A short intermission…

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…was taken at the end of last week, so that I could turn my attention to our seven-year-old houseguest. Yes, baby Abigail is now seven and was making her first grown-up visit to Dundee, i.e. without mummy. She turned out to be an enthusiastic entertainer of kittens so there was much bonding of the young ‘uns.

Abi and Magnus

There was also much eating of cheesecake, as I was lucky enough to win one from Captain Cheesecake in their inaugural Facebook prize draw. It was such a large cheesecake that we had to bring in extra help, in the shape of Abi’s Uncle Jonny, to finish it all.


On Saturday we delivered Abi back to her mum at the Edinburgh Fringe and I stayed to see her in her first Fringe role – Puck – in their Shakespeare in the Garden show.

I have been catching up on admin and teaching responsibilities today, but there is work on the loom. I have a new blue and grey warp…

new blue and grey warp

…which is much lighter than the last one and is three-quarters threaded. Normal studio activities will be resumed tomorrow.

A short intermission…” was posted by Cally on 31 August 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Gadgets to be grateful for

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This little vacuum cleaner, which my mother passed on to me when she was packing up her house to move: it is tiny enough to fit in my studio ‘broom cupboard’ and helps me keep the dust mammoths down to bunny-size.

vacuum cleaner

And my wireless keyboard which has an on-off switch. It took me a while to get used to this when it was new, but it is now my first (and only) line of defence against Typing by Kittens. Couldn’t do without it.

wireless keyboard

Gadgets to be grateful for” was posted by Cally on 16 August 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Ending and beginning

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New piece, new pegplan – I want a longer stretch of pattern in this one, so I have pegged up the full 80 lags. That doesn’t leave me enough to peg both plain variants at the same time, so I have to reorganise at the point of change but it’s easily accomplished. My loom is not yellow, however. The blues in this warp really do send my phone round the bend.

blue end beginning

Ending and beginning” was posted by Cally on 13 August 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Checking the pegplan

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I’ve set myself up with three separate dobby chains. One chain each to weave a layer on top – 20 lags each – and one more to do the fancy bits – 48 lags.

check pegplans

It takes twenty picks to weave a complete double huck unit – see the liftplan below – so to weave the two stitched layers as quickly as possible, those chains get one lag per pick so that I can treadle in one direction continuously.

liftplan for stitched layers

However, I don’t have enough lags to weave every pattern this way, so for the fancy bits I economise a little and allocate 12 lags to a complete unit. After six picks I need to wind back and repeat the last four, then progress to the next group of six and so on.

The fancy-bits chain is the only one I need to edit for different designs, and it is still quite challenging to get it right. I have a particular knack for doing exactly the opposite of what I intend – small squares of A on B, for instance, if what I want is small squares of B on A – so it needs to be checked carefully.

check blue layers

Fortunately, it seems to be OK. The colours in that photo aren’t right though – except possibly over on the far side, where you may be able to see that the bright blue is actually quite turquoise. It’s more like the hint you see below, where the unwoven fringe is just bending around the breast beam.

turquoise over the beam

The weaving is now progressing nicely, although the Australian test team are conspiring against me with their frankly dreadful batting. I’m all in favour of their losing, of course, but I expect them to make an effort to stay in the game. I’m supposed to get five days of TMS commentary per match and this series has left me seriously under-supplied.

Checking the pegplan” was posted by Cally on 7 August 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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