Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Fun Thing - Rug Repair Field Trip

Another weaving friend - Judy L - arranged for our Warped Explorers study group to have a tour of a very neat place called K. Blatchford's Oriental Rug Cleaning, Repair and Restoration. We were each given a folder of information, and then Dana took us around, showing us each process that they perform. It really was fascinating!

We ended up in the repair room. This photo shows Kay, the owner, telling us about her business, and Leslie on the right, the one who does the reweaving. All the yarns used to do the knotting are hand-dyed to match the rug being repaired.

This shows the area where they wash rugs. They don't use any chemicals, just a gentle shampoo. Water is pushed up through the rug. For delicate rugs, they just squegee off the water. For the ones that can take it, they have one of those rotary scrubbing rug cleaners.

After the rug has been cleaned, it holds a LOT of water, so they run it through this giant wringer to remove as much water as possible. Then the rugs are laid out, right side down to protect the nap, to dry. Some of them can be dried outside in the sunshine, some are kept inside, with drying machines setting on top to accelerate the drying process

This is the storage area. They provide a storage service for their customers, which involves rolling up a rug and placing it in a Tyvek sleeve.

Here's Leslie in the repair room. You can see the wall of wefts hanging behind her.

At the other end of the repair room, you can see people working on fringes. Sometimes they simply reknot. Sometimes they add a new fringe - either tieing in a new fringe, or sewing on a commercial fringe. Sometimes they just do a rolled edge, depending on the rug's style and condition.

This is my favorite photo. Leslie has needlewoven in new warp and weft in the area being repaired. Once that is done, she ties in the knots, matching the design of the rug.

I was really grateful that Amy M took pictures - I forgot my camera.

P.S. Sue, we actually do get quite a bit of fall color here. When the trees change - I'll post some pictures of the liquidamber trees (aka sweetgum.) Not quite as glorious as maples, but they are lovely! Here's a post from last fall.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hint of Fall

I'm still not weaving, but I'm seeing little hints of fall, so hopefully, soon!

For many years, I called these "bouquet trees", because at this time of year, they look like they have bouquets of color tucked in. I learned last year that these are Chinese flame trees. The "bouquets" are clusters of reddish seed pods.

In the meantime, a lot has been going on.

First, I'm am still surprised, and incredibly happy, that I was accepted into the La Jolla Symphony Chorus. I auditioned a few weeks ago. It was hard - lots of sight singing, singing a prepared song, and a 3 page *hard* music theory quiz. I came home feeling let down, thinking I hadn't sung well enough. After all, it's been 25-30 years since I have done anything like this. So getting accepted was a double thrill, because it means this dream didn't get deferred too long, and didn't die. :-) The first rehearsal is tonight, and I can hardly wait!

Other fun things have been happening. I've met some new friends through facebook. One of them is an alpaca rancher out in the high desert in Anza, CA. This past weekend was National Alpaca Farm Day, so I drove out there with Judy H, one of my weaving guild friends. It was fun to meet Julie Roy, the owner of the place, to see all the neat critters.

Here's a pic of Julie, talking to some of her visitors.

The alpacas are strange looking, but so mild-mannered, and the range of fleece colors was amazing. Aren't their faces sweet?

Very soft with nice crimp - excellent spinning quality fiber! I didn't purchase anything, though I was tempted by a bag of fawn-colored roving, and some amazing alpaca/copper socks!

Here's Judy...

and here's me, feeding treats to the boys...

As we were leaving, a blue jay followed us! He sat on the post in front of my car, then jumped to my windshield, then to the top edge of my opened car door! I grabbed my camera, but by the time I turned it on, he had jumped to the ground next to my car. Bold blue jay!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


No, still not weaving, in spite of having two warped looms, ready and waiting. The weather here has felt like being in one long continuous hot flash, and I just haven't felt like weaving.

This post is about somebody else's weaving :-) and an idea that makes great use of narrow fabrics when you've already got too many scarves.

You have lots of options to try - narrow hem the edges..... create a lining the same way you make the body and hand stitch the lining into the bag. Easiest of all, you can stitch the lining to the fabric all around the entire rectangle. Then attach ties at the far edges of the a segments, and the far edges of the b segments, and tie them together. Instead of seaming, you can butt edges together and zigzag over the join.

For the handle, you can use a kumihimo braid, or a tabletwoven or inkle band, or even just braid together some shoelaces. :-)

Any other suggestions?