kadenza: (log)
An older guy at my gym does woodworking as a hobby, and has made a number of things for the gym itself (like coathooks, mat racks, etc.)  and other members. When he heard that I might need something, he came straight over to talk to me. I described yarn cone holders to him on Monday, and today he presented me with two lovely finished products-- one that fits European cones (right), and one that fits the North American ones with slightly wider holes (left). They're really quite nice, and I started using them right away.

One problem... he refused to accept payment. I thanked him profusely and baked him some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Side note: this is possibly the first time I've ever used the Fitness and Weaving tags at the same time.
kadenza: (OSC)
Saturday was a pretty fun day at the loom. Just before Christmas we realized that the 210th birthday of the loom's original owner, John Campbell, was coming up in January and decided to use that as an excuse for a special event. We were given a roped off area and tables for displays, and targeted local fibre guilds and OSC staff with promotion. About 50 different staff members dropped by over the course of the day--everyone from office types and fabricator guys to security guards and hosts. Our main goal was to educate the staff about the loom, so they can better inform visitors about our exhibit, and I think we definitely accomplished that. They were allowed to come into the loom, actually weave on it, and also climb up top for a look at the Jacquard mechanism in action--they loved it. It was really quite fun, and successful enough that we're trying to come up with a reason to have another one later on this year.

My own contribution included a batch of punchcard shortbread. We decided there would be possible health and safety concerns with giving them out to the public, so I only distributed them to staff. In any case, they were a hit.

Done

Nov. 5th, 2015 12:22 pm
kadenza: (yeah)
I just love how the shawls turned out. With a total turnaround time of four days, it was a super-satisfying project. I'm going to wear the heck out of it this winter (the other will be given as a gift). Warm and cozy, very soft, and dense without being too stiff. Each weighs about 450g (a pound) and is 1.7m (70") long. Also I think the accent stripes turned out really well--they show just enough.

10/10, would weave again.

IMG_52821.JPG
kadenza: (crafts)
  As soon as my wraps were in the mail, I started warping my alpaca shawl. If weaving baby wraps has taught me anything, it's to cherish a project that is less than 800 threads. This one has only 200, and it's been so freeing. I warped and beamed it yesterday, and have woven several feet of it today. So soft and fuzzy. I can't wait to wear it, and judging by the way things have been going, that might be tomorrow.

The end!

Oct. 30th, 2015 11:12 am
kadenza: (weaving)
Can I just say how much I love my new wraps? And how much I want to keep them, despite the fact that I have absolutely no use for them?
I'm now a huge pebble weave fan. The texture is absolutely dreamy... cushy, squishy, smooshy, stretchy. The yardage did shrink up a bit more than I anticipated in the dryer, but I'm sure it will stretch out again with use. The length with these things can be so subjective, I"ve learned there's no point stressing that they're a few cm off. Next wash it will measure different anyway.

IMG_9434-001.JPG

As usual, the last few metres nearly gave me an ulcer from worrying about running out of warp. I look at the beam and freak out that there can't possibly be enough left to finish--the same feeling you get when the gas light comes on when you're driving in the middle of nowhere. I run to the computer to check and re-check my calculations. And every time, it works out just fine. Every time.
kadenza: (weaving)
I'm nearly done my latest project, a pair of wraps for a pair of ladies in Utah. It's really one of the nicest ones I've done, and definitely the most trouble-free. I guess I should accept the fact that the projects keep getting better and better because I'm really becoming quite good at it.

The only things that really went wrong (so far! knock wood!) were three broken warp threads during beaming, and some treadling errors early on that required some tedious backtracking. I'm doing a new-to-me pattern that is trendy with the babywearers right now called pebble weave. It results in a wonderful blankety texture, but it's very difficult to spot errors. However, after those initial hiccups I've just been cranking out miles of flawless cloth (about 2m per day). I'm so looking forward to getting these in the mail. One of the recipients is having a baby like... any second. In fact, she's three days overdue.

Another thing that really helps motivate me to finish up is getting the loom empty for my next project (something for me!). Two summers ago I bought a bunch of cones of yarn from an alpaca farmer in New Brunswick in a lustrous, tweedy charcoal, and I've found the perfect yarn in my stash for some colourful highlights. With fall in full swing, I'm really in the mood to make myself a warm, fuzzy shawl of some kind. The one I'm planning is 30" wide by 75" long which should be a good generous length for wrapping around myself. I'm just trying to choose between herringbone and pebble weave (which I have become very fond of over the past week). I love the feeling I get from being all fired up about a new project.

