Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Choices, Choices...

The draft of the current scarf is shown below. I've reconfigured WeaveIt to show the draft with the threading on the bottom, so the image reflects the way I'm weaving the design:

 And a closeup photo of the cloth:

I'm hoping that tomorrow will see #4 in progress. We will have to wait and see which weft color and which treadling win the lottery.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


The third scarf in this series is in progress. The weft is also 20/2 rayon, wound off a cone of mill-dyed bubblegum pink and overdyed by me to a red-violet that is similar in value to the blue warp.

Today and tomorrow are the last 2 days of this year's edition of Open Studios Tour. Although we are not officially part of the tour (my schedule was fairly uncertain this year because of the heart surgery) so we didn't register and pay to be in the printed and online guide, but if you are in San Luis Obispo County, and anywhere near Atascadero, please do drop by to admire DH's beautiful turned wood and see the jacquard and 24-shaft looms in action.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Back in the Studio

After coming back to the real world in Californa, I discovered I had gained 4 lbs. Mostly water, not that sublime handmade pasta, though, because within a week I was back to "normal." Spending 12 hours in the dry environment of a transatlantic flight will do that.

At home, an unhappy 24-shaft dobby loom awaited me. Two of the solenoids had begun to misfire intermittently before we left on our first holiday to Montana, and between that trip and the food-and-wine holiday in Italy, there wasn't time to do more than order some spares from AVL.

As it turned out, the repair job took far longer than it should have. The replacement solenoids were slightly different from the failed ones. After spending about 8 hours installing one solenoid, and testing it only to find that it still didn't work properly, and trying to improve the situation by realigning the dobby box in two dimensions, followed by further testing, DH phoned AVL. Only to be told that he should remove the washer and spring that constituted the difference between the new and the original versions, after which the loom performed perfectly.

So back to weaving...

Scarf #2 on the current warp of blue 20/2 rayon. The weft is red, and the threading and treadling is derived by using block substitution to convert a network twill threading to multishaft crackle. One example of a related drawdown is shown here (scroll down near the bottom of the linked post.)

From the driver's seat, the pattern is difficult to see. Now that I'm at the end of the piece, and can photograph the cloth as it travels back under the loom to the cloth storage beam, the pattern and irridescence are more evident.

The plain weave areas are irridescent (either blue or red or purple, depending on angle of light and/or view). Where the small floats are warpwise, they show as specks of blue, and where they are weftwise, they're red. Tomorrow, on to scarf #3.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Room With A View

Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. As in: parmigiano, basalmico, pasta to die for, prociutto, pancetta, and glorious wines.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Montana Fun

On one of the days of sunny weather, we went to an antique agricultural equipment fair. There was a John Deere tractor manufactured in 1932, plus a few more (all in immaculate condition) of newer vintage (1940's and 50's), as well as some steam-powered machinery.

This steam tractor was being used to run a large mill-sized saw blade about 20 yards/meters away. Naturally, the operator had to blast the steam whistle and startle all the attendees.

My favorite machine (aside from an old Ford pickup truck almost identical to the 1930's green truck my grandfather drove) was this pre-electric wooden wringer washer. Please do click on the thumbnail to see the full-size image, and note the manufacturer name imprinted above the wringer.

Everywhere we went, we were accompanied by my brother's dog, Rosie, a sweet-natured Golden Retriever. She came to the antique machinery fair, and nearly bolted when the steam whistle went off. Poor thing, she's never heard a sound like that - she was skittish and shivering for 5 minutes afterward!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Memories of Montana

We had a wonderfully relaxing 10 days (plus 4 days travel time) at the cabin in Montana. After a few days of fair weather, it rained for most of the rest of the time. A good excuse to read, knit, rest, and relax! Also, the rain means that the fire season in that region is over for the season. As usual, the first snow on the mountains appeared while we were there.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Just Me and the Loon

We're at the cabin in Montana, hoping to get away from the constant smoke at home. The loons are so accustomed to the lake residents, they just ignore us as they go about their fishing. Earlier, I saw a single chick, and one of the parents. This adult loon must have left the kid at the nest while it looked for dinner. Such a serene sight!