Thursday, April 29, 2010

Does Weaving Have to be Expensive?

I wish I had known how inexpensive weaving could be, way back when.  This tutorial on Weavezine shows that just about anyone can start to weave on a loom with very little loom expense.  The instructions are very detailed and include four videos.   If you have about 30 minutes to spare, this is a great lesson. Loom Basics

I might try it with my grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Huck Lattice Towel Finished

I finished the first towel off the linen warp. 

I wouldn't recommend using the treadling for the lattice towels unless the yarn was quite fine because of the long floats on the reverse side.  The lattice variation had floats over seven threads.  I wish I had put the pattern into Fiberworks ahead of time so I could check the other side.  I did do that for the other variations and think variation #1 and #3 will be OK.  The longest floats in those two designs are 5 threads.

I do very little hand sewing to finish items that I make, this towel included.  I know many weavers are horrified that I would machine sew something that I took so much time to weave.  I don't agree, since it also takes a great deal of skill to do a nice finishing job with the machine. 

I love  how the ladder hem-stitching turned out on this towel.  The hemstitching was obviously done by hand, but the hems were sewn with the sewing machine.  I'm sure that if someone got right down to the hem and really looked, they would be able to tell that a machine was used, but I like sturdy, and something that will hold up in the wash and through many years of use. Clicking on the photo will enlarge it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Huck Lattice Towels

The rug warp and the Atwater-Bronson lace warp are at a standstill, with half wound for each of them.  I got a little sidetracked with a linen  warp that I had.  This warp is only about 3 1/2 to 4 yards long, and like the 20 yard warp, it had no cross.  It was a mix of a two ply approximately 20/2 size warp and a tow linen singles.  I laid it out on my carpet with a weight on one end, and pulled out the plyed yarn 10 strands at a time.  Because there was no cross, I threaded the loom front to back.  Once I got it threaded through the heddles and tied onto the back, I draped it over the counterbalance bar on the loom behind  this one and added weight to it.  Once it had the weight added, I was able to treadle two plain weave sheds and add lease sticks.

My chosen pattern came from the Handwoven magazine, March/April of 2002, page 44.  (Check Interweave Press for back-issues.)  The article was for weaving 5 towels, all different weaves.  I started with treadling #5, a huck lattice.

 This design calls for ladder hemstitching and the magazine had the instructions on page 14.  The hemstitching is started from the right (right-handed) and groups 5 warp threads at a time.

This is a close-up of the second half of the hemstitching.  It wraps around the same same threads.  The loop of heavy yarn seen in the photo keeps a gap between the two rows and will be pulled out later.

I got a start on the weaving, completing about 6" of the first towel.  I like the lattice look, and once the towel is wet finished, it will be more prominent.

Now to bed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Warps

The rug warp that I was winding on my warping reel is only half finished.  The tan yarn I showed in my last post is also about half wound.  I hoped to get them both done yesterday, but a disaster with my orange kitty, Hobbs, kept me busy for part of the day.  Either he dumped used motor oil on himself or someone dumped it on him, but anyway, his back from his head to the tip of his tail was completely covered with dirty black oil, right down to the skin on his back half.  He was pretty sick yesterday, so after giving him a bath over and over again with Dawn dish soap to try and cut the grease, I still had to check on him quite often.  He is feeling better today, eating, drinking, peeing, so that is good.  I had to coat him with Fast Orange to try and get the remainder of the oil off of him today, so he wasn't very happy with me.  He's sitting on my lap now, though, so all is forgiven.  Hopefully I can get the two warps finished tomorrow after I get home from work.

I can hardly believe that the daffodil blooms are already starting to fade.  It just seems so early.  The first tulips bloomed today.  Yea, the deer didn't get them!  I need to get out with my camera again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back to Weaving Preparation

For lack of any weaving projects on my looms, and still no decision on what to put on them, I spent yesterday afternoon outside salvaging a linen warp.  I know my production weaving friends would think I am crazy, but I'm not in any hurry to get anything done right now.

I picked this warp up at an estate sale, not realizing that it was cut off a loom without preserving a cross.  It was just a bundle of threads about 20 yards long.  Such a waste!  Most of the ends were a nice, smooth yarn, but there was some tow linen mixed in (I can't figure that out), so I stretched the whole warp out on the grass (yes, the grass is turning green) and started winding it on my winder.  It was just nice to get outside.  I worked on it till the sun started going down behind the garage. By then, my hands were getting pretty cold.

Today, I decided to write down all my ideas for weaving projects.  The list-maker side of me helps when I can't seem to focus, or make decisions.  By putting all my options down on a big whiteboard, I was able to prioritize my list.

Once that was accomplished, I got my yarn out that I want to work with for the first two projects.  The yarn for my second project, the two tan cones of 8/2 cotton, is another yarn I picked up at the estate sale.  I need to wind some skeins from it because I am going to overdye it, once I do my project calculations.

I got to work winding a warp for my first project.  I think that out of all the different parts of the weaving process, this is my least favorite part.  I'm usually able to come up with something else I'd rather do, such as taking pictures, or working on this blog.  I did get about a third of it wound.

While it was still sunny, I took advantage of the beautiful day and photographed the flowers in my yard, and my kitties, Hobbs and Susie.  You can tell Hobbs was looking right at the sun, since the slits in his eyes barely show.  Susie took advantage of the sunshine to take a nice dirt bath, and then she was skulking around in the background of the flowers.

 Well, it is almost getting too late to do more work on the warp.  Guess I planned that just right!  Mañana!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Linen Class Samples Complete

I had my linen samples from Kati Meek's class done last week, but still needed to get them labeled before sending them out.  I finished that last night, so hopefully I will get a chance to mail them this week.

We were each assigned a pattern for the class.  I was given the one at right.  Kati had a large sample of it, done in a very fine linen, which was appropriate for this pattern, since the floats are over several threads.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't happy with the loose look to my original samples sett at 28 epi, so I followed Kati's advise and resleyed the reed to 32 epi.  It made quite a bit of difference in the finished cloth. 

This is how the samples sett at 28 epi looked after wet finishing.

This is a sample sett at 32 epi after wet finishing.  I couldn't decide which side should be right or wrong. 

Here are a couple photos of my longer sample that I'm holding so the light will reflect on the floats.  It really makes the pattern show nicely.
Now all of my looms are empty, and I still haven't decided what to make next.  My daughter Becky is going to come over on Wednesday, and I'm going to help her warp my small loom so she can make some leg bands (costuming for Viking men) for a group she belongs to.  They won't be very wide, so the tiny loom will be just right for her to use, and with the live weight tensioning, it will be even easier for weaving.