that I decided to have a tune up. This is also the last of the reconstruction on the house. Gale is busily painting the house and the studio and hanging the last 3 doors. I have been spending a lot of time reorganizing the studio,painting floors and reorganizing yarn, storage and gifting my unused larger yarns to friends and students. I will be done with that in the next day or so.
Every so often one needs to have one or at least a time of reassessment. This has been both for me-Cataract surgery on both eyes, wrist hand surgery and a few other tweaks that should produce some lasting great results. The cast are off. I have 20/20 close up vision, but will need glasses for distance. I even get to start driving again on the 20th. My colours back to what they should be-no more grey staining the colours that I see... I am now off insulin. I am back to my Better Bones and balance. I have added tai chi-maybe- depending on the nerve in my leg and the PPS. Perhaps, I have done enough reconstruction to make it work. We’ll see. So all that said….It’s time to weave and write. Not that I ever quit-Just fewer walls to go up, over and/or aroundd.
I finished weaving my Grandfathers piece yesterday-except for the finishing. I am not in a great hurry to finish them up as I am trying to come up with a new body of work for an exhibit I am have next June at ETC in Eugene, OR. My next piece is started even as speak. I am in the process of laying it out. The drawings take time. I can only use drawing utensils only so many hours at a time. Just like I haven’t been able to use bobbins because of having worn the cast for so long.
These are my new best friends as I try to reclaim the muscles in my hand and forearm that were forced to hibernate and atrophy from lack of use. The nerves become less numb day by day and the hand stronger and less prone to shakes and charley horses.
3 Promises to keep-
An announcement that I hope everyone will consider and write for. I think that it is really important that small format/small scale tapestry weavers step up and make themselves known. So I am looking for writers about small format/small scale tapestry that can help to document the process of our being accepted as tapestry weavers in the tapestry world.
I am seeking articles for the American Tapestry Alliance Tapestry Topics
These two pieces together on my blog. There’s got to be a morning After part A and B.
Which in away lead to this post card and exhibit and catalogue-This was the tenth exhibit small format exhibit that sprang from The It’s About Time exhibit in 1996 in Portland, Oregon. this is a great catalogue and I think can be purchased from ATA.There is another coming up. Hope you all will start planning for the next one!
LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT WEAVING WITH A CAST! No bobbins and placing the weft
I have learned and reinforced a lot of information about weaving with and without bobbins. I am not fond of the chaos created by not using bobbins even played with using butterflies to keep down some of the chaos-never again. Butterflies are two fragile. So, the solution was to use fairly long weft bundles-18-24 inches and tie an overhand knot every6-8 inches. Biggest lesson was to make sure that there were no loops in the end of the tail below the last knot. Leaving them in always created a knotted chaos of caught threads every time I pulled the knot through the open shed. I have gone back to using my smallest brassy bob’s that are about 3.5-4 inches long. At this point they are easy to hold in my hand,leaving the point out just enough to use as another finger- but, I am still using long wefts at this point. My hand tires too easily form putting the nob through the shed.
Since I was unable to use the side tip of my bobbin to scrape the yarns in I used the tips of my fingernails to beat in the yarns. My nails started looking like some one had taken pinking shears to the tips.(OOPS, I am dating myself-does any one use pinking shears anymore?) My manicurist made a bundle applying gel nails as I wore down into the nails with the tight warps. I was able to get about 2 weeks from each application and replacement of a gel nail. After talking to my PT specialists I was able to come up with a solution they would damage my nail beds. The Japanese weavers have used this solution for hundreds of years. Most all of my instructors had told me never to use my finger nails to scrape or beat wefts into place because because the pressure of the beating could lift the nails from the nail bed or quick. This is true if it’s done wrong.
THE MIRRIX SPENCER-Another new best Friend!One of the things that made weaving so much easier during this time was that I switched from my regular titter totter treadles to a a new Spencer treadle. It has a sort of neutral that holds the shed open until I step down and change the shed. Notice the difference in size between my old treadles and the new Spencer which is under my foot. Not only does it take less effort the neutral that holds the shed open is really great. So I purchased a second Spencer. It will be so much easier to travel with and pack. I am not getting rid of my old treadles either. the only draw back is that the Spencer needs to be plugged in to electricity, which sometimes isn’t possible in some of the places I teach. Perhaps, some one could design a battery pack or a a solar system for it-pretty please!
THE DIRE AND DEADLY SPRING SPREAD CONQUERED!
I think that I have finally come up with an easy solution to what I call Spring Spread on my mirrix. This is a problem that drives me nuts…Spring Spread is what happens when the springs become older and start to fatigue. One can go from weaving 22 epi to 18 as the spring spreads. The problem with this is it can cause the tapestry ridges to spread and in some cases shrink. It also makes it very difficult to control the edges of the tapestry. Note the bulges on the two side edges that I was constantly correcting.
So the correction for Spring thread is easy. I always twine when I begin a tapestry and tie a knot at the end at the exact width I want the tapestry to be and then space the warps accordingly.So now I am just doing it at the top of the mirrix directly under the spring. I larks head on to the first thread, twine all the way across and tie the ending knot at the exact width of that spring should be or end.Please note that the loom is balanced up side down to do this. Makes it much easier.If you look closely you can see my two twiners. If I want to turn the warp around the loom then I just pull everything down and around. I can theen beat the twining at the top back into place along the bottom of the spring channel. Solves the whole problem was Spring Spread!
Guess this is enuff for now. Chene is trying to tell me something important and grabbing papers!
Cheers and all,