Monday, April 24, 2017

Summer and Winter Weaving Tie-Up

I had sent my Strickler 546 provided tie-up off to Tim's Treadle Reducer, because the tie-up for a dedicated treadle for each pick wanted 14 treadles.  My loom only has 10.

Strickler 546, Summer and Winter weave structure. Getting better.

The tie-up I got back was do-able, but I had to check a cheat sheet for each block, because it wasn't a logical arrangement.

So, I was chatting with Hilary, a fellow student at the Multnomah Art Center, who is ALSO weaving a summer and winter project (summer and winter being the weave structure; we were both working from profile drafts, which are a shorthand way of describing a weaving design).  She didn't have a cheat sheet taped to her loom.

Her tie-up was MUCH more logical, so I went home and changed the tie-up on my loom.  No cheat sheet required.  I can use this tie-up for every summer and winter weaving project I do going forward as well, which is a bonus.  The tie up essentially mimics the profile block tie-up.

We are using 8 shaft looms, so the profile drafts we use can have up to 6 design blocks.

The algorithm (all credit to Hilary) is as follows:

shaft 1 to treadle 1
shaft 2 to treadle 2
tabby b (usually shafts 3-8) to treadle 9

tie the pattern shafts in each block to the corresponding treadle, knowing that multiple blocks are lifted in each treadle.

So, here's treadles 3-8

Profile Treadling Pattern Shaft
F F F F F 8
E 7
D D 6
C C C 5
B B B 4
A A A A 3

treadle 3 gets ABCF (shafts 6 and 7)*
treadle 4 gets AB (shafts 5, 6, and 7)
and so on

The draft is treadled in "Pairs X" fashion, and there are 8 picks for each row in the treadle diagram.
Here's a subset of the treadle diagram:

3 4 5 6 7 8
The treadling algorithm is 2-1-1-2, where the 1 and 2 mean that shaft 1 or 2 is to be included in the lift.  Shafts 1 and 2 are lifted together to make Tabby A.  The result is a little "X" in the fabric.

So, substituting the appropriate treadle, to complete treadling the 3,

where T=3.

Easy peasy.  No cheat sheet.

* you MIGHT think that the tie-up for treadle 3 should be 3, 4, 5, and 8, rather than 6 and 7.  And that's what they call "Tromp as writ".  Which is all good for a SINKING shed loom; the tied shafts go down when the treadle is pressed.  However, for a RISING shed loom (jack looms are rising shed; my loom is a jack loom; it is the most commonly available type of loom used in the USA, I think), one ties up the opposite treadles.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Porteur Bag

Back in the day, when I acquired Sweetpea, and Bleriot became just my utility bike, there were a few changes.  I added a kickstand, upgraded the rear rack, and, eventually added a Platrack to my little front rack, for a porteur-style platform.

This called for a proper porteur bag, but it took me a long while to get there.  I'd use bungies and all sorts of bags, none of which looked particularly nice.  Having my bikes look nice is kind of a thing for me.

Coffeeneuring, ready to go
(this looks tacky)

Then Lesli gave me some big pieces of waxed canvas.  I could make a bag.  It spent a couple of years being designed in my head, and by then I'd acquired some Pendleton blanket-weight fabric (do NOT ask how much it costs per yard, even at the outlet store.  Just don't.), and my sister-in-law, who runs a halfway house for textiles*, came into some fluorescent green and pink Cordura, which she figured I could find a use for.

I've been collecting bike helmet buckles and straps (WELL WASHED) from helmet giveaways (we confiscated the old one so it would not be used again).  I certainly had the pieces.

I wanted a fully-lined bag, with some internal pockets for the bits that get lost in the big compartment, and a pocket on the outside for my u-lock and cable, because it takes forever to attach and remove it from my rear rack.  The lining had to be removable (for washing), and the bottom was to be stiffened with a piece of Coroplast (I have a small stash of old lawn signs just for this purpose)

The strap - well, I could BUY webbing, but what with the waxed canvas and Pendleton fabric, it called for an exceptional strap.  I tossed my yarn stash, and wove a strap to match the Pendleton fabric, because I could.

Handwoven band for Porteur bag project

Measured the rack.  Measured the distance between the handlebars - that was a constraining factor.

Made a paper pattern and binder-clipped it together (best sewing accessory since the metal needle, although the Clover Wonder Clips may step ahead in line).

Stared at it awhile.  Looked at other bags on flickr, in particular, David Parsons' bags.

