Tuesday, November 1, 2011

January Towels and More Progress

I am finding that even though the warp is a bit bright, using the medium light blue or silver as weft turns out looking pretty good. This was threaded as an M W twill. I am treadling the towels either as a straight 1-8 treadling giving uneven points or 1-8-1, resulting in uneven diamond shapes.

I found a few of the finished January towels. I really like the color combinations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Exploring October

I'm taking a big color leap with this set of towels. Although they look garish, I think they will turn out OK. This has been an interesting experiment.
For this set, I used the random stripe generator, but as with the January towels, I modified the pattern I selected so that the colors were closer in proportion to the picture and values weren't tilted too far to the high value colors - i.e., less red and orange and bright green.

I will be threading these in an "M" twill - 1 to 8; 7-5; 6-8 and back to 1 . The December towels' dornick twill was a bit too choppy, but the diagonal and diamond patterns in the other towels look really good.
We'll have to see.

I may have sold almost all of the January towels without a picture, but I will see if I can find one and post it later. They turned out really great.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

January Towels

The next set of towels is the January Picture. It is of Point Betsy in Northern Lower Michigan. It looked all ice and cold, but when wound on as warp, it translated to Fourth of July.

I'm sure that it will be toned down when crossed with a weft of light blue or even white.

I used the Random Stripe Generator, but this time I figured out the proportion of each color in the picture. I then adjusted the stripe width and colors to reflect that proportion. So it's random with help.

I am threading this set as a point twill but weaving it with the treadling from the last set -- a 1-1-1-2-3 twill. I might even attempt diamonds.

Interesting Color Exploration

I finished the ten towels with the "September" colors. They looked much better than I would have expected as I wound the warp. I used yellow, gold, light blue, green and dark brown for the wefts.

These were threaded as a straight draw and treadled in a 1-1-2-3 twill. I wove most of these with a point treadling. A couple were done as a straight twill, but they weren't quite as interesting.

The gold really made the colors look deep and complex. The brown was pretty surprising - the picture doesn't do it justice.

These are not my colors but I would definitely use them again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September Towels

I picked the September picture to work on next. I'm using more colors, so it was a little more complicated. I did use the Random Stripe Generator, bu this time, I changed the colors so that they were used more in the same proportion as the picture, e.g. more yellow and gold than the red.

I wound the same length of warp - enough for 10 towels. Everything seemed to be fine until I went to thread the heddles. I realized that I had flipped on of the sections. There was a glop of green together.As I was pulling the warp through the heddles, I added some warp threads off the back to separate the overabundance of green. I think it will be ok. After all, it's supposed to be random. It would be so bad if the green were a more perfect fit with the other colors. I'm sure it will work out when woven.

I am threading this set in a straight draw. I am planning to either weave a point or something like the dornick twill treadling I used for the December towels. This way each set will be a little different - in more than just color.

December Towels

Finished weaving the December towels. I cut them apart last night and now all I have to do is hem them. I like the way they turned out, although I think the beat could have been a little stiffer. They are a bit "drapy" for towels.

Here's some detail. It does lok quite complicated, but it isn't really.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

December Towels

I have about 6 of the December towels woven. I am making two of each warp color. I'm not sure though if I will use the dark brown as weft. I also think that I might spend more time on the warp stripe designs on later towels. I think this one is too regular - a too even distribution of the colors. They look pretty good and I am anxious to see them off the loom and washed. I'm not sure the colors are ones I would want to have per se though...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Towel Project - December

I started looking at the yarn colors I had (and recently ordered) and came up with color combinations for the series of towels I am planning.

I decided to start with December. There are only 5 colors and I though it might be an easier way to begin. I am using a random stripe generator located at: www.kissyourshadow.com/stripe_maker.php It allows you to pick the number of different colors and the width of stripes desired.

For this set, I am planning to use an 8-shaft dornick twill I found in Carol Strickler's book: "A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns" The twill will be regular but the colored stripes will be of varying widths, so the colored stripes will not match the pattern exactly. This normally makes the end textile look more complicated than it is. I am hoping that it won't look too busy.

The yarn is 10/2 cotton for both warp and weft. I wound on enough for 10 towels. I will be using some of the warp yarn colors for the weft, probably the light blue and pink to start.
We'll see how it works. More later...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slight Detour

As part of the Holiday Cheer project, Craft Guild members are making quilted lap blankets. I wasn't going to make one, but there was some nice cotton fabric that just asked to be used. Most of the fabric has greens and reds. Some fabric is solid red and green. Most people are using fleece as a backing but I wasn't sure I could sew that on myself - without a stretchy stitch feature on my sewing machine. I found some bright pink corduroy for backing that looks pretty good and will provide some warmth.
I hope this will keep someone warm this coming winter.


I finished four blankets from the warp - two baby and two lap blankets. The lap blankets used darker warp and don't look so baby-ish.
They turned out pretty well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Senior / Baby Blankets

The Weaving Discussion Group's project for this year is to make lap robes for holiday gifts for home-bound seniors. So thinking about how I can get this done quickly AND have something to submit to the County Fair, I decided to make the lap robes as I would baby blankets, nbut with more adult looking weft yarn.

The warp is cotton - mostly knitting type yarn. Two different yarns are paired in Fibonacci stripe width. These are pretty fun since I design the colors as I go along. I have used the same striping widths for a while. The sett is 10 epi, which is sort of an average since the yarns are not all of the same grist. The structure is plain weave,

I have one and a half finished so far.

