Thursday, 19 November 2009
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 * * *
* * * LONG WINDED POLITICAL RANT AHEAD * * *
* * * RADICAL CONSERVATIVES PLEASE CHANGE CHANNEL NOW * * *
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