The original design:

Basically, the same size as a reusable grocery bag, but an inch deeper.

Sewing it was fun - my Bernina 930 was certainly up to the task, but arguing with the heavy fabrics did prove a bit of a challenge.

The lock pocket, which was a simple flat pocket, decided it wanted to be a bellows pocket, due to the depth of the lock and cable.

The bag clips to the rack with helmet webbing adjusting clips (Bern and Bell), and running the strp through the tombstone before clipping it; works very well.

The result:

Porteur Bag rear view - the pocket is for my u-lock and cable.

Porteur Bag side view - Pendleton (tm) woolen fabric.

Porteur Bag lining detail - side pockets to corral the little bits

And, in use:

Bag in use; grocery run

Bag in use; grocery run

Notes for next time (hah)
Make it taller for better roll-topping, and use a wider strap.

On the whole, though, I am pretty happy with it.

*textile halfway house - fabrics in interesting quantities show up on her porch.  She redistributes them.  Anything from a bolt of raw silk upholstery fabric (pajamas for me!) to the Cordura, to ribbing, to...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Weaving, the Original Programming Project

I just properly used the Excel SUMPRODUCT function to calculate the number of heddles I'd need on each shaft for my upcoming Summer and Winter weave structure project.  It is a real pain to have to move the heddles around once threading has started.

Here's the draft:

Summer and Winter is one of the ways where weaving gets, oh, complicated.  It is a block structure, where groups of ends (warp threads) can be aggregated as necessary to get the end result.  Software people, think subroutine.

In Summer and Winter, each block has 4 threads, and, with an 8 shaft loom, I can have 6 blocks.

Here's the profile threading draft:

As you can see, there's a start, a repeat (3 times), and a finish.

The numbers at the far right are the count of each block in the repeat.

I then totaled up the number of blocks for threading:

start/end pattern  total
A   2     6
B   7     21
C   4     12
D   6     18
E 4 4     16
F 9 9     36

Then created a table with the count of each heddle per shaft used in each block, and did the SUMPRODUCT thing with the total number of blocks and the heddle count within each block.

Heddles per shaft
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A 1 1 2          
B 1 1   2        
C 1 1     2      
D 1 1       2    
E 1 1         2  
F 1 1           2
109 109 12 42 24 36 32 72

So, 109 heddles each on shafts 1 and 2 and much fewer on the other 6.  Which says I don't have to move any around, and can get to beaming on and threading.

I also had to do calculations to work out how to get complete pattern repeats in the width and length - there are 128 threads in the pattern repeat, and I wanted to weave 22" wide.  It worked out to 20 epi (sett, ends/threads per inch), including a selvage.  There was a bit of modeling to work that out, also accomplished via Excel.  There will be 3 pattern repeats width-wise and 5 length-wise.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Birkie 200k Brevet Success!

So, the last 200k was unsuccessful.  Darn.  Try again.

The ORRando Birkie 200k was this past Saturday. This was my very first 200k, back in 2007.  The route has changed slightly - rather than the out and back from Vernonia, the route heads from Forest Grove to Vernonia via Gales Creek/Hwy 6/Timber Rd/Hwy 47, and then continues on Hwy 47 to Hwy 202.  To make up the missing distance, the route continues 7 miles past The Birk (formerly the Birkenfeld Store, now a cafe and music venue with irregular hours) to an info control.  The return is back to Vernonia, then taking the Banks Vernonia Trail to (natch) Banks, and heading south to Forest Grove.

Now that we've got all that straight...

Friday afternoon was spent giving Sweetpea the first bath of the year.  So very dirty, with lots of stuff stuck under the fenders.

Friday night was Rando Slumber Party at the Fitzsimmons Home for Wayward Randonneurs - Lesli, Ruth (who I finally got to meet in person), Michal and Cyndi all showed up, and we had a couple hours of social time before the 9pm bedtime.

Michal was returning a bike which was borrowed for the express purpose of loaning a bike to Bill Walton to ride.  He thought it would be fun to get a picture comparing it to my bike.

Everyone was up at 5.  Breakfast was coffee, eggs, bacon, Rye Molasses muffins, and bread which Michal baked.  He also provided the home-roasted coffee.  The kitchen was slightly over peak capacity, what with riders organizing their food and cooking breakfast :-)

Lesli and Ruth thought I'd be riding with them, but after a reveal of their planned pace... Yeah, no.  I'm not there yet.  Michal was going for time, so he'd be off as well.  But there in the parking lot I found Ray. :-)  We have been known to ride together.

