Spring warping

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So I have conquered the marking mountain and am enjoying the fresh air and clear view from the summit! It also helps that the studio is fresh and tidy for a taster day tomorrow: I do appreciate these moments of NVL (No Visible Lint), although they pass all too quickly.

Feeling suddenly all energetic and spring-like, I managed to make a very small start on warping up the Delta. I want to try some more variations on the patchwork draft, but using the yarns I dyed at Kate’s and mixing them up with a few others to catch the colours of our trip to Sutherland.

Sutherland colours

So there has been much cranking of handles, to turn the skeins into spools…

blue yarn on swift

…and the spools into warp bouts.

blue green warp

Small steps, but I’m pleased to have made a beginning.

Spring warping” was posted by Cally on 27 March 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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A day in the Stables

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And my goodness, what a busy day it was.

I realised, on about Thursday last week, that I hadn’t really done an event before that required so many different strands of activity. Displaying my work to the buying public, yes. Ditto with a loom along for a demo. Workshops, yes. But displaying my work, showing how it came to be and running workshop activities all at once, nope. Getting people weaving is a lot of fun, but it also requires a lot of concentration, so I focused mainly on that and let my own work speak for itself.

The stables were quite dark inside, so I put up a display about my Firth of Tay yardage on the wall outside, with some large photos, as many samples as I could fit in a box, and a print out of this blog post, which turned out to be quite a handy resource to have prepared.

Cambo - Firth of Tay

You might just be able to see some cushions through the door on the left. They and the scarves were too dark to photograph in situ, but I had table looms by the window (on one of the longest tables I have ever seen).

Cambo - looms

They were set up for the weaving of little ‘spring flower’ coasters, like these,

Cambo floral coaster

and were fantastically well used. I lost count of how many weavers were made during the course of the day, but one boy came back three times for ever more complex weaving challenges so he has definitely been bitten by the bug!

We* had a table on the other side of the room for wet finishing, so that people could see their wool transformed before they took it home – alas it was too cold to get anything dry, so it was a case of sending folk away with a damp coaster in a plastic bag and a printed set of instructions for the final steps. There was some great weaving done, so I hope they do get finished and don’t moulder in the back of the car until someone wonders what that strange smell is…

*I say ‘we’ because I could not have managed the day – and particularly the scouring part of it – without S. For instance, the nearest source of hot water was up at the main house, so to keep us all from freezing our fingers he was trekking back and forth with a thermos for most of the afternoon.

The other technology challenge was getting enough of a signal on my phone to use the paypal card reader. I managed it once – by dragging the poor customer right across to the other side of the yard – but the effort of doing both internet and bluetooth was too much for the battery and the second time I tried, it crashed and that was that. To be honest, though, I was quite impressed with the once that did work. Given the location, I wasn’t optimistic.

I didn’t get much opportunity to see what the other makers were up to, although just before we started I did get as far as my nearest neighbour in the venue, Leonie MacMillan of Siri Ceramics. I really liked the work she had brought: tiny little roughly shaped vessels, called Lagunas, and miniature figures of people swimming – like little votive offerings. For her workshop activity she had the children making little clay pigs (I think I mentioned the pigs). I saw some of the finished pieces being carried triumphantly home and they were delightful. Fife weaver Julia Complin was based at the far end of the building from me – we had a chance to chat during setting up but I never did get back to appreciate her scarves properly.

Overall it was a pretty demanding event, but it was very enjoyable and rewarding. Yes, I think I would do it again.

A day in the Stables” was posted by Cally on 23 March 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Marking mountain

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Yes, I managed to finish the yardage! Cut it off on Tuesday, washed it on Wednesday, pressed and packed it on Thursday and waved goodbye to it on Friday. Much as I would have liked to, I didn’t pause to get proper photos, so I just have a few snaps of it in the laundry basket…

crocus yardage in basket

…and on the dining table as I rolled it up.

crocus yardage all rolled up

It looks oddly different on camera from how it appears in real life – the colours are not far off true, but the relationship between them is much smoother than it seems here, where the stripes seem to be quite shouty. I guess the eye does a better job of integrating the different areas into a coherent whole.

My next task is to scale the first marking mountain of 2015. I’m already through the foothills, but have some serious climbing to do in the next few days. The Delta will have to stay bare for another week at least, while I use my little bit of weaving time to set up for Cambo and finish the warp on the Megado.

Meanwhile, I have been surveying the muddle in the studio with some distaste. I had all sorts of ideas for what I would do in 2015, but in the light of other events some of those plans look decidedly unrealistic. And yet it is hard to know what to drop and what to focus on… I feel I need to shake myself up and start the year again and a spring clean would probably help.

Marking mountain” was posted by Cally on 14 March 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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10 metres

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That virus turned out to be hard to shake off, but since Monday I have gradually been feeling a bit better every day. Everyone at WASPS has wisely been avoiding me and my revolting cough, so I have been quietly getting on with some catch-up weaving. I am not quite as far along as I would have liked, but I managed to reach the 10 metre mark yesterday – it’s a literal mark too, being the loop of orange thread nearest the fell.

10 crocus metres

Today I had a bunch of other things to do, including a wee jaunt to Cambo House in Fife. Cambo is known for its snowdrops, its wonderful location by the sea and its pigs: what could possibly be a better day out than that?

Cambo snowdrops

Well, on 22nd March they are hosting a Meet Your Maker event in conjunction with Craft Scotland, so there will be the additional attraction of a stable full of crafts and craftspeople. Pigs and crafts, really, it’s got to be a winner. I am fortunate enough to be one of the selected makers for the day, so I paid a visit to see what the space is like (answer: amazing) and discuss what would be needed in terms of tables, chairs and other such things.

The purpose of MYM is to show the public how makers work. The blurb says

“Meet the makers and learn about their inspiration, practices and profession. See the design, process and techniques behind their craft. Discover their creativity, skill and dedication.”

So I had better show some dedication and get organised.

10 metres” was posted by Cally on 6 March 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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