Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Annual Samples

As a member of the Complex Weavers Study Group 24 Plus or Minus, every year I weave samples to share with the other members of the group.  Every year I wait until the very last moment.  This is not really planned or a good thing.  I usually manage to pull together a design that I like and that weaves up well. 

This year, I had about three weeks before the deadline to mail the samples out and I hadn't started anything.  The good news is that I did get my samples finished on time.   The other good news is that I really liked the result.

The design is a 24 shaft twill pattern threaded as a 24-shaft point and an 11-shaft point. (It was intended to be a 12-shaft point but by the time I figured that out it, I decided to go ahead with the 11-shaft point.)  The threading is something I dreamed up using Fiberworks PCW weaving software while I played around with the "magic box" - the area on the draft that defines which shafts are used for each treadle.  I didn't spend very much time but I got a fairly nice pattern that looked good in the design area of the software program and didn't have too many floats.  I think the longest float was maybe 5 threads. 

I decided to use 20/2 cotton yarn so that the samples didn't have to be too big for the whole motif to appear in one square area.  It probably doesn't show up too well in the picture but I used a light blue for the wrap (UKI Mineral) and a dark green for the weft (UKI Dark Green). 

I didn't have as many problems as usual for a fairly rushed job but there were some tensioning problems, one broken warp thread and the dobby's usual habit of lifting extra shafts.  The picture below shows the very beginning with the broken thread (fortunately only one during the entire process) and the two large places where either I or the dobby was doing something not intended.

Fortunately I was able to weave enough cloth to easily have the required number of samples.  I really loved the result.  I think that I would love to use the pattern for something other than samples.  I'm not sure what yarn I would use, but I think this would be a lovely scarf.

Below is a detailed look at the finished cloth.  The different sized points makes this really interesting.  I was also pleased with the evenness of the beat I was able to achieve, although this was challenging, especially in the beginning.  The wet finishing helped even this out as well. 

I'm hoping that I do find a reason to weave this into something functional AND that for next year's samples I start earlier.

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