Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The second First Baudelaire Sock, halfway completed.

This is the second time I've gotten this far. Everyone says toe-up socks are easy and they are! Except that it's much easier to gauge size by sticking your foot in a sock and seeing how far you need to knit in order to reach the toe then the other way around. I often switch needle sizes when following sock patterns and I rarely give a second's thought to jumping from a 2 to a 3. When working toe-up, however, you have to. The first Baudelaire (smallest size) was too big on 3s. I frogged back and started over. Somehow, despite following the pattern to the letter, they are again too big. But I'm just going to rip the toe off after I finish and shorten them.

In other news (and addressing my absence of late) I'm back at school and in the studio full-time.

So far I've been struggling with technical problems galore. 30 gauge copper wire is a 2D material in the midst of crisis. It is not fibre. It is not yarn. It is also not entirely sure that it wants to be metal. It resists all attempts to find an even tension, breaks when the warp is yanked too tightly, loves being wound on the bobbin and prefers being the weft over the warp. I've been working with double weave, and I think part of my problem may be that I jumped from an 8 harness to a 16 harness loom (with dreamy, sculptural visions of splitting each layer again and again). But after a week and a half, I've accumulated nothing but samples with uneven setts and snapping threads. I'll throw on another copper warp this weekend, but in the meantime I'm being cautious and have switched to a low-stretch monofilament warp (aka as high quality fishing line).

In the bottom of half of this photograph, the warp is set at 12 epi (not quite enough for a weft-faced fabric). Once the warp was split for double weave, however, the weft packed down much more tightly.

You can see below where I've thrown the shuttle with brass several times.

What I'm really interested in here is the flashing from the layer beneath (I don't know if it shows up all that well here. It does in my studio). The top layer is copper, the bottom is brass. I'm going to try patinating and heat-setting some of my copper tomorrow, as well as playing with dyed natural fibres, just to see what kind of contrast it creates. I think it would also be interesting to reduce the epi sett a tad, to perhaps 8 epi, just to increase the flashing. I'm curious as to whether or not it would be possible to play with ikat or shadow images on the layer underneath, and how much I could control their flashing through.

Kitty Update

We have a new member of the family. Her name is Sinopa. She's approximately one year old and from the local SPCA here in Halifax. She and Willa are getting along fairly well after one month, although there is still a fair amount of territorial 'playing' going on.

Unfortunately, new kitty brought a minor cold home with her, and I wound up bringing Willa to the vet with a teary eye. Remembering that Willa had not been fond of the vet as a kitten, I brought my welding gloves. It was a good thing I did. She was so horrible that even wrapped in two towels and with myself and a vet tech holding her down, her very brave vet could not manage any sort of eye exam. According to the clinic, Willa is one of the worst patients in the city and they even inquired as to whether or not she had she suffered any major trauma at the vet's as a kitten? Nope.

The shame... or the pride... of being on the vet's 'special' list, so that they can have protective gear prepared, calming pheromones sprayed in her examining room, and sedatives on hand.

Does this look like a hissing, snarling, attacking monster?

I think not.


Leigh said...

Well, I've used fishing line for warp before but I would have never dreamed about using wire for weft. You're very brave! And double weave no less. It looks like you're making progress on it though.

Your sock is lovely (as usual, you knit gorgeous socks).

Congrutulations on your new kitty. A tortie(?) just like my new kitty. And no, I can't believe that the sweet, calm, totally relaxed cat decorating your keyboard could be any thing other than sweet :)

Donni said...

I would love to pop over sometime Say and have a real look at your weaving - it is all a new language for me as I am such a beginner weaver but I am looking forward to getting back into it when i cross a few things off my list.

Love your new friend.

Jana said...

I love the baudelaire sock in purple, it looks great. That copper is very beautiful too. I'm glad to hear the cats are ok and have survived the vet. They get so dramatic there sometimes!

JessaLu said...

Your socks look gorgeous - I just love that color!

Dorothy said...

Your Beaudelaire looks really nice.

Sinopa looks very content and happy to have a new home. Willa is a "special" kitty at the vet is she? She could fool me for sure!

Polly said...

Isnt it wonderful how comfy can make themselves look?

How hard is it to teach yourself to weave?
/hostess nic

Polly said...

Also, your emails are being returned to me. Can you email your correct address? Thanks, hostessnic (at) mac (dot) com