Weekend update – The Shannock

I spent a good part of my spare time in the last two weeks taking nearly everything off shelves in the studio, everything out of drawers, sorting items into labeled boxes, and putting it back in something that resembled order. After a couple of trips to donate unwanted stuff and a lot of trash removal I now have some actual space in my studio. I can’t tell you just how much it was worth it. I’ll do a second round of purging in another couple of months.


When I wasn’t reorganizing, I worked on warping the new Shannock loom in my bedroom closet. It is a different method than I am used to, and I love it. I measured the warp threads in double lengths on my warping board a few at a time and tied them one at a time in a lark’s head knot on the top beam. I kept the warping board in another room so I had to walk back and forth a lot – that helped my back. I did it a bit different from the instructions which told you to tie them all on first and then lay them in the raddle. I found that it was easy to lay each one in the raddle as I tied it on.

And boy, do I love that raddle! If I could afford to buy new reeds for my floor looms I would definitely get this kind of design. A heavy plastic tube runs along the top of the nails in the raddle and you can slide the tube to open and close to secure your threads in that space as you move down the raddle. Imagine a reed that you do not have to thread with a hook – you could simply drop the warp thread in from the top and slide the top bar over it. I think that they are available but I have invested all I intend to in my floor looms.


Since I took these photos I decided to ditch the heddle bars and the floor pedals. I didn’t feel like it is worth the trouble and time to thread the heddles. When I have done it in the past, I’ve ended up not using them. If my hands begin to hurt on a regular basis I can always hook them up later. I wound the warp around the top bar with some brown kraft paper and tied most of the bottom ends to the bottom warp bar before my hands gave out. Now I think that I may rewind the top bar with stiff watercolor paper instead and hope it will avoid tension problems. I measured long enough for two tapestries about 32″ tall each and some sampling. I’ve learned the hard way over the years that it is best to get the tension right as much as possible from the very beginning, and tight tension is especially needed in tapestry.


The terrible tomcats were very much interested in the whole process so I tried to distract them by building them a fort. It worked but not for long. Way too boring for them.

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Sunday morning coffee pot post

This week has been a little weird. Getting back to work the first week of spring semester is always a bit of a downer because it is an uphill slog for a couple of months. I know that at the end of the semester I will have a very light workload for a couple of months so at least I have that to look forward to.

It is also very good that it is work that I enjoy, despite the general morale problems at our university.

I am trying to pay closer attention to my diet since my cholesterol is much higher than it should be and I don’t want to have to take statins. Also trying harder to cut down on sugar, which should be easier now that the holidays are over.

My weight this morning with no clothes was 185. Ideally I’d like to get down to 155, the top of the healthy range for my height, but then none of these fabulous clothes that I bought for my new style will fit, and I am what they call a “big-boned gal” so I would love to get to 175 or 165. The main thing is to get my cholestrol down. If I can’t get rid of my double chin and cellulite then I don’t really care about the rest of it.

I spent a few years growing up with my grandmother living with us and she died of heart disease and diabetes. That worries me because I feel like I take after her more than anyone in the family, and I watched her get weaker daily. I was with her when she lost consciousness and had an afterlife experience. It was very positive and she was not so fearful of dying after that.

My father died of colon cancer which migrated to his kidneys and liver when he was 64. I’m on top of that, having had two clean colonoscopies starting at age 40.

The heart stuff worries me, though, partly because I have a history of panic attacks (as she did) and they mimic heart attacks. I always worry that I will die of a heart attack because I have mistaken it for a panic attack.

Anyway, food has been on my mind a lot. I am not an enthusiastic cook anymore although it is better now that I have a working dishwasher and a nicer kitchen to work in. I would rather be making art, for sure.

I ran into Susan on Friday and she offered me three 4 x 8 plots in the UNCG community garden so that is exciting. I will be thinking differently about my gardening this year with that much sunny space and few skeeters and critters to wreck it.

Today will be fun because I’m getting close to the end of reorganizing and purging the studio, and the guild is meeting at 2 pm at Scuppernong Books this afternoon.


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Visual journal, January 2, 2015



These were actually taken before Christmas, but they are probably still there and I love street art.

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Visual journal, January 1, 2015

My new baby - a 24" Shannock tapestry floor loom

Today I put together my new-to-me Shannock tapestry floor loom. It’s good that I’m talented at reading instructions and making sense out of a mess, because although it was meticulously packed, I missed that there were three separate instruction packets for the loom. It can be converted to a four-harness table loom so there are quite a few extra parts for that. Finally I realized that I was looking at the wrong instructions for the version I was putting together, and then it all came together quickly. It is very heavy and sturdy, and it looks like it will be easy to warp up.

The best thing is that it fits very neatly into one half of my closet, so I can protect my weaving from the ravages of the Destructo-Kitties. I had worried about that quite a bit. Now I won’t have to.

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Visual journal, December 31, 2014: The Cutting Off





I finished “98% Tapestry” well before midnight and my friend Susanne was there to photograph the cutting off. Now I’m working on the Phillipine edge on the hems. I’m still unsure how I’ll mount it.

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