Valley Guild Black Jack. This is woven in cotton and it is about 8 inches wide. I can see three different repeating patterns in this, a pattern of black stars, a pattern of white stars and a pattern of circles and ellipses. The draft is called 'Little Stars'. The choice of colours has something to do with just how wonderful I think this is.

The class is beavering away. All the beginners started weaving. The improvers were tying on or warping up or just weaving. An air of industry was obvious. It was all good therapy for me. 

I decided, while driving home, that I need to get out as much as possible in the next few weeks as time might be constrained when Michael gets home.

So today, I set out at 0930 to drive to Nature in Art at Twigworth which is hosting the Wildlife Photography Competition. And the Artist in Residence was Sue Waters, Textile Artist (see photo on left). She does not have a website which is a pity. Her work is collage in silk dupion and the pieces are machined stitched on with silk thread. The choice of thread colour is impressive. If you look at the damsel-fly on reeds carefully, each reed is a different colour of silk and the machine stitching down each edge outlines the reed very effectively. She uses silk dupion because it is heavy enough to be crisp. Several of her pieces were on show, mostly wildlife or landscapes but she also had cushions covered with geometric patterns, I am guessing, based on Mughal windows and Islamic tiles.

The Wildlife Photography exhibition did not seem quite as good as last year. Last year was the first time I had seen it so perhaps that was it. Nice photo of a locust which is worth seeing. I bought the book so that I could share it with Michael.

I have done the last of the removals in the loom room so we are all ready for tomorrow's invasion of decorators and electricians.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Waffle Weave (3)

The waffle weave is growing at an amazing rate. I am halfway through the first towel  - and I have cleaned out the garage and got most of the 'stuff' in the loom-room out of there and into the garage or parked round the rest of the house. Ruth and Anne gave me a hand to shift  things yesterday. 

Today is weaving course day and we have a small amount of snow but not enough to stop me getting to Newbury. 

Ruth is on a whistle stop tour. She arrived at lunchtime yesterday and is leaving for Portsmouth when I leave this morning. The objective, of course, being to visit Michael who is bright and bouncy and doing his exercises. He is definitely improving. 

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Back to the Bookbinding Class

I missed the first bookbinding class of the session due to snow but made it yesterday.  I stripped off the board covers from Omar Khayyam, discussed with Angela Sutton, the tutor, what weight of paper I needed to print the endpapers on I have decided to print out the end-papers on both printers. I suspect that printing on the Inkjet will not work if I use waterbased paste on the back whereas the Laserjet, though not so good a printer, has wax-based inks.
I also sewed 2 lots of paper to make two notebooks. I am using Tesco's finest watercolour paper and have 96 pages - 24 sheets folded once)-in each book. I will cover one, possibly both, in woven silk. I must also look out some nice end-papers for the m. I have just bought some more of Fibrecrafts  lovely swirly paper and hope I can use that.

Yesterday I visited Michael in hospital, clutching a plastic bag of 60/2 silk samples to see what he thought of my ideas for a fan reed weaving - see No Snow! and Fan Reeds. The very first weaving  with the fan reed was various green cottons while the second was brown/green 60/2 silk. I decided to be loud and vulgar this time. The warp will be white, scarlet and orange with a yellow weft. The weaving on a fan reed looks best with cycling through three colours in the 'stripes'. The royal blue is for the 'edges'. I am going to outline each stripe with 3 threads of this colour  so I should have dark blue wiggles down the cloth. I am putting on 6 yds of warp. The scarlet and yellow were acid-dyed by me. Nice to find a use for them.

I have invested in a roller temple for the Megado. It comes from Fireside Looms in the States. My widest temple is ferocious and, while most of the holes wash out, I don't like it. So the Megado is sitting with 6 yards of 90/2 silk warp still on it and not tied up since I removed the first 5 yards ten days ago. The roller temple is due in ten days by which time the room will have its redecoration completed. I want to weave a length to enter for the Association Exhibition which means finishing by March 1st. The draft is ready and the colours selected so 12 hours weaving will see it completed.

