Thursday, August 8, 2019

August 2019

Is it mid-August already?  It is my looms and weaving projects that keep me distracted from writing about them – unlike ‘normal’ weavers, it is not easy to write and post pictures about what I’m doing, when I’d rather be actually doing.
The loss of two dear weaver friends has made It a painful early 2019.  Erica deRuiter, mentor, colleague, collaborator, of Malden, Netherlands passed only days after a cheerful email to me - though she had been on Oxygen for months and was accepting of the reality, it was nonetheless painful for me. Then the sudden passing of Aussie weaver, dear friend, mentor, also genius, but still-young, Kay Faulkner, Brisbane, Australia, was a more painful shock. See previous Blog postings for images and references to these friends.  Kay and our mutual Ontario friend Jette Vandermeiden were to be John’s and my guests in July.
        A couple home maintenance projects kept me out of 'high society' as well.  Cleaning and staining our 1,400 sq feet of deck plus railings & stairs last season was quite satisfying though painful blisters from the knee pad straps were not welcome. They healed fast and did not interfere with weaving.

from the back door, partly-stained deck leading to the drive

Staining the front deck working when wood is dry and in-the-shade.

 Intriguing, tile-sized stones offered up by ice and waves, led to a stash from months of shore walks and carrying home 3-4 at a time. Finally, here was a practical way to cover the raw cement-block wall under the windows of our retreat-room that had shamed me for 20+ years.  Having my hands on the plastic Thin-Set mortar and the hard stone is not unlike my tactile love of wool and flax. 

With one bucket of Thin-Set per day, one section at a time, the ugly wall was transformed with the God-made tiles

Then with cooler temps I retreated to the shop and studio to restore a (not-family) antique sofa, rather one purchased for 20$ in 1967 and then dressed in my first handwoven upholstery.  After 50 years, two kids, two dogs, multiple cats, it was looking somewhat shabby – and the joints had about all popped open.
Glue and peg multiple joints, re-tie springs, strip and re-finish wood....

Here is the restored old sofa with new clothes to compliment the family settee, restored a year before.
It fits all four kittens - counting John– khaki-colored Morag is behind John’s R knee, Fiona on the far arm and Greyfur wondering where he will fit.

To co-ordinate with the settee, I used the same blue dye formula, but wove plain panama with the 20/2 wool/mohair but this weft of dyed and doubled 22/2 100% mohair  from my stash – (only half as old as the sofa possession). 

Just finished a blues warp for birthday napkins to go with John’s favorite placemats and included a runner incorporating sedge grass and flower.
On a variety of blues cotton warp some napkins woven with linen weft, then after re-sleying, a runner in linen and sedge grass with blossoms.
 Then the last bit of warp with the flax chenille showing-off the Wall-of-Troy twill. [Look for Erica de Ruiter’s “Helen’s Rescue” in the soon-to-appear Complex Weaver’s 40th Anniversary Book Eight Shafts: Beyond the Beginning.]

Who can tell me of the history of this elegant weave?  My first encounter with the draft was in Margaret Porter Davidson’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, published in 1944, where there is a reference to a Swedish draft. 

                Enough for now.  Back to a tablet-woven border for a piece inspired by an article in Väv  Magazine  Kati 8-8-19