Monday, September 6, 2010

Shifting Priorities + Stash = Good Sewing / Good Weaving

This is the west end of my sewing room. It's where I weave. The warping board on the wall was made by DH, as were the reed holders on the top of the cabinet. He's also made a bobbin winder and a spool holder. I feel so fortunate that he supports my crafts in so many ways. Note that I am NOT weaving on a bench. After 5 straight days on a wooden bench at Madelyn's school, my ass said NO. The sewing chair works well and my bottom is happy.

Yesterday I worked on warping the loom. This is my first time doing this so it's taken forever. I have 7 + yards of 5/2 pearl cotton on the beam. I warped front to back and all was well until I did my first tabbies. Using strips of fabric as weft, I did about 5 passes and it was EASY to tell that I had made 2 glaring errors somewhere along the way.

1 fix was easy. Cut out the extra warp thread (threaded 2 heddles on shaft 8 in a row), 2nd fix not so easy... I had skipped a heddle on shaft 3. And I don't mean there was a heddle there that I didn't thread: no heddle, no warp.

Being a novice, I tried to cut an extra length of warp and weight it. Trouble is, no heddle. So I did the UNTHINKABLE. I took the bar off of the top, scooted the threaded heddles off to a point that I could slide a new one in, put it on, repeated on the bottom and made a BIG OLE MESS.

Enter DH.

"Can't you just unthread up to the point you made the error and then rethread?"

Duh. The error was about 2 inches in and he was right. I untied the warp from the front apron and one by one, rethreaded until it was right. And because of the nature of my error, I was able to take the thread I had cut off in problem 1 and use it for the fix in problem 2. Thank you Scott!

So now it's tied on and I've woven 8 inches with only one minor error. YEAH! The picture below was taken after about 1 inch of real weaving.
The best part about all of this is that the feeling I had at school was not some kind of spiritual anomaly brought on by excitement, muscle fatigue, lack of sleep and the fellowship of new weavers. It was real.
Today, as the shuttle flies through the shed and my feet work the treadles, I still get that buzz. I still feel like the circuit between my head, hands and feet is complete. And I am grateful beyond measure.
So that is the weaving progress.
I was also going to finish my black knit top. And do some cleaning and sorting.
Priorities change.
DH asked me to make "cozies" for his beer carboys. This is not gourmet sewing, but it's gratifying to be able to be able to do something for him in return for all he's done to get me up and weaving. These were made from fleece in my stash. Fairly simple, with elastic in the top to give some shaping at the top, velcro closures on the side and a vinyl window so he can see the temperature at a glance. He liked the prototype so I stitched up 3 more. It took little over an hour since my newly service machine decided it didn't like the double layers of fleece + the velcro. It shouldn't have been a problem so I'm a bit miffed. May have to drag her back in.
Finishing off laundry and then I'll return season 3 Madmen to Blockbusters. (Such evil fun in that office!) Then I'll finish off the hems of the knit top, finish weaving one towel and call it a success. I didn't complete everything I set out to do, but I'm happy to substitute the carboy covers for cleaning/sorting any day.
The Final Say: It's all about balance. And a DH with an analytical mind doesn't hurt either.

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