Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whew, what a week!

Well a couple of weeks really.  Feel as though I've been swirled around in the washing machine and swished out the spin cycle.

In four days I threaded three looms, wove two blankets and updated the laptop with fiberworks pcw and practiced ready for a workshop.  Spent a wonderful weekend at a workshop in Warkworth (north of Auckland) with Maryann Stamford, Australia, tutoring on using fiberworks.  Now I've been using this program for 8 or 9 years but within the first few minutes of the workshop I new I'd just been skirting around the edges, hadn't even looked at half the functions.  It was a fast moving program and those not familiar with using computers or keyboards got a bit lost; excellent notes and clear guidelines so I now have to sit down and go through it all again.

Got to cuddle (well talk with) Jack, our 5 month old grandson (and see my own kids) before heading home to prepare for a trip to Pirongia (south of Hamilton) for another workshop with Maryann on lace.  Again a two day workshop and learnt a lot, especially the relationship of lace to blocks.  This will be useful as Bronson makes great patterns for loom woven shibori.  If you ever get the opportunity to learn from Maryann take it as you get so much more than just the subject of the workshop and to those who didn't take the chance while she was in NZ bad luck.
My huck samples from the lace workshop.  The two at the bottom are positive and negative from a block design.  The light area in the middle on the right is pick up.

I had one day to gather my wits and on Friday Margaret and Jim Mecchia came over from Hamilton to "computerise" my loom so I'm now the proud operator of a compu-dobby.  Does that make me an IT geek!
Of course, I put completely the wrong warp on to try it out.  Nothing like going for glory, dark colours, turned taquete (a new structure to me) and 864 rows to the treadling.  Hmmm, have I been a frustrated pattern drafter for a while!  Anyway its going great and I'm getting more familiar with it.  To put this into context, when my husband bought me an electronic knitting machine many years ago it took me 3 years to turn it on.  Don't get me wrong I knitted, I could make the work sing, but I did it all manually.

So down to the loom, after a walk on the beach before the weather packs up ... again, more rain coming.
                                                                         Cave Bay


  1. Wonderful Dianne, you will love the compu dobby! ah

  2. I said to Margaret I'd keep the chains in case I hated the compu-dobby. She sort of choked!

  3. Sounds like quite a week of wonder! No fear weaving! I am waiting for the Mac version of Fiberworks. I have seen the demo version, and it looks wonderful but daunting. Oh, that learning curve.

  4. Well worth having the software. My advice would be play, play, play - without fear. A friend says we should use the software every day until it becomes automatic - a big commitment.