December 30, 2016
The day before yesterday, I got a phone call from a friend, who said she'd just picked up this donated table loom and did I want to house it. It was currently in the back of her car. Of course I said yes. She dropped off this baby! It is made by Metiers Clement Inc, out of Saint Justin, Que. Interestingly, it seems like the company is still in business, although from what I could tell, they stopped selling looms in the 1980's.
It's big and it's heavy! It has a weaving width of 24 inches and is solid wood. It has 4 shafts, strong and secure levers for the brake release, front and back beams. I played with a Dorothy once, which had a flying brake lever. If you didn't move the brake lever in exactly the correct way, it flew off, across the room! It is a jack loom. It has sturdy metal lams and everything. The levers to move these are under the loom. It also has a sectional beam, like an honest to goodness real one, with a 1 inch spacing. I've never tried sectional warping before and it almost seems like it might be overkill on a table loom, except for the sturdiness of this little loom.
The loom needs a bit of TLC as well. For one thing, it's filthy. I mean really, dirty. It had a thick layer of dust and a layer of brownish grime, lots of build up of dirt and oil from handling the beater and spots of something brown and drippy, which I'm hoping was a benign substance. The front apron needs to be replaced and all the lamms need the decades old greased cleaned off, and replaced. However once that is done, it looks like it could be a fun little loom. I did find a photo of one of these looms on a little table stand, with the shaft raising mechanisms attached to treadles.
I've already spent a couple of hours cleaning the loom up, with at least a couple more to go. Then I'll figure out how to dress the loom and give it a whirl.
December 28, 2016
I've been thinking that Kevin has been a well behaved boy these days. Generally, he's got a routine, which he follows to the T. He's not been naughty, or badly behaved for a while. In fact, he's almost been boringly good.
But as I've discovered, it was all a sham. He was just pretending to be a good kitty, and lulling us into some sort of peaceful oblivion, thinking that all was well.
It's definitely a good thing he looks so
I grabbed every towel in the house and as they uprighted the tree, I started mopping up about a gallon of water, trying to get as much as it as possible before it soaked into the carpet and gifts. I was able to get most of the gifts out of the way in time, but a few got wet. We salvaged everything but one gift bag, which held a couple of books. So my Christmas Eve was ultimately spent, blow drying books (my own present from the husband), which had gotten a bit wet. My sweetie had to screw the tree holder directly into the floor, in order to keep the now, bedraggled tree upright.
When we finally were able to sit down and figure out what happened, we realized that earlier that afternoon, when Kevin was sniffing the tree and a few low hanging baubles, he was actually preparing for mayhem. It was he, who my son saw try to climb the tree a few minutes earlier, despite an admonishment and moving him out of the way, it was Kevin who raced by us all, after felling the tree with his adventures.
A trip to the big box department store replaced a bunch of broken baubles at half price, but when I took down our now sad, rumpled tree, I realized that most of the ornaments which had broken, were the old ones, baubles and bits from when my kids were young. Thankfully, I never got around to putting the really vintage ornaments on the tree this year, or that would have been much more sad. By the time I was able to get the camera out, the guys had picked up and vacuumed up a rather large pile of broken bits and pieces. These were all they had left out for me to document the cat-tastrophe.
December 24, 2016
I wanted to make a wooden box to use as a centrepiece, so I could fill it with seasonal decorations. I wish I'd taken photos of the building progression. Apparently you cannot just cut the wood, glue the sides together and bang in a few nails, in order to make a decorative and not very functional box. Nope, I needed biscuit joints, routered inlayed bottom, lots of clamps and way more time than I'd allotted. It finally got some decorative nails about 5 minutes ago, but it won't be sanded, stained or finished. But it is a box that will withstand the ravages of time. This thing might never fall apart.
I'd better go finish up. Happy Christmas everyone. May your holiday season be full of peace, joy and sunshine. I hope the New Year is full of happiness and finished projects for you all.
December 22, 2016
December 16, 2016
So I've taken it off the wheel. I'll wind this bit of spun thead onto a bobbin and set it aside for the spring or summer, when wet spinning will be easier on me.
