Empty table moment

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Enjoy it while it lasts!

empty table

I am just about ready for this weekend’s workshop, which is the first half of a four-day beginners’ weaving course. It’s a new format which I think will be a lot of fun – just as soon as I have stopped fighting with the printer about my handouts. (Seriously, this morning it was turning pages upside down. And just now it printed five careful double-sided pages of nothing at all.)

The looms are (deliberately) 75% warped.

mostly warped loom

Yarns are standing to attention.

yarns at the ready

And the table, of course, is clear. Tomorrow I’ll shop for refreshments and – as long as nobody steals any of my cards this week – weave another couple of metres of leaves.

Looking ahead, I have now published details of classes for January – April 2015: everything is here. Oh, and for new weavers in Scotland there is some rather good news at Room for a Loom. Yes, a Schacht supplier in Glasgow!

Empty table moment” was posted by Cally on 23 October 2014 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Having favourites

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Do you have favourites when you weave? I am not talking about such grand things as favourite pieces or favourite structures, but about much smaller units of pleasure: a particular sequence of lifts which is enjoyable to treadle, perhaps, or a little bit of pattern which is especially satisfying. While it does make me feel a bit neglectful of the ‘less favoured’ parts of the process, I can’t help liking some moments a little bit more than others.

Just now I am deriving special pleasure from this combination of lightly-networked points every time they appear over the horizon of the temple. I’m not sure why – they just appeal to me.

little bit

Then I advance the temple and they are gone again. But I can look forward to the next time!

Open Studios was a lot of fun but everyone at Meadow Mill is looking distinctly starey-eyed this week. I can’t slow down yet, though, as I have lots still to prepare for weaving classes next weekend. Three and a half looms are ready but I still have handouts to print and compile, samples and design materials to organise… My lists are long and not yet sufficiently ticked. But they will be. It always gets done one way or another.

Having favourites” was posted by Cally on 21 Oct 2014 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Preparations

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So the weekend is almost upon us when, from 12 to 5 pm each day, Meadow Mill will be open to visitors. This means that everyone is spring-cleaning their studios, in spite of general protestations that nobody is really doing anything special… In 412 my preparations are fairly modest, but I did go so far as to get the mop out last night and clean the floor. I’ve also moved a couple of table looms to put out some of my recent work,

and wound yarn onto stick shuttles ready for kids (and grownups) to have a go at weaving.

The bear hunt bear is also in position but I won’t spoil things by posting a picture in advance.

By getting this done yesterday, I thought I’d have a quiet weaving day today. I wanted to get the rest of a scarf and another two metres of the autumn leaves woven – which reminds me that Vicki and Sandra asked me about it, because I was very sketchy with the detail when I posted this. The yarn is my favourite 16/2 organic cotton from Venne and when it is woven it will go to Oscha for them to make into slings or wraps as they choose. I apologise for my sketchiness, which of late has become rather habitual. I’m determined to keep going with my blog, but I do go through spells when I am dealing with so much ‘computer-stuff’ that I can hardly bring myself to spend the extra few minutes it takes to upload images, write a post etc. 

Anyway, that quiet weaving day was unfortunately disrupted by the nasty individual who stole my credit card details and caused me to spend two hours on the phone dealing with the consequences of their nastiness. All sorted now, except that I still have to get a new card number and then chase around after all the accounts that depend on the old one… what a tedious time-wasting exercise. I’ve finally got back to the loom and managed one of my metres, but no scarf yet. I’ll be back on the case right after this cup of tea.

Preparations” was posted by Cally on 17 Oct 2014 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Leaves

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Progress! The corrected threading has worked out fine: it’s a shame I can’t say the same about my treadling. I find I am slow to get into the swing of things when I am using a temple as it hides the bit I most want to see. So there has been quite a bit of unweaving, but I eventually ended up on track and (near enough!) knowing what I am doing. The colours look very different depending on the angle you’re viewing from.

leaves 1

leaves 2

And you can only see the sellotape from certain angles too ;-)

Leaves” was posted by Cally on 13 Oct 2014 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Tale of a threading error

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There are always mistakes to be made – and they needn’t even be new ones. I chanced upon an old friend this week when I managed to duplicate a small section of my threading without noticing. I try to guard against doing this by setting up systems for myself. I always thread in clearly defined ‘units’, whether that is units of pattern or (if the pattern is not easily broken down into logical pieces) units of 10 ends. And I always mark off each unit as I have threaded it. Or almost always… And I mark up my threading in other ways, such as adding a note of where each warp section should end, so that I can correlate warp ends remaining with progress through the pattern. Except this time I forgot about that step.

And the consequence was?

Well, just before the middle of the warp I had threaded one set of 10 twice in a row, and I didn’t notice until I reached the end of the warp about 800 ends later. And found I was 10 ends short.

I could have managed with a warp which was 10 ends narrower, but I was using the sectional beam and knew this wasn’t a counting error: it had to be a threading error. So I worked my way back across the warp until I found where I had gone off track. I had rather been hoping that it was a recent error and that I could quickly rethread a hundred ends or so, but deep down I knew it would have been made the previous day, when I had had lots of interruptions and could have easily left a group ‘unticked’ on the threading chart. Fortunately, my systems did mean that it was quick to work backwards to find the place where I had duplicated, so the error was easily identified once I knew it existed.

No, I didn’t re-thread. It would simply have taken too long and I have lots of deadlines coming up. I pulled out the duplicated section altogether (tying a piece of string around the warp ends to save the cross just in case I turned out to be wrong about where I was wrong – well, you never know) and I also went back to the beginning of the warp and pulled out the first ten ends. The threading is intended to be symmetrical so I needed to balance the missing piece at the other end. 10 ends here amounts to about 0.5 cm of warp width: I can live with 1 cm less in total and the fabric is going to be stitched at the sides so the precise patterning is not mission critical.

So far so good. Weaving starts tomorrow, so we’ll see what else may be lurking in the warp. (To be honest I am much more worried about making mistakes in my knitting, as those are things I really struggle to fix.)

Oh, and on the plus side, one result of those interruptions is that I now have a fan inserted in one of the studio windows: there is fresh air to be had! I am now officially hoping for another very hot summer in 2015 so I can compare with this year’s sweltering experience.

And I am finally warping up the Megado for more scarves.

Tale of a threading error” was posted by Cally on 11 Oct 2014 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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