I would like to start on the fan reed warp today but I must finish cleaning up  garage and start shifting stuff into it ready for Monday's invasion by the workmen.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Waffle Weave (2)

This is a sample of waffle weave (warp running vertically). It turned out easier than I thought. The threading is just a point twill on 8 shafts. 300 ends in all - mostly white but with a central section of red and some isolated red threads. in carefully selected positions All 2/6 unmercerised cotton.  The centre line of the cloth runs down the middle of the visible red sections. I have woven several sections with just white and some others with just red. Given the long warp floats at the edge of the cloth, there seems no point in adding a threaded selvedge. I have used a floating selvedge instead. The draft for this is shown on the left.
On the table loom, a Voyager, this has an easy liftplan. If you look at the cloth, in both the draft and the sample above, there is not a lot of tabby in the centre of each rectangle and the cloth is quite three dimensional.

Each rectangle in the cloth on the loom is 18 mm by 20 mm. The warp is 20 epi so that the 15 thread repeat should be 19 mm if there was no draw-in. If I was weaving tabby with a 2/6 cotton, I would be using 16 epi but 20 epi allows for the lack of thread crossings in this weave.

The cloth above the extra pale green thread in the left is a second draft (see below for the draft). This has far more tabby in the centre and is much flatter as a result. Each rectangle is now 18 by 27 mm which reflects the increased amount of tabby.  And the liftplan is very complicated - easy to make mistakes.  It would have to be re-sleyed.

  1. So all in all, I prefer the first one. because it is more three-dimensional. I will weave a bit more of the second draft, then cut it off and wash it.

I am not sure whether I shall re-sley it to get the pattern square. Going by the current dimensions, I would have to use 19epi!! Do I care? Let's see what the dimensions are like after washing.

One change to my usual practice is that any breaks in the weft thread will have to done by doubling both ends in the centre of the cloth. I usually end at the end of a weft throw and tuck one end back in for one or two inches. With all the warp and weft floats around, this is a bad idea.

These drafts have been worked out from Kathryn Wertenberger's book, 'An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving', 1988, ISBN 0-934026-34-3.

All-in-all, this has been an interesting exercise and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  I have not woven with such thick yarn for a long time and was horrified by the large amount of yarn required. Yes, I did do the sums before I started  and I will use about 0.5 kg of yarn. You can weave a lot of 90/2 silk with 0.5 kg. I have just weighed 3.5 yards of 90/2 silk 22 inches wide and it was all of 6 ounces (170 gms).

 The builder is starting next Monday on re-decorating and we have jointly come up with a plan to improve access to the bathroom by rehanging the door on the left rather than the right. Of course we have to move the light-pull and one of the wall lights but it is all do-able and will improve access enormously. All I have to do is to organise where the contents of the loom-room are to go so I started by clearing out the garage today. It was very cold so I did not finish but will do some more tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Double Cloth Scarf based on Black Jack (2)

I have plaited the fringe and it looks much better. Quite happy about this. Now to warp up the Voyager again with waffle weave.

Yesterday was the first day of the  Guild weaving course with five beginners and seven 'improvers'. I don't know who thought of that term but it is rather nice. Two of the improvers were warping up with sticky yarns, one was designing a double cloth blanket (I  fear that eight shafts are not enough what she has in mind). Someone else was winding a warp of cottolin to do tea-towels and one arrived with a loom warped up and her samples half done. One of her samples is stunning beyond belief. I never thought to take my camera but I must capture that. So 'take camera' is on my list for next Saturday.

Michael has settled in at Malvern Hospital and seems very cheerful and is bored. That is always a good sign. He says he is fed-up reading. I suggested taking in his portable CD player which he rejected as 'too passive'. So I took in a small drawing book plus two pens. And this morning at the newsagents, I managed to buy a book of crosswords. I can see me taking in our travelling Scrabble to occupy him.

He is being quite good about doing his exercise once an hour and I think he is improving.

