Thursday, August 27, 2009

Napkins vs Towels - Napkins 0 Towels 4

I am still plugging away at both the napkins and the towels. Unfortunately the napkins have still been causing problems.

The towels are doing great, although I think I should set them at maybe 26 or 28 instead of 30 epi. I am beating them at around 24 ppi and they seem to have a bit better hand. I wover 2 tan ones and took them as a hostess gift while we were on vacation. I have 1 1/2 green weft ones finished.

The napkins had several more threading and sleying errors. Even after weaving this short sample for discussion group, I found some more sleying errors. The loom was giving me fits. I guess the dobby box (the one with the solenoids) was off kilter a bit and the pattern would not advance. I was able to find some info on WeaveTech that helped troubleshoot that. So, I need to get this going, but the inertia is high.

Here is a picture of the sample and a close up. The color isn't great - it is mostly white with some natural in the warp,
but the close up does show the pattern.

I am planning to have this warp finished by the middle of September - in time for the next discussion group meeting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Towels

Back to working with something to show for it. I hemmed and ironed
all of the towels I still have around the house. There is one Christmas
towel left from the end of last year and a small huck towel that I think
is big enough. The green, yellow and white towels are the latest - 16-shaft, 10/2 unmercerized cotton. I really like that pattern, but the green
shows when the beat isn't quite even. It make the white on white and
yellow on white better.

I am still struggling with the napkins (16 shaft, 20/2 cotton)
that I concentrated on the towels. I am actually weaving on them. They weave pretty fast, which is great.

The napkins had at least three sleying errors and one big heddle
mistake (i.e., I must have fallen asleep and used the wrong heddles). With the fine white yarn on white heddles on white floor underneath, it has been a trial. The towels should be finished fairly soon and then I'll get back to the napkins...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Napkins & Towels

It seems like a long time since I actually made any progress at the loom. I started to warp some 20/2 mercerized cotton for napkins - probably a month ago. You can see where they are now. Well actually I have all of the warp ends through the heddles this evening. It was a bit of a mess to wind on. I haven't figured out a good configuration for the reed - right now it is positioned behind the loom so that the warp comes from the back of the loom, rather than from the front of the loom (even thought I am doing back to front warping.) It is not only a bit ackward, but the excercise bike is in the way. Sigh...

I got so frustrated warping the napkins that I put a warp for towels on the other loom. So I have 10/2 pink striped towels there - waiting.

I missed the napkin exchange at the discussion group, but one person has extra and is willing to exchange with me.
I was able to finish the towels I was working on a month or so ago. There are several green ones, a yellow and two white towels that I've gotten hemmed. I also still need to put together my samples from the CNCH Doubleweave class. They are still in a bag. Never a dull moment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Sonoma Weekend - Looking for the Secret to Doubleweave

Two weekends ago (wow how time flies!) I loaded up the Baby Wolf and set off to Sonoma for the CHCN conference. It is really just workshops with a few extras on off years between the big conferences. I signed up for Jennifer Moore's Doubleweave class. She does some really phenomenal things with doubleweave pick up.

Sonoma is a gorgeous town with a large square - lots of shops and restaurants and a place where you can walk everywhere. Great setting for a workshop.

It was a great class and we did lots of weaving over the 2 1/5 days. I think I may have found out the key to designing the purple to green nine-square idea I have been toying with for around 15 years.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Forget the Samples - Let's Make Something

OK, for those of you who know me, you know I am terrible when it comes to sampling. (Well, also record keeping and a number of other things, but that's beside the point.) I decided to try to just weave off some towels with the 16-shaft point warp. This is the Alderman design using 10/2 unmercerized cotton in dark green.

I am not a big fan of green, but I think I got this as part of a "surprise" batch of yarn somewhere along the line. I really prefer to use unmercerized yarn for towels, although there is still a great debate around which is better - unmercerized or mercerized. The jury is still out.

