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Archive for September, 2012

Portable Looms

I found a portable loom online for $8 and bought it for the grand sum of $14, including shipping, and warped it with a very strong 3/4 cotton warp, military grade.

The warp is terrific, very strong. When woven, it is surprisingly soft. And there’s the rub.

In warping the little loom, I was careful to pull the warp as tightly as I could because it has no tensioner. Nevertheless, the warp has softened from contact with my hands and maybe from humidity. So, instead of guitar string warp threads, I now have California surfer dude warps. Some just sag there and have to be coaxed up to allow the passage of the weft.

As every tapestry weaver knows, that is not good. I’ve inserted a warp stick to increase tension, but the surfer dudes refuse to play ball.

Perhaps, the best option is to tighten the warps, but that may affect the alignment of the weft. Besides, this little loom is naturally spaced at 5 epi, and I weave at 12 epi or so. So, I improvised by triple warping. The result is I’m not quite sure which consecutive warps to pull to tighten them all. So, another alternative is to undo the weaving and rewarp because the sagging warps are driving me nuts.

Suggestions?

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Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow….

Today, I am in Hong Kong, just passing through. Tonight, I will be in China, in Guangzhou via the Hong Kong-Guangzhou express. At $190 HK, it sure beats taking a plane, though the plane would get me to my destination in the same time, and after disembarking the train I would still have a long night’s ride to where I’ll be staying. Whatever. I will keep 1,000 RMB in my pocket.

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Writing about weaving

I’ve to do that more. But since I returned home, I’ve been focused on setting up Simply Warped. I did work on Let There Be Light, and I did start a new tapestry, I’ve Got the Blues. Besides that, it’s all been the online store.

I’ve Got the Blues is a study in blue. Shapes. Shades. Texture. Rhythm. Blue. Blues!

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20% off to those who contact me to buy cone yarn from Simply Warped and intone the magic words: “danser bèlè.”

Caveat: This 20% discount applies only to cone yarns.

UPDATE: This discount is no longer valid. I’ve cut prices across the board, so instituting a permanent discount.

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Back to China

I’m getting ready to return to China. Hopefully, by Thursday, I will be on my way. In the meantime, I’m listing yarns for sale at Simply Warped , visiting friends, watching lots of ID tv (when oh when will people realize that blood will cry out and stop murdering for whatever reason?), and just generally having fun getting a small online business up in the air (same as off the ground. Heh.)

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Got yarn

The yarn for Simply Warped came today.

This is a 1 lb cone of 2/120 100% raw silk.

This is the the rest of the order. 41 pounds worth.

Here’s what will go up for sale shortly:

10 one pound cones of 2/48 80% silk-20% cotton yarn. Five black and five bitter chocolate. The chocolate color is really yummy.
10 one pound cones of 2/60 100% silk yarn. Five red and five milk chocolate.
4 one pound cones of 2/120 100% silk yarn. Two palest pink and two raw white silk.
8 one pound cones of 2/24 100% linen yarn. All heather gray.

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After owning the Mirrix for more than a year—it was supposed to go to China with me last year—I finally assembled it, and am going to warp it. The warp coils remind of the Hardanger Flid Eva, which is basically another Mirrix, but made with wood. The Eva, either rods or bars, twisted under pressure on first use. Not good. The upside is that the spring bar from the Eva will be used on the Mirrix since the seller—I bought it used—didn’t give me the original spring bar.

What do I like about the Mirrix so far? Its width and the materials seem sturdy. Plus, it came with treadles and lots of extras from the seller and the price was really low! What I don’t like so far is exactly what I didn’t like about the Eva and the small Brennan loom I made: without warps to hold top and bottom together, you need a strap to hold the naked bars in place when moving it. The alternative is to turn the loom on its side and hold it by the side bars. I don’t like that because I worry about bending the bars, which won’t really happen, and a 32″ top beam is not really comfortable to carry that way. So, I must find a heavy duty strap or weave a snap on carry band with handle. Everybody says the Mirrix is wonderful to weave on. We’ll see.

The other thing is, remember this is a used loom, I have four warp coils and don’t know which is what size, except the slightly stretched one which is size 14. Somehow, I’ll figure it out but it would be nice to have a guide. If there is one out there, I’ll post details about it when I find it.

What I would like Mirrix to do, even though their loom comes assembled, is provide a warping bar that is long enough that you don’t have to angle the clips inward. So, I’ll head to Home Depot or some place like that to find something that can fit snugly without having to adjust the clips that way. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won’t. What matters is that I’ll have tried to find my own solution to an irritant instead of bothering the company about it.

I’ve not done much weaving since I came home, except some work on Let There Be Light which I’m doing for a friend.

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