Tuesday, December 16, 2008
All in all, I've been very happy with the studio swap, as I have more space now, and better light during the day for weaving, spinning, and cranking socks. Evenings, I work upstairs, closing toes on socks, sewing, and combing/carding fleece. Last night I worked on some wonderfully lustrous Lincoln fleece, using a flicker as it is too long for the drum carder. There is always more to learn, and how to use wool combs is on my list.
"Holly & Ivy," newly cranked, are shown below. Pat received her red and black "Checkerboard" socks in the mail, Carol is coming over Wednesday to choose four pairs of socks and in this bitter cold weather, I could use a few more pairs of wool socks myself. As I write this, it is -16 F., and dropping.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Usps said the socks had been accepted in Conover on Nov. 4, and processed on Nov. 5 at two different locations in IL. It did NOT say delivered. I checked with my local postmaster and she said found the same information. Back home, I dialed Information for a phone number at the IL post office in question. There, I was told they would get back to me within a business day. Late the following afternoon, I called them again and was told someone had called that morning and,... "Wait," I said, "I just arrived home, I've been out all day, no one has been home, no message was left on my answering machine, so no one called here." They did not know where the package was.
What could I do but go home and make three more pairs of socks and get them ready to mail, which I did. The day I took the second package to the post office, the postmaster asked me if I'd checked tracking that day. No, I hadn't, so she did, and it appeared the package was in MN on its way back to me, so took the package back home again. It took about five weeks to make its way back to me.
The next day, the original package of socks was in my mailbox, mailing label missing, but a small label with return to Shuttle Works affixed to it, and the end taped shut.
I took photos of the outside, then opened it, and yes, it had been opened, the raffia nearly off, tissue re-wrapped, and in the bottom of the envelope one of my business cards/tags that had been inside a sock. I called Deb again, and she said the label must have come off at some point going through the machinery, and the package sent to recovery, where they are authorized to open packages to try to determine the destination or origin. They had found my card and were able to send it back.
So, the following day, back I went to the post office, this time clear tape over the label to make sure it would not come off, insured, tracking number, and signature required. I also sent a package to Oregon, another sock order. Both arrived at their destinations the same day. Then last night I received an email from OR that the socks had arrived. I wrote back thanking him for letting me know, and briefly telling him about the other package that had gone astray. He wrote back saying he had looked, and the label was coming off that package, too.Live and learn, right? Either replace the labels or clear tape over each one to keep it on (or both), or just write directly on the packages with permanent marker.
And now I'm three pairs of socks ahead on my sock supply for the coming summer.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Along with Ann's order, it was time to make another pair of socks for Pat, who had called to order a second pair of Checkerboard (red and black). Her phone message of, "I just LOVE my socks!" really made my day. Did I have the yarn to make another pair? Yes, so when Ann's order was finished, another pair of "Checkerboard" came off the sock machine. Enjoy!
Then an email came. Could I make a pair of socks, for a gentleman's wife, for Christmas. Yes! So "Keep Me Warm" were also made up. A couple nights ago I had a nice sock wash and they have been drying by the woodburning range in the kitchen. Today 8 pairs of socks were finished with some steam, tags written, and they will be taken to the post office shortly.
Meanwhile, I had ordered more anchor pins for my Glimakra loom treadles as I was FOUR short for tieing up the ten shafts/twelve treadles. I have some of Texsolv ties and anchor pins missing in action around here somewhere.
I also ordered a tube of seine twine so I can begin making additional long-eye "string" heddles for the drawloom. There are ten ground shafts on that loom, nine of them have approximately 100 heddles each, and one shaft currently has none, and that needs to be changed. Now, I need to try to make a heddle jig, or have one made. Moving along,...
Monday, November 24, 2008
Unfortunately, another order will need to be replaced as a post office in IL has apparently lost the package, and phone calls to them have not brought it to light. I did have a tracking number which ends with "processed," and not "delivered." The replacement pairs of socks will be sent by UPS or FedEx as I won't trust that post office again. Looks like I'll have to start insuring all these packages, too.
I also sent off photos and text (and directions) for the Northwoods Art Tour brochure and website for the 2009 tour, so that was a good job done. I do need to arrange a day/time to go pick up the banners I will need next summer.
I'm still working on the loom, in-between a number of other committments. Yesterday and today, for example, I've been hard at work compiling and editing a newsletter for the Double Harness Study Group (of Complex Weavers). As I write this, I am also printing the color pages on our inkjet printer, and later will put them together and package them up. I thought it would be nice to have them arrive right before or after Thanksgiving.
