Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Bad Selvedge

I still seem to struggle with the edge threads getting loose, and then the draw-in starts and the threads break.  It's part of the reason I don't put on very long warps.  It seems that the longer the warp, the more I have trouble with the edges. 

The towels that I have been working on have been fun, since there are so many color possibilities.

This towel was woven with a thick/thin yarn I picked up at an estate sale.  Hope it holds up--I think it is cotton, but don't know for sure.  I will know better after I wash it.

The towel I just finished last night is woven with several colors of yellow, orange and peachy pink, using up more of my leftover dyed yarns.  I like it, but started to have trouble with the selvedge on one side.  I know it was a tension thing, because it started to "smile" and draw in too much.  I was glad to finish it, so I could spread the warp out again.  Before I start the next, and maybe last towel, I will put some more weight on that side.  I'm starting to get bored with this project and am ready to come up with something new.  

One idea is to use some linen that I also picked up at the estate sale last summer.  I think a variety of lace weave towels or placemats would be nice.  I especially like the look of Atwater-Bronson lace, with the single cross in the hole.

My second idea, and I can do both if I want, is to start a few rag rugs for my bathroom and entryway.  I have the loom best for rugs empty right now, and the multicolor warp will be finished soon, so I could use that loom for the linen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

No computer at home

The computer died again today.  I was out in the workshop weaving when it happened, so I don't know what caused it. 

The multicolored warp for kitchen towels is slowly coming to the end, with enough for 3 or 4 more towels.  I wove one last night with a turquoise thick/thin yarn, and am working on multi colors of orange/pink.  Pictures will be posted when I complete them, since it's a bother to do it at the library.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finished Sampling Yellow Wool

I'm finished sampling with the thin yellow wool.  I made a scarf with a huck weave, which isn't ideal for a yarn that may full.  Even with the fulling, it is kind of pretty, because the weave adds texture.  it isn't as soft as I would like for something around my neck, but someone will like it. 

There was a little extra warp left to weave some small samples for my sample book.  In a class I took from Laura Fry on finishing fabrics, she suggested saving an unwashed sample and a finished sample.  I did that for the huck weave and plain weave.

Since I have about 4 pounds of this wool, I think I may overdye some of it and possibly use it for a blanket or couch throw.  This is one time when I wish I had a wider loom, because I don't think I would want to work with this yarn in doubleweave, since it would be a bit sticky.

Well, my next weaving will be getting back to my towel warp in the next few days.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sample Loom

The best of intentions often don't happen when we plan.  I was hoping to do a lot of weaving yessterday, but with cleaning, laundry, and working on the bathroom remodeling, I didn't get out to the studio until last night.

I hate weaving on table looms, or at least the ones that have not been converted to treadles!  I put smaller projects on them, or something that has to be portable, but they are so slow to work with.  I didn't mind it so much when I was a slower weaver, but now that I can weave faster, it really bothers me.  Eventually, I will come up with a treadle adaption plan and have Bob help me cut the wood.  Even direct tie-up would be better, but I'm sure if we do convert it, we will make 6 treadles.

Here is the scarf as of last night.  It's 9" in the reed.

The color isn't very good in the photo.  It's actually a soft light yellow

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sample Loom Threaded

The sample loom is threaded with a fine yellow wool.  I'm going to test it by making a scarf, and will probably weave on it in the morning.  I used the lacy scarf found in the May/June Handwoven, pg. 62 for the threading, but a bit narrower.  This yarn may be too sticky to get a good huck lace, but that is why I am sampling.  I have about 3# of the yarn, so if the scarf doesn't turn out well, I'm not out much in the yarn department. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping a Friend Warp Her Loom

I warmed up the studio after coming home from work.  After dinner, my friend Gail came over so I could help her get a project on her rigid heddle loom.
 She learned how to warp the loom with the peg method.  Since I didn't have a peg or a C-clamp, we improvised with the clamp end of my swift.  It's clamped upside down to the loom behind Gail, and worked just fine.

 Some of the ladies from church have been knitting or crocheting prayer shawls to give to people that aren't well, or are going through a difficult time.  As they are making them, they are praying for the recipient.
Gail decided she would like to weave one this time.  She is warping with navy and dark red 8/2 cotton, with divisions of a pink and white bumpy nylon.  She will weave it with a synthetic boucle in a varigated blue and a solid pink.  I'm letting her use some left over yarn from a double weave blanket that I made.

After Gail went home, I wound a 3 1/2 yard warp of some 20/2 yellow wool that I purchased at an estate sale.  I'm just testing the yarn, but figured I would wind enough to make a scarf, plus a bit more to play around with.  I like to finish my samples, but usually keep a bit unwashed, like Laura Fry taught in a finishing class I took from her.  Most weaves don't feel very nice until they are washed, so it's nice to have a  before and after sample. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Three Towels Done--Destination Mom's Birthday

I finished the hems on the three towels I took off the loom Sunday night.  Three completely different looks from the same warp.  Carolyn and I headed over to my mom and dad's house to give one to Mom for her birthday.  She chose the dark one with the border.

Happy Birthday Mom!

The towel was woven with a rust color weft for the main color and natural and tan for the borders.

Border towel on the loom.

