It’s March 2nd, and I’m sitting at my kitchen table watching the snow fall on an already white landscape. I’ve got a white on white tablecloth under my laptop and a vase of bright yellow tulips that reminds me that the landscape will soon be full of vibrant colors.
Where did the time go between November and now? I can’t answer that well, but I can report that a lot of creative juices have been flowing, even if they were mostly in the form of inspiration from other people’s creative output! I’ve been silent for a few months now, letting it all sink in. And it’s been fairly quiet here. There is nothing like a blanket of snow to muffle the noise of life. I live on a quiet street where only three other families drive up this road. And let me tell you!–winter here is a lot quieter than when Bob and I are living on a boat in the Caribbean. The wind blows night and day there, and it’s noisier than you’d imagine!
It’s been good to be at our land home this winter. It has given us time to spend with our newborn grand-twins, Rhett and Emme. Along with their older sister Tori, our son and his wife now have a trio of kids whose initial letters in their names happen to create the word TRE (Tori, Rhett, Emme). They are quite the threesome! Tre O5borns!
A recount of what I’ve been doing since November might appear a bit schizoid as well as boring. So many of us who love textiles work with it in numerous ways. So I’ve been spinning some muga silk on my new Jensen wheel, and weaving on a new-to-me Baby Wolf combby (not going well), and knitting (also a failed project), and struggling with a new Torchon pattern in bobbin lace. I hope these setbacks and failed projects mean I am growing in these areas. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a knitting failure. The mishap is in the way the fabric drapes and the sweater fits–or rather, doesn’t fit. It is huge! I’m determined to master my quirky computer loom, but I’m not there yet. I think I have worked out all the mis-steps on the Torchon pattern , and for that I have to thank Jill from my lace group. And so….I lurch on….
Here are some photos of the deflected weave project that I’m using as my first project on the Baby Wolf combby. This was the first experiment. I used the same two colors for weft that are in the warp. It’s a lovely pattern, but a bit boring colorwise.
On the 2nd experiment I decided to increase the color play. There are seven colors of weft weaving through the two color warp.
Now I’m experimenting with two colors of weft that are different from the two colors in the warp. I think I will like it best. It’s on hold for now because I’m having so many problems with the combby. It is often a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of process. Surely it’s got to get more reliable!
Once I have my dobby problems under better control I will write up a bit about this pattern. It is Janney Simpson’s design that was published about two years ago in “Handwoven” magazine.
Bob is making great use of our time home this winter. He is tackling a number of projects that have been on my wish list for a while. He asked me to prioritize what I wanted done, and I chose having him build a taka dai as the #1 item. He is making two because, like weavers, if you’re going to make one, you might as well make at least another! These are from Rodrick Owen’s shop drawings, and they are nearing completion!
This is a complicated project. Just look at all the details Bob had to work through. Although he’s had a rather long hiatus from building anything of this magnitude, he got right back into it like a pro.
He had to make 40 koma for two taka dai, and each koma has nine pins in it. They all fit together beautifully!
Bob made the tori out of zebra wood. The completed braid moves over the tori and winds onto the cloth beam at the back of the taka dai as the braiding progresses. The other zebra wood parts are the sword rests, which hold open the shed as I braid. Beautiful touches!
He’s just about ready to put a finish on the two taka dai. Although I’ve been fairly impatient for him to finish, it’s gone amazingly faster than waiting for one from Braider’s Hand.… I’m on the waiting there– 21 months. I’ve lost track of how many months I have left, but there are some braiders out there who don’t yet know they’ve just moved up one notch on the waiting list.
I’d better make a warp soon so that I’m ready to weave when the finish dries! Silk or cotton? I’ve got some very fine cotton (maybe 40/2) that has a silk-like sheen to it, and I’ve got a fair stash of 60/2 silk. I also have bundles of kumihimo silk, but it irks me that the cut silks are so short in length.
Now that I’m back online here, I’ll do a few more posts in the next few days. I’ll describe the deflected double in more detail and give some links to good information about that technique.
Bob and I have done a number of things together this winter that are already great memories. It’s been a banner winter, but I welcome spring! It’s already occurring inside the house…mostly due to this old amaryllis specimen we’ve had for decades.