Rosie Price has thought of a good day of therapy for me. We are going to London in ten  days time and starting at Handweavers Studio to look at these new yarns they are stocking - stainless steel! I see that they have fine tencel in ecru which can be dyed. I am not expert at Procion dyes but I am so desperate to weave up my space dyed Tencel which I bought from my favourite store, Just Our Yarns, that I am prepared to learn!! I wove a waistcoat using their yarn which is wonderfully subtle.

The story of the UK contingent at the Just Our Yarns stand at Convergence is worth telling. Some of us found them early on and bought yarn, showed it around, thought about it and returned the next day with friends. And the next day too!!! We were greeted as old friends on our last visit! Just don't ask how much we spent.

And the rest of my therapy day will be spent at Tate Modern!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Double Cloth Scarf based on Black Jack

Today Michael is being moved from Cheltenham Hospital to Malvern Hospital. I can get there in 5 minutes in a car and, if it snows, I could walk! I think it would take 30 minutes. We are both so pleased. It sounds as though he will be there for 2 weeks before coming home. We need a major overhaul of the house but that can wait until the Occupational Therapist comes to visit. The move was organised by our local McMillan nurse. I cannot say enough good things about McMillan nurses. Over the last two years, they have been very supportive. 

As part of the preparation, I have sent for Mr Darke, our friendly neighbour builder/painter etc who has been rebuilding our house for 20 years. This is to get the loom room redecorated which I want finished by the time Michael comes home. It might seem like a displacement activity but it isn't. We will have to shift a lot of furniture and I don't want that cluttering up the house when we are trying to sort out Michael's living space.

On the textile front, I have repaired and finished the silk double cloth  and pressed it.  The photo on the left  shows it at that stage. It has now been hand washed, dried and ironed and has shrunk from 9 by 51inches to 8.5 by 48 inches. In this photo ,the fringes are quite long. I did cut them to be equal in length but, after washing, they were in a right tangle. Because it is double cloth, the fringes are thick and even after careful brushing, the fringes still looked unkempt and wanted to twist round the next-door bout as can be seen in the second photo.

The knots at the top of each bout can be seen and also the sample plaits. These are going to be much better so that is a job for today sometime. Perhaps because of the background, the second photo is a better representation of the colour and the silk sheen has come out well.

I have also been thinking about waffle weave. I have had it in mind to try this weave out for some years. It is amazing the weave types I still have to try and a reflection on the enormous number of different weaves there are. I sat at the top of the stairs, where the weaving books are and worked my way through a mostly unhelpful set of books. By far the best description is in '8,12... 20, An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving' by Kathryn Wertenberger (ISBN 0--934026-34-3) . I have created two drafts in Fibreworks and found some 2/6 unmercerised cotton in white and red. Quite a change going from 60epi to 20epi! I don't see me winding a warp today. Apart from Michael's arrival in Malvern, I have to go to WRI myself this afternoon for heart tests - I could do without that problem at the moment.

Tomorrow is the start of Kennet Valley Guild's annual weaving course. 6 Saturdays spread over 10 weeks. The first classes are a week apart so that the beginners really get going, then at fortnightly intervals. There are 6 beginners this year and 6 'old hands'. If someone has something a bit difficult to tackle, they come along and do it over the course.  I have a separate half-day to do on drafting. Last year I totally recast it. I used to get them to use paper and pencil but some people found this difficult to  understand - which is always the teacher's fault. Last year, I came up with a scheme which used strips of paper. It went down much better and they got the idea much faster. The text is all written. All I have to do is print out the handout and cut up a lot of paper!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Caladium Book

So here we are - finished. The book needs an overnight press to flatten the covers. You can see the background pictures of Tampa.

Here's another view of the same pages.

And here is the back of the pages. Each photo is spread over two caladium leaves. From the left,
- a close-up of stonework at the Frank Lloyd Wright campus at Lakeland
- a picture of the seaway at Tampa
- some purple flowers a bit like convolvulus down by the waterside
- picture of the city at sunset from our hotel room

The text is a bit jokey. If you can read it, every line has a question mark at the end. And each line is a named variety of caladium! Michael, giving his opinion from his sickbed, thought this idea was quite horrible. One of the photos I had to ditch was of my sister, Dorothy, and myself with milk shakes. the text said 'Florida Sweetheart? Miss Muffet?'

