This week I’ve made a start on weaving my Christmas Cards – again.  Yes, this is the third attempt!  Hopefully this one will work!

The first version was an angel – woven on one of my hand-jacquard sample looms, known as Baby #3.  Unfortunately, I have problems with Baby #3.  She doesn’t like the cold, and the stable is currently very cold – no electricity yet after being disconnected for repair work to the garage over the summer….

The second version was a similar angel, but adapted slightly for Hattie.  OK, if I can’t weave them on the hand-jacquard, then maybe I could weave them on Hattie.  Great idea, but the trouble is the lacing machine.  It’s not exactly a small piece of equipment.  OK, maybe it is just 3 sewing machines alongside each other, but they are quite large, and it lived in the garage, which had to be repaired over the summer so it had to live outside under tarpaulins all summer, and has only just gone back into the garage! 

Our slight repair work was virtually dismantling half of the garage and rebuilding.  Basically it had developed a list (the roof had shifted about 8″, and the wall was moving with it) and was likely to collapse over the next couple of years or so… 

We’re a listed property, which means it is an old house (1700s) and all the buildings on the property are protected from unscrupulous people knocking them about.  That’s ok with us, but it does mean that instead of simply taking the garage down and rebuilding (which is comparatively easy), we had to support the roof, then remove just 1 3/4 walls, and rebuild, pinning it in place, reshift the roof, then dismantle the remaining wall for about 3/4 of its length, and rebuild, then build the front wall/doors and resettle the roof, tieing it in place. 

New doors had to be made and we relaid the floor at the same time.  It’s taken a while to get the floor painted, and we’re still working on painting the doors…. 

All this meant that the lacing machine was getting hot, cold and condensation whilst sitting out on the lawn underneath the tarpaulin, which means that it doesn’t want to work at the moment – not surprisingly!!  We’ll need to wait for better weather in the spring and give it a thorough overhaul.

Which put paid to the christmas cards being woven on Hattie….. 

So now we’re on the third version and it’s back to the old workhorse, my 24S AVL Compu-Dobby I.  This loom is just so wonderful!  It’s from the 1980s and just keeps going!!!  So I’ve started from scratch, and am putting on a warp to do a textured star using overshot techniques, with a 3/18 cotton warp, sett at 30 epi (I’ll see how they finish before I weave off all of them), using polyester weft and, as yet, an undecided overshot yarn.  Weaving at 30″ with 9 repeats (ish) across the width, with 5 yards on the loom, hopefully I should be able to weave a few before the Christmas post deadlines……   

Third time lucky!