By this time next Thursday we’ll have set up the booth and entered the frenzy that is Sock Summit and returned home to sleep, undoubtedly exhausted.
We’ve both been pushing hard this week to get as much done as possible before next Wednesday. It’s helped that the weather once again turned cool and rainy. (When I hear of the heat wave undulating across much of the country I try not to grouse about the lack of summer and temperatures refusing to rise out of the 60′s for more than a few days. It’s supposed to clear up this weekend.) By 7am Ed is already hard at work determined to get as many spindles made as possible. Monday will be the last day he can make spindles that will be ready to pack up by Wednesday.
He is almost out of all the pre-cut blanks he made last month. Soon he’ll need to take a few days to rough cut dozens more to give them time for a final dying/curing before he totally runs out of spindle material.
After picking up 200 Learn to Spin books from the printer I spent a few hours punching holes and binding them. While occupied with the Kombo binder (gave my shoulder a good workout!) dvds were being burned. Tomorrow I’ll glue envelopes in the back of the books and insert the dvds. Saturday it’s supposed to be nice so we’re going to layout a 10′ x 10′ square in the back yard and do a mock up of our booth layout. We’re sharing booth space with Cheryl of NewHueHandspuns so need to be certain of how best to utilize our space. We’re so thankful for a corner booth – each business will have a front portion. If you make it to Sock Summit, please stop by and introduce yourself!
Last weekend I was able to warp up the Julia to make a vest for Ed. Er, um… actually, I thought it was warped until I tied onto the cloth beam. Pressing the pedals to be certain there were no crossed threads, the warp – which had looked and acted properly – completely misbehaved. uh, oh. Now what?
#1. I decided to do the first warp on Julia Back to Front (B2F). I was taught the Front to Back (F2B) method years ago and am comfortable with it. My Norwood loom has a sectional back beam and at the back of my mind (grin) I’ve been wanting to utilize it. Since the warp for the vest is only 15″ wide it seemed like a good time to try B2F.
#2. Stupid warp measuring error. Having recently woven a couple rugs which used a double strand warp, (the 2 warp yarns are measured out at the same time and threaded two as one unit), it seemed a no-brainer to simultaneously measure out the 3 strands of different colors I was using for the vest warp. (Linen and Cottolin) Brainless! Wanting to weave and sew the vest in time for Ed to debut it at Sock Summit I didn’t stop to analyse the results.
The result. Carrying 3 separate strands around the warping board pegs – down, around, and back up to the starting peg, caused the 3 strands to be twisted around each other. If only I’d remembered to use a raddle!!!
Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if each thread had its own reed slot but I warped it at 18 ends per inch in a 12 dent reed. While every thread was in a separate heddle, every other dent (slot) held 2 threads. When all is perfectly aligned and in correct order there is no problem with 2 threads moving past each other in the reed but if 2 happen to twist or cross even once between the heddle and the reed it won’t work.
A niggling suspicion that the threads were crossing tried to get my attention as I wound the warp onto the back beam but the cross was carefully maintained and all looked decent while threading the heddles then sleying the reed. Untying the front knots I pulled the warp forward through the heddles and reed, what a mess. Sunday evening Ed came to my rescue, pulling the warp forward whilst I hovered over the back of the loom doing snarl patrol. Once the warp was in a straight line from the back of the loom across the living room and into the kitchen Ed left me to untangle and coax the warp into behaving neatly. Once the threads were basically untwisted and aligned Ed pulled on the warp to keep it under an even tension as I beamed it back into place.
Monday I filled several bobbins with weft yarns. My main yarn is handspun wool/tencel Sweet Grass Wool that I spun last month. Since I got only 497 yards from the 100 grams I will use the blue linens also. (Handspun is on the large bobbins)
I wove a few inches but didn’t care for the additional grey; with grey already in the warp the random shot of grey weft seems a bit too much. The warp tension still isn’t as uniform as it should be despite tightening the front knots and making it as evenly tensioned as I can. I will unweave to remove the grey then retie the knots one more time. If retying doesn’t work the other option is to weave the front panels of the vest, cut and retie before weaving the back panels. Weaving Ed’s vest is no longer a priority, he’ll get it for his birthday the end of August!
The peas from the walk a couple weeks ago are growing! The oats are still unripe. I except harvest will wait until the oats are ripe and the peas dried.
And for everyone longing for some cool clouds (yes, that’s the oats & peas field in the foreground):I’d put on a rain jacket when I headed out the door for a walk about 8 pm Tuesday as we’d been having intermittent hard rains all day but within five minutes the sun broke through an opening in the clouds on the horizon.