Saturday 25 February 2017

Courses and so on

Last weekend, the Guild held a two day weaving course on Colour and Weave. It was run as a round robin and the biggest headache was at Sunday lunch time when I attempted to produce a time table for the afternoon so that everyone got access to the looms they had not woven on. I failed of course but it was nearly okay. I am taking my loom in to a weaving meeting today so that the last two people can weave their samples on it.

Now that the length on the Megado is finished, I started on the bomber jacket of blue/brown tweed. I have got as far as I can but am now waiting for a zip  to complete it. I ordered when according to the pattern when I started but had not read the pattern them and have actually shortened the body by an inch and a half! So the bought zip is too long. As it is one of these separating types, it cannot be shortened. I hope it comes in time for me to complete the jacket before next weekend. I am off to India then and will have forgotten the details of the jacket by the time I get back.
Because of the India trip, I am not setting out to warp up anything on the Megado and, in any case, I must finish what is on the Louet Kombo next. Projects for that loom are backing up.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

I am getting through the list. The Colour and Weave course was held over last weekend and the worst bit was towards the end when I tried to sort out the order in which students would do the remaining samples - it was a round robin. I nearly got it right but not quite as some poor students are having to do one more next Saturday. The only other thing of especial note was the number of cakes brought by students. I particularly liked the gingerbread with lemon icing. We held this two day course at the National Needlework Archive who were having an exhibition of work done by their volunteers. All I can say is that their vounteers must all have submitted portfolios to be allowed to work there. Startling good both from the point of view of technique and from design. I fell in love with a miniature Hat Shop. I think if the course had been three days long I might have resorted to theft.

The weather has been good enough for gardening. The greenhouse plants have all been overhauled and lots of weeding done. We have a huge number of plants in flower considering what it looked like last spring. Camellias, hellebores, crocuses, irises, snowdrops, daffodils, sarcocca (a sweet smelling shrub), heathers. The tulips are showing up and the clematis are well budded. The earliest clematis looks as if it will flower next week.

I have at last started on making a bomber jacket out of the blue and brown tweed. It is at least a year since I did any dressmaking and there was a lot of unpicking. The inside does not bear examination but the outside looks good.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Colour and Weaving

I talked about creating a Colour and Weave draft a week or so ago. Starting four days ago, I wound a warp for the Meyer and yeasterday, I got it on, threaded, sleyed but not tied on. This morning I tied it on, wove the header and then an eight inch sample. The rest of the warp is for my students over next weekend when we are holding a course on Colour and Weave. See below for photos. I just used two colours of cottolin and I now think that they are too similar in tone. It has been an interesting experiment and I am considering working up a more complicated draft using Anne Sutton's methods.

Joke from Cox and Kings who are organising our Indian trip. They rang yesterday a bit worked up. They are sorting out air tickets and realised that the plane from Chandigarh to Delhi left so early that we would have to eat breakfast at 0800 hours. This was said in hushed tones as though ladies like us could not be expected to take breakfast until 1000 hours. I assured them that we normally ate at 0730 and they heaved a sigh of relief.

Tomorrow I am off on a course on my new camera. I have not even assembled it yet so am off to do so. And as a departing present, a couple of nice photos of Iris Harmony. I was worried that the pot was going to flower while we were away and brought it indoors. Three days later it was like this.

Sunday 12 February 2017

trouble with fabric

The final fabric after washing dried and I measured the dimensions. Shock horror. It has shrunk terribly. In 4.3 metres, it shrunk by 0.4 m in length and 6 cm in 61 cm in width. It is now too small to use as curtains. In compensation, the fabric is fabulous and feels wonderful. So I consulted with my daughter Ruth as to what she thought of making it into a jacket. Provided I match across the back seam and the front seams.

I saw Ruth today because she and Anne and I went to Bicester Village (an outlet village) and bought things from the likes of Gucci, Versace and Dolce and Gabbana. So poorer but happier we went home.

Friday 10 February 2017

Dye and Problems

I mended all the ends in the Megado yardage and, since it contains 50% merino, washed in the bath where I walked (waulked) on it in water as hot as I got put my feet in. The sad bit is that lots of dye came out of the dark red silk noil and has turned the white into a distinctly offwhite. Difficult to describe but it has greyed pink tinge to it now. What happens to it next depends on how much it has shrunk. I am off the idea of making a jacket because it looks like matching across the seams will be needed. at the beginning, I thought I could get out without bothering about matching. So the current idea is to make it into a curtain to keep the drafts out and there are many in this house. But the length is not dry yet.

Dorothy ran a dyeing with Procion day on Thursday and I asked for the leftovers not to be discarded. I have quite a bit of white cotton yarn which I would like to space dye.

