Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Next on the Jacquard

Rather than wait a day to get the errant hook repaired, I decided I would just figure out how to "cast out" that hook using Photoshop. In the design file, I made the column for that hook all white, so the loom would not ever bother to try to lift it. Then I highlighted all the columns from there leftward toward the selvedge and moved them left 1 column. That way, hook 393 is doing what hook 394 should have been doing, and everything flows left from there to the selvedge. At the selvedge, where I use an extended basketweave structure, I had to recreate the rightmost column of that part of the design - no big deal, it's easy in Photoshop to copy 1 column, and paste its contents into the next column to the right.

If I used real jacquard design software, like Arahweave or JacqCad, I'm sure there's an easy 1-button fix, but this wasn't really all that difficult once I wrapped my head around what needed to happen.

So I was able to finish the first abstract piece based on a painting by Connie Rose, and began another. Here's the original image, indexed to several values of 3 hues (see the color chip strip at the bottom of the image):

And the lower part of the woven image - I only got to pick #300 by quitting time. The blue isn't the same as Connie's - not as much green in it - but I think it'll work anyway. And it was the closest color in the stash.

Monday, July 21, 2014

On the Jacquard Loom

Today's jacquard piece is based (with her permission) on a painting by Connie Rose. As soon as I saw it on her blog, I knew I wanted to interpret in cloth.

Here's the my version of the original painting, indexed in Photoshop to 12 colors (several values of each of 3 hues):

And here it is on the loom. The wefts are red-violet, gold-ochre, and pale silver-grey. The gold-ochre isn't orange enough, but the dyepot simply refused to cooperate, so I'm using what I got from the dye gods.

The white line in the original doesn't stand out enough, and I'm thinking about couching a thick white thread on the surface of the finished weaving. I'll decide once the piece is woven, cut off the loom, and wet finished.

As you can see from the pins in the cloth, I'm having some trouble with a couple of hooks on module 4 (about 1/4 the way in from the left side).

DH says it's a solenoid that needs to be replaced, and he can't get at it without removing the module from the loom altogether. So tomorrow will be an interesting day. First, the 120 tiny clips that connect the heddles to the hooks need to be undone, and a thin metal rod run through the holes at the top of the heddles, to keep them in proper order. Then the module can be removed from the loom and the solenoid replaced, and finally the whole process has to be done in reverse order to get the loom's guts back in place. I'll try to take a few pictures of the process to post later.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Gift for a Leo

It's been a busy weekend. On Saturday, we went to a dinner party in Santa Rosa, about 2 hours by car north of San Francisco. On the way, we stopped in San Francisco at the workshop of a metal sculptor who specializes in critters made from recycled agricultural equipment - tools, tractor parts, you name it. I had ordered a lion from him when I saw his work at a craft show in SoCal. My sister's birthday is in August, making her a Leo, so I always try to find lions for her.

We planned to stay at her house in Petaluma, south of Santa Rosa, so it was a perfect opportunity to deliver the lion (early). However, she and spouse were away for the weekend, so we had the house to ourselves. We left the Leo for the Leo in her front hall, awaiting her return. I haven't gotten a phone call yet, but I expect it any minute.

He stands about 36 inches tall, and about 40 inches wide. His mane is made from one layer of a street sweeper truck's brush, and the rest are miscellaneous tools and parts, all welded together. I hope she likes him as much as I do!

P.S. She likes it. Just got the phone call this morning (Monday).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Day at the Fair

The California Mid State Fair opened in Paso Robles yesterday, and since the weather was predicted to stay cool (for this area in July) we decided today was our day to visit.

The first stop was the buildings where the fair entries are judged and exhibited. DH came away with a good haul of ribbons, including a blue ribbon for one of his maple burl platters:

Plus a 2nd place for a pepper mill (seen here with a pepper mill made by a friend from his woodturning club - size matters, apparently):

The woodturnings were all displayed behind glass, in windows facing outdoors, so the reflections can't be helped. And he got a 3rd place for one of his rolling pins:

I got a blue ribbon for one of my jacquard woven pieces:

In the afternoon, we attended our favorite event of all that the Fair has to offer: Mutton Busting. This event is limited to kids aged 4 to 7 (or a maximum of 60 pounds in weight), who all wear protective gear including a sturdy helmet. The sheep usually win. This is a typical outcome:

As is this:

In this case, the child managed to take down the sheep, but still lost - you have to stay onboard for six seconds, just like a bronco- or bull-riding event:

Of the whole lot, only this little girl and one other were able to ride the whole six seconds:

This sheep ran straight into the wall at the far end of the pen - a good thing the wall is padded there (it must happen frequently). Throughout the entire contest, there were no tears or tantrums (except by the sheep) and several kids took more than one ride, determined to master the sport. A few kids declined to ride at the last minute, and the crowd cheered for them anyway - it's a wise child who is brave enough to say "No, I don't think I want to do that after all" in public.

Everyone except the sheep had a good time, win or lose.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jacquard Prep

The jacquard loom is ready to go: I've lashed the rod that Tien wove into the warp at the end of her large piece onto the apron, retensioned a few slack threads (you can see a few pins in the woven strip) and wove an inch or so to make sure everything is shipshape before beginning a new piece.

Meanwhile, table runner #2 is chugging along - about the half-way point, I think. For the first time so far on this warp, both painted stripes are at the same point in the color rotation at the same time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Runner #2 Begun

I finished weaving the first table runner and began #2. The treadling is advancing points, and the weft is a medium value purple.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monsoon Season

Our typical weather pattern is 1 wet season (October or November through April or May) and 1 dry season (June through September) with very dry conditions during the summer. Usual humidity: 10-12%. Today's humidity: 50%.

This means that a tropical storm is working northwestward from the Gulf of Mexico, crossing into Arizona, southern Nevada, and California. The sky is overcast - grey all day - but with relatively high temperatures; today was in the high 80s to low 90s(F). This is what Californians call "muggy." We couldn't survive in 90% humidity!

This monsoon pattern will last a few days, then we'll be back to hot (105F) and dry (10%).

I worked up a tropical sweat in the studio, weaving on the painted-chain table runner warp. It was fun to see the painted stripes change as I wove. At the beginning of the warp, the painted chains were the same color as the surrounding narrow stripes of red, but not for long.

Apparently, I didn't line up the two right-hand painted chains very well, and there is an occasional offset between them. Oh, well. More visual interest, right?