* changing weft colour every 45 picks. This is s-l-o-o-o-w;
* my “temple/stretcher” setup. I don’t have a temple big enough for the width (73 cm / 28.75 inches in the reed). I came up with a variant of an idea I first saw on Sandra Rude’s blog (sorry, can’t find the particular post just now), but instead of alligator clips I used some silk stretching claws I got from Batik Oetoro when I was doing silk painting. The result is effective, uses materials I had at hand, didn’t require any modification to the loom (hooks etc) … but slow to move on.
* stick shuttle. Super slow. This one is cringe-worthy, but I simply don’t have the throwing skills with my boat shuttles to get across the width. Yes, I need to develop the skills, and no, this is not the project to learn on. A positive point is that I can count the number of turns while I wind onto the shuttle and minimise wastage .
The fast part is that the weaving progresses smoothly, I enjoy handling the silk, and it is endlessly interesting to see all the colour combinations coming up. The second photo was taken at the same time, but a bit to the left. Same wefts showing, but a different effect with every warp stripe. I put the camera away and moments later was thinking how lovely the wefts looked on the left hand side (the bordeaux/violet mixes) and that I should get a shot of them. Then the next weft started – even more beautiful!
Fast or slow, I’ve given myself a deadline on this. One of my brothers is Master of the Ancient Society of College Youths (a bellringing group established in 1637, I just saw on their website) – not relevant to me and my textile world except that he’s in Australia on a tour with them and we have a big family get-together next weekend. Obviously I need a lovely new textile to show off and maintain at least some balance in the sibling rivalry stakes!
[edited to add – brother Phil was enormously keen about the conversion to metric measures which took place in Australia while we were kids at home. He put up signs all around the house such as one next to the heater where my sister’s cat camped all winter: “Sooty weighs 5 kilograms”. Even overlooking this post’s title, I can’t figure if he would disapprove or be amused by the mixed up weaving world where I change from using inches to centimetres depending on whether I’m measuring width or length of a piece.]