Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get At It Girl!

Holy crap! I just looked at my MT menu and I've got more draft entries than I have published these last few months. I've actually been doing things but getting the pictures, writing, etc. together just hasn't been happening! So let's see if I can get rolling.

With two weeks left before school started I decided I better do some traveling! I drove up to the Funny Farm and did some trichromatic samples with Marie. If you read Marie's blog you know that I was just a little clumsy! We're trying to work our way through our Sabracon dyes.

You get a lot of muddy neutrals - which I actually like - working with 10s so I'm thinking about trying a similar triangle but using 100, 80/20, 60/40, etc. Would save on dye and I think give a very good result. Of course I haven't tried it yet. So stay tuned.

The next week found me heading up to Marie's Monday night and Tuesday morning we pulled into ....

After a short detour at Southampton Quilts, more about that later, we arrived at WEBS!

I love their Eight Twos, a really great warp spun cotton, very similar to the 2/8 from Maurice Brassard. It doesn't shed like other unmercerized cottons and has a wonderful hand. I bought 3/2 perle for a blanket for Jackson. I also picked up several different cottons, spiral, 8/4 rug warp, etc for dyeing.

Once home there was major shopping at Countrywool. I picked out some Heilo for Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan and Cascade220 for Ruthie Nussbaum's Minimalist Cardigan.

Some Fixation for Claudia's top down Wee Raglan (scroll way down) for Jackson fell into my bag too.

I've already finished the neckband and the short rows at the back of the neck. Now It's smooth sailing down the yoke, increasing every other row.

Sure, there were Margaritas and yarn, but really, can you beat a scene as peaceful and idyllic as this?

I'll let you in on a secret. I have a nifty new camera with a digital video setting and, just between us, I have plenty of material to make a few people squirm.....

Depending on how the blackmail proposal goes you might get to hear Marie singing selections from The Sound of Music as she models Claudia's new hat pattern.

What a great way to finish up the summer! School started this week for teachers, ninth graders come for orientation tomorrow, and after a four-day-weekend school is open for everyone.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Trying Something New

I'm always looking for the right way to warp until I realized I need to find my way to warp. One idea I had was to use these big S hooks to hold bunches of warp after presleying the reed. There wasn't enough slack to slip my hand through and, really, that basically tied me to the loom until I finished! This way I could slip the rod through once I was finished and lash it to the beam.

The handmade raddle that came with my loom was not working for me. I like warping from back to front and have tried presleying the reed and hanging it from the castle but that was a little clumsy for me. I came up with a couple of things that I could make but before grabbing the tools I tried a little mock-up with things I already had.

I clamped on the Angel Wings and then drilled a hole through my reed holder (made from a piece of 2x4 and a couple of dowel pieces, you can see an example on the Angel Wings page) so that I could bolt it to the back beam through the holes already there for the raddle.

The warp went under the harnesses and front beam and up and around my pvc trapeze. Each of the two bouts were weighted with a 1/2 gallon plastic milk carton filled with water. Warping was very smooth with absolutely no snags. I had just given my dowels a quick rub with steel wool and another coat of Wood Beams and they were as smooth as silk.

One final thought came to me, I've been putting the cross right at the beginning of my warp because that's the way the warping board was set up when it was given to me! Then when I bought a warping reel and I could put it anywhere - there it was right at the beginning, even though I never have enough slack and I'm constantly aware that it could go flying back through the heddles or reed! On the next warp I'm going to try putting the cross about 18" from the end.

I'm off to the Funny Farm for some dye sampling and lots of laughter!