Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Photos from the studio

I love poring over photos of other people's studios, so I thought I'd share.

I had some friends around to a party back in January, and one of them had a particularly fine wide-angle camera lens. So here is the most comprehensive shot I've seen of the (very cluttered at that time but at least you know it's being used) torture room. On the loom is one of the fine pink silk scarves, and hanging over the back of it is the hand-painted warp I've just been finishing off.

There's lots of weaving paraphernalia scattered about. The bookcase beside the door, in the left of the image, is actually full of books. This also houses my home-made sectional beaming yarn guide apparatus; the scraps of decking wood and eyelets. I sit cones on the floor to beam on the warp. The one on the far wall houses my weaving stash, all laid out on display to inspire. The cones are (very) loosely organised by fibre type and grist. There's a small worktable in the far corner - actually a Victorian hall table - which houses yarns laid out to inspire for the next project, a big pile of paperwork, my swift and bobbin winder, or a huge mess, depending on the day.

The loom has the sectional back beam of course: the second back beam is still on the floor. I've decided that in complete contrast to strap-on design with which it was made, I need to drill and bolt the second back beam to the loom. That's a two-person job, so I've been waiting for the second person to come home.

The baskets on the top of the bookcases contain more stash - large amounts of yarn for the next blanket project, scraps of tapestry yarn that I inherited and may use one day, and lots and lots of fleeces for spinning. The drum carder is just out of view (although you can see its handle in the extreme left foreground), but my Little Gem spinning wheel and spinning chair are on the far side of the loom. The skein winder on the windowsill is a French antique which I really must renovate one day. You can also see on the windowsill the slate, on which I chalk up projects into the queue as inspiration strikes. I chalk them up literally, using chalk I collected from a field about 5 miles from my house. The window is east-facing and faces the lane, so it's the perfect place to weave in the morning, watching the world go by. I get all sorts go past my house - families on a walk, people on bikes, people on horseback, cars of course, the odd tractor and occasionally a horse-drawn dray.

Why "The Torture Room"? Well, my friends long ago nicknamed the Glimakra "The Medieval torture device" because...well, that's what it looks like. Not "The rack", because that would be too prosaic. The red couch in the right foreground is a futon that doubles as a spare bed, and friends love to tease visitors who have never been to my house before that they have to sleep in the torture room with the Medieval torture device. Some poor unsuspecting souls have nervously entered my house not ~quite~ sure what they've let themselves in for.

When asked why I went for a Glimakra, I often tell people I'm overcompensating. I'm 5'1" tall, and in high school I was 4'10". My father, who has long loved to tease me about my height, promised me a rack for my 15th birthday, and it never appeared...

I'd love to have a manymany-shafted compu-dobby one day, but until I find the space, the old girl works well for me.


  1. What fun! Thanks for the peek! Your view of the lane sounds like the just the right combination of inspiration and distraction.

  2. Clutter? What clutter? And some of us never made it to 4'10"!

  3. It doesn't matter how many shelves you have, does it? The stash is always that little bit bigger... You have a lovely room, thanks for letting us visit.

  4. Trapunto: it most certainly is! It's nice to see the world go by though.

    Meg: I do love people who make me feel tall. ;-)

    Cally: You're absolutely right! I'd say it grows to fill the space available, but my stash was already that size before I moved here. And then it was in inaccessible boxes sqaushed under a bed.

    I've seen larger stashes in people's blogs though, so I don't think I'm too extreme!