Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Theo Moorman table runner

Here - finally - are some photos of the finished table runner that I did at weaving classes. I've washed, dried and ironed it. The technique involves weaving a ground cloth - the cream - then putting supplementary threads just on the front, that are held down by very fine threads. When we did the sampler I liked the translucent effect that you get when you put a fine supplementary thread over the top - and what happened when you overlapped them. So I did overlapping squares.

I tried to go with a 1950s abstract vibe, in pastel colours. The background cloth is a cotton/silk mix which makes it nice and nubbly, although using two separate yarns as one was a bit of a pain. Some of the supplementary threads are just about invisible, but that's part of the effect I was aiming for ... no, not really. I didn't have a clue what I was aiming for.

And here is the back. No sign of the colours at all. I hand-stitched down the hem. It makes quite a nice cloth, I might try and buy some silk and see what happens. Perhaps just for the weft though, not the warp. Now I have to find a table to run it along. Table runner! Never used one in my life. It's not long enough for a scarf, so I might fold it up and put it in the cupboard.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Visitors, then working

It has been a nutso week at work as Parliament tries to wrap everything up before the long winter break. Which I am very much looking forward to - even in my gentle little corner there are waves of urgency washing up onto our sandy beach. Beach... I would love to be down the coast. Canberra has had some corking cold nights and freezing foggy days.

Last weekend we had visitors! My brother and sister-in-law came over from NZ for a weekend in Canberra followed by a week in Sydney. It was lovely to catch up - we did some very quiet things, like walking round the lake.

Saturday was a bit grey and grim, but Sunday was a beautiful day. We went to the bus depot markets for artisanal sourdough and handmade soap (actually neither of those things, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the markets) then dragged them up the hill to the trig point to see the landscape, then off to the outlet centre to look at sofas. Never say we don't know how to show people a good time!

It was wonderful to see them and we had a great weekend. They arrived and left on the train (my brother is a train driver) which added to the novelty. I go to the train station about once every three years ... one day I will actually get on.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Triple double chins

It's a tale of three selfies this week - two on the glorious south coast having a lovely walk on sparkling twenty degree afternoons ... and one stomping up to work on a foggy Canberra morning when it's exactly 0.5 degrees. I don't know why I look so worried in the selfies but I do know why I have so many double chins. Cheese, mainly, and chips.

It has been a crazy busy week at work which is my excuse for not blogging. I went down the beach just for one night to order the carpet. I had to measure the room myself because there was no way we were going to co-ordinate someone for a quote on any of the days when I could be there. But really, the room is a square, how hard can it be. They  made me sign something that said if it was horribly wrong it was all my fault, which I was happy to do. I measured it with a one-metre tape measure shaped like a panda from the dollar shop, so it should be fine.

I also patched the holes I'd made in the wall. It's not perfect, but at least it's not a great big hole. They were too big to use filler alone so I had to use the plasterboard mesh, which it is still slightly visible, which I think is bad, but it's done now. I replastered and repainted so it's better than it was ... but not perfect. I bought more brackets to re-hang the curtain rod but I didn't do it! I left it for my husband to do next time. I couldn't face the thought of stuffing it up again.

And this week has been extra crazy because we have to drop off and pick up Crutches Boy from school. He is much better though and prefers to walk short distances without his crutches. He was so happy to get the PICC line out, and onto tablet antibiotics. The wound is just about entirely healed and now only has a band-aid on it, which is awesome. We'll get him some physio and he should be back as good as new before you know it! What a relief.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Variety of twills

So this is my first effort - a variety of twills. I pretty much did a few inches of all the stitches in the book that would go on that particular draft (the way that it's threaded in the heddles. It's a pointed draft over six, note to self). And I changed colour every time I changed weave, so it's a bit motley.

It's a lot harder doing it at home than at uni with a very knowledgeable tutor to help you! I can see how many mistakes there are ... not just where I forgot what I was doing and did two rows the same (see weird pink line at right above) but also some of the warp threads weren't exactly the right tension, and some of the twills drew in a lot more than others. Which makes the edges wavey. The different textures are cool though. Quite a subtle effect.

And it's cotton so it crumples. I don't know why I didn't think of that but I wore it once to work to amaze my friends and confound my enemies and had to iron it before I could wear it again. Not actually super practical for a scarf. It's very light though and dainty. I might have not put it close enough together. I did a 24 epi sett (that's ends per inch, so 24 threads per inch, it's all in inches, just like quilting. Goddamn Americans, last imperial holdout) and it could have possibly gone a bit denser.

That's a couple of inches of plain weave at the bottom, and I plaited the fringe. I'm doing a much longer warp now - 6 metres - to make two scarves from the same warp. Just a plain draft but I might just pick one twill and stick with it.

My injured baby is rapidly improving, although exhausted from a couple of days back at school. They've given him a key to the elevators but I think it's all very difficult to hobble around from place to place. And the antibiotics are quite ferocious on his poor little system. Still, he is much better than he was.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Back at home

Number two son is much better back at home now - although apparently still technically in hospital because he still has IV antibiotics. He is on Hospital In The Home where nurses come round every day and check him out, and he still has to wear his wristband. Which is fine by us. Much better for him to be at home than in hospital and heaps easier to keep him entertained. If only we didn't have so many stairs! Poor little thing is going like a rocket on the crutches but stairs are a nightmare. Especially with an elderly cat and a fluffy dog winding around your feet as you go. He face-timed into a couple of his classes yesterday which was fun, and hopefully school next week. Still with the IV and the crutches, but the doctors reckon he can, so why not.

I have been doing a bit of weaving in the quiet times. I've set my loom up in a un-used corner of the family room and warped it up with the new (shiny) mercerised cotton that I bought.

And weaving with my nice new boat shuttle that I never used on the rigid heddle because I couldn't figure out a way of winding the bobbins. The winders that you buy are $120 which seemed a bit excessive for a simple piece of kit ... so I used the electric drill instead.

It is amazing! Really quick and efficient. And we already own one. I have been so keen that I've nearly finished the first one so I'll take it off and wet-finish it and take same photos. I'm sure I'll have some free time....