Wednesday, February 03, 2010

weaving a new month

On Monday, I finished my first "warp" on the loom. That is, I wove until there was no more warp (threads that go north and south on the loom and in the weaving project) left. I made 5 scarves in all. Except, they could be table runners, or practice pieces, or whatever you'd like to call them. They're wool and silk, mostly plain weave, with a little twill thrown in now and again. Two of them are mostly handspun and 3 have a commercial weft and a handspun warp. Here they are, in a pile--I've got to weave in ends and tidy up these pieces before they are washed and finished.

At the same time, the professor was getting ready for a big research trip to Florida. I was trying to understand how one put a warp chain (premeasured yarn or thread) onto the loom, since my first warp came directly from the last weaver's house to mine. That kind weaver also left me with 2 or 3 additional warp chains so I don't have to learn how to measure out a warp myself yet. I realized that I needed the professor's help to get the new warp on the "back beam" (the thing pictured here with the sticks on it, the sticks keep the yarns neatly wound and from sticking on each other. One person (me) to wind the back beam and keep things neat with those sticks. Second person (the professor) to hold the other end of the yarn and apply even tension.

Since the professor was leaving the next day, I ended up putting on the new warp in a much less leisurely way than I'd intended. As a friend said, "I made efficient use of manpower." Now I need to put the threads through the heddles... (those metal eye like things) and that is taking time.

The warp chain is old, which means the cotton yarn, wound up a long time ago, has twisted and twined around itself. The threads are not in perfect order, and I have to do a lot of straightening to get them on the loom. Still, I took my first weaving project off and got the second one on inside of a day, so I feel pretty good about that. I have some "fear of warping" left over from when I learned to weave as a kid, so I'm trying to get over it in stages! So far, so good.

I've also knitted two sample socks. (photos will be posted later, I promise.)

Otherwise, things have been less successful here, though we're trying hard. I've discovered several folks trying to offer one of my books via illegal free downloads--and my kind publisher has a very serious legal department looking into stopping that. I stand to lose something like 80 cents a book, and given the other drama below, I can't afford that!

I've developed a very fine relationship with the boiler repair man after several visits. We have heat, but there's something wrong with the water pressure for the heat. It was too high and threatened to explode the radiators. Now it might be too low to actually heat the house. Despite what one wood chuck might predict, I am certain we will need heat here for February, and all of March and April too.

The professor's computer died right before he left. It has apparently now been fixed, so I will try to get that for him tomorrow. Our neighbor's sewer line also had to be fixed today, so the music of the backhoe has been heard throughout the land. It's been sort of a long week and it's only Wednesday night. Oy.

Please join me in hoping that the new weaving project, enabled with efficient manpower, is a sign of positive things to come! February? Bring it on.

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Blogger Mary G said...

At least you're keeping busy while dh is gone ... how cool with the loom and all (I'm following this and knowing that knitting is about all I'll accomplish in the near future!) ....

Hugs and prayers for a successful warping/woofing of the loom projects ... and heat thru Feb (we're freezing here in Viginia!).

February 3, 2010 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Beautiful FFO's !

And that loom looks beautiful too!

February 4, 2010 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Maybe you can find at least one other weaver in town who could help you 'manhandle' the process? In lieu of that, good doggy company and good music will help! We have two [ressure regulators in the basemnt --- one for water coming into the house and one on the boiler.

February 4, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Need to correct spelling. darn. "Pressure regulators".

February 4, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Oh my. How did you find out about the book? Was someone kind enough to give you the heads up? (And kudos to them if they did.)

Enjoy the weaving!

February 5, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

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