Friday, 20 June 2008

I really have been busy :)

I finally was able to get to a store selling needlework supplies to pick up the final materials needed for a new doublet. It has been started. The design requires much couching of threads which I may have to push myself to finish up as it is easy to set it down and forget about it. The fabric is wool which I dyed with a modern dye - it was baby blue and not suitable for the project. In the process of dyeing it, I fulled it slightly so it has a really nice hand now, which I am enjoying working with.

As well, I was asked to help with a school demo put on by Regia Anglorum, which was tons of fun. I had a soapstone drop spindle, dyed wool samples, fabric samples and a tablet weaving loom which many of the kids found fascinating.

I also have been making some new textile tools. I've these two shuttles almost finished. They are made of oak. I've also got a pin beater marked out and ready to cut, but it will be made of maple.

Why do I need these new tools? It's not 'cause I'm fond of using stick shuttles on a modern loom, unless I'm using multiple colours or really fat threads. It's because I've been helping with, supervising, designing a new warp weighted loom and it's almost finished! It has been designed to take multiple heddle rods, has been slightly reduced in size so I don't need a bench to weave on it and ... drum roll please.... it has a brake, so I can weave by myself! Woo Hoo..

I did have to make some new tablet weaving cards so I could try a tablet woven header for the above loom. I really did have a fringed project planned but the desire to see if the tablet woven header helps with the draw in- warp faced facets of the loom and if it helps even it all out has won the day. You should see my makeshift warping set up - it's rather odd and takes up most of the sofa!

Despite the cool, wet weather, the garden has decided to produce. The lavender has decided to bloom all at once, so it has been a harried harvest period. The only saving grace is that my lavender plants are different varieties and thus mature at different times. Last year, each plant slowly matured over a couple of weeks. I had wonderful times, slowly harvesting and enjoying the lovely scent. This year - it's harvesting the first plants in 3 days, between rain showers, hoping it will dry before I have to cut!
Finally - my kitty. I had to steal my wool away from him as he decided that my unwound skeins made a really comfy bed. He was not too happy about that! Interestingly enough, he loves the white and naturally dyed yarns, not the commercially dyed yarns. He only pays attention to natural fibres like wool as well. He is a kitty of very good taste!

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