Today, taking a break from the computer, I tied the warp on, removed the locking pins on my CM loom and removed the shaft holders. Not too long ago, I did a lot of readjusting on the loom, and today it all looks good. However, treadles need work as there is not always a clear shed. I knew this was coming, so tomorrow, it's back under the loom. I believe after this warp is done, I'll leave the tie-up the same for a bit, but change colors, texture, and treadling order. For now, I just want to be finished with setting things up and be able to sit and weave.
Monday, November 17, 2008
A couple days ago the 120 Texsolv cords were put on the lamms. Last night, the treadles were tied up.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
After several days of interruptions and shifting priorities, I am back working on the CM loom. Days ago, I had found quite a number of tie-up cords missing, so I ordered a spool of Texsolv cord. Today I counted out cords to see how many long and short cords I had, cut those needed and with a lit candle, slightly melted the ends to make it easier to pass them through the holes in the lamms. Since I'm setting up for a ten shaft twill plus plain weave, I needed 60 long cords and 60 short cords (shown above).
Sitting inside the loom, I added the long cords to the upper lamms and my 16 year old daughter , after being shown how, added the short cords to the lower lamms. Then after tieing up the treadles, I'll be able to thread the heddles, tie the warp on, and begin weaving.
In addition to the bleached and unbleached cottolin for weft, I have cones of white slub cotton, and also found cones of unbleached slub tow linen on my shelves, so I will have even more variety in design choices. I am going to enjoy weaving these towels and table runners.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In late September, I had expressed my interest, to a couple artist friends, in applying for the 2009 Northwoods Art Tour. I was encouraged to send in an application, due at that point in two weeks. Amy Higgason, Pigeon Road Pottery, emailed an application to me, I filled it out, chose photos of my work, studio, and home, and mailed it off. I was aware there was only room for so many artists on the tour, so had prepared myself to be wait-listed.
On Sunday evening, Oct. 26th, I found an email from artist Debbie Jircik, Circle of Life Studio, who is on the Art Tour, saying they had met that day and I had been voted in. This morning, Joan Slack, Riverrun Center for the Arts, called to officially notify me I had been unanimously accepted. They will need text and photos for both the brochure and website before the end of the year.
I am really looking forward to a winter of weaving and cranking socks, as well as the Northwoods Art Tour next summer and fall, and having my work out in area galleries, a shop, and two or three art shows. Now, to work...
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Today, at long last, I had enough extra hands to help move the drawloom from a second floor room down to my new studio space, the main floor of my home. The loom dismantles quite quickly, everything was carried down, each of us had pockets full of bolts, nuts and washers (and instructions to remember which part of the loom each pocket of hardware came from). We re-assembled nearly everything, still needing to add the upper and lower lamms and the treadles. The shafts need work as they are tied in the old way, no Texsolv on them yet, though I'm considering it. The drawcord warp will need to be unwound, re-threaded in the reed, and beamed again, or completely replaced. A trip to the hardware store is needed to check for heavier cord for the counterweights.
Still, I am so pleased this change in location of my weaving studio is finally taking place. More swapping of furniture and weaving equipment will take place over the next couple days.
I've been working on a 15 yard cottolin warp, unbleached and white stripes for a series of towels and table runners. As my loom is a horizontal countermarche, there are cords running down the middle of the loom, so warps are made in two halves then beamed together. Pics of back-t0-front warping will be added soon.
Friday, October 24, 2008
When the rods and holders are removed, the action will drop a bit, and the thread should then be in the middle of the heddle eye.The long V-cords run down in back of the shafts and lamms as they are supposed to. The distance from the floor to top of lamms was checked, and though not exactly at the measurements provided to me quite awhile back by Joe (RugsbyJoe), they are only 1/4" or so off, and changing by one loop in the Texsolv cord changes the measurements too much, so they changed back to where I originally had them.
Treadles are being tied up today for a 10 shaft twill though some of the tie-up cords are missing. I ordered more Texsolv cord, so while waiting for it to arrive, the warp will be made, a white and unbleached stripe, giving me options in weaving all-over plaids, border plaid, stripes, twill, plain weave, and so on, as well as varying the treadling. This will be a 12-15 yard warp, using cottolin that I have on hand, a fiber combination I enjoy weaving with.
Monday, October 20, 2008
There were two "interruptions" last week in the form of phone calls from the Northwoods Wildlife Center. As a rescue driver for them, I never know when they might call. Last Saturday came a request to drive to the U.P. to look for an eagle that was down. After searching for two hours, and not finding the eagle, we returned home. It may have gorged earlier and could not fly, but was gone by the time we arrived, or may have been stunned by a mishap with a car, but recovered enough to fly. We'll never know.