I had intended to make two copies today but the Inkjet has run low on ink. I have ordered some more. I have also cleaned the Inkjet printer but it has not improved dark duplex printing. My solution - replace the dark photos - has worked!!

More Snow

Woke up this morning to more snow. This is the view through the glass of our back door with the golden bamboo bent over with snow. I could hear cars having trouble on our steep road. This culminated in a bus driver appearing at my door to ask if I had a shovel he could borrow because he was stuck. He and the passengers got the bus going and they have gone. It is still snowing  and the patio table (my standard for snow) is carrying a nicely iced cake again. I was going to have a hair cut in Worcester - that's postponed. I was going to a bookbinding class - I have told them I might not make it. But who knows, if the snow turns to rain as forecast, I might make it.

So this morning will be devoted to printing out the caladium book and making it up as well as weaving on the Voyager. I will look out silk for the fan reed weaving as well. I had problems with duplex printing yesterday and tried out a different scheme - basically just letting the first side dry over night. That did not work. It is something to do with duplex printing large areas of very dark colours. Either side will print happily by itself. But the second printing is always smeared with dark blobs. I thought I could stick 2 sheets of Bockingford together but the sheet becomes far too thick and unbendable. So I will replace the two backing photos, making sure not to pick anything containing large areas of dark!

The icing on the patio table is increasing all the time!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tidying Up

Today was spent tidying up and putting things away. The house was littered with little piles of things - and the garage was littered with a big pile.  What with the snow, there was an accumulation of cardboard boxes and other debris which has all gone to the recycling centre. Rooms have been cleaned and floors washed and most piles has been put away.

I have printed out the pages for the Caladium book on Bockingford page. Met one odd problem when I tried to do one page double sided and got the last side looking as though it had been splashed with black ink. Some duplex printing worked but two pages did not. I printed these out as simplex and will glue them together. The glueing has started with the front and back pictures being glued to boards - and wrinkling madly. I will wait till they are thoroughly dry before deciding whether to throw them out and try again. I should have put the PVA on the paper picture and then laid the cover on top.

While waiting for the covers to dry, I have been looking at a new book, Seriwaza, which is a catalogue of his work. Seriwaza was a Japanese Living National Treasure and was a stencil expert. (A bit like saying Turner was a quite decent colourist). He went to Okinawa in the 1930s and got hooked on bingata  which is a multi-stencil technique. It is said it takes six months to make the material for a kimono. The photo shows a piece of silk in 'bingata style' and gives a good idea of the colourful appearance. Seriwaza used a wide variety of fabrics, hemp to silk. In later life he did a lot of kimonos but his early work concentrated on book and magazine design. The Japan Society held an an exhibition of his work in New York which finished on Jan 17th, 2010. The website shows 21 different items from the exhibition. Definitely 'Vaux le visite'.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

No Snow!!

The thaw is here! It has been a few days since I blogged but then it has been a few days since I was in the house. On Friday with a light drizzle, I took a deep breath, put on warm clothes and boots and set about digging the car out.  When I had cleared 8 inches of snow from the top and bonnet of the car and dug  away the snow in front of the Saab, I walked up to the road. Buses!! And cars! Not 4 by 4s! The road's tarmac was totally visible. Great except that the snow plough had left a ridge of compacted snow 16inches high all down the gutter. So I dug that out too and dug back across the pavement to our gate.  That meant if I came out of the drive too fast, I had a fighting chance of stopping on the pavement.  Our exit is totally blind so I did not want to slide into the road! I wondered about doing a practise run but decided against it as I was afraid of compacting the snow between the car and the gate and then sliding around on that later on. All this was accomplished by 9 am.

