Monday, April 16, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

I was thrilled when my new end-feed Schacht shuttle came and had already watched a video on winding pirns. I'm surprised at how much yarn a pirn holds. The instructions said that the tension set when the shuttle is received is usually adequate and cautioned against loosening the tension too much as the springs would fall out. It wasn't letting the yarn pass so it was clear to me that I had to loosen the tension, but the cautions made me very nervous so I'm not sure I'd let off enough tension before I threw in the towel, no pun intended. Plus the shuttle is huge and the shovel-nose was scooping the warp threads.
I had to unweave a couple of times so went back to my favorite, a LeClerc shuttle. This used to belong to Jean, Laura's mother, and she gave it to me after Jean passed away. It's so light in my hands - it just flies across the shuttle race, I catch it and then toss it back. I've gotten the rhythm that Laura Fry says must come before good selvedges. It just ironically occurred right after I ordered the new shuttle, or I wouldn't have made that purchase. Nevertheless, the weavers I respect all are happy with their end-feed shuttles, so I've decided to weave the last towel on this warp with it.
I had to make a quick trip into town this morning to see our financial advisor. We had to make an accommodation for our taxes and it had to be done before tomorrow, so I treated myself to a 40-minute swim. Driving home I was in love with this sky!
It has been gray and blustery for so long that I had a hard time concen-
trating on my driving and not the clouds. Talk about a sight for sore eyes.

In going to town this morning, I forgot my phone so was at the place of the first sky shot when I had to turn around to go home for it. I called and said I'd be a half hour late. I'm an aging driver with an aging car, and I'm not a risk taker - I have a long drive on isolated roads. I decided to take the highway instead, since I could speed - but I came to a complete halt in the canyon before the highway. I herd of muletail deer were crossing. I was so awestruck that I completely forgot my camera - shoot.

I've been thinking about the white fleece that Alexia and I were drum carding, speaking of clouds. It really was like a brillo pad after I spun it up. I decided when I got home that I'd pitch that fleece and also take inventory of all the fleeces in the garage, which I have now accomplished. I am shy five fleeces and the remaining are all labeled and arranged by what I have. That still leaves 20 bins of fleece. At least now I know my inventory and I'm spinning my way through it for lap blankets. I'm probably overly optimistic, but it would certainly be nice to make a dent in that stash. I've realize I've spent a fortune in processing.

I gave our candidate, Xio Rodriguez, the lap blanket that I had finished to use in a future silent auction and I'm getting ready to weave the next one. I took Valerie's comment to heart, about not being a yellow person. I realized that I've struggled to use the yellow yarn I've gotten from rabbitbrush, so that bristly white fleece and the two skeins I'd already spun from it are in the trash. It looked like fluff, but it wasn't. I have really good stuff to spin and a surprising number of alpaca fleeces - not sure how that happened - and also merino - not sure how that happened either. In spite of being overwhelmed, I'm also excited to know what I have in my inventory.


Hilary said...

I love the towels..........and I have considered an end feed shuttle, then I think....if it's not broken, why fix it??? so I don't, and I stick with my regular shuttles which I have come to like pretty well. Maybe some day. I would like to 'try' one, just to see what all the fuss is about.
And what's not to like about that sky???
Just lovely.

Valerie said...

Oooh...the towels are lovely and they mirror the colors in your sky photos!

Sounds like we are both taking our fiber inventory and culling things. Today I move all of the fiber stuff back into the sewing room. Each time I handle this stuff I find more stuff to cull. That's a good thing.

You know, I usually turn my end-feed shuttle on it's side when I use it. They are bulky and I like them best when using really fine threads. Like many things in weaving and spinning..."your mileage may vary"..

Cindie said...

Shuttles are so personal and we all like something different. I have perfect selvedges with no effort using my regular boat shuttles. I've bought, tried, sold 3 different brands of end feed shuttles - it was a struggle to get good selvedges - they just aren't for me but they work great for so many other weavers. I love light weight medium size boat shuttles, my favorites are Bluster Bay, they fit my hand perfectly and I can pick by wood/weight what feels right for me.

Nina said...

the new towel colours are very attractive, bright and cheery! I've never used an end feed shuttle but have always felt comfortable with my standard boat shuttles..

Amazing skies.. wow!