Signed in.  The RBA assured me it wasn't going to rain.  She wanted to get out and do a few hours riding herself, hence the optimism.

(That's me in the pink vest.  Pic by Cyndi Wenks)

And, at 7am, away we went.  We did see Lesli and Ruth, and I almost caught them at the stoplight in Gales Creek, but it turned green, they went, and then red again by the time I got there.  Last I saw of them all day.

Deidre from Vancouver passed me on the climb.  I would have thought she'd be ahead, maybe she got started a bit after everyone else.

The Timber climb was accomplished with no stress.  I wasn't fast, but I didn't care.  The RBA was lurking after the second switchback, we chatted a bit as I slowly pedaled by.  Found Ray at the top (he gets ahead and waits and drinks coffee); we dropped into Timber and up the other side, admiring the two properties which are infested with lively barking Aussies.

Had great fun dropping through the curves to Hwy 26, and Ray and I had the gift of a no-wait crossing.

It had been drizzling off and on.  I was wearing two wool jerseys, a vest, wool knickers, long socks and a wool cap.  I had wool overgloves which never stayed on longer than three miles.  Left the booties in Michal's car.  I did have an "it might rain" jacket and Rainlegs, but never pulled them on.

I can't think of a time I rode the stretch from Hwy 26 to Vernonia as fun.  Usually raining with a headwind, or trying to keep up with the group.  I had fun this day.  Came up on Ray (our riding style is best described as "leapfrog"); he'd decided it really was raining.  Kept on going; he found me just before Vernonia.  We stopped at Black Bear Coffee (another punch for my card!), and found RB, who was riding Ray's perm pop and hanging out.

Of great interest in Vernonia was the goat in the truck.  Inside the truck.  On the front seat.

Passenger Goat

After a bottle refill (no guaranteed food/water for the next 100k), some coffee, and a substantial snack, I headed out.  Ray wasn't quite ready.  I had fun riding along here as well.  Ray found me around Mist, and then stopped again.  I got to Birkenfeld and pulled over to eat some rice pudding and a hard boiled egg, and we set out to find the info control.


By this point, 5 or so riders had passed us heading back.  Once past Birkenfeld, Hwy 202 gets hilly - short, abrupt ups and downs, with many crossings of the Nehalem River.  The first 4 miles went quickly, the last 3, not so much. Found Ray at the control.  Holden arrived just as we were turning back.

If you look close, you'll see Ray up ahead

Nehalem River

Back to Birkenfeld - The Birk wasn't technically open, but Ray's bike was there.  So I went in and the proprietor grabbed my water bottle and filled it (he's nice that way), took care of some other business, and we headed back to Vernonia.

Near Mist

We were supposed to have a tailwind.  Not so much.  So it was rather more of a slog than I had thought it might be, and kept checking my odometer more than necessary.  But we kept at it, and held a reasonably steady pace, and got to Vernonia in good time.  Fine dining at the Shell Station (deviled eggs!) which we took over to Anderson Park, which has restrooms with no line, and running water.

So, now we were in Vernonia, and, as Ray put it, "heck, we are already done".  Well, 30 miles to go, but we know them so very well. Ten miles of easy climb, ten miles of perfect descent, and ten miles of flat surface streets.

We were now on the Banks Vernonia Trail.  Yay.  No drivers, no idiots in pickups either coal-rolling or close passing (with much laying on of horn).  Aside: the only driver I signaled not to pass because I could see oncoming traffic, who started to edge out to pass, then saw the car and dropped back, was a police officer.

So, on the trail.  I could tell I was tired; not ascending at my usual pace.  But it was now sunny, and we had tons of time, and the shared goal of finishing in 12 hours would be nice (Ray's first 200k in 18 months).  We got to Tophill, and I gave it up and walked the last two switchbacks.  It was either that or fall over.  I found Ray at the Stub Stewart road crossing, and we then happily bombed on down.

There was a picture pause for a clump of blooming trilliums, and then, when passing by Wingham Farms (cool, they have a website!  Go visit!), we stopped to talk with Julie (the farmer), who said she really needed a t-shirt that identified her as Romulus and Remus' mother.  Long discussion about their farm.

