Thursday, September 11, 2008

There was Blood

My father was a woodworker. He also was a smoker, and there were often burn marks somewhere on the things he made, where he put down a cigarette for a *minute*, or dropped ashes.

We used to chuckle at his *trademark*.

My trademark has always been blood.

I'm not a very careful seamstress. I seem always to prick my finger with the needle. I also often fail to use a thimble until it's too late, and I've managed to impale my finger with the dull end of the needle as I am pushing it through.

I usually notice that I am bleeding when I see the blood on the project. Such was the case yesterday as I finished up the hand sewing on this bag:

SOAR sample1 2008 small
Front side: linen bag with silk knotted pile pocket.

SOAR sample2 2008 small
Back side, same same.

This is the first sample woven on the Cricket for the upcoming class at SOAR. Most participants reacted kindly to using the new loom, there were a few questions but, thankfully, no rebellion.

Answers to questions which did arise:
#1: The Cricket loom can be used semi-upright, leaning against the table and resting on your lap. There are notches that catch the loom on the edge of the table to make this position easy and secure. It is much like the pipe loom in that sense, and similar to my upright pile looms.

#2: No one will be required to buy the loom. I have "smallened" the project so it can be accomplished in the allotted workshop time (see sample above). The looms will be available to purchase, and are being supplied for the class to use by Schacht.

#3: I will bring and set up the copper pipe loom for those who wish to know how it all works. Plans for the loom will still be included in the handouts.

#4: The tension mechanism on the Cricket is a ratchet and pawl system, with the pawl having double teeth: easy to make incremental adjustments and very secure.

#5: I don't know how much warp this will hold, but certainly enough for the project we will be doing. If you look at the photo on the Schacht webpage, you can see there is a back beam and a warp beam, plus a breast beam and a cloth beam, all of which combine to make it easier to put on a longer warp, and still weave with a good shed. Looms without such niceties are more difficult to use with a long warp (and a subsequent build up of cloth on the front beam). Sound like Greek, Claudia? :)

#6: Corrugated cardboard warp separator: I bought a large roll many years ago at an educational supply place for teachers who use it as bulletin-board backing. I think you can buy it at office supply places, but honestly I haven't looked. The rolls I bought have lasted for over twenty years, so I haven't needed to find this particular accessory again :). For those curious, we will be using sticks at SOAR to separate the layers of warps, not cardboard.

I'm still working on the other class sample, more to come, soon, I hope. Lindsey called yesterday though, asking about a certain dearth of postings, so herewith. I'm planning to see Lindsey in town this afternoon, and I'm hoping she doesn't read this first, so I can blink my eyes in all innocence when she asks again about the dearth of posts.

The games we play. I live a very small life.


Blogger elizabeth said...

No, I would argue that you live a very large life. :o)

2:24 PM  
Blogger Purple Fuzzy Mittens said...

It's the quality, rather than the size that counts. :-)

3:20 PM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

So glad you like the new, little loom! Nice results, even with a bit more of yourself in it that you would have liked.

4:30 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

Unless you've sewn through a finger (actually fingernail) with a sewing machine, I'm not impressed.


7:07 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm watching this little loom thingie. I'd like to be a cut-pile weaver but I don't want to be inconvenienced by having to actually sit at a loom, which is why I sit on the sofa and knit. I wish my needles could produce the same fabric. Knitting isn't work, it's the ahhhhh~

9:58 PM  

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