Sunday, 25 March 2018

Port of Osaka I

I have finished Port of Osaka I by adding red to the printed linocuts. If I had planned it better these would be would have been printed on a separate block.

On Friday I proofed the three blocks for No II. Two are fine, one is not and needs a lot of work. Since I will not get at the press until April 27th, I intend to retire to the garage and finish it off here. In theory I can print but it is tedious - and messy. We will see how Dorothy takes to the mess!

I went to the Guild Weaving Study Day on Saturday, spent most of the time gossiping! But say lots of lovely and interesting work. I must take the camera next meeting.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Gloating - well just a bit

Last weekend I went to the NEC with my daughter, Ruth, and took in two Shows, Photography and Sewing. We were very abstemious in the Sewing one as we agreed we both had lengths of fabric unmade-up from two years ago. But I bought a new camera rucksack as I have acquired another Nikon plus its lenses from someone local. I did not want the camera but I did want the lenses. This time I was interested in buying yet another lens, a macro this time. Everyone at the Show agreed it was a marvellous lens but no one had it in stock so I came home and ordered it on line. It arrived yesterday. This morning I set out round the garden with the new lens to complete an exercise for the photography course. And it is a marvellous lens. It does exactly what it says on the packet. So I am chuffed to bits. And here are some results

I am having problems with my latest linocut. I prepared the artwork and was just about to start cutting when I had a nasty thought. Just exactly how did I intend to print this so I got the colours right. I spent two hours, writing out what do to  and ended up with having to cut, not one but three a4 pieces of lino. Not that anyone uses real lino. Everyone I know uses Japanese Softcut.  So on Friday I will start by printing each piece separately to look for errors and places to improve the image.

The garden is coming on nicely. The camellias and pieris are in full flower. Everything else is budding up nicely. 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Copenhagen 2

I am hanging around in the hotel. We leave for the airport in an hour and I have already walked my feet off taking photos this morning. We have seen two operas, one so-so and the other top notch. And all the meals have been more than good. A lot of fish. 

Yesterday we had a tour backstage of the opera house. Because we were going straight on to lunch and a performance, I did not take my camera which I stantly regretted. Very interesting. Highly computerised. Afterwards we went fr dnner down at a by f the ducks we had not been and I went back the morning to take photos. This is the area where the sailing ships are kept although at the moment they are all frozen in. I saw a man breaking up the ice round his ship and it was several inches thick.  He was using a heavy cylinder of wood about three foot long and banging it up and down. I do not see the point unless the ice does the ship a damage. He could not get out past all the other frozen up ships. 

Seen at the Design Centre  I really fancy this. But it is probably too expensive for me.

Also seen at the Design Centre. Two partly transparent textiles with different designs on and mounted about four inches apart. I have shown a close up of a detail but the whole thing shimmers as the fabric  moves. A thought for the future. I am definitely going back to experimentation. I'm bored with twill patterns.

This is on the quay side across the river from the opera house. An installation? A happening? The thing is - it sings or at any rate, it makes noises as you walk through it and there are lights in the small horizontal sections. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018


I am here for the weekend with my grand-daughter Madi. We are here to see two operas in their new opera house. Last night we saw The Barber of Seville. I would not buy the DVD or, for that matter, the CD. But it was a fun evening. Yesterday we walked round Copenhagen in the bitter cold. Saw the Design Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art which was not a bundle of laughs. Today we get The Magic Flute.

Top photo is a street name. The next street was Tigergade. Second one is an old crane for lifting ship masts. The bottom one is a recycling plant which they use to heat houses.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Scarve No 2

I have just finished another refugee scarf on the 12 shaft Meyer. I showed the pattern earlier. I have started on the third one, again in the maroon wool. And yet another twill(ish) pattern. Remember the draft is a straight draw on 12 shafts.

I used a spotlight as the room was suddenly dark. More snow? Looking at the amount of yarn I have, I reckon I can get another 6 scarves. I give them to Rosie Price and she can give them to the refugees or sell them at a fair and use the money for refugees. I don't ask! I have another 3 drafts ready to be used. Not sure I like this one and I will not do it again.

You might ask what is happening about the Schacht - not to mention the Megado. Well, the Megado now has a nice new (and visible) monitor and the Schacht is waiting to have the treadles tied up. I am off to Copenhagen with my grand-daughter, Madi, tomorrow and will be back on Monday. Going to see two performances in their nice new opera house and have a look round. It seems no time at all since I got back from Iceland. But after Monday, I am not away until mid June and hope to finish a load of projects. Come back snow and ice!! I got a lot done when we were snowed up.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

No longer Snowed in

The snow has all gone and it is positively balmy. What a pity. I did enjoy being snowed in. Got a huge amount done. Including a major effort on the lap top. (Those of you who do not like reading about computers can stop reading now - unless you want your worst fears confirmed).

