Monday, 9 May 2011

Over the Weekend

I spent Saturday and Sunday away from here. On Saturday Kennet Valley Guild was practising for the Newbury Coat Re-enactment (June 25/26 at Newbury Corn Exchange). 19 spinners managed to produce 800 gms of spun yarn in a short time and the weavers wound a warp from some of it. I now have this at home and will start putting it on the Megado today. I don't think it will be easy as the yarn is sometimes quite tightly spun. The idea is to weave a typical length. It will be the same width as the final cloth but about 2.5 yards long rather than 3.5 yards. The intention is to finish the cloth as it will be done on the day and see what the shrinkage is like.

I spent yesterday evening, replacing tie-on cords on the Megado's sectional warp beam.  I followed the instructions faithfully several years ago when  I set up the loom but the cords stop well short of the back of the castle. I have always thought they could be longer because, if you are only using shafts 1 to 4, you could get another 12 inches closer to the fell-line. Anyway the cords are all now lengthened by 12 inches.

On Sunday I attended a day of talks at the Stroud Textile Festival. The talks were billed as weavers and technology. All five speakers have moved away from weaving only. For instance Ptolemy Mann who weaves wonderfully coloured ikat pieces also does a lot of work as a colour consultant for architects and has designed the internal and external colour schemes for several hospitals. Laura Thomas  embeds yarn and weavings (particularly Leno weave) in acrylic blocks. She has recently done 'stained glass windows' for a museum by embedding yarns in glass. Asha Thompson has developed a method of weaving metallic yarns into fabric which has be used as inter-connects for electronics. Given my background in electrical engineering, I found this is really fascinating. One interesting fact is that (I am guessing) they were all under 40.

In between times I have managed to continue with the tidying up program. I managed to clear up the garage on Friday so that I can now consider a dyeing session. When I have time for it that is. I have to weave some woven shibori immediately the Newbury Coat cloth is finished. And I will have to dye that fabric so maybe it won't be too late before I get the dye pots out.

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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.