Wednesday 30 January 2013


The weaving class went well. With a bit of help from my friends (thank you Bonnie), the tension problems were sorted. The first person to weave on the Meyer got on fine and a colourful pattern was produced. I had to make it clear to everyone that I had no idea what colour combinations would look good. Everyone is getting on with their own projects and making progress.

After the class, three of us retired to the nearest service station and discussed what to do about Linda Scurr's handspun. It is definitely a 9 epi fabric so floats of more than 3 threads are not allowed.  We settled for dog's tooth and organised the colours to use all the yarn. Then home.

On Monday evening, I went over to Leamington Spa to look after my grandson. I took the Voyager and warped it up with some tie-dyed cotton. The dye was indigo and this is supposed to be warp ikat. The warp looks as though it has gone on so the pattern will show up. nicely When I have woven a bit, I intend to tie-dye some cotton for the weft.

Today is bookbinding and I must go into town this morning and see what I can organise in the way of end-papers. My problem is that the Jules Verne book is American size and I need a piece of paper which is slightly bigger than US paper. This is because it has to be printed on the laser jet (the inkjet runs if it comes in contact with anything water-based) and the laser jet printer will leave a white margin round the edge, in effect slightly less than US paper. So I am going to see what the local printer can do.

And in amongst all of this, I have written my talk for next Saturday but don't like it. It is not well focused. So I have posted a flashdrive to my sister who is the ideal audience.

Monday 28 January 2013

Spa Weekend(2)

Lots of exercise and massage on Friday and Saturday. I attended a class on Zumba dance. I suspect this is an exercise artefact and not a true dance. Anyway after 15 minutes of leaping about the room, my knees started to protest so I chickened out. I've got quite enough wrong with me without my knees giving trouble so I abandoned the class. The other three survived to the end of the 45 minutes but came out saying they needed a long rest.

The party was in our room (Anne and mine) on Saturday evening.  Champagne this time! On Sunday morning I drove from Ashby dela Zouche to Newbury and joined the first Guild weaving class of 2013. Thanks to Bonnie Inouye, the tension problems on the Meyer loom were solved and one of the students wove on it during the whole class time without any problems. Everyone in the class was sorted and working away by the end of the class. One person has actually finished her samples and is getting on with the main body of her weaving.

After the class, I went to a service station and discussed with Linda Scurr what she wanted doing/would accept as a suitable draft for her woven handspun.  The problem is that, as I suspected, it needs to be set at 8epi and a float of any longer than 3 threads is too long so we are stuck with using nothing more complex than a twill variant. It turned out that Linda wanted a dogs-tooth weave anyway so we separated, all happy.  I have all the yarn she has spun and have to weigh it all, work out how many metres of yarn I have and then deal with the colour arrangement. I have 2 black skeins, 2 white skeins and lots of mottled/coloured skeins.

I have one or two little drafting jobs to do immediately but more important than anything, I need to finish a talk I am giving to the Guild next Saturday on Textile Techniques in the Far East. The problem is that I think I have put in far too much info and the audience will be bewildered. So my sister, Dorothy, is going to look at it and give her opinion.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Spa Weekend

This weekend is 'Spa weekend' and, in addition to Ruth and Anne (my daughters) and myself, Charlotte is coming and it is her 21st birthday as well.

Two friends came round on Friday morning and helped me dig the car out of its snow drift. We had to dig the path to the gate out as well as the pavement.  Then we packed the car. Why you might ask do I need two 12-shaft looms, a warping frame, four large bags full of yarn of various sorts and innumerable boxes full of cotton. The answer is that the first day of the Guild is Sunday and I am going there straight from the spa which is at Ashby dela Zouche.

