Saturday, June 23, 2018

It's been a Strange Week

Hello, there. I've been sick again bur that's enough of that. I've managed to do these things since we last spoke. (For fiber content, please follow the pictures?)

Last Thursday - I bravely marched into my stash room, buoyed by a small cheering section, (my FB page folks,) and managed to sort/cull/clean all yarns and the dresser drawers of weaving, spinning, sewing and marketing material, (tags, labels, bags, ribbons, stickers, etc.) This was easy. I culled some yarns I could would have used, but I still have plenty. I feel not only lighter now but more focused. In the wool department, I have only skinny yarns or Mom's hand-dyed/handspuns. Goodness, she must have been a dyeing, spinning machine at one point! And leftovers of the best with-scale yarns. I also managed to bring some up from the basement, but there is still a lot down there, but now in one big box. Without much fat or textured yarns, my stash looks somewhat, well, flat and plain, but for now I'm happy with that. In the not-wool department, I had very little left to cull but still managed some, and everything except the natural-dyed silks for tapestry fits into one big box.

I still have the Brazilian cottons and I'm not sure what to do; I've put my collar through two washing and five rinse cycles and I can't really taste the powdery residue any more. But if I were to donate, they would be accompanied by big loud notes on every ball. Or, rinse them enough times and use up myself. I'm also undecided on five cones of silk and two cones of wool; they are those high spun (is that the term?) yarns Mom was really into at one point. I've used it once, learned they make unflat cloth, and hated it. But for now I'm keeping them because I wouldn't know how to replace them, and/or I may want to use them in non-garment projects. I'm also interested in getting back to wonky spinning for texture and colors as I do love knitting with my own merino handspun. But I'm holding back on the orders; that can be a reward for myself.

This leaves art supplies, fabrics, and books, on the floor and in the shelves. And cleaning surfaces like the walls and the picture frames. Which is doing things in the wrong order but... If I work super efficiently, art supplies and fabrics should take half a day, tops. The books, though, I have no idea. I've already booked a do at our house in August for some friends to come have a look at books I intend to  I donate.

It is so nice to walk into the room and fetch anything to do with weaving, spinning and sewing. Except books. :-D

Last Friday - Town day highlights: I went to see Peter a picture framer and one of the first people we met in Nelson and had a good chin wag; I had a picture framing question after the clean up on Thursday but I couldn't remember what it was, so we laughed about that. I had lunch with Esther and talked a little bit about the juxtaposition of the sublime and the ridiculous in the Japanese culture. I met young Annie for coffee at the old Red Gallery, which apparently have changed hands again. I saw Doc Karl and complained about my airplane ear and was put on another, though lower, dose of antibiotics. Ben and I went to see "Solo", which was a big surprise because Ben seldom want to do anything but on Friday nights; afterwards we went to an Indian restaurant for takeaways but the lady convinced us we wanted to eat in so we did that, too We got home so much later than we're used to and instead of starting the fire, went to bed early and read. My sister got me started on a fact-based story of a woman Japanese pirate during our civil war period, around the time of Shakespeare. It's in Japanese, of course, and I always have to retrain my eyeballs to move from the top of the page to the bottom, which takes a couple of days; then not get exasperated by all the kanji, (and historical novels have plenty of strange ones with a bunch  of names I can't read;) it's been excruciating but fascinating. 

I unexpectedly unloaded, on Annie, my frustration I can't seem to weave anything pleasing; the rant was a torrent of words to which I listened at the same time I was speaking in a quasi out-of-body experience. But I did squeeze some updates from her and most of all I'm happy she's so into weaving! She has a lot of mentors and teachers so I wouldn't be surprised if her knowledge and technique exceeds mine now but we didn't get to seeing any pictures of her work.

She's as adamant as I used to be about not wanting to "weave pictures", but traditional cloth. I've been aware my own boundaries in this department has blurred of late, thinking of clasped wefts and the possibility of weaving on a tapestry loom. And then there is that thing I didn't mention in our conversation, the physical decay, for want of a better term, and attention span that changes one's... mindset? ability! capability in what we want to and can weave. Ahyhoo, all the best to her weaving ventures.

Last Saturday - We went to see Nico the clarinet (I think) player busk; he's 16 in two days and he's developing "attitude" when he plays Blues and Soul, not so much with standards like the Beatles. I wanted to go again today but it's really cold and we're both noisy blowing our noses so hopefully next week. I finally managed to get Ben to Halifax Cafe, which is the old, temporary Suter cafe, who's started having lots of food that used to be cafe standards in New Zealand but have become harder to find. Our main goal was the seafood chowder, but they also serve really simple toasted sandwiches, and squares/bars still available in old-fashioned bakeries but not served in cafes any more. No wonder it's so popular. I even saw a young woman dig into muesli with yogurt and fruit compote, another  standard at the much-missed Chez Eelco. We went to the supermarket and got home around 3PM and I was knackered. (Exhausted.)