Julie, one of the farmers at Wingham Farms

Romulus hanging out on the trail

We had gotten to which sheep her neighbor was raising (Texel - a Dutch down breed - meat sheep, but quality fleece), when Holden arrived.  His wife is also into fibers, so the conversation might have gotten a bit fiber-geeky.

So.  Time is slipping by.  Gotta go.  After a brief stop at the trailhead, we headed out for the last 9 miles.  When we got to the turn onto Roy Road, Ray went straight.  Clearly autopiloting back to North Plains.  Holden followed right along :-)  I yelled, they came back.

Ray got ahead at the first traffic circle, and finished just before us.  But our official time was 11:59 elapsed.  Good enough for me.

(Ray and I at the finish.  Pic by Cyndi Wenks)

Michal and Cyndi were hanging around, because they were going to drop me back home, but Fitz texted that he was on his way over.  So they stuck around long enough to say hi, and then started their long drive down south.

The RBA wanted to know if she'd see me in 2 weeks for the 300k.  Mmm.  Not this year.  Not ready.  I hurt in places that have never hurt before.  The 200ks will have to be a little more routine before I make the distance jump.

Fitz and I got dinner there, poked our head back in to say goodbye to the RBA (there had been still one rider out; he finished while we were eating), and headed home ourselves.

What went well:

  • I never put on the rain jacket.  It just wasn't raining hard enough, and, midafternoon, cleared off for good.  I think my shoes are waterproof for persistent mist/drizzle.
  • I kept up on the food.  This trip the food offerings brought along were: 2 packets of Gatorade/maltodextrin (and one in the bottle), hard boiled eggs, two containers of rice pudding, two Rye Molasses muffins with butter, random Kind bars, a Payday bar, and some other little things (gels and chocolate) which I didn't break into.  Ate all the things I listed specifically, but for one muffin.  Plus a deviled egg (two halves) in Vernonia on the return.  Convinced Ray he wanted the other two.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Errandonee 2017 Roundup


Category Trip 1 Trip 2
Personal Care Free birthday coffee Hike to Michael's
Personal Business Dentist Credit Union
You carried WHAT on your bike (or back)?!
Arts and Entertainment Library Library
Non-Store Errand
Social Call (includes restaurants, coffee, and other social activities) Knitting Group Great Grandparents
Work or Volunteering, School (includes dropping off kids) Weaving Grandson to the Park
Store (includes bike shop, running store, grocery store, etc. You know, a store.) LBS Fabric Store
Wild Card (surprise me!)

Errandonnee 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12

Errands 8 and 9
I couldn't access my credit union account online, and the phone numbers they offered to send a new password to - well, I didn't recognize either of them.  This, of course, happened on a Friday night.  So a personal trip to the credit union on Monday morning was necessary.  We got it all unwound, not without a serious amount of time being spent, including multiple calls to their tech support.  Funny part of the trip - the person helping me said "yours is the lowest account number I've seen!" (Personal business)

From there, I went by my LBS, because Bleriot's Cane Creek SCR-5c brake levers are giving it up (they are 10 years old; maybe they've been bounced hard on the pavement a few years back).  Sadly, they didn't have them, and that was where I'd bought them originally.  The mechanic said maybe they were no longer made.  I didn't think so.  Went home and ordered them from Universal Cycles.  (Store)

7.1 miles

Errand 10
Personal care, but not for me.  Close family member is going through a very stressful time; I figured she needed a walk to talk it though.  So we hiked to Michael's and the Mill End Store.  Things were purchased, but that wasn't the point.

Cherries are blooming
back of her head
2.5 miles

Errands 11 and 12
We were babysitting grandson #1 for a couple of days, and brought his bike (Wishbone 3 in 1, great strider bike that grows with the kid, and yes, I did buy it for his first birthday present) along.  Day the second had non-rain, so he wanted to ride the bike to the park (.5 miles uphill, and he's not yet 4 years old).  On the way, he wanted to stop at Great Grandma and Great Grandpa's home. He convinced Great Grandma to come along.  My dad elected to stay home.  We went to the first park (elementary school playground), and, after awhile adjourned to the newly-remodeled park.  He and my husband played on the equipment.  I did, a bit, but hung out on the swings with my mom.

Someone got to ride a bike

Knock knock knocking on great-grandparents' door

Elementary School playground

New play structure achievement unlocked

The playground at the new park

my mom on the swing
Work, school, or volunteering (because we were shepherding a child, and HE was on the bike :-) )
Social (visiting with the great grandparents)

1.5 miles.