So, despite the bronchitis, I’ve continued training for the Death Ride. Saturday’s ride was 3 hours – felt pretty dragged-out through most of it, so I took it easy – and Sunday’s ride was an easy 1 hour. I’m starting to get over the saddle-soreness (thank goodness) although I still feel it when hill-climbing.
The bronchitis is getting better, but slowly. I still have a lot of coughing fits, though (fortunately) not while riding.
Meanwhile, I have started prepping for my next weaving project, which will be a set of exercises from Bonnie Inouye‘s Exploring Multishaft Design. The book is really written for looms with more than eight shafts (she assumes sixteen in most of her exercises) but it’s a fantastic introduction to what you can do with weave structures on a loom. It’s making me lust after a sixteen-shaft loom, though, as they can do considerably more complex (factor of four) designs than a “mere” 8-shaft loom.
Anyway, she starts off by demonstrating all the different things you can do with a straight draw threading (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8) – the first eight chapters all use the same threading – so I’m winding up a 10-yard warp and preparing to weave samples. I’m using a white 6/2 unmercerized cotton as warp and the same yarn in black for weft, sett at 24 ends per inch. I was going to weave a set of towels, but realized afterwards that I’d want to keep the samples in a notebook so I could refer back to them later – so instead I’m going to weave some samples 8″ wide and in lengths suitable for pasting into a notebook.
Yesterday I dyed the black yarn and started winding the warp with the white one. To dye the black yarn, I started by scouring the yarn, since this was white unmercerized and probably still had a lot of wax in it. I boiled it with a mixture of washing soda (aka soda ash) and Dawn dishwashing detergent, and lo and behold, an astonishingly large amount of brown stuff came out – the water looked like tea when it was done! Then I dyed it black using Procion MX dyes. It’s drying as I type, but it’s a big skein (~1 lb) so I may have to put it into the oven (on low) to dry.
I’ve decided to do a set of relatively simple, stockinette-based patterns for the next round of my entrelac sampler shawl. I don’t know when I’ll find time to do it, with the weaving going on, but all things come around in time, I guess.