It is a pity the lower photo has the red garage doors  as a background but it does show the skeins are red with dashes of blue.

Last night I went to a 'macro' evening at the camera club. This is where one person bringa a whole lot of stuff in for members to practise macro photoing. Small bottles of perfume placed on a mirror, a tied up bundle of sharpened coloured pencils, a basket of eggs, one of oranges. I duly took a raft of photos

On looking at the large number of photos I took, the majority of which and nicely in position and properly focussed, I have made a big discovery. I really am not interested in these. Maybe the flowers but not glass sweets or bottles of perfume or in general still lives. And that goes for portraits of people too, at least posed ones. I much prefer to catch people unawares.  

Tuesday 7 February 2017


I have finished weaving the Megado and tidied the loom up. I will sit this evening and check for ends that need to be woven in and tidy up the length, then wash it. At last. I should get on with the fan reed but I am thinking of weaving a scarf on the Meyer which should not take long.

I have sorted out the yarn for the double weave Biederwand.

The yellow and bright brown beside are one cloth and the rest is the other. I have only shown one of each colour. There are loads of other bobbins and cones of yarn ready for use. This is a major project. Hence the feeling that I would like to weave a scarf, akin to fancying a box of mint chocolates.

Monday 6 February 2017

Working through it

Four days last week were spent rushing about and it all came to an ignominious end on Sunday. Thursday I drove up towards Oxford and spent a very pleasant day with some old friends. Friday was very hard work. I drove up to the Barnes Wetlands for a course in photography. I learnt a lot but most of the birds were well out in the middle of the lake. Slimbridge it is not and I would not go again whereas I would cheerful drive to Slimbridge which is two hours away. Barnes is 56 minutes away so the Sat Nav says. Not in the rush hour it isn't. More like two hours. So I reached home exhausted after two lots of rush hour and lots of hours spent walking round taking photos.

Saturday was Guild day which is not restful either. I bought a large amount of yarn from My Fine Weaving Yarns, bamboo mostly but some space dyed Tencel and 300 gms of space dyed Indian silk.

Sunday we drove over to Great Missenden to have lunch with our nephew and his family. A lovely lunch and I sank into a comfy couch after lunch and went to sleep. Dorothy woke me up when it was time to go home. I was embarassed. How rude.

I forgot to say that when I reached home on Saturday, my desktop had turned its toes up. I spent ages poking it but got nowhere. So this morning as early as was decent, I called our computer expert who came round and took all of ten minutes to end it. Something to do with needing resetting every now and then. Beyond me.

So today was spent praying about the desktop and rearranging the week to accommodate mounting software on a new computer. Which turned out not to be needed. Hurrah. After it was mended, I returned to my original plans to do some stencilling.

And the warp knots on the Megado have hoved into sight!!!

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Too many Deadlines

I will admit to bad temper over the last two or three weeks. This is due to too many deadlines and the feeling that, despite meeting lots of deadlines, I am not getting time to do the things I want to do. I have all sorts of ideas for binding a book and I cannot see that happening in the near future. I am putting a lot of work into the screen printing course I am running in March. When that is done, there will be no more teaching this year (possibly ever). I am somewhat ruthlessly cancelling things. This was all triggered off by my daughter asking me when she could visit and me finding real difficulty in fixing on a date before mid April. We found one in the end but did it by curtailing attendance at a meeting to an hour rather than three.

One bright spot is that I am back to Wednesday afternoons spent in Reading at a music course. This  time it is on 19th century opera. I went to a course on Bach last year and knew nothing when I started and a lot more when I finished. This course is different. The tutor asks the class if they have seen the opera being discussed and the only person who puts a hand up is me. Then he says, 'Where did you see it? It has never been done in Britain' to which the answer is Aix or Munich or Zurich   as appropriate. There are people in the class who have never been to Covent Garden!! Today we were doing French Grand Opera, Meyerbeer and Halevy. And you will not catch me going to any of them. However it is all great fun and the tutor is very knowledgeable.

Other news? I spent half of Monday working out how much yarn I need for the Complex Weavers book project. Then phoning up suppliers and ordering up yarn. The primrose cotton ordered from Halls came today and I shall pick up all the rest from My Fine Weaving Yarns on Saturday.

The gardeners have cleared away a great pile of debris, flattened the area, put down a membrane  and filled the area with gravel to form a solid base. I have done my bit which was to assemble two do-it-yourself cold frames and place them on the gravel. The next job is to move all the auriculas to their new home. They will get a cold frame to themselves while the other frame is for growing on and hardening off little plants.

I took my camera to Reading today. I walk from the station over the Thames footbridge to Caversham and it is quite photogenic.

Narrow boats laid up for winter. Note the names.
The footbridge over the Thames.


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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.