When I worked, I used Framemaker as my creator of reports. I have had it in umpteen versions since 1984 when WORD was trivial. Framemaker is a publisher's bible. It enables you to turn out a professional looking report/book and after all, as Michael kept saying, what I sold was reports. Well we got up to version 7.7 and I had it mounted on all computers (not the iPad) and used it for everything. When I retired and stopped writing hundred page reports, it was easier to go onto Word  as most people I corresponded with used that. But Framemaker was used for 'difficult things'. Well one day about two years ago, Windows took over my desktop one night and installed Windows 10 on top of Windows 7. I just went along with that, although cursing a bit. And after a couple of days, I wanted to use Framemaker - No good, Could not work with Windows 10. I looked up the cost of updating Framemaker and was horrified. Hundreds of pounds a year!! Fortunately I still have an elderly laptop with Windows 7 and Framemaker on it so that was good. Except that it is used to drive the Megado and it is not a very convenient place to do a lot of computer work but it was okay. Except that the laptop is very elderly indeed and I have had one or two nasty fits from it. So six months ago I took the decision that I must translate all the Framemaker files of importance before I was landed with having to buy a new laptop - with Windows 10 installed. And I started at 11 00 am yesterday. By midnight I was not finished. Today I started at 0700 hours and finished at 1500 hours having deleted over 8000 (yes eight thousand) files on the way. I was mentally zonked at the end and exhausted. But there it is - done and I feel very virtuous.

The other thing I did while the laptop was installed in the dining room was to try out a spare monitor on it. Well that was the idea but it never got started because it required very peculiar (old type) cables so I have ordered a new one.  May seem a bit odd but it has to do with it not being possible to get the laptop near the weaver on the Megado and a bigger screen would make life much easier.

And - - wait for it, I have bought another camera. Again not as mad as it sounds. We have a local facebook page for Burghfield where you can announce stuff you want rid of. This man was offering a Nikon D3100 which is an earlier version of my D3400. So why? Because he was offering two lenses with it which will fit on my Nikon. I have been looking at the costs of these for about a year and new they are hundreds of pounds and - -. But he offered the lot at an extremely advantageous price.  So we trudged through the snow and ice to collect the package before anyone else realised what a bargain the package was.

And I have done a lot of weaving. The snow has gone and tomorrow we will be back to normal which means I have to go out and buy some food. Come back Snow.

Added later

In carrying out the file cull, I had to read lots of stuff. I found myself wondering if I am not as experimental in weaving as I was ten years ago. I am worried. I think I might carry out one or two projects based on some old work. I feel an existential crisis coming on.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Another Book Completed

I finished off another book yesterday.

The alphabet background is a scanned version of the endpapers. The covers are inkjet canvas and quite solid. I do spray such covers with a Textile Guard. But later on this year I will be going to a course on making slipcases and the last three books I have made will be given a protective box.

We are still snowed in and I have another book to get on with. But more important, is to do the February accounts. I always feel very virtuous when the monthly accounts are completed. And I hope to get more weaving done which should be possible since all I can do to the next book is sew up the spine. After that , I need to square off the edges of the text and I need to go to the bookbinders class to access the tools for that.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Snowed In

On Sunday I drove to Leicester to hand over the AVL warping wheel and got caught in a blizzard coming home on the A34. Very nasty. Sort of brown fog. So thick I could not see the car head-lights on the other carriageway. On Monday I drove to Stratford by way of Newent (north of Gloucester). On Tuesday I only drove to Wokingham which is 30 minutes away. On Wednesday I was due to drive to Marlborough but took one look at the snow and cancelled. It is even thicker this morning and more is forecast for this morning. Looking at the weather forecasts, that is it, I am staying inside until Sunday possibly Monday.

So yesterday, I spent the whole day bookbinding and finished off The Illustrated Man. Cover is below.

I had trouble selecting the endpapers and in the end used the background to the lettering on the cover

I need to write this up. Next today is to finish the binding of a copy of 1860 Mother Goose. The text block is sewn and the endpapers applied. I found, in the stash, some rather nice endpapers to use, 1930s I guess. And the cover is ready so that is today's job. I might even get some weaving done.


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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.