So much to do, so little time!
I had a wonderful time at Sandra’s – her DH, Mike, repaired my warp beam and made an adapter that will allow me to wind cones on my double-ended AVL bobbin winder, and Sandra and I talked a lot about weaving and interleaved network drafted threadings. She does beautiful work, some of it holographic, with interleaved threadings, and I find it extremely exciting. I must explore this! – well, AFTER the dress is complete.
Sandra also showed me her electric skeinwinder – essentially, a conventional skeinwinder with a flywheel attached, driven by a sewing machine motor at the base of the device. A magnetic counter counts revolutions. I’d post a photo but I can’t currently locate the gizmo that will let me plug my little portable camera’s memory card into the computer. Maybe in a little bit.
This is an extremely neat gadget, and one I’d like to try making sometime – but for now, the skeinwinder on my spinning wheel will work just fine. It’s great, it’s foot-driven, and I can easily estimate weight of the yarn on the skein by sticking the cone I’m winding from on a scale at the beginning, then subtracting the weight at any given point from the original weight to give the amount of yarn wound off. I also don’t have to store One More Thing, which is extremely useful since my studio is looking pretty crammed right now. (Where on earth did I store everything back when I was working on the dining room table???)
Needless to say, as soon as I got home I tucked my properly-adjusted warp beam into the loom, leaped for the AVL warping wheel, and started winding on a new warp, this one of white mohair. Sandra had given me lots of useful tips for working with the warping wheel – run the yarn through a tension box on its way onto the wheel (for even tension in winding), use plastic tubing to guide the yarn into the sectional hoops when winding onto the beam, and lots of other helpful stuff – and it was a breeze. I really think most of my woes were caused by (a) the misalignment of the sectional hoops, and (b) having the tension set WAY too low on the warping wheel as I wound each section onto the beam.
At any rate, I wound on a 19″ wide, 9-yard warp of fine white mohair this morning, now sitting on the beam ready for threading. It went on beautifully – of course, the proof will be how it weaves up! I can’t wait to find out.
I might have gotten the warp on earlier, but I spent the first three hours of my day reading up on WordPress and realizing just what a Herculean effort I’ve let myself in for, in the website redesign. It’s not that the task is complicated; it could probably be done by a competent web developer in about a day and a half. However, I’m not a full-time web developer! I have a decent idea of HTML and a hazy idea of CSS and a very limited understanding of PHP, so I’m having to puzzle it out bit by bit. I did locate a theme that is very powerful (low on pretty graphics, high on customizability) and have installed it. I also found a lot of great info on theme design at http://themeshaper.com – if you’re into WordPress, and want to customize it, this is a great resource.
I have, however, managed to do the really important thing: I have created my own favicon for the new webpage! It’s a simple orange and black tiger-striped design. (I was going to do something weaving-related, but there’s only so much you can do in a 16 x 16 pixel area.) I have also created the image header for my website, but still need to massage it a bit before it’s ready for prime time. I also have to figure out how to get it to display properly in the header, which will require a dive into my CSS books and the WordPress documentation.
The other thing I’ve been doing, which is singularly unexciting, is doing online coursework to renew my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. This particular class is completely useless, an epithet I might use to describe the PMP certification as well, though it does decorate a resume nicely. It’s basically memorizing jargon out of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and spouting it back. Is there any real value in memorizing what the risk management planning process is and how it differs from the risk management control assessment?
Well, regardless, it is a good certification to have, so I’m working my way through it. This is what I get for leaving my continuing education requirement to the last minute, I guess.
Tonight is a guild meeting, so I will be bringing the collapse weave shawl and some of my other recent stuff to show. I’m also going up to visit Blossom, who’s a new production weaver documenting his journey into professional weaving at his blog here.
Finally, I’ve decided to do some more dyeing. The plan is to create a full color range of graduated colors in 60/2 silk – a smooth color range going all the way around the color wheel. As you may recall from my previous color work, this is a bit daunting – it took me 29 skeins just to get from fuchsia to turquoise – and also requires quite a bit of yarn. However, since I bought 6 kg of 60/2 silk back when I thought I would use it for the wedding dress, I should have enough to do 50-gram skeins in 120 colors, which should get me all the way around the color wheel with room to spare.
I want to do this while I’m unemployed because it’s fairly time-consuming, and also because you have to be around for a long chunk of time to watch the dye-pots. It takes 1.5 hours to do a fiber-reactive dyebath using my methods, and I have to be stirring the dyepots every 15 minutes during that time. Even though I can do six or seven dyepots at once using mason jars in a hot water bath, 120 colors will still take a loooong time to do.
The last thing I want to do is to dye up some sample sets using Jacquard acid dyes. I recently purchased about 30 8 oz containers of Jacquard acid dyes at a yard sale, and before I can really work with those dyes I’ll need to know what colors they yield, and get some idea of how the colors mix together. So I will be doing samples with those as well.
Whew! So many things to do, so little time. And I thought being unemployed was going to be RELAXING!