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Archive for August, 2012

Noooooooooo!

I got a call from the teacher of the weaving class today. Wouldn’t you know, the one class I really wanted to take has been cancelled! Not enough enrollment. She only needed twelve students,  and there just wasn’t enough interest! Talk about devastating.  I haven’t even looked at the other local colleges,  because the tuition is so high that I can’t afford it, even with loans and grants! Hubby wants me to keep looking though, so I will!

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I’ve enrolled in both a weaving and jewelry/metalworking class this semester! I’m really looking forward to both of them, but I’m still waiting for the school to correct my residency status. Non-resident tuition is ridiculously expensive, to say the least. The weaving class is for techniques of the Southwest, and the class description says one of the things we’ll be focusing on is building a loom. That should be interesting! At a guess, I’m thinking if we build looms, they aren’t going to be huge, since I’m assuming that we will keep what we make, at least I would hope so!

I also put my marudai to work for the first time and made my first 16-strand flat braid, which will be the shoulder strap for the gussetted inkle pouch I made a few months back.i made two mistakes with that bag. One, I should have kept a notebook listing the floss colors I used and how many of each. Two, I should have bought a lot more floss! So I had to take the bag with me to the store and try to match the colors as best I could. I think I did okay with that, but I couldn’t find many of the colors, so I used the border colors and two from the main pattern area. Once I figure out my new camera (and find the stupid charger), I’ll post pictures of the braid.

I’ve discovered that there are pros and cons for both the braiding  disk and the marudai.  The  braiding disk is a lot more portable, and can be bumped without messing up your bobbins, which can’t be done with the marudai!  On the other hand, working with the marudai is much faster!

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Yup, you read it right. The end result, which I will not be photographing for posterity, was a disaster. About the only thing right with it is the fact that it is a double width length of fabric. However, it’s only about twelve inches tall, due to my many mistakes! But now I know what not to do.

I enrolled in some classes at a local college today. One, of course, is a weaving class. Weaving techniques of the Southwest. Can’t wait for that one to start! And I was going to take American Sign Language, but all of those classes were closed, so I went with a jewelry/metalworking class. It should be interesting as well. Classes start in about two weeks. Each of these classes only meets once a week, which is good for me. Twice a week I can get some time all to myself; it doesn’t get any better than that.

Sorry this is such a short post, but my naalbinding dvd awaits! I haven’t been doing so well with that, and up till now haven’t had time to watch the dvd. Today, everyone is in the mood for solitude, so I can finally watch the video!

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I love gloomy days. Call me crazy, but those are my favorite days. Right about now, anyone who reads this is looking at the screen with that look, the one that says “Okay, this person is seriously weird.” Nope, I’m not. Let me explain.

Grey days remind me of autumn days growing up on Long Island, New York. Windy, blustery days, when the sunlight was weak and the leaves were so many different shades of yellow, red, and brown. When you went on school trips to a pumpkin patch to get your pumpkin for Halloween. Days where the temperature was just right, not too hot and not too cold. Grey days were the ones when you could curl up on a sofa in front of the picture window with a cup of hot chocolate, a good book, a cozy, fuzzy blanket, and either read or daydream. Cuddling with a parent optional. Grey days hold many of these memories for me, and so I love them. Childhood is such a fleeting time, and any reminders of that time are valuable. So yup, I love grey, gloomy days.

And now the reader is thinking, “What does this have to do with the title?”

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was just something that I felt like imparting. The title refers to my trials and tribulations with the throw blanket I am weaving on my 25″ Schacht Flip, Inara, using doubleweave.

Doubleweave, if I haven’t explained it before (and I probably didn’t), involves weaving two layers at the same time, on the same loom, one on top of the other. This, of course, means that you can’t see what’s going on on your lower layer. It also means that if you do it correctly, you can weave a piece of fabric that will be twice the width of the loom when you’re done and take it off. This is what I am attempting here.

I’ve made quite a few mistakes on this one, oh, yes I did. To begin with, there were the reeds. I assumed that, since my yarn was 10 wraps per inch, I needed to warp two 10 dent reeds. So I made a warp of 500 threads, cut them and warped Inara. Then I realized that I couldn’t move the reeds, at which point I re-thought my strategy and realized I should have used two 5 dent reeds. Fabulous. I have now cut twice the amount of string. I untied the whole warp, divided it in half, and re-warped in 5 dent reeds. Then came mistake discovery number two: I seriously miscalculated the yardage I would need for a throw blanket. I forgot to factor in shrinkage and take-up. By the time I’m done with this “blanket”, it will be either a lap robe or a receiving blanket for a baby my brother doesn’t have yet. I also now think that I should have tried an 8 dent reed first, as the 5 dent is creating more of a mesh type fabric than a blanket type. Oh, well, this is why you start things early!

On the plus side, this is my first real project on Inara. I bought her specifically for doubleweave, because she already had a second heddle block. I kind of wish I had bought the larger loom, but this one will do just fine, and I am very happy with the way she weaves. Thankfully, I had the sense to buy two of each size reed, so no matter what yarn I choose, I can immediately get to doubleweave with it!

It’s a learning process. At least I’m having fun, despite all the errors!

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