But to return to Friday. I managed to get the warp on the 12 shaft Meyer loom, tie it on, correct errors (only two) and weave a bit. I am not very happy about this loom. The newest problem is that the distance between the breast beam and the first shaft is very short so there is not much space to work. I can't use my standard Bluster Bay shuttles but used a very small one from Bluster Bay and a Leclerc which is quite low. But there is a serious problem with the tension. If  you rachet up the tension as much as possible, then the lifted threads are worryingly tight while the unlifted threads are very slack so the shed does not clear well. I am using 16/2 cotton. If I was using a thicker yarn  then it might be okay but, as it is, I have to clear the shed manually at every throw.

There is not much more I can do about this loom. The Guild weaving class is going to weave on it , or five of them are. The old clanky 12 shaft which belongs to the Guild is similarly warped up and is fine so all I can do is offer the students, who were down for the Meyer, an opportunity to weave on the other one.

The colour combination of the first draft for the four colour double weave is good, a warp of airforce blue and apricot and a weft of yellow and green.

And now to the Spa. I have already taken lots of unaccustomed exercise and have a full programme today. Something about this place I had forgotten is the number of showers you have to take. At the end of the weekend, you feel awfully clean!!!

The spa provided a cake for Charlotte last night and we had a good wine with the dinner. Though I did feel that fruit cake with marzipan and royal icing was not appropriate at a spa!

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Threading Up the Meyer Loom

It snowed seriously last night. I looked out at 7 this morning and thought 'it has snowed again' and went off to find breakfast. When I drew the curtains at 8, I was shocked to see 9 or 10 inches of snow on the patio table. So I scrubbed going to the bookbindimg class and settled down to threading up the Meyer loom. I have to report that, after yesterday's outburst from me, it all went very well. I am getting through an inch in less than an hour. There are 48 ends per inch and it is not straightforward being a four colour double weave. I have done 6 inches and that included rigging up lights, tyeing up the reed and so on. So I hope to be done by lunch tomorrow. I might do a bit more tonight - after David Attenborough's Africa which starts in a few minutes.

Even More of a wreck

This terse beginning is to express my indignation at the Meyer 12 shaft loom. The last blog said it had taken some effort (mostly on the part of the Handweaver's Studio) to discover that, while all the 8 shaft looms appear to use Phillips No 2 screws, my loom uses Posirdrive No 2 screws - and it requires a considerable amount of force to undo the screws. The  shafts themselves are good - black enamelled metal soldered/welded together on three sides and a fourth side which is screwed on.
The problem is with the attachment of the shafts to the levers which move teh shafts up and down. A length of Tex-Solv cord is used which is looped into a hole in the top bar of each shaft. The cord then goes through three holes and onto the wooden lever which move teh shaft up and down. Problem. The assembly was quite clearly done by putting the cord in completely, then applying a match to each end - which makes the cord dimensions greater than those of the three holes. What is more, if the re-assembly is carried out in the original way, the cord has to be inserted in the first hole (which is too small for it) and blind because tthe cord is coming up from below the loom top and you cannot see still less get your hands in.
Last night, I spent two hours adding 50 heddles to each of four shafts. This morning, I decided to abandon this method of cording and put in a variant of my own. This started at the top of the loom where there is good visibility. I anchored the cord to the shaft lever using a Tex-Solv anchor. Now the original method used a very small Tex-Solv anchor and I replaced it with a standard one. No harm done, the lever shaft does not need to be space-saving. I could then poke the cord through the three drilled holes and into the hole in the metal shaft, then used the very small Tex-Solv anchor to secure it.
Photo of a shaft immediately after it was removed from the loom. Note the simple loop fatsening in Tex-Solv cord and the screws at the left hand end 

The loom from below. I haed it propped upon end while I worked on it. Note how closely packed the shafts are.
The top of the shaft is away from  the top of the loom and there is space to get a hand in to secure the cord. Apart from being much easier and faster, it is better because I can adjust the length of the cord at either end, All in all, an exhausting day.