(click for full size)

kadenza: (weaving)
The most exciting part of weaving (for me) is right at the beginning, when I see the first pattern repeat. The second-most exciting part is testing out different wefts to see how they interract with the warp.
This is the result of today's experimenting. Sad to say, my walnut yarn (the brown stripe) is by far the ugliest. It overwhelms the warp with fuzz, and the plaited twill pattern is barely visible.

[click to embiggen]


From bottom left to upper right, we have navy egyptian cotton, the walnut-dyed wool, cornflower Tencel, gold spun silk I got in Japan, white silk noil, and rose Tencel.
I'm leaning towards the Tencel because it has a real shine to it and is also hard-wearing. The gold silk really pops, but I think it overwhelms the warp a bit too much.
Anyway, I really hope to finish this up before I go away to the east coast next week, so my partner has the whole month of August to make stuff with it.
kadenza: (crafts)
At the June meeting, my weaving guild assigns a creative challenge to work on over the summer. In September, the projects are judged and a prize is usually given. This year spinners were paired up with weavers to create cloth together, and make something with it. My spinning partner and I have decided on one of these snap-closure change purses. She's given me the yarn, so it's all me now (except for the sewing part, which she thankfully said she could handle). As luck would have it, she already had a snap purse frame in her stash, plus plenty of scraps of silk and stuff to use for the lining.

I've decided on a plaited twill, which I've always wanted to do on a wrap, but the treadling is way too complicated for long stretches of cloth. A small piece of cloth like this should be no problem. The warp is shades of purple and pink, and I'm dyeing the weft right now in a smelly bucket full of semi-fermented walnut and butternut husks that Nat and I have been gathering over the past week or so around our neighbourhood. We have three walnut trees and one butternut tree on our route.

Nat is at a half-day soccer/tennis camp this week, so I'm hoping to make some real headway and get the loom empty again in time for the next wrap.

*crickets*

Apr. 15th, 2015 11:47 am
kadenza: (intermission)
I attempted to post to LJ a week or so ago, but the site ate my post and the draft thingy didn't manage to save any of it, so I gave up. Honestly I don't even remember what I was trying to post about anymore (so as my mother would say, "Well I guess it wasn't very important, was it?")

My latest wrap arrived safely in Ottawa yesterday, and the customer is ecstatic. I must admit, it was really nice, one of the nicest: beautiful silky egyptian cotton in herringbone twill. I contacted the remainder of my waiting list-- two are no longer interested, and the third I haven't heard from yet. So... um... with two empty looms, I guess I will throw myself into dishtowels until something else comes up.

There is an empty store along the Danforth (formerly a very small hair salon), and when I see it, I have this crazy idea of renting out the store and turning it into a weaving studio. It's a really crazy idea, though. There's no way in hell it could be anything but a financial vortex of suckage. But I do find myself thinking about it, a lot.

Wow!

Jan. 30th, 2015 06:55 pm
kadenza: (wow)
My first towel turned out really well! I cut the first one off as a sneak preview, because I didn't have the patience to weave all four to see the results.
What can I say... I'm pretty pleased with it now that it's washed and hemmed. They are pretty exciting, as dish towels go.
I'm going to try to finish the rest before the next wrap project starts.

IMG_8448
kadenza: (kirby)
He may not be terribly helpful, but keeps me company and definitely raises morale around the loom room.

IMG_8196
kadenza: (nophoto)
Here's what's going on. I think I'll do bullet points.

• I'm having about 15 people over for xmas dinner. I forget exactly why I agreed to it, but it's happening. Fortunately, someone else has offered to bring the turkey, so I don't have to touch gizzards or whatever. The offer was gratefully accepted.

•Two customers on my waiting list have recently bailed, and the wrap I finished in November was put up for sale within two weeks (my ever-vigilant former customers always keep me up to date on these happenings, for which I am grateful). I know she can do whatever she wants with it (including cutting it up and making cleaning rags) but I can't help feeling a bit hurt. I should probably develop a thicker skin in these matters. In other news, I've decided the anonymity thing is getting old, so I now fully label all my products, as well as publishing my facebook business page (www.facebook.com/inchbyinchweaving). There's not a lot of info there, but people can contact me if they wish.

• My xmas cards are in the mail, and I'm very pleased with them this year.