The second call was Wednesday, could I meet up with someone from MI DNR and transport an eagle over to NWC in Minocqua, which I did. I stayed to watch Mark (rehabber) remove the eagle from the carrier, a quick refresher for me on how to grasp the legs and keep clear of those talons. I just called NWC, talked to Mark, and found out the eagle had severe internal injuries and only survived 1 1/2 days. Sometimes this volunteer work is heartbreaking, and other times it is very rewarding.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The Studio Gallery is a cooperative gallery with eleven artists this year. We all contributed to annual expenses, and most members worked two or three days per month. Located in Boulder Junction, WI, the gallery is in a small, old, railroad building behind, which has a unique charm and come spring, a clean-up day takes place, and the new artwork is hung/displayed.
There are a number of birdhouses in the immediate vicinity, and pottery birdbaths are located outside, bringing winged visitors and beautiful birdsong. In previous years, we had beautiful flowers in the beds inside the gate, and a gorgeous window box planted, yet every year, midway through summer, we would arrive to find the local deer had jumped the fence and devoured everything in sight. They apparently had not read the books about which plants deer do not eat.
This year several of the women gathered together, cut out large wooden flowers, and painted them in bright, cheerful colors. We had many, many people inquire about purchasing the flowers, but believe next spring they will be sanded down, and re-painted and displayed again. With the circle cutouts in some of them, people loved posing and having their pictures taken. It worked out very well.
I brought my runners and socks home late this afternoon, not wanting to make the 40 minute drive again tomorrow. Tonight I am thankful for another year with the gallery, and I am already looking forward to 2009, and working on ideas for next year.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The weaving world has lost an individual who shared his discoveries in the form of books, workshops, and through on-line lists such as WeaveTech. This year, interviews with Peter Collingwood, on two DVDs, were made available at Convergence 2008, and are now available through Complex Weavers.
When I first started weaving, Peter Collingwood was going to be giving a workshop at The Looms, in Mineral Point, WI. Ken Colwell urged me to attend, but as I had just taken only my first or second week of weaving classes, I felt I did not know enough too understand the content of the workshop, so I declined, a decision I have regretted these many years. We will all miss Peter's knowledgeable and sharing posts on WeaveTech.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I've been estimating how many pairs of socks I'll need to have completed for next summer, and it boggles the mind!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Auditioning warp colors and fabrics, this was the beginning of a series of table runners. I ended up with twelve colors in the warp, and used different coordinating batik fabrics for weft. The cotton prints in the basket were set aside for a future warp.
Since I have a horizontal countermarche loom, I make my warps in two halves, most often on the warping mill.
One runner in a series using various "wine" batiks.
Wine runners at The Studio Gallery, Summer 2008.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Batik table runner at The Studio Gallery, coordinating nicely with pottery by Nancy Shoop.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
There was quite a bit of interest in the 1908 Gearhart sock machine that I was demonstrating on. I was pleased that of the twenty-eight pairs of socks I had there, sixteen pairs sold. I came home with orders for four more pairs of socks when people liked a particular pair, but needed a different size than what I had available yesterday.
Friday, September 26, 2008
My interest in weaving began in May 1979, during a visit to "The Looms" in Mineral Point, WI, owned and run by the late Ken Colwell. The museum had a wonderful old Norwegian counter-balance barn-type loom, a Jacquard loom and a working table-size Jacquard loom. In addition, there was a large collection of spinning wheels, and an outstanding coverlet collection.
In the classroom area were several Glimakra countermarche looms, and upstairs was a loom with an opphampta attachment, a single unit drawloom, and an AVL computer-driven dobby loom. I knew I would return.
Being newly married, it took a couple years before I expressed my desire to spend a week at The Looms to attend a Beginning Weaving class, and did so in Summer 1981, followed by an Intermediate Weaving class in 1982. Before returning home, I ordered a 10 shaft Glimakra countermarche loom, which I still weave on today. Each summer for about ten years I would travel to Mineral Point and attend a weaving class, or Colloquy, an annual gathering of members of Complex Weavers. Around 1986, I brought home a used, 10 shaft Glimakra single unit drawloom. I had just started weaving on that loom, when we moved to the northwoods of WI. With three moves in five years, the drawloom has been disassembled for the past thirteen years. I am now looking forward to learning about damask and drawloom weaving.
Marriage, three children, and homeschooling were priorities over the past 21 years. While I continued to do some weaving and spinning, the strong desire to pursue my interests in fibers never left. Now that my oldest daughter is attending college, and my two teens attend high school, I am now able to pursue my weaving and other fiber interests.
In order to make my studio space accessible to visitors, we are about to move everything from a large upstairs room to the main floor of our home. This is going to be interesting.
The photo above is of a quiet moment in Shuttle Works Studio.