The last four shafts of the twelve took me 40 minutes to add 50 heddles to each and re-assemble. And when the original cord had a lump on one end so it would not go through the drilled holes, I replaced it. I replaced four cords.  It all seems to function correctly after all the trauma and is all tied up ready for me to start threading up. I am going to warp up this one from front-to-back because I am not at all sure I am doing to get all the warp length on to this dinky little loom. If I warp up front to back, I can retain the cross, cut off any excess and tie it on when what's on has been woven off. One additional thing I did was colour-code the shafts. 8 shafts is fine but 12 shafts needs colour coding in my opinion.

 A close-up of the new fastenings on the shaft levers  - on the left while the small original one is on the right.

 Adding extra heddles to a shaft. If the side bar is swivelled on one screw then it holds one set of heddles ends securely while the other ends are slid on to the upper bar.
I have been to the first evening class on cameras. I learnt a lot even in the first session. We are still snowed in and I whistled up a taxi to get to teh college. It is snowing heavily at this moment.

Monday 21 January 2013

A Total Wreck

That's me - a total wreck. A Linux expert came to sort out my email problems and poked about for a few minutes. Then announced that the hard drive on the master server was on its way to the great dustbin in the sky where it would (presumably) live happily ever after, knowing that it had served for seven years. There was the small point that a lifetime of emails and my address book were on this machine. AAAAARRRRGGGGHH!

I have prepared (slightly) for getting rid of the Linux machines by starting a Google account and I was thinking of moving things. The other thing I did immediately after New Year was to check that there were no files I wanted/needed on either of the Linux machines.  The expert did know how to get the info into Googlemail! And the address book has been successfully transferred. I have editted out all the unwanted addresses and recreated the Groups. He also transferred the email folders across. Some of them have gone across but not them all and I am not sure about the contents. He did mutter about it all taking 24 hours so I will wait a bit.

That, as you can imagine, has taken a great deal of time. I did start on adding heddles to the Meyer 12 shaft only to run into problems trying to get the shafts unbolted. Eventually Wendy Morris discovered the right screwdriver to use and I have undone one shaft. I have finished off the enamels and they are hung. I don't see me doing any weaving as I have wasted most of today instead of warping up the Meyer 12-shaft.

Sunday 20 January 2013

That'll never work!

Thanks to Sandra Rude for pointing that there would be nasty floats in the feathers draft and, after 3 years, it is all coming back to me. The draft was designed to be woven in 90/2 silk which would be set at 60 epi. And what's a 7-thread float in that? Not important. But if your sett is 8 epi, boy, have you got problems! So I set about twills and, if you're not careful, you get 5 thread floats in that. This fabric is definitely limited to 3 thread floats. So simple does it and I will have to rely on colour - and coming from a sheep, the yarn will be pretty monochromatic. Oh well. I have asked from an interview with the owner of the yarn!! 

One odd thing happened last week. 2 weeks ago, two of us cleared out the studio of a deceased bookbinder and I acquired a cardboard box 3 inches thick of paper. I could see it was a mixed bag but, when I investigated last week,  the contents were a bit startling (no, no I said startling, not indecent). There were a number of elderly calendars of maritime scenes and a large number of sheets with calligraphy practice on them and about 20 A1 sheets of handmade paper (very nice) and several large pictures, eg of owls, of the earth and one poster.  I can't find this on the web - see below. It looks like a copy of a 1930s poster but might be modern. But I like it though I would not have bought and will give it a home.

I have finished the enamels piece on the Megado. When I inspected the previous weaving which was done with smaller enamels three years ago, I found the grey silk of the pockets was sagging so decided I would have to do something more secure.  I am not sure I did the right thing but it's too late now. When I got to the stage of inserting an enamel, I rubbed down the back with sandpaper and then put a thin layer of  Araldite over the back. A  layer was also spread on the cotton fabric at the back of the pocket (not easy!) and then I inserted the enamel slowly and carefully. The first one which is in the top row in the photo, I did not do well but the next row containing two, I did much better.  The piece has been cut off and I will leave it untouched under tomorrow morning when the Araldite will have set.
I have at least  a metre of usable warp left and have decided what to do, indeed I have adjusted a draft to do it. Kennet Valley Guild weavers have all been issued with postcards of paintings by Gerhard Richter and, by March, everyone has to create a weaving based on their postcard. One weaver has finished his work of art - a spectacular demonstration of clasped weave!! When he showed it round, you could see everyone thinking 'Must get on with that!!'.  My offering is going to be a table runner.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Back to the Megado

Well, not quite. I spent the morning tidying up mostly paperwork but answering emails as well and sorting out dates for courses. I also paid the Tax man which requires transferring money around and that all takes time.