As an aside, I've been itching to toss something in a dye pot, but have been holding back. The new sink was supposed to be installed 2 weekends ago. The sink cabinet needed some specific modifying because the sink is from Ikea, which meant a bunch of other small adjustments. Then the weekend weather was icky, so we didn't get the wood for finishing the framing around the kitchen window, which needs to be done before the sink cupboard gets installed. So, I've been hesitant to dye up the laundry tub, in case all my nice, new wash basins, need to be used for dishes. :(
Our guild offers a beginner weaving class, which is an introduction to not only weaving, but colour manipulation. We use pre-warped 4 harness looms to make tea-towels. This is our last class' pretty towels. The next class is at the end of January. This spring we'll be doing a follow up class, which will include winding a warp, and dressing a loom. This class seems to attract fun and interesting people, who all make cool towels.
December 12, 2016
I think I'm going to switch to white for a while.
Why does this matter? I'm taking a design course through our guild. When I signed up for it, I was pretty sure it was going to have some decent content but since we are meeting only 4 times in a year, before the final projects are due, I wasn't sure what to expect. When we all signed up, it was with the expectations that we will complete all the homework.
There are 8 of us in the class. Our first class was not a whole weekend, but just 3 hours on a Saturday morning. We finished early - which was probably a good thing, because we covered so much information about drafting. This didn't cover draw downs - we should know that by now, but how to set up a design, read it for threading and lift patterns, and then how to change that to a tie up. We also covered sett and had a whole whack load of homework.
We have sett samples to make, 6 for each type of yarn - 3 in tabby and 3 in twill. It was suggested that I use my handspun for some of these, because I can actually replicate yarns that I spin. I quickly thought that I didn't want to waste my handspun but it really was my mouth spitting out words that didn't explain what I meant. The coloured cotton is harder for me to come by, so I didn't want to use it. White cotton is easier to find, so if I start spinning now, I might be able to get it done in time for the next class in March. I will also see what else I have on hand. The samples should start at about 12 inches wide, but I think if I'm using handspun cotton, they will be a little narrower. That is a fair bit of cotton to spin, though if I use a dummy warp, it might be a bit easier.
Then we have pattern gamps to create - 2 of them - eek.....
And we're to start thinking about our final project, using a book to keep ideas in. I think this freaked out more of our class than anything else.
Now to start looking for equipment to use -
I'm looking for an 8 harness or more loom than needs a new home - and a table loom,
though it turns out the guild will rent me one for a reasonable price, so that is where I'll probably start. We'll need it to drag to classes and for some of our homework, as apparently it is much easier to just flip switches on a lift plan than to tie up treadles.
But - I wonder if a direct tie -up would work to do the gamp on a floor loom?
Now to get the stupid scarves that I don't like off the loom, and get started.
December 07, 2016
I really disliked the pattern or the colour or both. The scarf is soft and drapes nicely, but it is boring. I knew this when I cut it off, having decided to re-thread in a pattern that I think I will enjoy more.
I am almost finished spinning the second bobbin of the sage green cotton. The funny thing is that no one believes that the icky beige colour is actually green. So I tossed the first skein in a pot of water and simmered it for about an hour. What an amazing colour change. It seems that it really is sage green!
I tossed a few more handfuls of alpaca fibre into the wash basin yesterday. It is dry enough to put away, but it feels so nice that I'm leaving it out for a bit so that I can run my hands through it everytime I walk past it.
December 05, 2016
I came in the other day, to find Kevin had pulled down the cloak project and made himself a warm, soft, little bed. He doesn't look horribly comfortable, but considering the amount of time he was snuggled up there, I think he must have been comfy. Either that or he was just being obstinate and hogging the fabric so that I couldn't work on the cloak :)
Last year my sweetie received one of those Mr. Brew kits for a gift. With the kitchen project, he kept putting off trying it out. Finally I read the directions and a short time later, I had the first batch sitting in the only area warm enough for fermentation - hello new living room ornament. It was really easy and online reviews suggest that you get relatively drinkable if uninspiring beer. Since I don't really drink and don't like beer at all, I'll never know if it is any good or not - but there are 2 more tins of that concentrate, so there will be at least another couple of batches in the future.
I have a large, clear glass jug. If I get an airlock for it, can I brew a second batch in that or does the container have to be dark? I will have to do some research.
I'd been hoping to have this ready for the holidays, but totally misunderstood the timing. 2-3 weeks for fermentation, 1-2 weeks for carbonation and 1-4 weeks for aging, does not fit into the 3 weeks left before Christmas. Whoops.