The above quote is from my favorite little book, 365 Tao by Deng Ming~Dao. It is tomorrow's reading and it was fitting for my post this week.
Being the ADD adult that I am, sometimes I lose sight of the big picture. I get involved in so many things, that I find that I am like a canoeist with one oar, going round and round in circles, but getting nowhere.
You have seen how my life was turned upside down this past spring in my work life and now that I finally have a handle on that part of my life, I want to try and focus on some new things. There are many things that I want to try, but I am really going to try to stay focused on one or 2 new things at a time, and try (not easy) not to get too distracted.
One of the things that was on my list to learn was how to warp a loom from front to back as I hate dealing with the lease sticks and raddles needed to dress from back to front.
This past Wednesday, I visited with a good friend of mine, who has a small weaving studio in Maine and she spent 5 hours helping me. I quickly wove the scarf that we warped and put another warp on, lest I forget my lesson.
I learned quickly that after tying the warp on the front beam, to raise the shafts looking for threads that got crossed in the reed. I am happy to say that I find this way of dressing a loom, so much easier and much faster. There is no right way or wrong way to dress a loom, but this is the one that I think is going to work best for me.
One neat trick that Karen taught me was how to tie on a new warp to the end of the old warp, so as to bypass all of the threading. Cool beans!!! I figure I will leave this little loom, unitl I can find a small folding floor loom, with a chenille warp on it for scarves.
Karen thought I was crazy attempting a new skill with black chenille and at times as I was cursing, I agreed with her, but once I got the warp on, I was happy that I put on the color that I wanted. I quickly wove the first black scarf for my Dad's dress coat for Father's Day and then I thought about trying something different. I am using a pale purple chenille for the weft against the black.
Using such contrasting colors, it is important to keep selvages neat, as there is no way to hide them. I have found that using an end feed shuttle has really taken care of my once messy selvages.
The shuttle that I use is a shacht end feed shuttle that I stained and oiled. It is the smaller one and this baby flies easily thru a shed, keeping the selvages neat and tidy. Being the sucker that I am for nice wood, I would love to purchase a few Bluster Bay end feed shuttles, or other exotic wood shuttles in the future........I'm thinking ahead to Rhinebeck! This type of shuttle is expensive, but to me, it has made such a huge difference in my weaving and is worth it's weight in gold. I only have one, but the bobbins are inexpensive and easy to change.
My next goal is to find a used 22-25 inch folding floor loom (an eight harness one would be great).........if anyone out in blog land has one, give me a shout. I am contemplating putting my Vermont cherry wheel up for a trade ;-)
Knitting and Angora Fluff
Ok, I admit it..........I have been working on a few other things too. I said that I was "trying" to be focused. I am still working on the "trying" part. In between weaving, I did manage to do a bit of knitting and a little spinning.
I have to keep busy when I am watching tv at night. I don't know why, but I feel guilty just sitting and not working (thanks Mom!)....so this is what I have been working on in the evenings.
Another sock done in the embossed leaves pattern from Knits Winter 2005. I just LOVE this sock pattern. It fits nice and snug, is pretty to look at and easy to knit. The yarn I am using is Opal Magic. This yarn is not quite as soft as the Austermann yarn, but I do love the way the orange changes from an orange sherbet light to a darker orange and all the ecru/black stripes in between......fun, fun, fun!
I have also been working on some angora roving. The bunnies are getting their haircuts one by one and I have been dyeing it up as quickly as I get the fiber shorn. This upcoming week will have me sitting behind the carder (when I am not weaving...focus, focus!),
getting some rovings ready to sell.
Sadly I lost one of my bunnies today. She was an older girl, and I knew that her time would come soon, but it is always sad to lose one of them. These bunnies are such sweet, quiet animals who give so much in the lovely fiber that they produce. Sleep well my little one.