At 1300 I loaded up the car with things for my daughter, Ruth, and an overnight case for me. And very gingerly drove up the ramp to the gate and on out, stopping neatly to check on the road traffic. The Saab behaved impeccably. I had expected tail-sliding but nothing at all untoward happened.

I drove to Cheltenham, booked into the George Hotel and walked round to the hospital to see Michael who was bored at not having any visitors for five days due to the snow. Ruth arrived from Kuala Lumpur an hour later and he was delighted. We stretched the visiting hours a bit, left at 2000 hours, ate in the hotel and went to bed happy. Saturday morning was devoted to retail therapy. I don't know about this recession, Cheltenham folk were burdened with bags and parcels and the cash tills were ringing merrily. Saturday afternoon Anne (daughter from Leamington Spa) appeared with her daughter, Maddie, at the hospital and I gather there was much gossip and laughter. I went in late so that Ruth and Anne could see a lot of Michael. Afterwards we adjourned to one of Raymond Blanc's brasseries and had a very good meal plus bottle of wine. The meal was notable for Maddie (aged 11) having Moules marinere plus roast duck and trimmings and demolishing the lot as well as three slices of bread.

Today was a lovely clear warm day after all the rain yesterday. The snow has goen in Cheltenham.  I bought books at Waterstones, one of which is a nice textile book, stocked up at Waitrose and went to see Michael who is definitely improving.

I then drove home to find the river Severn lapping at the edge of the road at Upton-on-Severn and all our snow gone. That road will be flooded tomorrow. The flood plains are all under water already.

I have thought about textiles during the last few days. I have had an idea for a jacket for some months but could not quite see how to achieve the effect I wanted. I suddenly realised that I need to wind 12 warps, each for a 2 inch wide section and tie dye each of the warps twice. Basically white with darkish blue and red. I would quite like to do it in cotton but I don't like dyeing with Procion dyes as I have not enough experience. So I will do it with Texere's 2-ply white wool yarn and acid dyes. The weft will be the same undyed yarn and I will use a 3-and-1 twill to bring out the colours. But I do need to clear the garage out before I start dyeing. I have just bought some storage from IKEA for the garage in an attempt to rationalise the dye collection. That needs dealing with before I start on a major dyeing project.

I also have to make a start of the next fan reed weaving  on the Louet Kombo. I am giving a talk on Silk to the London Guild this summer and have promised to include a section of weaving silk with a fan reed. I have samples already I need to produce an avi as well to show how the fan reed  is operated. I want to include a dark line between sections.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More and more snow

I went over to Cheltenham General Hospital and spent Sunday night over there. It was the first time I had seen Michael for a week what with Worcester Royal infirmary (=WRI) closing to visitors and the snow on the Malvern Hills. The ward is not very fussy about visiting hours so I was able to spend a lot of time with him. He is still not able to walk but his mind is okay. He has been reading Karl Popper and J E Gordon's Structures and asking me to order up some more books. Which would be here if the post could only get to us.

I thought that I would dig the car out today and go over to see him but there has been another heavy fall of snow overnight and my major problem is getting out on the local road - which is a very steep hill and is treacherous at the moment. So I have abandoned the idea.  The patio furniture (left) looks cute. I love the squared off block on the table - 10 to 12 inches high. The fox tracks which were there yesterday are filled in this morning and so are my own boot marks. I was short on bread but knew we had some yeast in the fridge so made bread yesterday. That and the contents of the store cupboard and freezer will keep me going.

Yesterday I completed 5 metres of silk on the Megado and cut it off, mended it and washed it. It is now ready to be ironed and then I will see if it is okay. The temple marks on the selvedge seem to have disappeared. But a close examination on the ironing table will tell me.

Trials putting photos of Tampa Bay behind those of cut-out caladium leaves continue and I have done all that is needed for one side of the book's pages. More practise with PhotoShop CS! What you see on the left will be folded down the middle and is 2 pages. I have started on the front cover and processed lots of photos for the other side of the book's pages.  Not sure about text yet. I don't want just photos. Suppose I use the names of the caladiums and find a photo (not including a caladium) to match each?

