Sunday, March 5, 2017

Brain Freeze

This week, I had several projects ready to go.  The inkle loom is threaded to make 7-block letter pick up; the hand-dyed warp I've had draped across the 4-shaft Aritsat is slung across the raddle, waiting for me to pick a pattern; the warp I'd wound for lace dish towels would be enough to make them 20 inches wide, enough even though my original goal had been 25 inches. 
Weftie tries to figure it out
  And then, I realized I couldn't figure out how to pick up the letters' threads.  Anne Dixon says to "pick up the threads you need, and drop the ones you don't."  Well, that sounds simple!  But I realized while picking up threads, I wasn't sure, couldn't even figure out, had now idea which ones I needed and which I didn't.  I picked some up, put them back down, tried blustering my way ahead, which never works...  I have no idea what I'm doing, or how to fix it.  The videos on YouTube aren't any more help, basically saying the same thing, to pick up the right ones and drop the wrong ones.  I don't want to impose on weaving friends in social situations, because that's like people asking me why I don't bring sweet treats every time I meet them!  And so, the inkle sits idle.
  And then, there's the painted warp on Jenny, the 4-shaft Artisat.  I didn't think 5 inches of hand-painted beauty was enough, so I wound some black bamboo borders, only to run out on the second side, 12 threads short.  Well, shoot!  I just went with it!  After a LOT of re-calculating, I decided to use Johann Speck's Design No. 33 from Marguerite Porter Davison's book.  It's one of my favorite patterns.  I have the daisy centered in the purple center, and the lines radiating out are in the black borders.  The 12 threads too many are going to beaded.  I've never beaded on the warp, threading the beads onto the warp threads, but I'm going to try it today.  Dull or shiny?  A pattern?  Or randomness?  These are the questions I will answer today, as soon as I wind on to the back beam, and make sure there aren't any threading errors.
bath towels with skipped threads
  And then, there's the darn bath towel warp and it's sticky shaft problems.  Looks like it's mostly shaft 5 that gets hung up on its neighbors, but how do I fix it?  I think it's because the loom is still a little wonky after being disassembled by the mover and put back together by an impatient weaver, but it's already warped, and I don't want to un-warp it.  I think I'll finish the first towel with all its errors, cut it off and then figure out what's going on.
  Next weekend is my spinning class with Martha Owen at the Folk School, and I'm pretty excited.  You know I've gone back and forth about spinning over the years, and I still don't think I'll be a spinner yet, but to learn from an expert like Martha is going to be a wonderful experience.  I'll know how, even if I don't incorporate spinning into my daily life.  And to spend a weekend with fibery folks is never a bad thing.
  Last night was the Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Cherokee and Clay County food banks here in western North Carolina, and we made stew, bread, salad and cookies for about 200 people.  I just saw an email from the organizer who said it was a success.  The potters from the folk school and beyond make a lot of bowls, and the guests choose a bowl for the price of their ticket, and are fed by my staff and a whole bunch of wonderful volunteers.  They can then buy more bowls at $20 each, and the bowls were beautiful.  Each member of my team got a bowl for their efforts, and I got a gorgeous vase.  At least, I think it's a vase!  The potter, Mike Lalone, who made it, told me, "it works, too!"  as he handed it to me, but I'm not sure what that means.  I'll just put dried flowers in it, for now!  
  I've been knitting a lot, too, mostly on Matt's sweater, using a lovely soft merino wool, spun in Michigan, and such a treat to knit.  I've used a pattern from the Winter Knits magazine, which is just fussy enough to be interesting, but easy enough to watch t.v. while I work on it.  I want to have it done in time for his birthday, because the end of May in Nashville can be so chilly!  Just kidding.  I know he'll say something about the inappropriateness of a sweater at that time of year, but I don't want to keep it until Christmas.  Maybe I'll make him some Bermuda shorts in time for Christmas!

  And my parting shot is a room that cracks me up when I'm in it.  My studio is upstairs in the loft, usually used as a bedroom, complete with a large bathroom.  The bathroom is currently the warping room, complete with two warping boards and lots of yarn!  Knitting and weaving books are by the toilet for extended research.  It's a light-filled room during the day, and a comfortable place to wind warps, in hearing of the stereo, and conveniently located to the looms.


1 comment:

LA said...

You are just full of fiber, girlfriend!!! I love the warping board hung over the towel bar...great use of space!!! You have flirted with spinning before, so maybe this time it will'll enjoy the class!