One interesting thing I did yesterday was to create some Bateman Chevron drafts, thinking that they would be useful for the handspun I am about to weave but I thought the drafts were boring and went back to a draft based on feathers.

I have put in the grey and black plus some white dyed indigo in three shades. the weft is white. I like this but am bothered. Is this someone else's draft and, if so, whose? It is on 32 shafts which make it sound unlikely that someone else did it.  There are no notes on the topic. I will have to search the web and see what I can find. The draft is dated March 2010. Anyone who recognises it please get in touch. I don't want to get across someone else's copyright.

Friday 18 January 2013

Snow in the Garden

The weather forecast said snow and, at 7 am, there was about one tenth of an inch. By 9 am there was four inches and, by 4 pm, there was more than 8 inches. I can hear vehicles struggling up the hill but I am not going anywhere. I stocked up on groceries yesterday and parked the Saab in the forecourt where it is easiest to get of the gate and have settled down to textiles, in particular, weaving. The photos above are of the garden. Tomorrow I must go out and knock the snow off the conifers before the weight damages them. I cancelled going to Bournville today and Rosie cancelled the weaving class at Newbury for tomorrow morning and Hampshire Guild (where I was due to lecture tomorrow afternoon) cancelled their meeting. Anne and family decided not to come over on Sunday for lunch. So my diary is clear!!

The above are samples of four colour double weave woven on one of the 12 shaft looms. The colour combinations are interesting and I find I cannot predict what will turn up.  The top photo shows two weft yarns of wool dyed by me which are used in the sample in the same photo. I like this combination best but the lower photo shows various other combinations. I have finished my samples, cut them off and tied the warp on again. So that's one loom done. I will start on the other one tomorrow but I have work to do on the loom first. It has come with only 50 Tex-solv heddles per shaft and I need to increase that to 100 per shaft. Also I want to colour-code the heddles. Using a highlighter (which I did on some of the Megado heddles) fades while the Megado heddles which I painted with acrylic paint have not faded. I will use Perma-set fabric paints on this new loom.

I have decided how to deal with the enamels and need to rejig the draft. I had designed a 3 by 3 system with one enamel in each row. Now I intend to have only two rows with enamels in the outer two pockets of the lowest row and one enamel in the centre of the top row. That way I ought to be able to get the enamels into the pockets. 

Also I have been asked to weave some handspun into fabric for a waistcoat and have been delving in some of the Bateman books from Shuttlecraft. IThe originator of the yarn wants a tartan but I don't like the idea. Firstly it would need to be matched across seams and secondly can I be sure I can get a tartan absolutely even and equal in dimensions? I want a definite pattern but something that does not have to be matched across seams. So I may knock up some Bateman weaves in Fibreworks to see if they will do.

I have several free days to do this in!!!

Thursday 17 January 2013

One Loom Done, One to Go

I have finished warping up one of the 12 shaft looms and, after a lengthy search for errors, I have finished the first sample. As you can see, the warp is magenta and fern green. The weft was green and white and the two greens are too near each other. I have three more samples to weave and will experiment with weft colours. I have the feeling that the two warp colours are too light and I will try one of the weft colours as much darker. I will play with colours in Fibreworks to see what looks best.

The central heating boiler has been successfully replaced. And the builder has finished in the sittingroom. The ceiling has been lowered by 9 inches but the room was so high that it is hardly noticeable. Indeed I think the room proportions are better.

