Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adieu to the television.

It struck me the other day that I haven,t actually watched the TV at all for several weeks now. I never watched it much anyway, but since the loom is in a different room to the TV, I've abandoned it altogether.

I used to make the effort to watch University Challenge, but now I find it has lost its allure. I enjoyed Relocation Relocation until Phil and Kirsty's stupid banter got just too much to bear. One of them said, "Whatever floats your boat," and the other replied, "Crash pad," and something in me suddenly snapped.

The radio is better. Count Arthur Strong's Radio show is currently my favourite. Some very funny malapropping - you should tune in, you'd laugh.

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Within these webs

Well, I got fed up weaving the single-unit micro chequerboard double weave. My new tex-solv loom cord arrived and I decided to set up a new tie up while I was replacing the bootlaces. I kept the original weaving going on the loom while I was re-tieing.

I know it doesn't look very impressive, but I am mightily proud of myself as I accomplished what I had set out to do. The broader reddish band at the bottom of the picture contains a bit of lumpy old string and the narrower stripes above it contain lengths of hardened loom cord. This can be quite easily felt through the cloth as a distinct ridge.

Two layers of cloth were woven simultaneously. When they were wide enough to contain something (string - but I had considered some little beads), I pushed in the string between the layers. Then I switched over the layers by depressing different treadles and the string became trapped in between the two cloths.

I was particularly pleased that the loom actually worked with this tie-up. I did not want to change the threading of the shafts so I changed the treadle tie-up in a rather unorthodox way. Each pedal either raised two shafts and lowered six shafts or vice versa. Normally, I believe, countermarche looms are tied up four against four. However, I couldn't see any way round this with the threading I'd made and I wanted to weave double weave weft stripes.

~After that I had a bit of a play around with various treadling patterns and weft combinations - which produced variable results as you might expect.

I think, that being done and dusted, I shall re-thread the remaining warp and do another tie-up, with the aim of achieving my original goal - a double weave checkerboard. Here goes.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Tadpoles in the pond

Despite the snow and ice the frogspawn is hatching and here are two looking rather obvious on a leaf.



On the train on the way home from Oxford a group of twelve boys, probably all twelve year olds, were annoying the rest of the passengers. They were firing spitty bits of paper through straws at each other. They weren't aiming at or hitting any one else but their group, but the windows by their seats were covered in the nasty bits of chewed paper and so was the floor. They were also using foul language.

I would have loved to have given them some words of advice and told them to clean up but I was begged not to by my daughter, who thought one of them went to her school. None of the other passengers felt able to act.

However, just to numb my feelings of impotence - as they got off at Didcot I carefully put my foot out into the aisle as the last of the group left the train. He tripped over it, turned to me and .... apologised! I supposed he was sorry he had tripped over my foot, rather than having behaved badly on the train.

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A day in Oxford

Well Kodakina and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the theatre on Saturday to see Chicago. Everyone in the cast was so clever and talented. I am glad we went, though it was on the offchance that they had tickets left. I refused to pay the £2.75 per ticket booking charge that Ticketmaster wanted to book on line. Ridiculous.

We also went to the Museum of Modern Art to see Callum Innes.
Normally I sneer at this sort of abstract art, but some of these paintings were lovely, I thought, and very calming. And they would make great WEAVINGS.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

My beautiful warping mill.

When I bought my loom, the lady loom vendor gave me, all for free, a Toika warping mill with some important bits missing.

After some research identifying the mill's make, I tracked down some bits that weren't EXACTLY right but were nearly so and were then very helpfully made to work by Mr HC.

So I've now got an enormous mill (4m circumference) that spins round like a dream on a big ball bearing - taking up the last bit of free space in our dining room.

Nice to get it for nothing though I would have chosen one less than half its size! I will definitely have to go industrial. No short warps for me from now on. I only weave scarves for giraffes. Or is that scarfs for girarves?

Gordon Brown - with my money he runs.

Actually I thought for a long time that the Stranglers were singing, "With my mad sheer ons." But that made no sense - probably why I didn't realise it was wrong.

Well, thanks to the budget, next year my teeny tiny teacher's assistant's salary will be even smaller.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Who put that pink ribbon on my ear?

I can hardly be bothered to scratch it off and chew it to shreds.


For Miss Blandish

And to prove that not all my potted plants die horribly.

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Feeling low.

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want - it's a loom bench. This piano stool/telephone directory arrangement just isn't up to it.

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One of the reasons, I think, for my not getting a particularly good shed, is demonstrated in this photo.

Incidentally, a shed is the gap that is made when the warp threads are separated so that the shuttle can pass between them carrying the weft thread, and so producing the weaving.

I did not have sufficient proper cord to tie up the eight treadles and had to make do and mend. You can see in this forest of knots - some proper cord, some parcel string, garden twine, bailer twine and a pair of old shoe laces - a recipe for failure if ever there was.


Web's a wonder.

This is the first piece I have woven on my new big loom. I am pretty relieved that the dear old thing actually works and I quite like the patterns on this, my first eight shaft weave.

It did not quite turn out as expected. The learning curve was just a trifle too steep for me. I intended a chequerboard pattern with squares of about one inch but instead I got tiny squares of maybe a quarter of an inch.

The mistake occurred because the double weave pattern I had chosen was for only one unit and I should have combined the units when threading up the heddles to make a bigger square. At least I think that's the problem.

On the whole I think this first warp is a success - given that it was my first stab at:
eight shafts
and double weave.

I haven't the least idea what to do with the fabric - it was just a sacrificial warp of unfavourite yarns whose colours I thought went well together that I put on for my initial set-up. I shall carry on mucking about with it and probably change the tie up when my texsolv cord arrives.

So, onwards and upwards, to infinity ... and beyond.

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