• Nat is desperate to have another Furby. Much as I hate the first one, I can't really deny her request, since it's the only thing she has asked for. It arrived yesterday. It has a very distinctive trapazoidal box, so I think I'll either put it inside a bigger box, or put a note inside a really tiny box that says, "look behind the couch" or something.

• I made some really kick-ass saag paneer last night. Tonight I think I'll make another pot of soondubu jjigae (Korean tofu stew) which was a huge hit a couple of weeks ago. So hot and comforting in cold weather.

• Last week I dragged home a large dead tree branch from a nearby street. Marshall chopped it up for the fireplace, and parts of it turned out to be hollow. It also turned out to have some wasps inside, who started crawling out once they were sufficiently warmed up. That added some excitement to our evening.

• In other tree-related news, the city finally planted a new tree on our lawn--only two years after we requested one. It's a white oak, which Nat has named Lilac. I asked her if she would name a dog "cat", and she was quick to remind me that her teacher has a cat named Puppy. Touché, kid. Touché.
kadenza: (syntax error)

I can see I've been spending too much time in babywearing communities... I scared myself yesterday by reading this conversation and being able to understand it:

Admin: Just a quick reminder that Uppywear are MWs. As this group is here for HWs only, please remember not to post any MWs FS here. It IS ok to put a MW up FT for a HW. What we don't allow are MWs listed FS.

Member: What if the MWs are only FT for HWs?

Admin: MV can be FT for HW, as long as all MV are FT for HW

I can also recognize all the weaving company names by initials, and most of the carries they use (e.g. BWCC= Back Wrap Cross Carry, RTIF=Ruck Tied in Front).

I also hit something of a personal weaving milestone yesterday-- one of my wraps appeared in someone's stash shot. I have to say, it's a very strange little community, and a large part of it seems to be about showing off. That said, I'm pretty proud to be at the top of this pile. :)

This is several thousand dollars' worth of cloth right here. I tell you, it's nuts.

10460104_10154378461985254_9152894740717623006_n

Quickpost

May. 16th, 2014 09:54 am
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Ok, I will now resume my posting activities. I can handle this. I just wonder why the "post" option is the hardest button to find, and the most visible one (Community Directory) is also the least useful. It seems 100% pointless.

* [livejournal.com profile] zinniz is coming to visit me! Exciting!

• For the first time since we've lived here (6 years), I bought some plants to put in the garden. Crazy, I know. Wisteria for the trellis thingy over our stairs, a bucket of lettuce for eating, a tomato for also eating if the raccoons don't get to it first, and some bee balm. Picking stuff out got kind of addictive so I may head back to the garden centre today.

• In a few weeks we're going on a mini vacation to Montreal and Quebec City. Nat is super excited to speak French to people. We did go to France in the summer of course, but she was too shy to say anything to anyone. Now she can say pretty much anything she wants (and often forgets how to say things in English just after school) so there should be a big difference this time.

• Working on my next wrap. Sometime between the last one and this one, something really clicked. I think I have found my "thing". This wrap in particular is a real thing of beauty and gives me happy feelings whenever I see it. The tension is perfect, there isn't a single sticky thread, and the selvedges are straight as rulers. The only thing that's bothering me is that the customer has not written to me since I started weaving, and this makes me worry she doesn't like it. When I sent her pictures of the yarn on the warping mill she commented that it was "brilliantly amazing" but since then... nada.



• A bunch of family things are happening at my house this weekend, including my sister's b-day and a belated mother's day celebration. Currently I'm waiting for a delivery of furniture for our 3rd floor deck that we've had for nearly two years. This could result in people actually using the deck, even eating on it. Wow! We could maybe use some planters up there as well. It gets direct sun all day long, so I'm most looking forward to the umbrella.

BOOM

Mar. 27th, 2014 09:43 am
kadenza: (crafts)
Wrap 2.0 is nearly ready to go.

IMG_6760

Sandwich

Mar. 6th, 2014 12:43 pm
kadenza: (sammich)
This is my favourite sandwich at the moment.

Toast
Egg (fried or poached)
Spinach
Kimchi
Dab of mayo

Now I will continue warping my loom while listening to electronica, punctuated by the occasional sound of giant chunks of ice sliding off the solar panels.
We are in for a well-deserved thaw.

I feel like I've barely got started on the latest wrap and yesterday the next person in line emailed me asking if it's her turn yet. I may need an assistant before too long.