Quick Towels

Wanted to use up the naturally colord 12/2 cotton I had, so I wove four towels using the random stripe twill design from the last set. The stripes are irregular in medium brown, light brown and natural. The warp is threaded to a regular point twill. This way the color and the pattern don't match - making it look more complecated than they are. I used the medium brown and light brown cotton as the weft.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Totally Off the Path

I just got yarn for some towels I am planning. These are totally not my usual color pallet. I am planning colors to match pictures form a calendar I used last year. Each set will be warped and woven with colors from the 12 different pictures.

They will probably be a regular 2/2 point twill with irregular stripe widths. More later.

Second Rug

Finally finished the second rug, This one turned out much better, Before washing it was 44" x 30" after washing and machine drying 29.5" x 27". This will work much better.

I have some ideas for other rugs, but they will have to wait. I have to get busy on some hand towels. Glad this finally worked out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finished But Too Short

I finished the rag rug - but it is too short. I thought I was carefully measuring the length on the loom, but I must have blinked or something. It is more square than rectangular - I probably needed to make it at least 6" longer.
Otherwise it turned out fine. I have enough warp to weave a second one. Although I'm not sure I need a second purple and white rug. :-)
The warp is purple and white 8/4 cotton carpet warp. The weft is 1 inch strips of t-shirts. I cut them so that each shirt yields a long strip - essentially cutting around the body of the shirt. This weft makes a strip that naturally curls and wears very well. The last rung I wove this way has lasted around 18 years.
The weave structure is plain weave with the warp colors alternativing. To change the colors, I just place two of the same color together. The stipes of color change in the weft direction by using two shots of carpet warp instead of just one.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Replacing an "Old" Rug

After the marathon with the 24-shaft samples, I decided to do something simpler. One of my early projects, probably 18-20 years ago, was a rag rug. It was 8/4 carpet warp and t-shirt weft.
It was pretty easy to weave and the rug wore like iron. Until the warp threads started to fray near the header.

So, I browsed through the t-shirts I had and my husband's drawers for shirts that had seen better days. I decided on purple and white for the 8/4 cotton carpet warp, since I had those colors and my bathroom is purple. The pattern is a color & weave play on log cabin. Threaded dark-light-dark-light for two inches, then light dark-light-dark for the next two. At the intersections, there are two threads of the same color next to each other. The sett is 12 epi.

The white t-shirts were cut around the body of the shirt, giving a long continuous weft. (This isn't as hard as it seems since you fold the shirt and cut it with a rotary cutter on a pad.) I cut them about 1 inch wide. The shirt strip naturally curls. This makes it easier to keep most of the cut edged from showing. They are alternated in the weft with the purple warp yarn. The color pattern changed when two shots of the purple yarn are through in succession. The weave structure, threaded on 8-shafts, is plain weave.

This is going slowly since I am limiting myself to about an hour a day of weaving. The heavy beat needed to pack in the weft can be damaging (to me). So easy does it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

24-Shaft Twill for Samples

Right after the table runner came off the AVL, the next project went right on. This time I used all of the 24 shafts on the loom. It's pretty far back there - I'm not sure how people with 40 shafts tell what's going on...

This loom has a "backwards" raddle. It sits on the far side of the back beam. I warp back to front, but the warp actually is wound from the really back of the loom - rather than coming from the front, resting on the shaft frames. It is a bit awkward - made even more so by the exercise bike immediately behind the loom...

The warp is threaded to a point and woven as threaded. The uniqueness of this is that I designed it by just selecting shafts to raise in the tie-up box. So starting with a 24x24 grid, I filled in boxes. The maximum float was 5, but with 10/2 pearl cotton, that's not too bad. The warp and weft are 10/2. The warp alternating natural and champagne (yellow); the weft willow green.

I had more color errors than I wanted in the warp, but figured I had plenty of warp to weave the necessary 34 2x2 repeats I needed. And I was under a severe time constraint. I started weaving using the design I put together. This involved lifting 12-14or 15 shafts at a time. After 2 feet, I used the "Change Face" feature in Fiberworks PCW and had only to lift 8 or 9 - 12 shafts. Much easier. After taking way too long to thread, I wove one day for 10 hours. Not straight, but pretty continuously. The dobby, the shafts and I got tired, but I was able to catch most of the mistakes in the weft (or in the raised shafts) early enough to easily fix them.

This is definitely a design that I like. For the next round of the study group, I am thinking about using 20/2 yarn and a network type threading. And starting earlier...

16-Shaft Table Runner

Finally finished weaving most of the 20/2 warp last month. I wove some tabby at both ends and left plenty of warp for fringe but might decide to hem it. The tabby is a little bit wider than the twill protion - of course - didn't think that one through enough...
The length was about 72" before I cut it off, not counting the fringe. I haven't measured it again now that it's been washed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weaving off on 16 Shafts

I'm weaving the warp from the 16-shaft napkins I put on the AVL loom probably a year ago.

I wove two napkins for an exchange, but lost interest.

I need to do another project to be finished by mid-February, so I am weaving this as a table runner instead of napkins. A little faster and possibly useful.

This is 20/2 cotton, so progress isn't very fast. I've woven about 3 1/4 yeards so far. I am trying to decide how long to weave it. Unfortunately I put on plenty of warp.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas is Over???

I just finished all of the Christmas tree towels I had warped. Yes, the holiday is over, but I'll have these for next year.

I tried some different color variations. On this particular one, I forgot the star - Oh well.

With this 12/2 warp, I used a trick I got from Susan D using cardboard tubes and Ziplock bags to keep the waro orderly while I wind it on.

Next projects are for the two Complex Weavers study groups I joined...