Days of warping

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I seem to have hit a warping patch. It’s funny when all the looms need dressed at the same time – there is so much choice in how to go about it. My approach is, of course, piecemeal and poorly planned, but it works. I could wind all the warps, beam all the warps etc, but I prefer to mix it up and be doing lots of different jobs. Also I can’t use my favourite lease sticks unless I limit myself to a couple of threadings at a time! These little preferences exert a strong influence over my behaviour. I reckon I might as well enjoy those small privileges that I can indulge in.

So at the end of Friday I had a new scarf warp on the Megado ready to weave next week, and three table looms threaded and sleyed for a taster at the end of the month. Two of these are totally ready and one still needs to be tied on. The fourth table loom has not even a warp chain to its name yet, while the Delta is merely festooned with the detritus of other looms’ processes.

I am not sure what I am going to do on the Delta next. Some more yardage sampling is called for, but is not urgent, so I am wondering whether I can sneak in something else first. This would probably be a bad idea. When did I go from being the person who is always on time, maybe even early, to being the person who does things at the last minute (and often late)? I have a feeling that this will turn out to be the lasting impact of doctoral studies: when the only external deadline is years away it tends to corrode the will to get ahead.

Anyway, next week starts on Tuesday rather than Monday as I have to go down to England for a couple of days. Meanwhile it is scaffolding time again! Fortunately it isn’t the total envelopment kind, or we would be completely daylight deprived at this time of year.

scaffolding 2014

And the poor Ps don’t know it yet, but they are about to take a holiday at the cattery while the builders are about. The Ps don’t know it, but the people do – I wonder if the cats would feel any better if they knew how much we dreaded the cats-in-boxes process too? Phoebus in particular is a very bad traveller. On the other hand, he’s an even worse builder’s mate, so it must be endured.

Days of warping” was posted by Cally on 22 Nov 2014 at

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Weavers, warps and all

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I think there should be a special badge for new weavers who have designed, warped and woven their first project. It’s quite a milestone, don’t you agree? This week four more people earned that badge and I was so pleased at how well they did – see the pictures in the slider above.

The Megado, on the other hand, has been giving me Trouble. Having sold rather more scarves than I was expecting (not that I’m complaining!) at POS, I need to top up supplies before the Tea Green Festive Market in December. But before warping up for scarves, I was weaving more cushion fabric in lambswool and the oil in the yarn had left the back and breast beams somewhat sticky. I had therefore washed both beams before putting the new warp on, but it was Not Enough. The fine yarn stuck to the back beam, but much worse was the woven cloth sticking at the front and pulling the weave out of shape.

distorted weave

Well, I say worse… In fact, I rather like the distorted effect, but now is perhaps not the right moment for it! It was easy enough to cut off that first scarf, so Stuart very kindly applied wire wool and beeswax to the breast beam while I was away. Then I limped on to the end of the warp as quickly as I could so that the back beam could have the same treatment. I am now warped up again and all is smooth and delightful – and I appreciate it all the more. Though you may spot a slight irregularity in my process here as well…

warp winding error

Honestly. My students wound perfect warps first time, while I produced this. Cue rueful grin.

Anyway, the Tea Green market is the only other selling event I am doing before Christmas, so my mind is starting to turn to new ideas. The huck workshop with Jette chimed with some thoughts I’ve been having about multi-layered huck. Somewhere in between workshops in the summer I squeezed in a few experiments in stitched huck lace on one of the table looms, which showed me just how many decisions are involved simply in putting two layers together. It has really fired my interest and I want to spend more time with this. I like huck, I like layers and I like experimentation so why not?? I have a host of over-ambitious plans buzzing in my head and need to marshal them into some kind of order.

Weavers, warps and all” was posted by Cally on 15 Nov 2014 at

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Almost home

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My body got here this morning, not ‘fresh’ off the sleeper but quite the opposite – it was not an especially comfortable night! So I feel as though my head hasn’t caught up yet and that I’ll need another night’s sleep before I am fully home. It’s been a very busy week, including (but not limited to)

A shopping trip to Handweavers Studio 

An exhibition on Constable at the V & A, which was fascinating for an ignoramus such as myself because it was all about the way he learned his craft and developed his own style – I really recommend this if you are going to be in London before mid-January

A flying visit to the Turbine Hall in Tate Modern to see a piece by Richard Tuttle which my friend and I decided we didn’t like much at all

A day studying multi shaft huck with Jette Vandermeiden and a host of other Complex Weavers (followed by a very enjoyable dinner, where both the wine and the handwoven samples flowed freely)

Much chat with lovely friends

And a chance to catch up with my godson who is suddenly a whole lot taller than I am.

We also took a walk to see the poppies at the Tower of London, which are almost complete. My photos don’t compare with the ones you can see in the press, but I can give you a wee peak at the stack of poppies which aren’t yet on display. This was the pile of boxes as of Wednesday morning – and if, as it appears, there is one poppy in each little compartment, then we reckoned there must be nearly 30,000 here.

Sadly, though, we didn’t see any planted: I guess they were taking a coffee break.

“Almost home” was posted by Cally on 7 Nov 2014 at

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Well, I’ve set a new personal best for shrinkage: 2.2 of those metres lost! That’s a bit annoying, to be honest, although the finished cloth has turned out very well so I can’t really stay cross with it. It’s all rolled up now and packed for despatch tomorrow, but before the bubble wrap was applied Stuart took a few pictures. 

I’m sorry to report that yesterday’s event was not a triumph. I sold no work at all! The venue was quite small but very nice – attractive space, well located – and the other vendors had lovely work. Visitors were very engaged and interested in what we did, but they were not at all inclined to buy. So it wasn’t just me: we all had a more-or-less frustrating day. I’m not sure why the event turned out that way, but judging from the remarks I heard, people were seeing it as a chance to look at attractive things rather than to buy from local artists and makers. Very disappointing.

Never mind, I’m ready(ish) for my trip and looking forward to some weaverly company on Thursday.

“Shrunk!” was posted by Cally on 2 Nov 2014 at

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