Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Tick

I finished the cotton piece in the kitchen just before dinner last night. I was growing irritated by this piece, because it was going on and on, spreading cotton fluff all around. It wasn't a difficult project by any means, color interplay was fascinating, but there were some tension problems on the left side where I had run out of metal heddles and used wonky/fluffy! cotton temporaries. The irony was, there were enough available on the the right side but I didn't think to rethread; had it been a proper project, I would have, but then again this warp was put on the loom soon after I finished weaving the previous piece, so it wasn't as if I was ignorant about how this loom work in combination with these threads. But then again, I left a few knots in the warp, too, so there's that. In the pic the edges look alarmingly scalloped but in real life it's not, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's somewhat to do with the colors and lighting and that the rest can be washed/pressed away. (You may laugh out loud.) 
 
Warp and pattern weft were 20/2 mercerized, tabby weft 60/2; 42ish EPI, 22ish Pattern PPI. Off the loom unwahsed it's 18.4cm wide and 208cm. All broken warp were knotted, not mended properly. I wove 1cm of plain weave with 60/2 weft at the start and the end, a hardly-enough-for-hemming/what-was-I-thinking amount. On the other hand, for a warp I couldn't always see well but kept weaving, I have only 4 picks with weft skips and that I could see, none in the warp. I have no idea what I'll do with this, and I have to see what the hand will be like; unwashed, it is stiffer/wirier than 20/2-only pieces because of the 60/2. 

The piece is amazingly parallel and perpendicular. I seem to do much better on table looms in this respect, and I wonder if it's the short shaft-to-breast-beam distance that allows this. I can't see the "big" picture, of course, although this loom, for its size, has some height between the breast and cloth beams, allowing a glimpse. 
 
I also enjoy what feels like a more personal involvement with the cloth as I weave. I don't know if it's the proximity of everything, or the overall smallness of the looms and my operation, or the fact I'm "towering over" the lot. Do these all mean the same thing? I feel a different kind of thrill when weaving on bigger looms, but this personal feeling can be useful. If/when I can't handle the big loom for whatever reason, OR if the big loom dies because of my precarious setting, OR if I get another bout of shaft-envy, table looms allow fussier hand-manipulated techniques, as well as supplementary wefts, and probably a bunch of other things I haven't thought of, which will allow "more unique" pieces than just changing weft colors and/or lifting/treadling.
 
I'm so tempted to put on another warp with tabby shafts threaded with 60/2, but towards the end of November I made a mental Not Quite A To Do list, but a Finish First or Good Intention List for the summer. "Work"-wise, it included: 

* 3 looms with unfinished warps; as of last night, two to go;
* 3 shirts for Ben - he needs short-sleeved cotton shirts; we have the fabric, I have a book which has patterns I can use almost unaltered;
* 3 Ts to tie die, (2 are redo,) plus 2 new practical/all over dying; 
* 3 letter journals to finish and post;
* and continue to post 3 letters/week to Mom. I'm down to three now; these are not difficult, but somewhat time-consuming. I don't have to have well-thought-out texts or continuity, I'm not even sure if I need text at all, but I need between three to six photos that mean something to us both, and if possible, add witty comments. I have no idea if she's opening them, looking at them, or enjoying them, but we do what we can for family, don't we? 

* This is a big item but not a Finish First one: clean up my stash room. It's been a hard core storage space for more than a year, and from time to time for a good reason. I'm trying to rethink which fibers to use on which loom and store yarns accordingly. Cashmere, for e.g. will be woven on table looms which are upstairs, so I brought the cones upstairs, but not the balls in drawers, and I haven't brought wool downstairs. For a while after I came back from Japan a year ago, I concentrated on the weaving to reduce the stash before having to think of moving them around. I also want to reduce my art supply take up, not so much in getting rid of them, but in storing them in a tighter, space-savy way even if they will be harder to access. A tidier stash room means more focus on weaving and the "kitchen" table loom can return to its permanent position where it can sit or be used in situ. 
 
Arthritis is 95% gone. I started taking a turmeric capsule in the morning and one tall tea-based turmeric/cinnamon concoction in the afternoon. It's annoying when I get caught with a ping in a joint or general stiffness, though, and it seem to happen more in the afternoons.
 
The diet is going OK. On Day 3, I noticed my palate was much sharper and by Day 5 I lost my post-lockdown gain! (Not insignificant!!) I didn't gain any during lockdown, which was astounding considering how much we cooked. It's the more leisurely/normal food shopping, not rushing through the supermarket to grab protein and veg in 20 minutes, but having the time to stroll down junk food and ice cream isles. In other words, will power. 
 
The good stuff that happened on the first week were temporary; I haven't appreciated any specific taste or smell since, but I've gotten used to turmeric and I don't loathe it so much, and of course the weight loss, well, AHAHAHAHA.
 
Most of New Zealand has had crazy variable weather, including a terrible flood in Napier, the Art Deco city on the North Island. In Nelson, we've had rain, sun and strong wind every day most days, and there have been terrific-for-me weeding days, but I have worked outside only a couple of times. Since it's weeding that triggered arthritis the last two times, I'm a little fearful of getting back in action. I have sprayed to kill, with white vinegar, but this cycle of rain and sun has completely erased traces of Plague Gardening, so once again our place looks like a Halloween decoration competition second place winner in the junior class. 
 
I have to train myself to go out with a kitchen timer, (I used to do it when I just couldn't be bothered,)  and do short spurts and leave the really deep/sturdy ones for Ben or real weed killers. It's sad, though, because neighbors are having trees cut and properties prettied up for the holiday season. We're opting to clean as much as we can over the holidays, get the skip and dispose of the green waste, then get the tree guys in. By then, we might have a better idea of exactly what we'd like the tree guys to do. 

Now washing the cotton piece, no mending; it can go in the net, then hot, heavy duty cycle with regular detergent.

2 comments:

  1. I freed 23 recycled paper bobbins in this project. I still have 17 unwoven warps. So making warp as hobby/therapy is still suspended.

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    Replies
    1. Such a small project, but a huge feeling of accomplishment for finally vacating this table loom of this warp. And speaking of strange weather, we had the fire in the wood burner on November 30, definitely a record for us.

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