Thursday, 19 November 2009

weaving again

i'm making a scarf for my friend cherie's birthday (which was on monday, better late than never). not having access to a loom was driving me mental, so i borrowed this off Drew the WeaveTech at college.

it's the spit of my old table loom isn't it? except it doesn't have turning wheels at the left-hand side, so the let-off is a bit more difficult, and the ratchet n pauls are wooden, not metal. it might be a little wider as well, and this scarf is a little narrower than usual

yeah i know, another bog-standard 2/2 twill. i must admit after 2 years of making 2/2 twills it is starting to get a little boring, but next semester i get access to dobby looms, so lucky me eh? about time too, i've been getting right impatient doing all this other stuff that isn't weaving. though using a domestic knitting machine is kinda fun, i must admit, i should try making a jumper. don't really have time just now, i'm overloadd with work and i've been ill, having caught the zombie plague on halloween (i dressed up as a zombie because i'm lazy and all you need is black, white and red and a torn t-shirt, at least i didn't go as yet-another-batman-joker) however i then proceeded to get stuck out in edinburgh for 2 hours at night without my coat and a t-shirt full of holes and caught some kind of horrible cold which i still haven't fully recovered from.

heyho, it's always a good reason to take time off work. talking of which i really should quit my job and get a cheaper flat. maybe i could get a rat-infested doss-house full of fleas and dodgy electrics, it'd be just like the old days, except i'd be paying rent this time.

anyway, enough of that. so there it is anyway, another weavemaster table loom, definitely the singer of british table looms, i think they were manufactured in the 40's and 50's, for that whole handicraft revival thing that never really managed to hold on over here. nobody manufactures handlooms in this country anymore. i believe the company that used to make these now sells industrial loom control software, but they might just be using the same name.

* * * WARNING * * *

you can still buy reeds from a place down in england, and a guy on ebay as well, made to your exact specifications as well, reasonable prices i thought. when i get a place to use my floor loom i'm getting a 48" 14dpi reed. hopefully they'll still be in business by then. knowing the way things go in this country, the last of Thatcher's minions will get them in their eternal quest to destroy british manufacturing.

it's crazy ain't it? the Luftwaffe spent years bombing the shit out of our heavy industry trying to destroy our manufacturing base and then Thatcher came along and did their job for them 50 years late and with practically no violence whatsoever. Aaah, there's nothing for maintaining proletarian pride like working in a call-centre is there?

we're gonna be so screwed when peak oil comes around. Well, at least we've still got a decent railway system and some local food production, unlike certain continental superpowers i could mention

anyway, i guess what i'm saying (in my had anyway, it probably isn't too clear here) is that we're going to need to build up a network of decentralised production co-operatives independent of centralised state control is our society is going to survive the end of the oil era without descending into fascist barbarism. it won't happen though, at least not on the kind of scale that'll prevent us from being economically dominated by a certain Asian superpower i could mention (god i'm so subtle)

anyway, go communism! that's the original vision of communism, as in independently federated networks of workers and peasant co-operative using consensus decision making and localised production, not the hideous parody that emerged in the soviet union. whether it's even possible is a good question, maybe we're doomed to be slave to our own creations, forever feeding an inhuman machine we have no control over whose goals are completely at odds with human survival and happiness.

looking on the bright side, global capitalism appears to be completely unsustainable, so i guess the worst that could happen is a thousand year global dark age in a world completely stripped of all easily attainable metals and fossil fuels and littered with the junk and poisons of 300 years of selfish and poorly co-ordinated production.

as George Carlin famously said "the planet wil be fine . . . the PEOPLE are fucked"

so i guess that's something to be cheerful about


ps. see how i did that? used my perfectly harmless weaving blog to rant on and on about peak oil and anarchist communism. see, fascist do this sort of thing as well by appealing to people's natural concerns about the unfair distribution of economic and political power in capitalist society and then turn the whole thing on it's head and just blame it on the muslims and the blacks. the difference between that and what i'm doing is i'm a nice boy and don't want to round up all the muslims, blacks, homosexuals, jews, communists, catholics and so on and put them in camps. all i want to do is live in a nicely organised urban commune growing veg and weaving clever fabric


Geodyne said...

All I can say is, hear hear. I work in climate change research, you should hear me when I go off on one.

Pleased to see you're weaving again!

Dorothy said...

I approve of your rants, someone needs to say these things out loud!

I think Weavemasters are greatly under rated, my little 2 shaft is a gem, it has the wooden ratchets and palls. Did you sign up for the course just to get to play with the dobby looms? ;) I'm envious.

humblebumble said...

not just the dobby looms. the dying workshops, jacquard looms, power looms, filament extrusion facilities, yarn spinning facilities, scientific colour research, advanced textile materials research people, knitting workshops, screen-printing equipment

but yeah, mainly the dobby looms. i was literally jumping up and down with joy and clapping my hands (no, really, i WAS, i'm not using colourful language) when i first walked into that weaving room. and that is saying a lot, because as my friends would tell you, i am not one for expressing joy or exultation when i feel it, which isn't often as i am a generally rather dour scottish individual. so, jumping up and down and clapping my hands. so far i've only done that in response to ska music and dobby looms.

so yeah, they are a big deal. but certainly not the whole package by any means

Dorothy said...

Hey... filament extrusion, yarn spinning facilities... I do hope that when you get to play with those you'll not be to busy to blog. I'm perched on the edge of my chair so to speak, waiting for the next episode!!

humblebumble said...

well, do try not to fall off. or, better yet, lie on the couch with the keyboard on your lap, struggling to read the text on the screen from a metre away.

Anonymous said...

Hey dude, tis your other cousin here. Carrie persuaded me a blog was a good idea so I thought I'd give it a try. Nice rant by the way! I haven't the foggiest when it comes to weaving etc, looks way too complicated to me but a very cool hobby to have. Anyway just thought I'd say hellooo!