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Mid-July in the Studio

July has not started off well for me. Last week I broke a crown and had to spend two hours at the dentist, the first time I had traveled outside of my small town in over three months. I go back in two weeks to replace the temporary crown with the new permanent one. Then on Saturday my washing machine decided to stop working. My husband spent a few hours taking it apart and watching YouTube videos on how to diagnose the problem. He thinks it's a broken pump. The repairman comes next Monday. I ordered new underwear from Amazon just in case, even though they said they had the pump in stock and would bring it.


On a happier note, I finished more masks and made some progress on a new weaving project.


For the masks, I had sorted my fabrics into the six color families we're all familiar with - yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, and green - plus beige/brown and gray/black. I decided to further separate these eight groups into light and dark versions of each, giving me 16 colorways for the masks. I track which ones sell and make more masks in that colorway when a color sells out. As of today, I have made 130 masks and sold/given away 76 of them.


On the weaving side of the studio, I completed a process called "winding the warp". The most basic function of a loom is to hold a number of threads, called the warp, under constant tension and parallel to each other. This can be done in many ways, from vertical frames to floor looms:



This beauty is the type of loom I have now, a 32-shaft Toika Eeva. The basic function is still addressed, but by holding the threads horizontally, not vertically, and winding the extra around the beam at the back. The finished cloth is wound on a beam in the front.

My new project has 908 threads in the warp. Obviously, it would take a long time to individually measure and cut those threads. Instead, I used a warping reel:



This handy gadget spins, so you can stand in one place and wrap the yarn around from the bottom to the top and back to the bottom again, wrapping it around the pegs at each end. Each side is 18" wide, so a full rotation is two yards. My project is only three yards long, so one and a half rotations were enough.

Even at only 3 yards, though, 908 threads is a lot. I actually made five sets of threads, called warp chains. Now that the yarn is measured, I start the process of putting it on the loom. That's next week's topic.


Stay safe, all!


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