Saturday, 9 January 2010


I have sorted out my photos of caladiums and played around with them in Photoshop. They are printed out two to a page and stuck together with sellotape for this mockup. Then the upper part of the leaf is cut out.

Left is a view straight on of Page 1 which is not the cover. This was printed on ordinary 80gsm copier paper on the Colour Laserjet just to see if there was any mileage in the idea. The back of what you see is blank at the moment but would be paintings and text.

The covers would be board and the paper would be Bockingford printed on the Inkjet printer. The major artistic doubt is the background colour. I got rid of all distracting backgrounds and made them plain grey. I am not sure about this, neither the colour nor the plain-ness. I wonder if it needs a textured background. Experiments are called for. I wonder if photos of Florida are needed

Friday, 8 January 2010

Still on Rainbow

My method for printing Rainbow has been, put 4 sheets of Bockingford and one sheet of standard copier paper in the back tray of the Canon, set up the printer to print sheets 1,3,5,7 and 9. Page 9 is for the endpapers which can't be Bockingford 190gsm as it is too stiff. Go upstairs remove the endpapers, turn round the other four sheets and insert them upside-down, go downstairs and set up to print sheets 2,4,6,8. There are two book pages to a sheet. That has worked fine until this morning when the printer refused to print. Poking about and several trials proved that the problem was the Bockingford  which is from a newly opened pack. The Canon will print a page from that pack at a time but it won't contemplate printing if there is more than one sheet in the feed tray. Interesting. Gives me lots of exercise. I must have been up and down stairs 10 times in the last 30 minutes. I have now finished all the printing and page trimming and will have to wait for some hours to let the covers dry.

Panic set in last night when I realised I was about to run out of PVA and the prospect of walking 2 miles each way in the snow to the local Art Shop  was daunting. I did wonder if the deli was functioning as  they have nice coffee and cakes. But I found a new bottle of PVA so coffee will have to be here - and no cakes.

I decided I would have to find another piece of cloth for the last set of covers. Another hunt through the stash produced something acceptable and it is has been cut to size, ironed and PVA'd to a sheet of paper. It is now drying under pressure.

And here they all are. I like the top left best. The strange background around the middle left is because the photo is a composite. That one is with Michael in hospital. All the fabric is a close-woven cotton. The two very dark ones behaved well, came from a quilt shop in Worcester. The middle left is a piece of Swiss hand-dyed cotton.. The other two are American cottons bought from a quilt shop in Tampa Bay in 2008.

Tomorrow I will draw some caladiums.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Binding Rainbow

The snow has come in earnest. The road outside our door is a typical Malvern Hills road, Very long and very steep. The snow plough was round once but that does not do much good when the snow is still coming down. So every morning, the road is full of abandoned cars, some of them slewed across the road. By mid-day, they are all gone and then it starts again. I walked round the garden today in glorious sunshine and the snow is mostly eight inches deep. There are long icicles hanging from one of the gutters. One of the jobs on my job-list says ' Clean out gutters'. Clearly they need it.

Better to stay indoors and get on with weaving and binding Rainbow. I have finished two more copies and the last two will be finished tomorrow. I will put up a picture then.

I have been re-reading 500 Handmade Books (chosen by Steve Miller, Lark Books, 2008, ISBN 978-1-57990-877-5). The photos are good. It is mostly one book to a page and they vary between very traditional leather binding and avant-garde bindings where you have to look carefully to see which bit is the book in amongst the piano hinges and the ammonites. The more I read it (I think this may be the fourth careful inspection in a month), the more I see the point of the less traditional bindings. I am beginning to feel/see a new binding project. I did a fold-out book for my last project when doing City and Guilds in Creative Sketch Books. It had Pop-up buildings which I love. This new one will be based on Caladiums - seen in Tampa Bay in June 2008 and loved. I managed to buy three corms in the UK last spring and they behaved well. The nursery is not selling them this year. 'Not enough interest'. I am trying to get mine through the winter. I have hunted through most UK seed catalogues and no-one offers caladiums. This topic needs research!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow! (and Binding 'Rainbow')

The Met Office has been threatening us with snow for at least two weeks. Well, it has arrived. This is one view of the garden. It is so quiet - no traffic - just thick snow coming down steadily. The garden is all white and the cordon apples and pears are standing out in black and white against the high dark green laurel hedge. I can't take a photo of them, the angle and distance from any window are all wrong.

