Saturday, 23 January 2016

First class of the 2016 weaving course

Every year Kennet Valley Guild runs a course in weaving. It includes six days of teaching. This year we have nine students doing Beiderwand and Lampas and five doing double weave. My heart has been giving out about the first course. And yes it is difficult to take in. Some of the class had done a bit of weaving before coming today and were all saying that it all fell into place when weaving started so I feel more cheerful. And their samples are all looking like mine. I have done a raft of samples on both eight and twelve shaft looms. I have access to two table looms with twelve shafts so everyone will get a chance to weave on one of them. But this, of course, means I have to warp both looms up very soon. I reckon that they will be needed by the third class. The idea is for the students to do all the samples and then spend the last half of the course creating and weaving a project of their own. I have already heard enthusiastic discussions about the use of said projects. Tea towels, table mats, runners and wall hangings are all under discussion!

In the house we have been having a very exciting time and have ended the day rather poorer. Yesterday I received a brochure on courses at Dillington House in Somerset. And they have a summer school. Now Dorothy is working on improving her painting and I casually pointed out that the Summer School included a week's painting course. Before I quite knew what I had agreed to,  I was signed up to music courses and she was signed up to the painting course. I went off to the weaving class and, when I returned, the West Dean brochure had arrived detailing their Summer School. So guess what? Dorothy is doing another painting course and I am doing Lino cuts. After all that I settled to the diary and discovered that I needed to be very careful about flights home from Convergence so spent ages looking up plane times, train times, driving times to decide what to do. It is doable but I will go round to a travel agent in the next village, Mortimer, early next week and get them to cross check everything.

And as I said, we are a lot poorer but it should be fun.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Finished and Packed Up

I managed to weave more than a metre per day on the Megado and finished the fabric late afternoon on Saturday. Mind you, I did little else except on the 1985 Bible. So last evening was spent carefully sewing in the yarn ends where I had started a new bobbin. I did not finish the repairs before bedtime so there I was at 0700 hours this morning in the sitting room, still in pyjamas, finishing the yardage. The rest of the day was spent taking unsatisfactory photographs but eventually - - . What with an hour spent negotiating with DHL to pick up the package tomorrow, it was1730 before I collapsed and declared work over for the day.  And this evening I intend to wallow in Midsomer Murders so do not bother asking me to do anything till tomorrow. 

In between times,I have stripped the Bible's spine and it is all nice and clean. I will repair the pages tomorrow and show some photos on this blog.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Weaving like Mad

I got the Megado up and running on Tuesday and started weaving. But of course, I did not like the black weft. It is too thin so there was much turning out of drawers as I located what I had that was suitable (no time to send for any yarn) - and then wove a few inches of fabric with each. I have ended  with a very dark brown cottolin. Yesterday I got going and finished a metre of cloth. I aim to do one metre per day and am doing one hour's weaving, then one hour's pottering about. This time last year, I wove a metre a day and was in severe pain at the end. My osteopath was furious. That fabric was in silk and was 60 ppi whereas this is 24 ppi. But I am being careful.

I am not showing any photos as I am very wary of the HGA rules for submission which are that the design/fabric not be published. What, these days, does published mean? But I can tell you that it is Beiderwand on 32 shafts and I have created a design which is based on the ceramics produced by Pueblo Indians in SW America. The thing that delights me is the realisation that I have created a 32 shaft threading where I can alter the lift plan a lot and so create any number of other designs. So I leave you with three inspiring ceramics. I bought a tiny reproduction. I wish I had bought a bigger one - and more of them. They were made 500-1000 AD.

I am doing a lot of odd jobs. A magnetic holder is installed on the Megado. The paper  stash has been rationalised. This was the result of teaching a class on Sunday making Japanese style books. I found all sorts of things I had 'mislaid'. 

I took yesterday afternoon off to go to the first class I am attending in Reading. It means using my bus pass for the first time. The course is on Bach and is very good. I came home singing - silently of course!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Happy Bunny

I got the warp winding finished and on to the loom and all the threading finished. On Monday I will get it sleyed and start weaving. I am running late so next week is going to be busy. The process was not without incident. I managed to get the valet installed and gave it a good tug to ensure the screws were in the ceiling securely. I got most of the warp wound on when the whole thing came loose from the ceiling and descended on my head. I sat and considered the position and decided we need a builder to install a wood batten. Then got Dorothy to help wind the last bit on.

It was very pleasing to be working in the studio, music from Radio 3 on, the sun shining through the windows hence the happy bunny.

At present I am in Malvern for  the AGM of the Bookbinders Society local group. I am treasurer. I have taken the opportunity to visit friends and ended up yesterday fuller of tea than was reasonable! I also used the opportunity to pick someone's brains about a bible I have to repair, Both voters have come off and there are several badly damaged pages.  But the expert thinks the repairs are doable. So that's another job to add to the list.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I am teaching a class in Japanese style bookbinding. Everything I need is laid out in the spare room so there is nothing to do when I get home tonight.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Catching Up

I have finished the Convergence warp and am ready for the next step, winding it onto the Megado using a valet. To which end I installed a valet over the Megado this morning.also because space is pretty cramped, I had a major rationalisation of yarn which has ended up with two sets of drawers going into the garage and four plastic boxes going into the loft. It looked very much better and, of course, it feels much more spacious. I have rebuilt the Kombo too. I stole a bolt from it to complete the Megado and yesterday I bought a replacement. So all is looking good.

I promised to put in some photos when I could access them. So here they are.

Ruth's Chanel jacket

Box of very high class Turkish Delight
Turkish mouse mat. This is woven!!

Convergence warp on new warping frame which is very large. This shows 7 metres of warp

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all you readers. A very senior RAF officer once said to me (in another life) 'May all your antennas meet their specs'. To translate into weaver terms, 'May all your weavings look like the draft in your head'. 

I am still in the Kent wilds. My Grandson, Alex, and I set out to take some photos of the herd of deer in the grounds. Very unsatisfactory. This is not a deer park but a farm and the deer are not used to people so they flee as soon as we appear. We tried creeping up on them and following them very quietly but they ran away. After crisscrossing the fields several times, we went home without any photos. We need a deer hide.

We have been to Brighton where we got blown about on the sea shore. Also I went into Tunbridge Wells and bought some grey silk dupion for lining a red velvet jacket I am about to make. I dyed the velvet myself and it is rather nice. I am going to Gill Arnold for a day's class to get this project started. And it will not interfere with completing the Convergence project as the said day is the latest day by which the entry has to reach HGA in the States. So it will be gone or, if the worse happens, not gone.

We have reached the stage here of eating up the leftovers and drinking up the wine. Last night I held a wine tasting, courtesy of Michael's cellar, and we have several unfinished bottles to deal with. There was a lot of washing up this morning.


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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.