I got a few pleasant surprises over the weekend!
First, I got a mysterious package forwarded from my old address in San Francisco. When I opened it up, there was a copy of Warp with a Trapeze and Dance With Your Loom! Kati Meek recently reprinted this wonderful little book, and had asked me to provide a blurb for the back cover. I happily did, as it was one of the most useful books of weaving tips that I’ve found, but I didn’t expect my own copy of the reprinted edition!
So here it is:
The two big items in the book are how to warp with a trapeze, and using the live-weight tension system. The trapeze allows you to beam onto a plain beam much much faster than using the walk-around-and-tug warp tensioning method, and the live-weight tension system gives you perfect and completely even warp tension, which ratchet-and-pawl brake systems do not. (Live-weight is also much less fuss than a ratchet-and-pawl system; you don’t ever have to touch it after setting it up, just advance the warp and keep weaving!)
At any rate, I have not seen these methods discussed in any other book (which doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t discussed it, just that I haven’t found it in anything in my library), and those two tips have been completely invaluable, so I recommend the book highly. Kati is selling it on her website, katimeek.blogspot.com. I think it’s only $19.95.
The second surprise was my CNCH prize ribbon! Apparently they had some printing problems so the Fashion Show ribbons didn’t arrive in time. Since I won Best in Show, I figured I’d get something fairly nice – but I was NOT expecting this big-huge-enormous ribbon:
(The squares in the background are 1″ squares. This thing is GYNORMOUS!!!)
So I am pretty pleased about that. I will have to find some place to display it in my studio!
And, finally, dye samples. I am pretty pleased about those too – no prize ribbons, but lots and lots of gorgeous silk yarn!
Here’s what I’ve done so far (you’ll have to click on the little photo to get a legible larger version):
Mostly it’s 4% DOS (4 grams of dye for every 100g of yarn), but the last two samples are interesting – one is dyed at 4% and the other at 2%. The one at 2% has somewhat brighter colors, but the one at 4% has deeper, more intense colors. I’m still on the fence about whether I want to dye most of my samples at 4%, or compromise between the two depths and dye at 3%.
The samples are temporarily threaded through strips of poster board with the names of the dyes and depth-of-shade marked on them. A weaving pal of mine, Ginny, has very graciously agreed to wind the samples onto floss bobbins for me (much to my relief!), and the finished samples will look like this:
I’m VERY pleased with how the samples are turning out. I’ve already discovered several shades that I hadn’t mixed successfully before! Can hardly wait to dye more.