Thursday 30 April 2015

Beiderwand and the Meyer

I have been fighting with the Beiderwand on the 12 shaft Meyer. I was convinced it was my draft at fault at first but reluctantly admitted to myself that it was the Meyer. The Meyer is tiny and warping up is not easy. One of the problems is that, when you lift a shaft  and the tension  is as high as it will go for the lifted shaft, the unlifted shafts are all slack and so the shed has to be cleared by hand. Which is very tedious as this means every second throw has to be cleared in this particular draft. So I padded up the back beam. There is now a hefty piece of wood strapped to the back beam which lifts the whole warp up  by a couple of inches and that makes all the difference. Also there are differential warp tension problems!! And for the first time in my life, I have three plastic milk containers hanging off the back of the loom. It still needs careful attention when weaving but the first sample is finished. The last two days have been full of nothing but experiment! I realise now that my recent weaving on this loom have been wool which is stretchy unlike the current cotton.
Top photo shows finished current sample which has the odd error due to slack threads. Lower one shows shafts being lifted. Now off to weave a second Beiderwand sample with stitched cloth this time. I will have to rethread after that for the Lampas samples but the drafts are ready. The colours are very lurid due to me looking for a colour in 10/2 cotton of which I had lots. I knew I would never use this orange for anything 'real' but it does offend my eye! The blue is 6/2 cotton.

An interesting effect I had not come across before is the denting. The threading is in groups of five threads as Shafts 1 or 2, n, n+1, n, n+1. I wanted 30 ends per inch and had a 12 dent reed so clearly one group would go nicely with the first two in one dent and the other three in the second dent. Not so. It would have been much better with the first three in the first dent and the second two in the second dent. This is because the last four threads are the warp for the main cloth and it would have been much better if two of the four threads were in each dent. I could not be bothered to resley after all the other troubles and will finish the Beiderwand samples. I have to rethread for Lampas anyway so will deal with sleying then. Though on thinking about it, there is not a problem. The main cloth is at 24 epi. I am doing the Lampas as 1:2 so the secondary warp is 12 epi which makes a total of 36 epi which is 3 threads per dent on my 12 dent reed. 1:2 means the threading is Shafts 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, n, n+1. A group will go nicely into one dent. Problem removed.

Monday 27 April 2015

Weaving Day

Saturday was a good day, lots of chat about weaving, admiration of people's weaving, discussion of plans, Guild and individual. We have decided to have a day in London , primarily for the Sonya Delaunay exhibition at Tate Modern. There was an inconclusive discussion on whether we should do another exhibition  or visit Handweavers Studio. The trouble with the last is that 12 enthusiastic weavers turn up at the same time, it brings the shop to its knees.
I got the Beiderwand threading half done and finished it off on Sunday. It is all ready to go.
The house move is progressing slowly, mostly throwing things out. My sister's is going faster but then the law is different - and faster in Scotland. So she is going to be homeless for four weeks and is coming to stay with me. The big problem is that 4 to 5 weeks is a long time and she needs to bring a lot with her! This has to include two large dogs and a cat.
The garden is putting on a fabulous show this year. Just saying goodbye to me.

Just a small selection from the photos I took this morning.

Friday 24 April 2015


What I had was a sedative not an anaesthetic. Well maybe but it knocked me out quite effectively. So I came to in the evening and spent the rest of the day yawning. I am still at Anne's house but will leave shortly. I have been thinking about jobs to be done and planning things. This afternoon I have to fetch back the Coptic shroud and this morning I must wind a warp and put it on the 12shaft Meyer. 

Tomorrow I am going to a weaving day in Newbuty. But high, nay, first, on the todo list is to get going on the Megado. 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Back Home

I returned home on Monday, having stayed Sunday night with my daughter, Ruth. Since returning, life has been full of doing things towards moving house, like answering lawyer's letters and looking for documents, organising service engineers etc.
I had a massive throw out of out-of-date paperwork as well.
I did spend a couple of hours last night sorting out a lampas warp for the 12 shaft Meyer and writing up details of what I want to do. Kennet Valley Guild has been troubled by its own success. It has always been the custom at Guild meetings to have a 'Weaver's Chat' where everyone says what they have been doing and shows their latest weavings. When there 6 or 8 of us, this would last less than an hour. Now there are about 20, it takes a long time and I, as Chairman, do not feel I can stay present all the time and neglect the rest of the Guild. So we are going to try having a whole (separate) morning to which people can bring looms. That is happening for the first time this Saturday and I would like to get ahead with the Lampas. So wind warp today and put it on Saturday.  Tomorrow and Friday are a write-off - I am due for Redditch hospital for the day and will need a day to recover from the anaesthetic.
Going back to the Lampas, you get more blocks out of a 12 shaft loom and the first, which is actually 1:4 Beiderwand is shown below.


Sunday 19 April 2015

Turin Day 3

This day we were driven up to a church.
Very grand and not at all bad from the outside but surprisingly dark and gloomy inside. If this were Germany, it would have been white and gold inside. 
We also viewed the mausoleum of the Kings of Italy. Oh well.
After that, we did have a treat. We went to the museum of the Agnellis, the Fiat dynasty. This is a very small gallery, beautifully designed to fit the few works of art in it. These were part of his collection and he left these ones to the city. Two Picassos, half a dozen Canalettos, two Matisses, two Futurists. Everything the very best of its kind.

In the evening we went out for a last dinner, very grand and in an ancient palace.
Comments? I won't be back. But it has been interesting.

