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Monday, 29 March 2010

all done

almost

just finished my last final woven bit on the looms at college. that's 8 technical samples and 5 final samples (usin colours from pictures i pulled off the web, cos i use the web to do pretty much all my research and imagery scavenging)

all the samples are based on natural stuff that happens in nature. in order - 1 dying star, 1 lake with hills in front, 1 bunch of trees in summer, 1 largest/coldest large-sun-sized-but-really-cold object as seen through hubble telescope (discovered the other month), 1 rocky/heathery hillside somewhere up north presumably with the purple heather and all that jazz and 1 big green nebula thing with all bits of orange and some pale blue in it

i particularly like the hubble stuff. gas nebulas rock

the fabrics should be getting cut off the looms tomorrow evening, and i'll have to do yarn wraps and weft plans. of course, not having written the weft plans down while i was weaving, i now have to painstakingly look at the fabrics to figure out exactly what weft i used when. luckily, i'm a stickler for regularity and symmetry in stripes, so it shouldn't be too difficult, and i only have to do the weft plan for the 6 final samples, not the technicals. still, a bit of foresight and i could've had the whole thing finished by tomorrow lunchtime.

i'll post up some piccies (actually, probably a whole rake of piccies, or i could just post the finals, cos the technicals really aren't that interesting)

drafts will be posted only on demand, cos they're A4 sheets and i really can't be bothered pissing about in OpenOffice (subtle plug for open source software there) for hours remaking them. you might find them a little confusing, cos they use a slightly different notation system from what most of you will be used to, being dobby and all. i still ain't 100% sure i understand them perfectly well.

still, i'm working on it

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

doing things in the correct manner

hey! guess what!

pretty much everything i've been doing so far as weaving goes is grossly inefficient!

hooray!

i kinda figured that would be the case

so far i've learned better ways of making the warp, better ways of putting lease rods into the warp while it's on the board, better ways of stretching the warp, better ways of packaging the warp for transport, better ways of winding the warp, better ways of threading the heddles, better ways of sleying the reed

at some point in the future i'll probably attempt to illustrate these methods in a comprehensible manner, though i find it difficult to imagine i could reasonably expect to show anyone how to use a warping rack consisting of two levels of yarn alternating 1,2 in an up, down manner in order to make a cross between thumb and forefinger for ease of quickly putting onto a warping frame. not without standing there and making sure. it looks like magic when an experienced weaver does it, until you figure out how it's done and then it's just a simple movement of the hand combined with a certain physical standing in relation to the warping board

christ, the dog's farting, bring on summer and i can open the windows :P

oh yes, away with the warping paddle, it is not necessary! but keep hold of yours till you figure out how to do without. and this new method of warping makes things a great deal quicker. like, it used to take me an hour or two to make a 200 end warp, and if i wanted to do it with multiple threads at a time i had to do it a silly finickity way and even then i'd often end up with twisted bunches and a generally unusable warp that'd have to get chucked in the bin. and now i know how to blatantly make a simple 1000-end warp in an hour or so in a reliable manner that doesn't make me look like some kiddy that disnae ken what on earth he's doing and is just makin it up as he goes along

also, i've spent a bit of time staring at the mechanical dobbies here (which are at least 100 years old) and i'm totally convinced they could be built by any competent metalworker and carpenter. it may even be possible to replace some of the metal parts with plastic and fabricate them in 3D printers

on the other hand, computerised shaft selection may be a lot simpler, in terms of readily available technological resources. like, i'm surrounded by computers and software geeks all over the place, but i've only ever met one blacksmith

anyway, hooray for learnin things from a man that's been working in the industry for 40-odd years!

very good.

-andrew