Back in Action, Sort Of

Ben woke up Saturday with a feeling my card might have arrived early, (and to send a couple of parcels for me, though I could have waited until tomorrow,) so he went to the PO, and there it was. He went straight to the loom, and long story short, (it took a few hours,) replacing the card alone didn't fix the problem but he found a way around it. I heard this strange noise from the basement while I cooked, and bless him, the loom was back in action. I rushed downstairs and sampled, hoping I might even get most of this piece, (this is a short warp,) finished. But it didn't go that way.
The red merino, 17/2-ish, 100%, is a leftover from ages ago and I have perhaps this much left so it wasn't a candidate but a color experiment; but this has the best texture and I could use a different color, (I have black, possibly undyed, and a weird/difficult variegated in dark green, depressing orange, and brown.) The next brown weft is a 26/2 100% cashmere; I tried this because it's a strange reddish brown that doesn't go with anything else I own, a rescue from Mama's stash, and I thought per chance it might work here. In fact, the color does; you know those balls of chocolate with soft bits inside, with outside coated in cocoa powder? You might have even had some seasonal variation covered in powdered sugar or crushed candy cane recently? And the cashmere shines beautifully under fluorescent light, but read on. The white is the undyed merino single, handspun my moi; I wanted to see how the design looks when woven with an uneven-sized weft.

The threading looks, for something I made up as I went, alarmingly symmetrical and I'm still contemplating editing. The warp is an Australian merino, very fine, originally gray dyed with Blenheim walnut husks and no mordant. The texture proved to be the biggest problem.

The commercial 17/2-ish merino in the weft has the most familiar cushiony feel; this yarn is always a winner. My handspun single creates an uneven feel, in place cushier, but in place, stringier, just as I expected but this is the first time I experimented with a handspun single. I'm glad I guessed right but now have a sample. After a day of touching and feeling, it's become fairly fuzzy and I don't know what the long-term use will do. I'm not a serious spinner so while I think it makes an interesting piece, I hesitate to weave this to sell. But the big surprise was the cashmere: the cashmere is airy and soft, of course, which makes the warp feel coarse, in parts particularly bad but overall uncomfortable in comparison. Made into a piece, it's not going to be a concern, but when one has a sample with a better option, one does want to make the best possible piece, every time, doesn't one? Strange and totally unexpected result!

So instead of happily weaving all day, I carried the sample around all day not knowing which way to go.
The main culprit, an old ISA 8-bit multi-IO card, if that means anything to you; I always thought these look like tiny dioramas of industrial complexes.
Few friends have commented on the Suter Shop of late; I've been thinking about it and my options since the middle of last year. While the Suter still has a lot of local art and hasn't gone the way some other NZ gallery shops have, (more souvenirs and junk than art,) as a maker the shop has changed completely: the paperwork, to me, are incomprehensible; all works are merchandises to them; and there is no discourse on, well, anything.

At the same time, when you get to talking with people who operate arty shops around New Zealand, one is taken somewhat seriously as a maker when one's outlet includes, (or in my case, the only place is,) the Suter. (The above pic was after I sorted and folded my stuff. You can see my tag had fallen off; I found it stuck on the shelf to the left, but it's not a good look. I must peel off the white tack next time.) 

When we went after Christmas, there were eight on the shelf, but nine on the last stock list I received. The missing piece was the second of the Gray lot, one of the two pieces I ever really liked in my years of weaving, and I'd been thinking of withdrawing and keeping it for myself or putting it on the online store. When I first took them to the Suter, to Andrea at the temporary shop, we discussed how delicate and catching they were, so I put them in cellophane bags with the proviso she and staff could take them out any time someone was interested. Two sold to one person that way.

After the permanent Suter reopened and the new manager arrived, the piece was never displayed and when I inquired, she said she preferred it out of the bag. To be sure, the new manager is a lovely smiley person, but her, and the gallery's, focus is completely different from Andrea's, (who had the knack of making many of us feel any one of us was her one favorite maker.) When I went back last week to enquire, the manager said she couldn't find the gray piece, and could I wait a few days to check the inventory list on the computer; I had to put my foot down and ask her to check right away, mentioning it was the delicate piece, so she relented, and it turned out the piece was sold.

Still. It's not a situation that instills confidence, is it? I'm preaching to the choir, I know, and she/they have their reasons, but no more super fine pieces there, at least for a while. (Which is not a big problem because some of mine look delicate but are robust.)

I want to post about food but that'll be another day. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to collage together over Skype.

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