And it has started snowing. The forecast is very gloomy for the next few days. I have cried off going to the Bourneville class tomorrow and may have to cry off the events of Saturday. I will not take any decision until Friday evening.

To be honest I am looking forward to the next few days. I have a chance to work on several projects and possibly even finish a few. I went to the supermarket today and am all stocked up.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

You don't get if you don't ask

As I get older, I go by the above title more. And it happened twice today.

When I got back from Japan, I wanted to do some more ikebana flower arrangement but was astounded by the price of the ceramic holders. So I asked a local potter if he could make some - and today I took possession!!
 And here they are. Very Japanese looking and just the thing. The two tall vases are seven inches high.

And then I visited Beckford Silks for coffee and cake and a look round. I bought a remnant of white velvet to play with dyeing but I also bought a length of printed velvet.

This was hanging up with several other patterns in a special display and, when I asked where the roll was, I was told it was finished, so I asked if I could buy that length and the young girl said no in horrified tones. I went off and found the owner and asked her. Result - one happy customer departing with 2.7 m of gorgeous dark blue Art Deco patterned velvet to make a jacket out of. I did shock the owner when I said the next problem would be to select a lining, how about bright red or black with some embroidery. She thought gold.  I think that's a bit dull. I will have to consult Gill Arnold about this.

Today the central heating was finished, the ceiling is done and the plasterer comes tomorrow and the computer engineer is currently trying to fix both machines at the same time.

Monday 14 January 2013


It has snowed over night and is going to snow again. And we have installed in the house, two builders taking the sittingroom ceiling apart to insulate it and two central heating men installing a new boiler in the cellar. So no heating or water until tomorrow afternoon and lots of noise. I have filled two large pans and the kettle with water and washed everything in sight.

I had thought that I would deal with all the email business while restricted to my office ( the rest of the house is definitely out of bounds) but the email is not functioning properly and I am not at all sure that what I send leaves the house. I am going to have to make some phone calls to check on things for next Saturday when the spring weaving class starts.

We went to see The Hobbit yesterday. Over long and too many fights with orcs mounted on Wargs. I don't see why they had to spin out a quite small book into three films but the spinning out is padding. But the acting was good and so was the scenery. Oh well, I am just a crotchety old lady suffering from nothing going to plan.

I have got a lot of the 13 meter warp wound on to the Kennet Valley loom. and ought to get that completed today.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Verdi Operas

It's 200 years since Verdi was born and I have just realised that Radio 3 is having a fit of Verdi complete-itis. When I drove home on Thursday evening, it was to the accompagniment of Simon Boccanegra from Milan - Placido Domingo singing no less. 20 years ago, it was not performed at all. In the last few years, I have seen two productions. Yesterday evening it was Il Trovatore from the Met. It made the process of changing all the heddles round much pleasanter. I was not even cross when I dropped a shaft on the floor as I tried to re-install it. The shafts are all properly kitted out now and I have started winding on. 

Michael, by the way, was not very keen on Verdi as a whole but he did like Simon Boccanegra and he would travel halfway across England to see a production of Falstaff. He was totally against Puccini and I had to threaten him to get him to Turandot which I happen to like. Threats, by the way, consisted of 'Very well then, I'll go by myself'. It worked every time.

Yesterday was the Bookbinders AGM and we took a load of stuff from a deceased bookbinder's studio to be sold. Most of it was taken. On a personal note, I suddenly realised that a guillotine was actually a greyboard guillotine!! so no more cutting covers out of greyboard with a knife!!! I am pleased. It will take A2. Now all I have to do is to find it a home! I also bought some nice Japanese paper and a bundle of handmade paper.  I have not done a lot of bookbinding lately and I am missing it. The bookbinding class starts up next Wednesday and I have work to do before that. Must get on!!!

