My entire company is working this weekend to make a deadline, which is annoying, since I had hoped to spend some time weaving this weekend. Well, maybe I’ll be able to once I get home tonight…although I have the feeling I’ll barely be able to keep ahead of the laundry.
Got a copy of The Woven Pixel on Friday. It explains how to use Photoshop to create and transfer images/patterns to your jacquard or dobby loom. Mostly it’s targeted at Jacquard weavers, but some of the techniques apply to dobby looms as well – it’s just that your base pattern can be at most 16 pixels wide (24 for 24 shafts, 32 for 32 shafts, etc.). A lot of it is over my head right now, since I barely know how to use Photoshop, but I’ve set it aside for further perusal once I reach a more advanced stage of design. Picking up Photoshop shouldn’t be that difficult – I hope.
Also got a cool toy (actually got two of them) called a Boyce or weaver’s knotter. (1st photo on page). Got them off eBay, spent a good two or three hours trying to figure out how to use the thing, finally managed to figure it out this morning. It ties overhand knots and cuts off the tail ends, and is a pretty cool toy. I still haven’t figured out how to make it work consistently (unless I fiddle with it and get it exactly right, it cuts the yarn instead of knotting it), but I think it’ll make tying on new warps to old ones a lot faster, especially with fine yarns. (The one I have is clearly designed for fine yarns – it stumbles on 5/2 cotton and is clearly more “at home” with 10/2 and finer.) They used to be used in weaving mills for repairing warp threads.
Finally, I made a double-chocolate cheesecake for Carolyn’s 40th birthday party (which was yesterday). One layer of white chocolate cheesecake, one layer dark chocolate cheesecake. For the white chocolate cheesecake I took some of the sugar out of the recipe and added 9 oz of white chocolate. For the dark chocolate cheesecake, I added about 6 oz Valrhona unsweetened chocolate (which has about the same amount of cocoa butter as 9 oz of their white chocolate) and a bunch of powdered cocoa. Then I used The Cake Bible‘s cheesecake recipe to produce a divinely light, creamy cheesecake. Rose Beranbaum bakes her cheesecakes in a hot water bath to keep them from getting that hard, dried-out crust around the edges of the pan, and it works wonderfully. She also beats a lot of air into the cream cheese to lighten the cake, and softens it with sour cream. Very yummy. I glazed it with a Valrhona Extra Bitter chocolate glaze (9 oz chocolate and about 12 oz of cream) and wrote “Happy Birthday!” on top in whipped cream, along with some whipped-cream piping. The cake was very well-received, even by me (and I don’t normally like chocolate cheesecake!).
Can’t wait to get home and finish weaving off this shawl on Lady Di. I just got 4 lbs of cotton and linen yarns with which to start my placemat experiments. Would like to get started as soon as possible.