Monday, October 29, 2007

Another Beginning

A beginning is the time

for taking the most delicate care

that the balances are correct.

- from "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan

I began weaving my Regatta piece for the Convergence yardage exhibit today. I need to have it done by the end of the year so I can get slides made and sent off in mid-January. It's designed to be a 12 feet long maze woven with sewing thread so it is time I get started.

I had played around with colors, fixing my tension and tweaking my design for a week or so and today was the day to start. While working the hem, I determined I will need nine passes to make the rows and columns in the maze design to be approximately equal. Fortunately this is not a 3-D piece so approximately is all I will need.

There will be 2-3 inches of solid color at the bottom of the piece before the design appears. I have about one inch woven. Everything below the light blue stripes is the hem. As you can see in the photo, I got a weird wavy pattern in the weaving.

It only appears on one side of the piece. The other half of the yardage is straight, uniformly blue and clean. I must admit I played a bit in my photo editor so the photo would really highlight the worm like structure. It's not quite as bad as it looks in the photo. I figure it must have something to do with the tension since once I tightened up the pattern warps, it largely disappeared.

It always seems so difficult at the beginning of these pieces to get everything in balance... to get the warp tension right, the shuttles working properly, the right shades of color selected...but once six to eight inches are done...the piece really flies.

I should be flying later this week...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Let's Fly a Kite

Molokai has the greatest winds...perfect kite flying weather. This was a great opportunity to see if my Crackl'in Kite would fly.

I had designed it earlier for an exhibit at the Association of Southern California Handweavers conference in Visalia . I wrote about it earlier on my blog.

I folded up the box kite in a box so I could take it on the plane as a carry on. Once in Molokai I put it all back together and bought some kite string at the Big Wind Kite Shop in Maunaloa. It's a cool store with lots of kites and stuff from Thailand and similar spots. [It is actually one of the handful of stores on this island. One does not go to Molokai to shop. You will have much better luck at the Honolulu Airport!]

We forgot to bring the instructions as to how and where to tie on the string to the box kite. We tried a number of ways. It was fun[ny] trying to get the kite to fly. It was a bit lopsided and we had broken one of the side pieces of wood. We repaired it a bit with a bamboo skewer and yes it did fly.

The kite had a life of its own and would not fly like we wanted it to fly. Sometimes it flew in circles and sometimes it just hovered above the ground. But once it did get a nice lift and head into the sky. Here is the picture on the way up.

After some time, thought and lots of laughter we decided to put it away and try again the next day. We wanted to move the string from one side to the side where the fringe was to see if having the heaviest part of the kite nearer the ground would be a better way to get loft.

But...the next day...guess what...the winds died. It was the first time we have ever been in Molokai when there were no winds. Boy it was hot.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Knitting in Molokai

Just got back from a week in of the most laid back of the Hawaiian Islands.

No glitz, no shopping, no big tours...its as far from the Southern California experience as you can get within six hours. We used to like Maui but it has changed over the years into something resembling Southern California. We don't normally go on vacation to be somewhere like home.

But Molokai is definitely no Maui. We just love the place...have been there at least three times and are ready to plan another trip there. The first photo is a least two miles long...we were the only two people on the entire beach. My DH did his ten mile 'long day' for his marathon training in this area of the island. I got to read and do 'my' stuff.

I discovered that the 5+ hour plane ride was a great time to knit. I had thrown into my bag a zip lock bag with a few skeins of yarn and a WIP - made great progress - got through an entire ball of yarn...mostly on the plane but a few rows by the ocean. It was a nice pattern to knit - stripes of knit and garter- September 22nd from the Knitting Pattern Calendar. Great practice for perling [or is it pearling?] since it only has two knitted rows and 8 rows of perl in each pattern unit. KPKPPPPPPP

It is quite embarrassing to admit this is a WIP which started in November of last year. It is almost which point I can finish up that other WIP which started even earlier than my Molokai scarf. I guess I just am a weaving diva and not a knitting knut

This second picture is by our 'camp' on the beach. It's lovely camping experience...a wooden tentalo with solar fans and lights. A private outdoor bathroom and shower. A chef to cook you breakfast and dinner. Wooden lawn chairs that you can sit on and star at the stars at night. Couldn't imagine a better place...except perhaps Anegada in BVI...but Molokai is so much closer.