Friday 17 April 2015

Turin Day 2

The mediaeval bell tower of very Baroque church. Today we are in Turin. It was pouring with rain and raincoats were worn. All very uncomfortable walking around the city. First off, the royal palace. Now my appetite for overstuffed, over decorated mid-Victorian rooms is limited and I was bored. However after two hours we moved on to the Gallery Sabauda which was a distinct improvement. Rembrandt, Veronese, van Eykh and Rembrandt. Not a bad lot. We separated for lunch and I went to the Royal Library. A nice exhibition about Roman inscriptions and a computer showing off their da Vinci drawings rather well.

Sorry about the reflection.

After lunch, inspection of various churches.

Including a mediaeval bell tower attached to a very Baroque church - rather horrible in fact. But the tower is nice. By this time the sun had come out and it was quite warm.

I have been keeping an eye open for textiles. There were a lot in the palace.

Some Jacquard silk on the walls.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Genoa Day 3

This gives an idea of the multilayeredness of Genoa

And this is taken looking down from the same spot.

I walked round Genoa from 0900to 1620 today and do not feel bad. So I have recovered from the tummy bug. We saw several churches, two palaces and a cathedral. We had sometime off so I went to see a big exhibition of German Expressionism, with 135 works from Berlin. I won't say 'Eat your heart out, Rosie' because you must have seen them. Lots of Nolde. But as I said to someone who inquired as to whether they should go. 'Yes but it is not cheerful'

I spent a lot of time tracking down abookbinder's museum in the old city only to discover it has gone out of business. Bah!

Another palazzo entrance


Last weekend all the females in the family went to Sprvings spa and had a good time exercising, swimming, being massaged and eating cake. Not to mention drinking wine in the bedrooms. I then drove to London, stayed the night with Ruth and took a plane to Milan on Monday morning where I joined the tour. We were bussed to Genoa. The last thirty minutes were on a typical Italian motorway. They do not bother about the mountains a a lot of tunnels and viaducts and glimpses of perilous rocks!

An escorted walk round the. City and time for supper - except I felt bad and retired to bed - to be very sick. An email to the females of the family produced the information that five of us had been sick so it was something to do with the Spa. On t he next day, I managed to walk everywhere but stayed off food. Today I am fine but rather hungry.

So what about. Genoa. Well it is a bit disappointing. I had imagined it as Florence by the sea but the palazzi are not like that. Inside they are stunning and the amount of high class art about is even more stunning . Rubens, van Dyke both worked here and left pictures to prove it. Genoa was also famous for silk textiles, especially velvet and several of the palazzi have the original textiles in use! Cut silk velvet on the walls and on th upholstery.

A doorway in the city. There are many of these.

A palazzo

A mediaeval ship in port complete with Neptune as figurehead.


Thursday 9 April 2015

Finishing Books

I have been finishing off two books while hanging about waiting for people, house surveyors, removal estimators, lawyers.
This is a large album. Lots of guard pages and so lots of space for insertions. It was bound in library style and has bookcloth on the spine and Malaysian paper on the rest of the album. The decorated paper is quite odd as it is printed cotton mounted on paper. I have acquired quite a few sheets of it.
This has a two piece cover with brown bookcloth on the spine and a cotton/silk ikat from Uzbekistan on the covers. It is not quite dry hence the slightly creased look. When totally dry, it will shrink and  pull all the creases out. The paper is Khadi paper with deckled edges.
In between times I am filling up forms about this house and deciding what is going and what stays. Tomorrow I am off to a spa with the other females of my family. Grand-daughters are ecstatic. At last they are old enough to come. I go straight from there to Italy, Genoa and Turin and a week. All very cultural and I will blog from there.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

More on Palettes

Yesterday I realised that my 'favorites' list of two years ago had been overprinted. Fortunately I had saved it as a separate list so I have spent some time adding things to my current rather small list.

Here is the photo plus, above, the palette generated. The green looks quite vibrant in the photo but not at notable in the palette. Nevertheless interesting.
I have done various bits of bookbinding today. They should be completed tomorrow and be ready for a photo shoot.

Monday 6 April 2015

Walking with a Camera

I have been attending a photography course at West Dean College over the Easter weekend. The introduction to this is that my daughter, Ruth, and I were at West Dean over Easter 2014 and talked to a lady who was attending said photography camera. We were so struck by what she said that we signed up for this year's course. The tutor lectured to us (not all that often) and then took us out into the countryside to practise composing photographs. So we had a lot of exercise but it was all overcast so the shots are not marvellous and my macro shots are better than my landscapes - which is what we were supposed to concentrate on.

On Sunday we went to Kingley Vale forest - the oldest remaining yew forest in England. The trees are more than 500 years old and are suitably gnarled.

I like the colours in the bark and can see me weaving something in these colours. I have been out today practising some more.
Not good- oh well.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Goodbye Malvern Hullo Reading

I have not bothered reciting the twists and turns of the months since October 2014. At that time, my sister and I decided we should sell our houses and buy one together. The new one was to be somewhere in the Reading area to be near where my weaving friends live and also convenient for my daughters. Well I have now sold the Malvern house and yesterday we had an offer accepted on a house in Reading. It has been quite difficult. We not only need space for us and visiting families but Megados, Louets and quilting tables, not to mention sewing machines and bookbinding tools. But this house has so many options that we are having no trouble fitting everything in. Move probably will take place in June. I have been throwing stuff out for the last few months. It is amazing what junk one keeps because it might come in handy. In other words, if you have the space (and we have cellars) you fill the space up! At the moment the garage is stuffed full of junk which is on its way to the tip.
I got Dorothy to fly down on Sunday and we drove to Reading on Monday and looked at houses. But now it is decided I have reams of paperwork to see to and also, much more important, I must finish what is on the Megado and will be on the Louet fan reed. I don't see why I cannot finish off a few projects while the lawyer's bill is increasing!
Back to textiles tomorrow.


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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.