Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New loom

Here you see my new loom. It is a Leclerc Artisat (a jack loom) and as soon as I have finished the very long warp on my table loom I shall have a look and see how it works.

I believe it has all the things you need to warp it up in sections so I might have a go at that, or I might ignore that for the initial foray.

It is an improvement over my table loom in that it is 12" wider, at 36" and it has pedals (called treadles), which should make weaving quicker. It can fold up, too, which is useful.

One day I would like a proper countermarch rug loom, with more shafts. But they are ENORMOUS, so this is a good inbetweentimes loom until I am absolutely sure.

The other good thing is that this loom cost me less than £100 and was LOCAL - a great benefit.

This is the train to Bournemouth

This is the passenger, tired and bored, who awaited the train for Bournemouth.

Virgin trains cancelled my train on Friday. The next one was due in an hour. When it arrived I got on and heard the announcer declare that it would only be going as far as Southampton - due to technical problems. I could stay on the train and change at Southampton or I could get the next direct train which would arrive in ten minutes.

Reader, the announcer lied, and the next train was half an hour late. So I arrived in Bournemouth one hour and forty minutes later than I had imagined.

I thought it was a cheap fare. Just shows there is no such thing. (My return journey was uneventful, you'll be relieved to learn). And there was a nice new loom waiting for me at home.

Running up a hill

Now I believe I know why there are angles in the architecture of my weaving. It doesn't appear very clearly in this photo but the weaving here is NOT straight.

I read in my library copy of Mary E Black's Key to Weaving that one possible cause for "the edge of the web runing at an angle to the reed of fell" is that "the warp has been tied with a tighter tension on one side of the loom than on the other".

On inspecting my warp this is exactly the case. I am of course delighted to have discovered the cause of my problem, but also disgusted with myself that I didn't get it right in the first place.

A secret mason's handshake

I had not realised until the other evening how the men in pink use their special dialect to identify one another. I met "Tarquin" (not his real name) at a friend's barbecue and when I first started talking to him his accent was quite unremarkable, and much like mine really. Over the course of the evening as he relaxed, chatted, drank plenty of wine and smoked a few herbal cigarettes, his speech changed until he had become quite a creditable Julian Clary voice double.

Phoning for a taxi later in the evening, he remarked on the switchboard operator's camp voice.

This spoken badge of honour can be hammed up or played down, as the occasion demands. I just wondered why he had chosen to suppress it at the beginning of the evening, and then wheel it on later. Something for the amateur psychologists to consider perhaps.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bournemouth on my mind

Off to the seaside tomorrow for the weekend. Quite a good price on the train with my railcard at £22 return.

Hopefully it will be a bit cooler there. Here it is so hot and humid. Can't sleep. Drinking gallons of water but still feel dehydrated.

Still too hot to do any exercise. Those new running shoes have yet to notch up their second outing. Lazy things.

Apply in triplicate

An example of bureaucracy gone mad. My oldest daughter (did I call her Kodakina?) has a place at the local tech. college in September. As the local tech is too far away to walk, she gets a partially funded place on the school bus. We have to pay an annual £250 fee and the education people pay £650.

This is how it works: The education authority writes to us telling us that we are in the catchment area and therefore eligible for the travel subsidy. We then have to write to the education authority to ask for a different letter repeating this information (the original letter is not acceptable). The authority send us the letter. We send the letter, along with an application form, to the transport department of the education authority. We wait for the bus pass.

Makes me feel quite tired just thinking about this.

Plainweave scarf with a novelty stripe

I had forgotten to post a picture of my last project. It is woven in plainweave, which weavers call tabby, but woven very loosely so it's forgiving of errors in tension. Plainweave is generally considered to be difficult to get right because all your mistakes are on display in this most basic of weave structures. If you don't beat the wefts down evenly you will get tell-tale streaks in your cloth.

I was very pleased with this when it was still on the loom as the novelty boule de neige multi-coloured yarn looked really good with the lime-coloured furry yarn and the black wool boucle. Unfortunately, after washing, the fancy yarn went a bit scratchy and that's no good in a scarf. Still, I think it looks good but probably can only be a scarf as the cloth has such an open weave. It shall go in my collection.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Winding my own warp.

And it's going to be as long as can be. And I'm going to try and save time by tying (what a difficult word that is to spell - I had to use a dictionary) it on to the remains of the old warp from my last project, which is still threaded through the heddles. I shall re-sley it, however, as I want it to be a different sett. I wonder if it will work?


I cut these grassy plants from our little pond as they are so beautiful. But what are they? (Sorry, it would be nice to have one of those cameras that don't give a blurred image when you shake the camera at the moment of clicking the shutter.). We always called these rushes/sedges, "Bullrushes" - but now I think that's not right. I shall have another look in by book. They have lovely brown furry fat pipecleaners for flowers and a spindly bit at the top where their seeds were.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Twill scarf

I thought I would pick out two of the patterns from my twill sampler and make a scarf of them. There is a straight double threading 1234,1234,1234 for the selvedges; then a middle panel of about 1.5" of bell celtic threading bordered by two yellow warp threads and the rest is 1/3 twill threading.

Unfortunately there is not enough contrast between the two threadings and it just looks like a mistake. I got bored with just doing one pattern in the lifting sequence and so now it is a bit of a hotch potch. What will it look like when it comes off the loom? Maybe by this evening I will know. How exciting - I bet you can't wait.

Hugh Jeers

I meant to mention this a week ago when the Queen had her birthday picnic for the lucky children of England. Prince Philip was there but no other members of the royal family. Nicholas Witchell, the BBC's royal and diplomatic correspondent, was reporting on the event for the news on television. He has a score to settle with the Prince of Wales, who unguardedly declared out loud that he could not stand, etc etc Mr Witchell - which comment was then gleefully broadcast to the nation.

At the picnic were many characters from children's literature, among them Peter Pan, Mrs Tiggywinkle, and Noddy - but not, we were told, Big Ears.

Mister Blue Skies

Well it's raining again. Unfortunately it has come too late for my mange tout peas and they have died. The ailing French beans are covered in blackfly. I have been too absorbed in my weaving to care for these thirsty plants. We have a hosepipe ban and I would have had to spend a long time every evening carting heavy watering cans up the garden to make the wee greens grow properly. I wonder if I shall bother next year - my heart just isn't in it at the moment. I think maybe in a few years' time when the children are grown up I will find suddenly that I have loads more time. Hardly any washing or cooking to do and no one to admonish.