Here is the detail. As you can see, thanks to Beryl, I've fixed the treadling errors. I love the computer control! It really make it very easy to make adjustment or fixes. I am glad I had some experience in Midland with a manual dobby, but this is much better.

Weaving towels was great for a snowy Sunday.

16-Shaft Point Designs

I have continued to work on the 16-shaft point twill samples I started a few months ago. Here is a picture of the entire piece.

This was done with 10/2 unmercerized cotton - white in the warp and dark green, yellow and kelly green in the weft. The yellow and kelly green are mercerized. The latter I don't know why I have so much and am trying to get rid of. Yeah!

The first design is a star/flower like pattern that was used as an exercise in JoAnn's Diaper class. It is pretty and I love the detail I can get with the extra shafts.

These samples are unwashed.

Even with this not so great picture, you can see the detail.
I think when washed it will lose the vertical line-spaces.

The second design is from Sharon Alderman's book

Mastering Weave Structures, page 54
This picture shows the original design at the bottom and a variation I created by playing around with the tie-up.

The variations are not nearly as interesting or crisp but I wanted to have something that had shorter floats. With the sett (24 epi)
and the yarn, the floats on the original aren't too long.

I like the original design better.
Here is the detail of the original design - with two treadling errors. {Thanks Beryl for noticing these!}

It's not quite square, but maybe with washing it will look ok. The diamonds with the longer warp floats look squarer than the other diamonds do.

The last set of samples are a design from Kathryn Wertenberger's

book, 8, 12...20 An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving, pg 65.

The yellow is the original design and the green a variation.

This is a really nice design - the picture doesn't do it justice.

I've started working on Bonnie Inouye's book, Exploring Multishaft Design, so I am hoping to have a lot more unique designs in the
future. Also there are napkins for an exchange with the Weaving Discussion Group and I need to finish off the 8 yards of warp on the AVL. So much more weaving ahead.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Incorporating Memories

I have been noodling around with my next projects and I am working on the idea of taking some t-shirts that had been my mother's and incorporating them into a rag rug. I haven't been able to wear the shirts, so this is probably a better use for them.

So I have been cutting them up. I also found some that had been my father's and some old ones of mine to use. As you can see this is going to be pretty colorful.

I have more to cut up. I am still thinking of how I want to weave it. I also have some pretty colorful warp that I plan to use.
More later...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's Working

Well, I have the loom all put together and finally have the right version of Fiberworks PCW on my laptop AND have the settings right. The loom works great! (I think I know now how Dr. Frankenstein would have felt after assembling the monster. :-) )

I still have to figure out how to put a pattern on the Compu-Dobby itself or on the cartridge I got with the loom, but maybe later. Running the loom off of the laptop seems very easy and straightforward.

I put on 10/2 white unmercerized cotton, sett at 24 epi, for some playing , sampling and eventually towels. I threaded the warp to a 16 shaft point. (I know I've got 24, why not use them all.) The design is one I saw while taking JoAnn's Diaper class and I wanted to try it out.

Here is a close up of the design. It is really very nice. I'm not sure if it will work for towels with this grist. There are floats that are 5 or 6 threads long. I'll see better after washing.
I am going to try some more designs I am finding in my books while planning some designs of my own. This will be a good time to experiment designing using the "Magic Box". More on that later. I probably need to put something on the Cranbrook so it doesn't get jealous.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Together - I Think

I finished putting together the new loom, with all of the electronics, etc. I put a 10/2 white cotton warp in a 16-shaft point pattern to try it out. I have a great flower-like pattern that was part of JoAnn's Diaper class that I want to try out, but thepoint threading will allow a lot of experimentation.

Now I have to figure out the Comby Dobby! :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tis the Season - a Little Late

Finally I've gotten my Christmas towels finished. I wove this pattern about 10 years ago and dug it out again for this year.
I have several IOU's out for presents. At least it will be before Valentine's Day. ;-)

This is an example of an unwashed towel. I used 12/2 unmercerized cotton - natural, sett at 24 epi. The pattern is
done with #5 perle mercerized embroidery cotton.

This is a washed sample.