Filling the Christmas / New Years Gap

27 12 2009


Monday comes. Christmas is over. Time for a new start. Does it seem to you that New Years ought to come right after Christmas, certainly not as far after it as a week. What can you do with those few days in between. after all?

I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing since I left the incubator Thurday afternoon. I’ve invited someone to join our WEETU group. I’ve written something to put in the next WEETU Chronicle (only to discover that the deadline was the 21st. Heck!)

I’ve made a list of the contact information for all weaving guilds in my general area, and the machine knitting groups, and the embroidery groups with plans of contacting them.

I’ve tried a bit of card weaving with some rayon embroidery threads I had around. Let’s just say it didn’t go well, so far.

I’ve woven a complete repeat of the latest warp on the 8-harness loom, just to prove I had everything finally set up right. Shadow weave is somewhat close to plain weave, but it’s the difference that counts. For the pattern I’ve been doing lately, a repeat of 54 threads, of alternating colors, must be threaded in correct order into the heddles of 8 harnesses, and then the pattern is oven by alternating throws, also of two colors, in a 54-throw treadling sequence. The result is a pattern like one in a persian carpet, sort of. I like it well enough to do it over and over again in different color combinations, and when I’m working on the loom every day, I can weave a scarf in two days, probably one if I actually stayed at the loom all day. If I doubled the width of the warp, I could do a shawl in that time.

I’ve been thinking of doing wider warps since the 13 inch wide plain weave one I’m doing on the rigid heddle loom at the incubator is going well enough that I’m trying to come up with some kind of a garment I could make from about 3 yards of 13″ wide purple fabric. Any suggestions?

I did repairs on two of my husband’s shirts. He does a lot of catching his shirt tails in those long-nosed door handles.

In the next week, I think I should make a major effort to master getting pictures from my new camera onto this blog and elsewhere. The problem is that the camera is so powerful that the pictures are very large, much larger and more finely detailed than the 72 pixels per inch that is the usual on the web. I need some kind of automatic sixe-for-web transformation feature. Anybody know one?

I’ll continue to work on the purple fabric, and finally do the transformation on those boots, and help Molly, an artistic member of our WEETU circle, to apply her talents in some textile direction, fabric painting? mosaic work? tapestry weaving?

And if there’s good heat, I’ll do some demonstrations and see how that goes over.

I’m also trying to put together some more grant applications. Maybe even one for the Wellcome Trust which is centered on where science and art meet. The problem might be convincing them that using traditional skills might be relevant to such a project, but I think that the science behind these traditional skills is in serious danger of being lost because high tech versions of these skills usually involve simplifying them to the point that unskilled labor, ignorant of all that science, can handle them.  Since they are also oriented toward selling science to the public, so to speak,  it must include an element of that.

I’ve been wanting to do the research and do lectures on the history and knowledge of all these skills, particularly ones that have local interest like sheep breeding for textile purposes, the preparation of linen from flax plants, the science behind what the employees of those high tech industries do just because that’s the way it’s done.

And whatever I do with the next three days, I am certain to feel that it has not been as much or as effective as it should have been.