Archive for October, 2012

I’m supposed to be heading to the shower to go out, to beat the construction traffic tie up, but I couldn’t resist the chance to blog because I got connected after experiencing lots of connection failures. Whoo hoo!

Yet, I don’t have much to say, and that is sad. Still, I have to say this, I am seriously considering moving the blog to livejournal.com because of problems connecting. I do like this WordPress community, and I don’t want the hassle of reposting all the stuff. Nevertheless, I do have to think about a move, or maybe cross-posting, while I am in China.

Ah, I went to yarn vendors on Tuesday, and one woman in particular will never be a supplier for Simply Warped. Why? She, again, tried to take advantage of my substandard Chinese. She has yarn she said is 100% lamb’s wool, and the price was decent. Then, I did the burn test, or my friend who was with me did it. There was a little hard ball at the end of the burn. I don’t know what other yarn is in there, but it’s not 100% lamb’s wool. It could be rayon, nylon, some other ‘on’ but not 100% lamb’s wool.

The thing is, the yarn is nice, and I will sell some, but I won’t buy it from her. That’s all. The difficulty of buying yarn here is that a lot of the vendors cannot really tell you yarn content of some of the yarn. Some can. Those are the ones I prefer to buy from. Some yarn labels I can read, and some are vague.

Whatever, in true American fashion, I am up front with my customers and want vendors to be up front with me. So, some of my yarns will have ‘other content unknown’ as part of their specs.


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Weaving is going blah. I’m working on Let There Be Light and I’ve Got the Blues, as well as on the box bag for my friend. Working on the box bag teaches me, again, that if I’m not weaving tapestry I don’t feel like I’m weaving just drudging. So sad.

I live an hour away, in the morning, from the university where I teach and 1.5-2.5 hours away in the evening. Over-crowded streets, big trucks, road construction, electric motorbikes, badly driven cars are all part of the fun and adventure in navigating a path too and from work. Today, I left school at about 5:20 or so. I didn’t get here until after 7:30 PM, eating exhaust from big trucks the whole way.

Anyway, I found a supplier for some 20/2 and 15/2 100% natural linen yarn, linen-cotton blend, 100% ramie and such. I’ve also got a source close at hand for wool-cotton blend. So, I’m going to do some buying this week and stock up Simply Warped. Exciting. Excited.

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After dropping the connection several times, it looks like the connection is stabilizing. In my dreams. Anyway, here’s hoping it stays long.

Two sample cones of 100% natural linen came in the mail today. One is 20/1 and the other is 15/1. The vendor swore up and down that it is suitable for warp. The truth of that assertion is extremely difficult to see because the single yarn count does not look like it can withstand the pressure of warping for non-tapestry weaving.

It is also extremely doubtful that either of those yarn counts can be used to warp a tapestry loom, but that will be put to the test.

Reader input would be helpful and very much appreciated in determining the answer to the 20/1 or 15/1 as warp question.

Sigh. The tunnel connection dropped again. No stable means of connecting to the blog anymore. Connecting took another eight minutes and lots of persistence.

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I’m tired of being locked out of the blog because WordPress is banned in China, so I paid for an .me domain. The new site address will be http://grapson.me. I’m waiting to see if it shows up without a proxy. If it doesn’t, well, I’ll cancel it and keep my money.

Eh, no change. http://grapson.me defaults to https://grapson.wordpress.com and I’m back where I started. Waste of time and money.

Update: So I didn’t switch to grapson.me as the primary domain. I just did that and can see the blog on the iMac without a proxy. However, the admin setting of the blog is still set to WordPress.com, and that means I can look at the blog but cannot post since WordPress.com is inaccessible in China. So, i have to use the iPad and its very iffy proxy if i want to post because none of those on th iMac work. Bummer!

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I’m back! I finally was able to get a connection that would take me past the bamboo curtain!

Don’t ask me what the Chinese government has with WordPress. All I know is that it’s hell to pay to get through, as it has been these past couple of weeks.

So, I’ve found something that maybe, perhaps, might possibly, I don’t know, could be might help me to keep blogging. Sigh.

Now I have to go out to meet a student and to help a friend’s kid. Perhaps I’ll be able to breathe free air later today.

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Box loom weaving is … interesting, and easy to master.

Here are the steps to doing it.

1. Get a box. The size? Whatever is right for your project.

2. Fold the four lids inward, so they are down inside the box and giving you a sturdy rim all around the top.

3. Reinforce the top rim with duct tape. Whether you use pins or cuts to warp, the duct tape will give you a nice, firm rim.

3. Around the duct taped rim, place a series of straight sewing pins or push pins 1/4″-1/2” or so apart from each other. You should have an odd numbered amount of pins for your weaving to main in the right shed.


An alternative method: make a series of small cuts 1/4″ deep and 1/4″ wide apart from each other. I don’t use this method because it frustrates me that my cuts are never straight.

If you use the push pins, when you warp the box, you can push the heads down firmly to hold the warp in place. Push pins are not practical if you want a narrower sett, unless you stagger their placement.

4. Starting warping on the width of the box, make a loose slip knot and tie it around the first pin to your left. If you feel comfortable doing it on your right, that’s fine, too.

5. Take the warp down the box, under, and up to the first pin on the other side.

6. Pass the warp around two pins, back down, and up. Skip one pin, pass around two and down again. Do this until you have finished warping the box on its width.


7. When you get to the last pin in going up the on the width of the box, pass the yarn around that last pin and around the first pin on the narrow side of the box. Bring it down to the warps that are in place.

8. Unravel a good length of the warp, snip, and thread your big weaving needle. Then, weave this narrow side warp through the width-side warps already in place on the bottom of the box: over-under… until you come to the other narrow side and up.

9. Use your comb to beat down the warp into a straight line, pull the warp snugly but not too tightly, and drop the needle and warp inside of the book and out of your way.

10. Using a needle-full of whatever weft color you have chosen for the bottom of your box, start weaving in the same shed as the warp you just put in.

11. Complete four passes, which is eight lines up going left and right. Pack your weft in firmly, set the weft needle aside and out of your way.

12. Take the warp needle out of the box, pass the warp around two pins, bring it down, and weave the warp in the same shed as the last weft you wove in. Then up the narrow side, and repeat step 9.

13. Repeat Steps 10-12 until you have finished weaving the bottom of the box, packing down the weft as you go.

14. When the bottom is done, keep weaving to cover the bottom edges of the box to build up the sides to the top of the box.

15. When you get to the 1.5″ from the top of the box, start on your hem. Weave a single row of soumak going all around in one direction. When you return to your starting point, weave another row of soumak s going in the other direction.

16. Weave 1/2” of plain weave in a finer weft to make the hem. This hem is folded in at the double soumak line to be attached to your lining later.

17. Weave tight double soumak knots on each warp to hold the weft in place. See Starting and Ending a Tapestry.

18. You should have between 1/2”-3/4″ of warp between the the double knots and the top of the box. You may either slip the warps off the pins or cut them off. If you cut them off, make sure you have between 1/2”-3/4″ of warp remaining to lock the weft in place using this method.

19. Sew the lining of your bag and attach it to the top hem as you see fit.

20. Either weave a handle or buy a manufactured one to attach as you see fit.

That’s it. You are done. You now have a stylish and unique handwoven bag designed and created by you!

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Eh, I’ve decided to undo that small hill on I’ve Got the Blues. It just doesn’t look or feel right, and I don’t want to work it in or work around it.

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