In the evening, I managed to read enough about Summer & Winter to know I don't want to use the structure for the pale gray merino warp and instead decided to use twill blocks.

Sunday - I got up late, coked a until about 2PM, may have napped. Then I tried to visualize how the twill blocks would work with the gray warp. Here are units or permutations I can make with four-shaft blocks.
I started playing around with the distribution aiming to get something like the doodle and go nowhere. Then it dawned on me that the warp is skinny and will be woven somewhere between 36-42 EPI, meaning if I want the dark squares to be roughly 2cm square, each unit, (bigger square containing one or no dark square on on the top right quadrant,) would have to be between 57.6 and 67.2 ends square, and I couldn't be bothered at that point. If I want five blocks as in the doodle, I can make give each block 3 shafts. However, my note says this warp has 335 ends; who makes odd-numbered warp anyway?

Monday - I couldn't get motivated to work in the stash room, so I took as much stuff that belong to the stash room out of the living room; this took a few hours. I still didn't want to touch the stash room so I sorted some cushion covers. We have so many cushions and only a few small chairs so the cushion situation is ridiculous, but I dismantled two old ones, (the two we had instead of chairs in our first apartment until we saved enough money to buy a couch,) opened up a third, and took all the innards out and squished them into two pillow cases. And there they sat.
I also had two brand new fillings and chose some warp end fabrics for covers. However, I have enough of neither nor similar looking fabrics, and you know me, it pains me to think two identical cushion fillings have to go into such different looking cases. (Even though both fabric feel heavenly, and one goes with all the other purple stuff on the gray couch and the brown goes with the floor... I'm desperate.) So now I'm wondering if I should make up the purple case and knit another in a similar purple, or just knit two, or use one of the unsold scarves to make a mate for the brown. The dark purple cone is cotton chenille; I don't like weaving with chenille but the color is so delicious I can't let it go, and I like the give in knitted cushion covers. Have you ever knitted with cotton chenille?

Tuesday - I didn't have the energy for the stash room but made a warp;
It's mill-end indigo merino, 72/2, the same yarn I used in the Gray Lot.  I wove those scarves 48EPI but some scarves had thicker wefts so this will be perhaps as close as 52-56EPI. I want to use the same yarn in gray, taupe or navy from a different dye lot to weave a simple twill half-length (on the warping board) fabric much like Maria's linen; I have 1200 ends.
I also wanted to make an interesting stripy warp with some unknown wool, (possibly merino,) I got in Japan. The store staff did't know the origins of this lot and I can't remember if the skeins had labels but it's not like me to throw them all away. Humm... I had some ideas, like grays and yellow, pale browns with brick orange, or navy, purple and yellow. Then, because they are so skinny, I'm now thinking of double weave with two sides having completely different moods, with some stitching.

Wednesday - I couldn't be bothered with the stash room but finished the aforementioned two reconstituted pillows, by bringing out the sewing machine and sewing box I tidily stowed away on Monday.
They are stuffed and very nice to sit on. This wool fabric was the first I cut years ago to discover the integrity of well-fulled wool fabric. And in such beautiful grays.
Then I started knitting a folded-in-half cushion cover with my handspun merino. Delicious. But easier to knit if my spinning was slightly more even. As I mentioned, we have too many unnecessary small square cushions, but these folded-in-half jobs, like the cheery one, are so handy I'm looking forward to finishing this one. Thursday - I was sick; I didn't even hear Mom calling or her leaving me a message.

Friday - I had a slow start to the day but spoke with Mom, and hey, I wrote this long blog post, and I knitted some in the evening. And I made a pretty yummy dinner out of leftovers.

I haven't woven; I thought of putting a small warp on the RH but haven't; I haven't drawn and of course I haven't seen the garden in a while. But I have kept up with the ironing. :-D

Lovely weekend to you.

2 comments:

  1. Sorry you've been sick again ☹. Hope you're fully recovered soon.
    I love your handspun merino...gorgeous colors!
    Happy weekend to you, too. xx

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    1. I was looking at your handspun silks again, Connie, (I'm slowly getting ready to using them after all these years of admiring them,) and wondered if I should learn to spin properly; it would be easier to knit with for one thing! And more predictable in weaving. Although at the moment I'm too lazy. :-D

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