Monday, March 6, 2017

MacQueen Tartan on the Weaver's Delight and Other Towels

My association with the MacQueen tartan is through my Grandpa Howard Sluyter's mother, Mary Jane MacQueen, her father, John MacQueen and his father, Hugh MacQueen.

For my 2016 towels given to my girls and my dad in December, I decided to put this tartan on my Weaver's Delight rug loom. At the time, I was teaching different ways to warp looms and also how to warp stripes. The Weaver's Delight has a sectional beam, so I decided the easiest way to do the stripes was to wind each section on the warping board, since no section was going to be repeated.

As the sections were filled, I taped the thread ends to maintain the order for threading.
 I counted out my heddles for a section and then taped that bundle of threads to my beater and carefully removed the tape maintaining the order.
Threading goes pretty quickly, since there were only about 50 warp ends per section.
Partially threaded as seen from the back of the loom.
A rod was inserted in the lashing cords and then the warp was tied to the rod. I spread the warp at the beginning with a few picks of black. I weave two or three picks before beating and then beat until they all come together. If there are still "v's" showing, I will do it again.  Six picks is usually sufficient to spread the warp and eliminate any separation between warp threads.
I wanted to take my first towel off before finishing the rest of the warp.  I wove a small section after my towel, put some Tacky Glue on that 1" section and let it dry.  After drying, I was able to insert two sticks into the next two sheds and then cut off the first towel at the glued section. I then tied onto the first stick in several places and was able to continue weaving.
The first towel looks very pretty on my dining room table.
I wove enough towels so my dad, three daughters, and I could all have one.
I believe I already showed this six-shaft towel that I gave to my daughter-in-law Rebecca. It was woven on a counterbalance loom and is a six-shaft pattern that I found on
 Wet finished and hemmed.
Except for this towel, which I kept for myself, I didn't get photos of the Cajun Inspired Towels I did in this colorway.
This pattern was a Tom Knisley design and was in Handwoven, Jan/Feb 2015, page 67. Refer to the magazine for the full instructions.

I gave the plaid one I wove (no photo) to my daughter-in-law Jenn this past December.
The plaid is pictured in a screenshot from my Fiberworks program and shows the slightly confusing threading from the pattern in the magazine.  Note the four threads periodically threaded on the same shaft but in different heddles.

The weaving also has four weft passes in one shed, so it is necessary to wrap around the outer warp threads. I didn't use a floating selvedge. The four passes in the shed leave ridges, giving the towel some texture.

I substituted orange for the red and dark brown for the white.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More From Julie, My Ten Shaft Counterbalance Loom

After finishing my test warp out in the garage, I moved Julie, my new to me ten shaft counterbalance loom into my studio early in the fall.  It is in the front corner, by east and north windows.

I like putting a warp on this loom because it isn't necessary to get the trapeze set up.  With this tall loom, the warp just goes up over the top and I can hang weights on the warp at the front of the loom.
This second warp is to test six shafts with the counterbalance and horses.  It was a bit tedious for me because I had to keep the instruction book handy and keep referring to it with each step.
 The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell was the book I used.
For six shafts, I had to use four horses on each side.
They are hooked up with a mirror image on each side.  Note the pulleys used for this configuration.  They didn't come with my loom, but I happened across a pair on eBay for a good price.
I picked a six shaft pattern to try from, # 49712.
Here is the link: Pattern #49712
I used 8/2 cotton in white and black for the warp and a dark gray and red for the weft. This is now a runner for my table.
 With the remainder of the warp, I wove a dishtowel in four different blues.
I had enough left after the towel to weave myself a sample square in blue, yellow and peach.

It wasn't until I started looking at my files to choose photos that I discovered my mistake.  How embarrassing! And I'm the big advocate of taking photos at the beginning of weaving because they seem to show up better in a picture that just looking at the weaving.  Oh well, no one has noticed it yet.

I don't want anyone telling me it is a design element because it isn't one.  Mistakes are exactly that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Gallery of Works

I'm just playing a little catch-up on my blog today, adding some photos of things I have done over the past two to three years.

Rya rug made for granddaughter Hailee.

One of a set of pinwheel towels. For this one, I changed out some of the green stripes and substituted dark brown.
 Daughters, daughters-in-law, and friends with Christmas towels, 2015.
 Towel choices.  I let them choose.
 Waffle weave in blue and yellow.
Waffle weave.

Close-up of Hanukkah table runner.

Below is the table set for dinner.

Full length.
Spring table runner, 2016, with close-up of Italian hemstitching.
Spring table runner.
Summer runner, 2016.
Close-up of zig-zag hemstitching and pattern.

Johanna D's No. 32 from Marguerite P. Davison's pattern book, pg. 97.
My inspiration for the pillows, on the reverse side.  They were needlepoint stitched by my grandmother, Gladys Truscott Hobbs, back in the 1970's.  The backing was deteriorated, so I wove new fabric to replace the old.

A very fine wool scarf.
Scarf on the loom.
Close-up after wet finishing and pressing.