colour explorations

Colour and weaving explorations for Peru1. These pictures are from a sample made on my Louet Kombo 40 loom using just 5 of the 8 shafts. The whole process of winding a warp, threading and sleying onto the loom has been a refresher too. It feels like I’m gathering up the learnings from my Diploma again and bedding them in.  I’ve been working on designing in the tie-up too which is difficult. I have rethreaded all 8 shafts now and will be looking at new designs.

© sue orton

Imbolc weaving energy

February often feels to me like a more positive ‘looking forward’ sort of month. Celebrating Imbolc resonates more for me than the material overload of Christmas. With seeds moving and turning in the ground, early spring flowers appearing and getting to 4.30pm in the light! My weaving too has been moving below the radar for a while as I look, think, play with colour and ideas. This week I bought new wool colours to explore.  I’m making a scarf for me.  So…..  using my warping board (not the mill) I have wound 3 warps, 612 threads on the back beam now and I’m threading and sleying today.

© sue orton


South Downs Way 8

On the trail again at last after the stresses and strains of my weaving diploma final show. How different and delightful the South Downs look in late June 🙂 The route: Amberley to Cocking 12 miles.  An abundance of green growth, flowers, butterflies and skylarks met every step, all spilling into my senses, brushing bare legs, and testing my nature recognition skills. Train to Amberley and then following the Arun river valley where Water-voles have been introduced; they are an endangered species so very precious. The Wetland and Wildfowl Trust are leading their revival.  Climbing up hill, skirting Coombe Wood to Westburton Hill; the first big view of the day: the Weald and Amberley Wild Brooks and in the far distance the Solent.  On up to Bignor Hill, Stane Street, Leper’s Path, and Gumber Lynchets wonderful names with echoes of Roman Soldiers on route between London and Winchester.

Lunch on a well placed National Trust bench in the shade before walking on towards one of the highlights of the walk Graffham Down Trust chalk downland reserves.   Wild flowers including my favourites, Orchids (Common Spotted and Pyramidal) and Butterflies: Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and (I think) a Silver-washed Fritillary.  The reserves were a wonderful diversion from the rather disappointing path which followed. Mile after mile of straight road without much view or interest except buzzing helicopters! Eventually the valley of the A286 appeared.  A bus to Chichester and the train home.

© sue orton

South Downs Way 6

I had a wonderful early start at Poynings on Saturday morning; a short walk to the Adur Valley.  Starting at a small courtyard with the village sign I retraced my steps, dodging sheep and puddles, back to the SDW at Saddlescombe Farm. Expecting a steep climb up to Devils Dyke the gentle incline was quite a surprise; sunglasses in January too.  As I crested the Down a red-sailed para-glider was drifting across the line of the hill following the thermals, I could almost touch the sail as it traversed back and forth.  It was cold on the tops despite the sunshine. Lunch in the lee of Truleigh Hill Radio Station before a strolling down into the Adur Valley before lunchtime. A delightful morning with time  weaving too.  My next section is Botolphs – Amberley.


© sue orton

Mixed results on window blinds

I’ve had mixed results with the window blinds.  I’m not becoming a fan of linen and linen blends although the double weave concept seems one I want to explore further.  Learning the importance of thread counts and float length have been interesting.  The sleying and cram and space experiments too have revealed how sticky linen can be. Patience tested on this warp.  I think I much prefer my mercerised cotton test piece!

© sue orton

weaving explorations: linen, doubleweave & twills

Linen, twills and double-weave, exploring fabrics for upholstery, has been on my agenda this week.  I have not found linen as difficult as everyone seems to think it is.. pride before the fall perhaps 🙂  Double weave seems fine too, once I had sorted out the selvedges and which layer is doing what; much more to be discovered though. Here are some trial pieces.