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slow and steady

January 9, 2019

it is a cold, grey, blustery day

snow is forecast for “higher elevations” I hope it stays there

but snowdrops are blooming

it is the earliest ever

time is relative

if you are retired, live alone and only have yourself to care for

priorities are different

I’ve never had any trouble finding things to do – and certainly am not bored

but progress can be s-l-o-w

over the years I’ve posted many times about the process of making paper thread

kami-ito using Japanese paper/washi ( kigami)

click on shifu on the side bar for more info

after the paper is cut it is wrapped in a damp towel and left overnight

then rolled on a large slate stone – from the garden shop

this puts a spin on the individual threads – but they become tangled

and in some cases almost “felt” together

you have to carefully separate them – this is the part I find most tedious

several years ago, in Japan, I was gifted 8 sheets of beautiful kigami

it is almost as fine as tissue paper but extremely strong

unfortunately I don’t know the name of the paper – but do have a sample

I started the year by cutting and spinning 3cm. strips

each sheet measures 36.5″ X 25″Ā  (93cm. X 64cm.)

one final sheet to finish

this is the first time I’ve kept track of the minutes/hours involved

from cutting to finished yarn one sheet takes 5 hours 30 minutes

approximately 153 yards – 8 sheets = 1,224 yards

eight sheets – 44 hours – that’s why I never figured it out before – crazy!

compared with sewing thread and 2/8 cotton it is approx. 24 epi

weaving on the loom was abandoned – first there was a threading mistake

I didn’t notice until I’d woven several inches and had to cut off and start again

then there was a mistake in the repair – whaaa!

today it was fixed

more tea towels

same weave structure as the pre-Christmas red ones

all the bits are gathered for backstrap weaving

the strap is a leftover piece of handspun and felted wool

it is strong, soft and I hope comfortable

now to wind the warp and get it on the loom

10 Comments leave one →
  1. vdbolyard permalink
    January 13, 2019 4:47 am

    …and, also, snowdrops!!!


  2. January 10, 2019 7:01 am

    it takes time to record the time it takes! i often forget to do that until i’m too far in to measure time. people ALWAYS ask, though, how long these things take. i wish i could say, my whole life! thinking of you as i consider taking out the table loom velma gave to me. i’d still rather make paper first šŸ˜€


    • January 10, 2019 9:18 am

      Aimee – I had always avoided timing the process because I knew it would seem shocking. Those people who ask generally view time in a very different way. Make paper first, time is too short to waste on things we “should” do.


      • vdbolyard permalink
        January 10, 2019 9:28 am

        you two are so funny! even when i try to time something it all becomes jumbled. i did sell a little kami-ito once, and i know now it’s impossible to get a “living wage” making paper/kami-ito/shifu/book. indeed, as aimee says, her whole life. i say that too. but jean, it looks really really beautiful.


      • January 10, 2019 11:15 am

        Velma – We have to be funny or we’d cry and give up.
        Yes, making is my whole life and what keeps me alive.The “living wage” has to be found/created in various different ways and you look at what is essential differently too. Of course, my time schedule for making kami-ito doesn’t include the time to make the paper or what the thread will be used for next. On and on it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. January 10, 2019 3:53 am

    Such interesting variety in your projects! I need to spend today resleying about 150 ends of fuzzy alpaca because i made an error . . . ugh.


    • January 10, 2019 9:12 am

      Kerry – yes, ugh. Not what we imagine when we first start a project – turn up the music and just start.


  4. January 10, 2019 12:32 am

    I have snowdrops too, never known them this early. You have great patience to make the yarn, but wow, love the results.


    • January 10, 2019 9:14 am

      Cathy – the paper was calling to me, too beautiful and precious to leave sitting any longer. Now what to weave with it?


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