Saturday 12 January 2013

When I stayed with Ruth and Robin this week, they had uncovered various things from their container of belongings from Kuala Lumpur. Some of them are shown above. These are antique wooden blocks probably for printing wax on fabric for batik but suitable for stamping on fabric. The biggest is about 6 inches square. They have all had a good scrub and maybe this week I might have enough time to play with them. The other thing they found was two rolls of Chinese paper which I bought in KL for lino-cuts. Again some day soon!! There are still things missing but then they have not got halfway through the boxes yet!! What is missing are two wooden stands for draping fabric over, very nicely ornamented with carving - from the Chinese Market in KL and a beautiful brush holder. from the same stall I have no idea what I can use this for but it is beautiful.
This is the sample which contains three stiff pieces of paper in place of the enamels. The silk is a bit too dense and I shall weave the next sample with half the number of grey silk wefts.

I have done more than half the work needed on changing heddle counts on the Kennet Valley loom. I ought to be able to finish that today. Tomorrow I am going to see The Hobbit but might start the warping up.

Both computers are still not functioning. An engineer has been commanded to attend on Monday!!

Friday 11 January 2013


Trauchled mean being bothered, flustered - and that is me. Apart from dealing with the workshop of a bookbinder who has just died, I had the plumber round replacing radiators. this week. The best part of a bookbinder's workshop is now in my garage along with a whole lot of builder's materials. He starts on Monday to insulate a bit of the house - along with the gasman who is installing a new boiler. 

And I desperately need to get at least one of the 12 shaft looms warped up. When I started on that job on Wednesday, I realised that I changed all the heddles round last January because it was set up for Diversified Plain Weave this time last year. DPW needs lots of extra heddles on Shafts 1 and 2. The current warp needs equal numbers on each shaft - about 60 and several shafts have less than 50 so I have to have a major change round. A job I hate. I did have the brains to inspect my own 12-shaft loom  (which is the other loom I have to warp up) and discovered it was kitted out with 50 on every shaft. I was at Handweavers Studio on  Thursday and took the opportunity to buy 600 Tex-Solv heddles so that there will be 100 per shaft.

On Wednesday evening I drove down to Ruth's, stayed over night  and went up to Handweavers Studio for 1030 on Thursday. Complex Weavers ran a one-day course given by Jette VanderMeiden. It was called 'Up Tied Up' and it was about how to weave anything on a straight draw by altering the Tie-up. She is a very good tutor and had us  doing examples the whole day. I drove home that evening because of Bournville classes starting up today. 

In amongst all this, two of my computers are on the blink. I settled down to trying to sort out things this afternoon. I started on the Sony  laptop, went on  to talk to Sony and decided that I would use PC Callout because  it would cost about the same and, more important, PC Callout will come here while Sony wanted me to send them the laptop.  Now to deal with the other one. The two which have gone down are the Internet/email ones. The laptop is functioning nicely - except for Internet/email which does not function at all. The other one is functioning sort of but badly and it does not like photos in my blog so there will not be any today. I am told there are four copies of one photo from earlier in the week. I cannot see any of them and so cannot remove the extra.

I have finished a sample on the Megado. It is for Michael's enamels. I printed out a picture of each enamel on stiff paper and inserted them into the weaving. All very fine and good - but it will not work with enamels because I can bend the paper but I can't bend an enamel. So I cut off the sample and finished off the hems properly. I was so fed-up that I nearly cut the warp off  and threw it out but decided 'No, I'll think about it'. One solution would be rewarp completely and insert the enamels sideways. That has several disadvantages not least that I think the current way is stronger. But driving to London brought the solution and I can see how to make it work. I have decided to make another sample though - just to be sure.

So the jobs for the weekend are

- reorganise the heddles on the Guild loom
- wind on the warp and warp up
- weave some samples

Well I can always be optimistic. I think it may be Monday evening before I get round to weaving samples on the Megado.

Monday 7 January 2013

So Much For Textile Work

This is a needlecase made out of a scrap of left over weaving - by Cally Booker. I had not thought of using up scraps like that. A good idea, especially for selling at exhibitions.

