Monday, 8 September 2014

Thinking Aloud

The last three days have included rather a lot of scuttling about the countryside. On Saturday there was the monthly meeting of Kennet Valley Guild. I took a carload of stuff to Guild and got rid of it all. One large electrical drier 2 or 3 rubbish sacks full of handspun yarn, a bag of leftover fabric from two years ago (Newbury Coat) and the new fabric. Together with lots of smaller things. I brought home, the Guild banners, the Guild tablecloths, two large circles (4 feet diameter) with dyed skeins mounted on them, the Richter Stained Glass project. There was a four shaft loom as well. All of this is for the social event of the year, the Newbury Agricultural Show which I seem to be setting up this year.
On Sunday morning, I rose early, unloaded and tidied up the car, checked all the actions on me from  the Guild meeting - -  and carried them all out except one! Then I put on my poshest clothes and drove to Nature in Art (its usual interesting self) and then on to Corse Lawn Hotel for my birthday lunch with the family. We started at 1 and ended at 4 which showed what it was like. Nothing else got done that day.
Some nice handmade buttons from my sister, Dorothy, who knows what I like.
Today I rose early (again!), collected all the relevant stuff and drove northwards this time to steward an exhibition of Midlands Textile Forum. It is at Aardvark Books, Brampton Bryan which is very nearly in Shropshire. Needless I brought some books home. The visitors were very chatty and were mostly interested in textiles so it was all very pleasant. The weather is fabulous autumn weather. Temperature about 20 , clear blue sky and excellent visibility. The quality of light is very noticeable.
The thinking aloud bit comes from driving round the UK for three days, wondering what to weave next. It is all very complicated and so I want to write it all down. I warn you all, this may be incoherent. It's the old story. I don't know what I think until I have spoken it all out. (Then you realise it is all garbage and you should never have started in the first place) 
Currently I have 5 or 6 yards of Hana-ori on the Megado which will be straightforward to weave. I also have a piece of double cloth on the Louet in fine tencel which is intended for a book. It has been there for some years and time it was finished. If I weave one six inch repeat every day, it  should be finished in two weeks. Ditto the Megado. In other words, neither of these looms  is going to be available for at least two weeks. No other loom has a warp on it.
The guild four shaft is to be warped with yarn from the small Newbury Coat for the public to have a go at. It will take me a day to warp it up and test it and that has to be done before Friday, 19th, eleven days from now.
Weaving that I want to, have to, weave in the near future is
- a seamless garment in fine linen which can only be done on the Megado because that is the widest loom I have. It must be ready by mid-January, so the warp must be on by mid November. This also needs some tablet weaving but I have started that.
- A double cloth scarf in fine tencel which has pleats both sides. This would be much better done with two warp beams so that means either the Louet or the Megado. I do not really want to do this on the Voyager because I will have warp tension problems
- A 'Black Jack' project which I must do in November. The Guild biennial retreat is on in November and we are not having a weaving tutor but each person is doing a 'Black Jack' project. This comes from Ann Sutton's book and  each person is handed three cards, one each  from three different packs. Then they have to go and weave it. Mine is strong dark colours + include knitting + tweed. The trouble I have is with looms. I do not want to do a narrow piece for this so I need the Louet. This is going to be a fun project. Marion Proctor and I are working in tandem on it.
- In January the weaving course is doing tweed and, before that starts, I want to weave off a length of tweed which is totally reversible. This means stitched double cloth in a fine worsted and, as I am trying to marry this up to Rosie Price's newest Challenge (Charles Rennie Mackintosh by Easter). I need the Megado. Partly for the width but mostly for the fact that the draft needs lots of shafts. My idea is to use a ghost warp and resley for the second  length of fabric which will be in 90/2. The drafts for both are done.
So where does that leave me? The two last projects need to be done one after the other if a ghost warp is going to be used. I reckon the following would work
1) Hana-ori (finish end September
2) Seamless Garment (finish mid November) Check I have the right sort of fine linen  in the stash.
3) Reversible Tweed (finish mid Jan). Need enough to make a reversible jacket
4) Mackintosh silk (finish mid March
1) Finish current double cloth (mid October)
2) Black Jack (finish end November)
3) Double weave pleated scarf (Jan/Feb)
So there I am. Turned out a bit different. Immediate jobs are to finish the weaving on the Megado and the Louet. Sorry to bore you all with this rigmarole but it was worth it for me. 
Of course there is lot of dyeing needed for the Black Jack Project and the small matter of the Christmas cards!

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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.