The hills are invisible which is a daft comment as I can't see the trees on the Common across the road and they must be all of 50/60 yards away.

And here is a pot on the patio - the snow is already a higher rim. I won't be going out today - not even sick-visiting because the hospital has shut its doors on visitors. They have taken to doing this if they have  any outbreak of infection. Michael has collected himself a telephone so I had a long talk to him this morning and he says several hospitals in the district are closed to visitors. That makes me feel better in one way. I don't have to feel guilty about not having the courage to go out in this weather. But then I don't get to see him.

The first two covers have been glued, folded, trimmed and pressed - see photo on left.

I made a card  template for punching holes in the text pages and in the two covers and bound them together using the best length of kumihimo braid which was just long enough. The thick kumihimo is clearly far too thick. I will try plaiting some fine ribbon otherwise we are in a long wait while I make some more fine braid.

And here is a sample of the text. I did have fun with Inkscape and Photoshop.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Printing 'Rainbow'

I have printed out the first copy of 'Rainbow' on Bockingford.  It is certainly one way of getting exercise. There are seven double sided pages to print and the Inkjet is only single sided so one side gets printed, then the same sheet put back in and printed on the other side. The unfortunate part is that the Inkjet is installed upstairs and Framemaker which is controlling the printing, is installed downstairs so much running up and down stairs to reload the printer. It  was printed out completely on 80gsm paper first to check on the alignment. The quality is much better on the Inkjet and I used the highest possible output setting for the Bockingford.  Amazing how much brighter the colours are than on the Laserjet. The book is quite small with the actual pages 5 inches by 3. I tried the pictures 25% bigger and did not like it.

I hunted through my fabric stash and found some suitable cotton which was PVA'd onto paper for the cover of the first book. It is drying off now. The boards are cut and I have found two lengths of kumihimo braid which might do. One is very suitable but a bit short, the other is okay and plenty long enough but rather thick. I intend to make five copies and will have to make some more braid. I did search my two boxes of ribbon but there is nothing there unless I plait together three different colours of thin ribbon - might work. I might try that tomorrow.

I have done no weaving because I did not sleep well last night and don't want to make a mess of it. Printing and binding 'Rainbow' is  much less taxing.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Bah Humbug

New Year got off to a cracking and unwelcome start. We went out to lunch on New Year's Day and had a great time. Good food and good company. Michael was complaining of pains in his legs. By evening he had lost the ability to walk so I took him to the A&E in Worcester. Eight and a half hours but they kept him in hospital so life revolves around getting there for visiting hours. He will have an MRI scan tomorrow and, until then, we have to wait. Yesterday was spent sleeping and answering the phone, telling family and friends what was up. Today I have actually done the ironing, lots of washing and managed a bit of weaving.

Before this happened, I got out the paper I intend to print the Rainbow book on. It is Bockingford double sided Inkjet paper. I had to revise my plans immediately. The paper is 190 gsm and far too thick to fold so my plans to include two foldout pages had to be ditched. I also redid the layout after the first trial printing and created end papers.
The front endpaper says Rainbow and I found out how to get an image into the text in Photoshop.

The back endpaper is just a partial rainbow on a real sky - photographed at Bosham harbour. I do not need a double page spread for the endpapers because it is a Japanese stab binding.

I have found suitable dyed cotton in the stash which will be the cover material. I do need some suitable cord. I may have to make some using kumihimo but that is quite restful and will calm me down.
I have tried the Inkjet printer to make sure it still works as I have not used it for a month or so.  I must now go and look for a really nice picture and print it out on the Bockingford paper to test that.

A Happy New Year to you all with lots of textiley happenings and a calm and peaceful life.


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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.