On Saturday I agreed to provide drafts of various items, scarves, cushions and on Sunday I spent all day looking for said drafts. In particular, I was not expecting to find anything about the cushion as I made them years ago for my sister. But I did find the data, type of yarn, sett, what weight of yarn needed etcetera. And dated September 1982. 30 years old. Dorothy says they are holding up well. They look okay to me.

The warp is horizontal in the photo. The back is plain and the front has two blue and white boucle stripes. The first and last are woven with the back forward and then the body of the cushion is woven with a gap along the lower edge. You create fringes when it comes off the loom, sew Velcro to the insides of the side opening, push in a cushion and there you are.

I am having trouble with getting Google to deal with photos and I suspect that there is a photo of Cally's weaving - but I can't see it. I hope other people can see it.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Starting Off the New Year

Yesterday I managed to attend the Kennet Valley Guild meeting and a performance of Berlioz's Les Troyens. This was a High Definition broadcast from the New York Met in our local theatre complex. Fantastic. A cast of hundreds, all singing their heads off! It started at five and lasted five hours. So I went to bed singing (in my head). 

The result is that today is the first day of the New Year I have been at home with no commitments to do anything outside the house.  And my New Year resolution is to finish off as many projects as I can as quickly as possible. I have all sorts of good ideas I would like to carry out but I must finish off some of those underway. It is all complicated by going to London  on Thursday to attend a one-day Complex Weavers class at Handweavers Studio - and I will take the opportunity to inspect their yarn!!

But the immediate job is to deal with the post and send out several emails arising from yesterday's Guild meeting. And I have not unpacked since returning from Dundee. So that's today gone.  Maybe I will get some textile work done so that I will some photos. Maybe!!

Friday 4 January 2013

Back Home

The photos above are of Cally Booker's new Studio (see her blog here - very nice. The room is large - and high and the heating, lighting are included in the rent so you don't get any nasty surprises. I visited this yesterday morning and then had lunch with her. Her house is only a few minutes walk from the studio block.

I drove home this morning and have tidied up a bit. I have computer trouble - I can't get at any attachments which is a pest. I have thought of a complicated way to do it. Sigh! But at the moment I must make sure I have collected everything together for tomorrow which is Kennet Valley Guild day.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Happy New Year

A Happy and Prosperous New Year. Or in the local patois 'Lang may yer lum reek'. Translated as 'may you be able to buy coal so your chimney produces smoke'.

I am in Dundee where we had a quiet and very odd New Year. On New Year's Eve, it was extremely wet so we decided to spend the day textiling. One of my Christmas presents was a bottle of decolorant and I wanted to try it out. I used it above - on the left - on space-dyed cloth. Then used the same stencil to put on coloured versions, dark blue and orange. Not sure what will become of this - it would make a good book cover.
 And another piece using an Okinawan stencil with decolourant (the white bits) and Permaset textile inks. Again this might make a good book cover.

This piece, like the others, started out as a spaced dyed piece of cotton. The colours here were blue, purple and bright yellow (at the top and now cut off). It seemed a bit messy when I ironed it off but Dorothy persuaded me to pin it up on my design wall. The more I looked at it, the more it seemed like a landscape with a waterfall. So eventually I cut out the outline of the mountains at the top, begged a white and blue dyed piece of cotton from Dorothy and pinned it up again. Then I stencilled and painted trees on it and added threads to enhance the waterfall effect. When I get home, I will machine pine trees on it. So much for only doing weaving and bookbinding and not doing wall hangings! The work extended on to New Year's Day and we found ourselves cleaning up at 0930 last night.

Today I must get on with warp winding for Kennet Valley Guild class. I have wound about two thirds of one warp already.

Earlier in the week we went through to St Andrews Museum where Dorothy's Embroiderers' Guild has a big exhibition. A very talented bunch with a lot of stuff. They have 60 members and there were 220 entries. Here are a very few

This bowl is about12 inches across by Nancy Poole.

By Pat Cowieson
I liked the hydrangeas best. Most effect with minimum complexity



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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.