Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Poker Challenge Turns to Twills

My weaving discussion group took on a challenge last year called Weaver's Poker.  In our version of the game, we came up with options for five different attributes of a handwoven project:  Structure, Yarn Fiber Type, Color, Color Relationship and Design Element.  We drew cards from grab bags containing the five different aspects.  Each person had the flexibility of discarding one of the attribute cards.  Here's my hand:  Color – Orange; Color Relationship – Split Complement; Yarn – Linen; Structure – M's and O's; Design Element Large Checks.

Even though we could throw out one of the attributes, I decided to use all of the cards.  I selected 22/2 cottolin in Autumn red, Light Green and Aqua for the orange and the split complements - blue and green.  

After thinking about M's and O's, I developed a three block design with the help of Fiberworks-PCW.  The software allows you to draw a profile draft and then convert it to a threading.  This design used three colors in the warp, each in a different blocks.  Those colors (and blocks) would then be used in the weft to create the large checks.  (The area between the black "threads" was repeated a total of three times.)

Weaver's Poker Challenge Drawdown

The warp was sett at 24 epi, two threads per dent in a 12 dent reed.  The resulting fabric was a towel.

The color and texture of the final piece was nice but there was some puckering and draw in because of the M's and O's.

M's and O's Towel Detail

Based on that, I decided to just do the one towel in the M's and O's design.  I rethread the warp to weave a turned twill instead.  This design used a 3/1 twill versus a 1/3 twill.  The 8-shaft design changed blocks when the warp color changed.  

Turned Twill Drawdown
I wove three whole towels plus a half piece.  

Turned Twill Towels

These towels were also sett at 24 epi.  I think they could have been sett a bit more densely.  They feel nice but perhaps slightly loose.  

The blue weft towel was woven with eight picks of one block and twelve of the other.  The green weft towels were woven with block changes that matched the color changes in the warp.  It is kind of a plaid in texture.  The third towel used all of the warp colors in the weft and changed blocks to match the warp.  

Blue Weft

Green Weft

Three Colored Weft
It was an interesting challenge.  I played around with colors I hadn't in the past.  It also forced me to work on designing with M's and O's on 8 shafts and with blocks.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017


I've been focusing more time on weaving things that aren't towels.  This gives me a chance to weave with some beautiful yarns typically used for knitting.  I've had this warp on my loom for several months - Malabrigo Arroyo in the Archangel color.  I had planned two scarves and wove the first one in October or November.  The warp languished a bit but the second scarf came off this week.

I decided to do an advancing twill with a 2-2-3-1 tie-up on 8 shafts.  The warp was sett at 8 epi.  I thought this would give the scarf texture but not too much since any other pattern would get lost in the variegation.

I decided to use Malabrigo Rios in the same color for the weft.  This is similar in size but not exactly the same as the Arroyo.  

Warp Yarn

The result had a nice hand and drape.  

Scarf 1 detail

Scarf 1

I wasn't totally happy with the way the floats fell, so I changed the tie-up for the second scarf.  The threading stayed the same.  The tie-up is a 2-1-1-1-2-1 twill.  This still had a 4 end weft float but otherwise seemed ok.  

Drawdown for Scarf 2

The weft for this scarf was Malabrigo Arroyo in the color Purpuras.  

Warp and Weft Yarns for Scarf 2

The scarf turned out nicely - different than the first scarf because of the tie-up and darker weft but pretty similar.  Both scarves have a twisted fringe.

Scarf 2 Detail

Scarf 2

Here are the two scarves together with the weft yarn used.

Malabrigo Scarves with weft yarns