Sup

Nov. 1st, 2012 10:45 am
kadenza: (OSC)
It's becoming tedious to say "I should post more" at the beginning of every post... but... I should really post more.

When the tail end of the hurricane/tropical depression/whatever it was passed through, nothing happened except one dead branch fell from our ash tree. I inspected it for signs of Emerald Ash Borer and found that something had indeed been chewing away at the wood under the bark. However, the munch marks (galleries) were not the right S-shape and the eggs I found were long and thin rather than round. Whatever ate the branch was probably not EAB, but I'm still thinking of calling a tree specialist just to be on the safe side. I hear that there is actually an effective treatment that can be injected under the bark, and a coupe of arborists in the city are licensed to administer it.

In Science Centre news, I got my photo badge last week, so I'm now official. One of the other volunteers was telling me it was nearly two years before she got hers, so it sounds like they might have fast-tracked me. The badge allows me to get in for free, and also take other people in with me. I can drop in and use the loom whenever I want (and they strongly encourage this). The loom has been moved to the new hall (the Rock, Paper, Science hall) and seems to be unharmed. We have a number of improvements to make at the suggestion of a Jacquard consultant (who knew there was such a thing?) as well as a new warp to wind. There are three yards remaining on the current warp, and we've decided to splurge on the best-available Swedish cotton for the next one. We've also decided as a group that we're not learning anything new by weaving the same two coverlets over and over, so we're going to start experimenting with making new designs and cutting our own cards. This excites me, and I hope I can get in on the design process. Most amazing to me is the fact that my completely-uninterested-in-weaving husband's interest has been piqued by all this, and he says he'd like to try writing us a program to convert our designs to punchcard format.
kadenza: (weaving)
On Friday I did my fifth stint at the Jacquard loom as a trainee. I think I have to do a total of six sessions before I get my coveted ID badge, and it can't come soon enough. Much confusion has resulted from people not realizing that I'm in charge of the exhibit and not just some random weirdo hanging around. In fact, on Friday one of the hosts (the dudes in labcoats who staff the OSC) mistook me for a visitor and demanded to know what I was doing in the exhibit.

The times are a-changing for the loom-- it's being moved for the first time since 1969, and the Communication Hall will be rebranded "The Human Edge". The Jacquard, the Rock Shop and the papermaking demo will all be moving to a new hall called the Rock Paper Science hall. The loom is all packed up and ready to go and the warp has been removed, so there was actually nothing to do on Friday except talk to people and try to describe what happens when it's actually working. It was the first time I've ever seen the loom "undressed" as it were, so I was crawling all over it taking pictures while I had the chance.

pics this way... )

also...

May. 17th, 2011 07:40 pm
kadenza: (weaving)
I took a tablet weaving workshop on Saturday. We made cards, a beating sword and a shuttle out of wood in the morning, then were given lunch (Quizno's) and learned to weave in the afternoon. I've been making little bands ever since, and what can I say... card weaving is like the crack version of regular weaving.
pic here )
kadenza: (facepalm)
The gig at the One of a Kind show was kind of fun, kind of not. I thought I would just be weaving away in a booth somewhere, but then it turned out there was a large "open studio" type setup at the centre of the exhibition hall where various crafts were being showcased (wood, pottery, glass, textiles). So basically it meant I was much more "on display" than I had envisioned. When the time came I discovered the loom was set up for Summer & Winter, a type of pattern I have never done before and requires two shuttles, one for pattern and one for tabby (plain weave) in between. I've heard of it, but have never attempted it. I met up with my former weaving instructor (a vendor at the fair and also the person through whom I got the gig in the first place) who took me over, pointed to the treadling sequence taped to the beater and told me the tabby treadles were 4 and 6, then left me to it. I was so nervous I was just throwing the shuttles randomly and making a huge mess. It was really quite embarrassing, not that the average shopper would probably know the difference. After a while I realized that there were no prizes for speed, so I relaxed a bit and tried talking to the people standing around watching me. This caused me to lose my place a lot, but made me feel less like I was in the zoo or something.

People did seem genuinely interested, but even though I had slowed down and was taking greater care, the weaving pattern itself continued to look like complete ass. I was starting to sweat a bit because no matter what I tried, it just wasn't looking right, or even a little bit right. It took me an hour to figure out that the tabby treadles were in fact 1 and 2, not 4 and 6 as per my teacher's briefing. That explained a lot, but by then the demo was over. The next person who sits at the loom to do the demonstration is really going to wonder if I was drunk.

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