After staying in Ashland this past night, I drove the rest of the way to Portland. Discovering that the people for whom I was hauling toys from my garage lived in the SW area which turned out to be the easiest to reach. Lovely, I avoided downtown Portland completely.
I don’t think that Keith was expecting the number of boxes and toys which I off loaded. He was thinking small, circular sock knitting machine. I have one of those but it is still buried somewhere in the garage. Instead, I happily gifted the two larger knitting machines complete with stand, a spool rack, a warping mill, several rigid heddle looks, and a bag of weaving toys.
Unfortunately, looking at my garage, the absence of these items hardly makes a dent….
Otherwise, I had a lovely afternoon. There is a lovely coffee shop with in walking distance followed by stitching, listening to an audiobook and and sipping my latte.
As I dropped a “new” table cloth on our breakfast nook table this morning, I took a good look at the placemats. But first, the tablecloth was simple. Blue and white patterned, ocean themed upholstery fabric rescued from the bargain bin shelves at JoAnns. The bit left on the bolt, the two ends serged and it look just fine.
But now we come to the placemats. We have gone through a lot of placemats over the years. Picked up here and there. Not one set of the store bought ones have survived years, children, spills and multiple moves including transatlantics.
The two sets which have survived both date from the mid to late 1980s. (which means that they are older than 3 of 4 offspring. Handwoven – the first set was my first attempt at weaving placemats. The warp was perle cotton and the weft a cotton filler. I didn’t know much at the time with the result that I didn’t use as fine a dent reed as would have been sensible. They have become stained over the years as well as surviving multiple trips through the washer and dryer. But they still bring a smile to my face.
The second set is even more special. They were a gift from Carmen, woven on her rather large Gilmakra loom which took up a significant space in her Wheaton, Maryland home. There were at least eight in the set, maybe more. Since they are scattered around (table, tray, side table) I think I still have them all.
They graced the table this evening as four of us enjoyed Indian take-away. A visual reminder of enduring friendships and well made household items.
Sometimes you can just be in the right place at the right time. My luck ran that way today. From what I think I read, it was the annual convention of the California Handweavers complete with classes, banquet and fashion show (last night) and a room full of dealers with lovely things to buy.
It has been a long time since I have done any significant weaving. Years and years as a matter of fact. The Glimakra drawloom went to live in PA in 1993 and I sold the AVL leaving me only various toys and an 8-H Baby Wolf. My interests drifted over to spinning and knitting.
The guys dropped me off late morning. I intended to buy a day pass and then join them in a shoe-shopping-for-the-boy expedition. Instead I texted them back saying I wasn’t going to be done till about 1700.
It was easy to spend a couple of hours in the dealers and exhibition hall. First looking at the fashion and weaving displays then wandering from booth to booth feeling all that luscious fiber. Carolina Handspun had a number of spinning wheels to try and I have now managed to talk myself out of buying a Schacht Sidewinder. I have a portable wheel which I really don’t much like (Louet Victoria) and was hoping to find an alternative. I managed to avoid all the fiber and all but a couple of skeins of yarn.
Then there was this dude with glass earrings. If I hadn’t already had plans for Thursday evening i would have been over at the Oakland Center taking a class from Harlan. As is, I just had to settle for indulging in a couple pairs for me.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon in a class taught on finishing techniques for handwovens. Daryl Landcaster started out in haute couture and tailoring taught by her mother. Weaving was a later addition. Reviewing seams, edge-finishings and hemming all of it is applicable to “normal”
I will give you the photos as a gallery – click to embiggen…
which made a really lovely loaf of sunflower bread on the large/white setting and having a nice breakfast had been about as much plans for the day as I needed. After all, I have the DH, knitting and books.
The DH got the itch to go somewhere and see something.
Ok, fine – if he figures out where, then I will drive.
and he found just the thing – the Old Silk Mill in Whitchurch,
restored in the last 15 years and open on Sundays.
Set up to weave fancy silks for Judges, the Royalty, decorating and fashion
The Mill is of course, located on a river, complete with the usual wild fowl.
The silk arrives skeined from China, is sent out be be dyed and then is returned to be wound.
The bobbins are then racked
and the warp is beamed sectionally (up to 200 epi)
On the bottom floor – there are 15 looms. Because of the fineness of the fabric and the complexity, each weaver only handles 2-3 looms. Where originally the power shaft could drive all of the looms, there is electric augmentation for several decades.
We drove back along the A30, choosing to see a bit of the country side rather than rushing along the Motorway. And honestly, since it was a bit more direct, it took just about the same amount of time.
As you probably guessed from the short posts for the last several days, neither knitting or spinning have really been on my mind.
Reading still – going through a couple of paperbacks a day (or a library book).
But I am contemplating hauling out the loom. Not that I need another project underway. There are only three WIPs that really count – the second “Peacock Sock,” my Kauni cardigan which still needs the second sleeve and facings, and the Gallery Jacket which is now four fingers above the armhole split – all the way across.
Now – that means that I really don’t need to think about starting something new. Even tho I have yarn dyed for a couple of afghans from three years ago. Or a number of cones of this lovely blue that came in a while ago.
What started all of these thoughts? A nice, useful size catalog from Webs that arrived in today’s mail. There is no lack of wools, and some decent cottons for weaving. But I haven’t played with Tencil or Bamboo on the loom. Those are new fibers since I last threw a warp on the small beast.
Of course, I also received a lovely box of sales audio books in the mail today. Enough to last me a longish time. The post library loves the CDs and the MP3s, but they are no longer taking donations of anything on cassette.