Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Double the trouble....

Why is it I wait so long to get Christmas presents finished?  After three days of threading over 900 lilac and purple 5/2 cotton threads I finally got to sit down and begin weaving yesterday.  


Let me tell you a secret, I am a bit embarrassed to share this but I royally messed up.  This throw is supposed to be a colonial double weave - blooming leaf overshot pattern.  Does it look like overshot to you?  Nah....Seems I forgot something very elemental.

I have a countermarch loom with 6 treadles.  To weave this pattern you need to be able to use three treadles at the same time, and as we all know (well, apparently not me) you cannot do that on a countermarch loom.  Rats!  Foiled again.

What to do?  First I tried tying up just the rising treadles, this method did not work the shed was really bad.  Next I tried tying up each separate treadle to accomplish all the patterns I needed.  Did not work, I don't have enough treadles to do that and there is no way I wanted to keep climbing under the loom to retie every so often.  Too time consuming and too hard on the back.

That leaves me with two options.  One option - use what I had already threaded - remember it took me three full days to thread this pattern.  Option two - rethread a totally different pattern and get on with it.  Time is short, Christmas is mere days away....

While contemplating my problem it occurred to me that I had threaded a shadow weave pattern.  Lilac thread, dark purple thread, lilac thread, etc.

"Shadow weave looks like twill but it is really plain weave with scattered 2-thread floats" (sounds like I know what I am talking about, but I read this in Madelyn van der Hoogt's "Complete Book of Drafting For Handweavers").  After reading this, I decided to use what I already had on the loom and decided to weave a shadow weave twill pattern.

Mind you this is not how I wanted the throw to turn out, but it will do for now.

My next adventure is tie onto this warp with another shadow weave warp to weave a darker version of this throw for my Grandson.  Having never tied one warp to another I hope this experiment goes well, wish me luck.

Until then....happy weaving.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monk's Belt Revisted

For those of you who might read my poor attempts at blogging I posted a while back about some monk's belt towels I wet finished and discovered a problem of red dye running and ruining all my hard work.   Not to be discouraged or outdone by some bad yarn.  I wove these towels again with a different red yarn and ta-da success --- no red streaks from running dye when I wet finished the towels.

This particular monk's belt draft was graphed out by me on good old fashioned graph paper.  I looked at several old Swedish weaving books and combined the patterning that appealed to me on graph paper.  I don't have a computer based weaving program on my personal iMac - they cost an arm and a leg and me being the frugal homesteader I try to be cannot justify the expense.  

Traditional Swedish weaving patterns appeal to me and monk's belt is one of my favorites.  How do you like my little red cardinal, isn't he just the cutest thing.

Next up is one of two scarves I wove using mini mochi yarn as the weft for one scarf and a hand dyed superwash wool as the weft in the other.   The scarf above has the superwash wool as the weft.  Let me tell you how hard it is to photograph these colors - they either wash out or the color doesn't read true on the monitor.  Used a pattern from the 8 shaft book by C. Strickler, Yarn Barn also used this pattern on a scarf in their catalog - calling it field of flowers.  My version is wider and uses two colors of red tencel as the warp and a different epi.  This was a great project to weave and will be even more fun when I gift one of them to my daughter for Christmas (don't worry she doesn't read this blog).

In this photo you can see how difficult it is to photograph the lovely colors in this scarf.  The color combination kind of reminds me of a warm fire.

Decided to re-photograph my twill Christmas towel for my etsy shop.  This particular towel is having the same problem with the colors showing true on the computer.  Think this shot is a much better representation of the red and greens in this towel.  The two little lead German sheep are from my wee sheep collection.  Seems a lot of weavers collect sheep these days - wish my toy sheep were the real thing....someday I hope they are.   

Hope your holiday preparations are going smoothly.

Happy weaving!