Shortly after returning home, I was struck down by a nasty cold, which floored me pretty much all week. But I’ve made progress nonetheless: I wound two 880-thread, 25-yard warps, and, with considerable help from my friend Pat, beamed both of them onto the loom. Here’s what it looked like partway through the first warp:
The weights are 1.25-pound weightlifting plates; they’re called “gem weights” and are used by weightlifters who want very fine control over the amounts they are lifting. The folks at the weightlifting supply store looked at my a bit oddly when I bought 30 of them at once – normally you only need two. But weavers aren’t normal, are we?
I had some tension problems with a few threads in the black warp, but the white one went on smoothly and perfectly. Here it is, fully beamed on. See how flat the warp is on the beam?
And here everything is, ready for threading.
I suspect threading will be a bit of a challenge: it is easy to twist the heddles around each other, and the heddle eyes are very small, maybe 3/16″ tall. Which made the threading of the test warp incredibly slow. Since I have 1,760 heddles to thread, and am still fighting off this cold, I don’t expect to finish until the end of the month. And then the first few weeks of October will be spent debugging the warp, coaxing sticky heddles into smooth action, etc. I expect I’ll only be able to weave a sample or two before chocolate season starts. Patience, grasshopper!
Speaking of chocolate season, I’ve started thinking about flavors for this year’s test kitchen. I spend all year collecting ideas, and then test them out during late October. So far I have 18 ideas – but because I can realistically test only twelve, I need to winnow them down a bit. So: salted rosemary caramels dipped in dark chocolate? Apricot fruit jellies with rosewater ganache? Fig and fennel truffles? Homemade goat cheese and honey? Or maple pecan marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate? It’s already hard to decide, and I haven’t even started yet.
So stay tuned…beginnings are happening, slowly but surely, in the studio and in the kitchen.
And here are Tigress and Fritz, ready for new things to start. Perhaps there will be cat toys!