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Monday, April 6, 2009

The Weekend - April 4-5, 2009

Well, boy did that weekend go fast! As they say, just too much fun! Saturday was our Fiber Artisan guild 1st Saturday craft day. Frank Mikulastik helped me put a warp onto an ikat frame. What a lot of work! It took all told about 3 hours between all the twining and folding - from about 1-4 oclock. The sad part of the whole thing was that when we were done, there were loose hanging threads from the frame. Not good. Not even mildly acceptable really. I looked at it until Sunday night and then decided that I just couldn't live with it or try to make do with it and Jim helped me wind it off the frame onto a ball. Back to the drawing board. What I don't understand here is that the yarn was 100% unmercerized 8/2 cotton from Halcyon Yarn. Believe it or not folks - it stretches (big time) in the right circumstances. No one at the meeting had ever experienced a stretchy cotton warp. But believe me it happens. Ikat has to be completely tight with perfect thread control with no shifting or your pattern will shift. The beauty of ikat are the controlled patterns that you can create but if you have a bunch of hanging threads, obviously your pattern is going to be wonky. So I'll start from scratch now with some mercerized cotton and see if that works any better. From that meeting I had to drive to Sunnyvale and drop off some birthday presents. I then discovered that I had left a project bag at the craft meeting place and I had to go back to that place and pick up the bag and then get the car washed on the way home. I left at 10:00am and didn't get home until 6:30pm. It was a lot of hard work for naught. But I did learn how to wind an ikat warp onto the frame, which was a big learning process in itself. (The above picture is of Phyllis Karsten's ikat coat. It's an amazing piece of work and beautifully put together with the lovely silky lining. I have a new appreciation for ikat dyeing after having gone through the exercise on Saturday.) The picture below this description is an ikat frame with the design already on it. It's a butterfly. Can you see it? There is a complicated multicolor overdyeing process that is involved after this step. This is Phyllis' project and she only uses here handspun cotton for her projects. It is beautifully spun fine natural colored cotton that looks to be about 10/2 weight, maybe smaller.

Sunday I went to the Alameda antiques and flea market which is held at the old navy base. That is an amazingly huge place! It is acres and acres of flea market stuff. My girlfriend and I spent 3-1/2 hours walking through half of it. We got there at 9:00am and left at about 12:30. We couldn't face going through the rest of it. It's on a beautiful piece of land with big ships right next to it, those big star wars looking cranes nearby and a breathtaking view of San Francisco. Well worth your time to go there on the 1st Saturday of the month. They open at 5:30 for early birds so if you are of a mind to get some great antiques and get first choice, that would be the time to go. Unfortunately, you have to pay a dear entrance fee to get in that early - $15! It goes down to $10 at 7:30 and then to $5 at 9:00. We got there right after 9:00. But wow, $15 just to get into a flea market. But this is a good place for dealers to go and get antiques at bargain prices, I guess so it would be worth it for them to pay the $15. So that was my Sunday. I didn't get home until about 3:00pm. Another weekend gone.

This is a picture of the flea market with San Francisco in the background at about 10:00am on Sunday. The temperatures said they were only in the low 60's but it felt like at least the 70's.

More views of the flea market.

That's it for the weekend. More later.

1 comment:

Nadia said...

Wow, you make your own ikat.