This towel was my effort to use up small amounts of yarn that I dyed.  It hardly made a dent in the yarn supply.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Album of Towel Photos

Having a computer crash is the pits, and is another motivation for putting photos in other places.  I know how to make albums on Facebook, so that is where I am linking to right now.  I'm on a learning curve, and my daughter has been helping me long distance.

I put another album on Facebook last night, of a lot of my handwoven towels.  Follow the link below:
My handwoven towels

Thank you daughter Rachel for telling me how to do this!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Weaving Today

I had a day off from work today, so took advantage of the daylight to start painting my bathroom.  I wish it was done because my neck is sore from looking up.  Hopefully I can get most of it done on Saturday.  I need to go to Bad Breath and Beyond tomorrow to order a shower curtain.  I found one that I liked that will go well with brown and cobalt blue called Wilderness Retreat.  Seems appropriate for up north.  Check it out at:

 It looked fun to me and should compliment the wall paint and cobalt blue in the shower.

Fast Pictorial Guide to the Weaver's Knot

Make a slip knot (start of a chain) with a short tail.

Insert the new thread (green) through the loop.

Pull both ends of the slipknot.

You are successful if you feel a slight snap. To test, pull on the green thread.  If it pulls apart, try again.

If done right, this knot will not pull apart like a square knot will, and the added bonus is that it is smaller.

Continue with the rest of the threads.
Other instructions seemed complicated to me, and I couldn't remember it the next time I needed to tie a weaver's knot.  I needed something I could remember without having to get out a book.  What could be easier than remembering to start with a slip knot?

Happy weaving!

Working on Selvedges and Speed

  I have a bad habit of touching my edges while weaving, which slows the process down, and doesn't necessarily make the selvedges any better than if left alone.  I had some trouble yesterday with the left edge and realized I had a crossed thread.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't do this, but it was so close to the edge that I just broke it off and continued weaving.  The lump I was getting at the edge straightened right out after that.

Towels make a good project to work on selvedges unless they are being made to sell.  Technique can be worked on, and it still produces something useful.  I have found that it only took part of one towel to start getting a rhythm going, speed picked up, and once I fixed the crossed warp, I haven't touched the selvedges.  The paperclip temple has also helped keep the towel from drawing in as much.  What a quick, inexpensive fix.  It should be visible in the following photo.

To use, just spread one leg of the paperclip out a little and hook it on the edge of the fabric.
I attached some heavy linen rug warp and heavy fender washers to the clip for weight.  They drape over a thick cord tied to each side of the loom.

I have seen photos of others using alligator clips instead of paper clips.  I would probably do that if I was working on something with very fine threads.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Towel Started

It was a busy day today, so I only got about 11" woven this evening.  Here is how it is looking woven with white.

My favorite stripes on this towel are the blue one with the double rows of diamonds toward the left side, and toward the right, the green and blue stripes with the 4 single yellow threads.

It is interesting how different background weft colors can make different stripes stand out. 

Here is a picture of the full width. 

Well, off to bed now, because I am getting cold.  Our automatic thermostat has turned down the heat and my cozy bed is calling me. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Other Photo Album Links to Weaver's Boot Camp Projects

Here are the links to my Facebook albums that I have been working on for the last couple days.  They are all projects from Weaver's Boot Camp, a class I took at Heritage Spinning and Weaving, in Lake Orion, Michgan back in 2005.  I will make more albums of other weaving projects as I have time.

Link:  Weaving with fine threads

Link :  Doubleweave

Link :  Summer and Winter

Link :  Shadow weave

Link :  Twill treadling variations

Link :  Overshot

Link : Color gamp

Photo Albums Started

It has been too cold to get the garage warm enough for weaving yesterday or today, since the temperature has been below 10 degrees up here in Charlevoix.  Instead of weaving, I have been working on adding my weaving pictures onto my Facebook.  I started with my photos of Weaver's Boot Camp, a 9 month class that I took back in 2005.  I worry about our computer crashing again, so I'm gradually making some albums of my work.  Until I figure out how to put picture albums on this blog, I will just have to put a public link to them here.  

The latest album that I finished has my instructions for mitering corners on a Swedish Lace table napkin.  Try this link to view:

I haven't tested the link.  If that one works, I hope someone lets me know.  I will add the others later.  I made albums of twill variations, color gamp, shadow weave, overshot, summer and winter, doubleweave, linen and lace, and weaving with fine threads.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Multicolored Warp Dishtowels

One dishtowel is complete.  It started out a little slow, because my heaters hadn't warmed the room very much.  I had to take a break to get my feet warm in the house.  That made me remember that Kristy gave me nice warm Smartwool socks for Christmas.  They are way warmer than cotton socks.  They worked like a charm, along with the wool slippers that my daughter Becky made for me a couple years ago.  After warming up, the weaving went fast (for me).

These towels are the second warp of this design.  It took Kristy and me so long to dye, measure, and warp the loom that we decided to tie a new warp onto the old.  

The inspiration came from a bag of dyed yarn I had in the cupboard and a "Kid Demo Weaving Project" that I saw on Weavolution.  I loved all of the beautiful colors combined into one project. 

This is a nice project to make a lot of different looking towels.  The weft colors are rust, tan, and natural.  I may make the next one with natural weft. 

New Year's Day

Weaving was put on the back burner since a bit before Christmas.  Today is the first day to go out to my COLD studio, in the workroom of our garage.  I am taking a break for a few minutes to warm my feet and start this blog.  I will get a picture of the project I am working on posted later.