Monday, November 24, 2008

Yesterday, I went back to work on sock orders. Above, is "Raven Trail," the first of three pairs of socks for a potter friend. Another sock order came in by phone a couple days ago, from a woman saying, "I just LOVE my socks! I need another pair."

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

Treadles & Heddles

This was another typical early winter day in the northwoods of WI, alternating frequently between snow and sunshine, with a skim of snow-covered ice across our small lake. Inside it was cozy warm, the woodburning range pouring out heat, cats sprawled out around the stove, enjoying the toasty warm pine floor.

A couple days ago the 120 Texsolv cords were put on the lamms. Last night, the treadles were tied up.

Tonight I notice I likely have a bit more tweaking to do on the treadles, but I am waiting until the warp is tied on so I can check sheds.

This afternoon I started threading a ten shaft straight twill. As I write this, half the warp is threaded, and shortly I'll be back at the loom to do the other half. I'm not terribly fast at threading heddles, but that is intentional, as I am more interested in accuracy than speed. Tomorrow I will pull threads through the reed and tie the warp onto the rod/apron. Then, I will finally be able to start trying out a few ideas and cotton/cottolin/linen threads that are on my shelves.

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

Weaving Library Additions

I've long been known to family and friends as a bookoholic, seemingly as necessary to me as oxygen, and this week was no exception. When not busy with looms, teens, and home, I'm found with book(s) in hand.

"The Big Book of Weaving" by Laila Lundell (with Elisabeth Windesjo) arrived this week, the new revised and expanded edition in English. At first glance, the line illustrations of weaving techniques and how-to are excellent, especially so if you are new to Swedish style countermarche or counterbalance style looms, since books in the U.S. are geared towards jack looms. The projects are very nice, Swedish-style weaving. Now, I'm looking forward to reading through the book, and finding new (to me) ways of doing things.

The issue I have with this book is not content or illustrations/photos, but for whatever reason, the publisher chose make the print, not black, but grayed down and quite small. I find it very difficult to read. Book publishers need to remember many weavers are no longer young, wear bifocals, and need clear, black type for the books to be read easily by readers of all ages.

The second book I bought, "Shear Spirit" by Joan Tapper, was for pure pleasure. Ten fiber farms were photographed and written up, as well as the owners and critters. I am having a most enjoyable time reading their stories, as well as perusing the twenty patterns provided. If you enjoy reading about fiber people and farms, critters, natural dyeing, weaving, spinning, and knitting, you will likely enjoy this book.