Well, our Big Deadline at work was on Tuesday, so yesterday I finally got a day “off” meaning I got home at 6pm instead of 9pm. I promptly invested the time in weaving up some of the patterns I’ve been designing, and some of the “prefab” patterns that I’ve been meaning to try. I think I managed to weave 2-3 yards in two hours, pausing to switch the patterns every 4-10 inches.
Lady Di (my Leclerc Diana) is simultaneously annoying and a dream to work with. The 16-shaft compudobby is fantastic – I can switch patterns in the blink of an eye, without having to crawl under the loom and tie up a bunch of treadles. I can also use an infinite number of “treadles”, which allows me to create much more complex patterns (not to mention designing in the liftplan). It’s quick and easy and I love it.
What I don’t love quite so much is the treadling, the tension, and the beating. The solenoids fire correctly, but about one time in 15 some of them release before the “knife” catches them, so they don’t raise properly. I’ve learned to “hear” when it happens and redo the pick, but it slows me down. I feel it should be more reliable.
The tension is frustrating. Leclerc provides a cord that attaches to the brake lever and the brake band, but it only adjusts in 3/4″ increments, meaning that I have a choice between tension too loose (so the warp droops as I weave, even with the brake on) and tension too tight (so advancing the cloth is difficult, because the brake isn’t properly released). I may replace their band with my own.
The beater feels too light. I don’t know if it’s just light relative to the Baby Wolf, but it’s hard to beat cloth properly. I may wind up attaching a lead strip to it, to add weight.
But, I am weaving away on it and like I said, I love working with the 16-shaft compudobby. Hopefully I can figure out how to adjust the other pieces to my liking.
Hopefully tonight or tomorrow night I can finish weaving off the sampler and start work on the placemats. I should wind off and dye some of the linen yarn this weekend.
This weekend I am going up Mt. Hamilton again (slowly since I’ve been off the bike for a couple of weeks). A fellow weaver, Sandra Rude, lives on Mt. Hamilton and I’m going to stop in and check out her studio. I’m really looking forward to it – she does the most incredibly complex and beautiful pieces in fine silk, which is exactly what I want to learn how to do. Hopefully I can learn something, or get some pointers from her.
Work is going well. I and my fellow product managers have built a working prototype in Flex 2/ActionScript, and I am currently debugging the last few bits of it and trying to restructure my code so it isn’t quite so bletcherous. And, I’ve been assigned to build the rest of the prototype! I am thrilled. I’m reading through the O’Riley book on ActionScript 3.0 now, and am pleased by how much of it I already understand. This prototype will give me valuable experience in software development – not that anyone will ever mistake me for a software engineer, but I’ll be better at understanding technical stuff if I have some practice at it.
All in all, a busy and enjoyable couple of days.