Here is another review of my new book. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s from The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and Sue Dwyer is the author. www.thejournalforwsd.org.uk.
I got a question about blocks in “twill diaper coverlets”. Diaper is a term that means the textile is patterned in an all over design. Often it is in small diamonds. In Twill Diaper Coverlets the principle is based on warp face (3/1) twill contrasting with weft faced (1/3) twill. In other words the blocks woven in either 1/3 or 3/1 twill. Each block requires enough shafts to make twill (so that means 4 shafts are needed per block). Let’s say the blocks that are weaving pattern will be in 1/3 (weft faced) twill and those in the background are 3/1 (warp faced twill). Read about profile drafts in my new book Weaving for Beginners, and in Book #3 Weaving & Drafting your own Cloth (in the Drafting for Multi-shaft chapter beginning on page 236. )Read on.
Beautiful examples of these coverlets are in the book, “Keep Me Warm One Night” by Burnham & Burnham. They look like overshot coverlets, but instead of being overshot weave structure (which needs only 4 shafts to make 4 blocks), they are woven in twill diaper (where each block needs 4 whole shafts and a 4-block design would then require 12 shafts). For the pattern blocks instead of weft thread floats, the blocks are woven in weft faced twill (1/3 twill).
This is not a beginner’s weave but the concept is the same as block substitution anywhere. You start with a profile draft and plug in the weave structure that you want to use. Read about block substitution in Weaving for Beginners and Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth.
Here are two more installation photos. The top one is in a nice hallway leading to the auditorium. The lower one is the wall opposite the wall with the silk pieces–in my previous blog.
Here’s a shot of the silk pieces in the show–they look wonderful–I am thrilled. People are blown away by them. More exhibit photos soon.
Today I put up a new question–about what to do when the warp is too big for the warping board. When I was going back and forth doing the editing, I could find my place with the Search Button on the home page. Try searching for bouts.
Clicking on the link will get you there, of course, but if you want to search the whole blog for a word or phrase, use that handy button. It’s on the right side near the top, right under “Ask Peggy.”
I spent all afternoon on this one question and answer–I sure hope things get easier. At one point I lost everything. Often what my teacher told me I’d see wasn’t there and something else was–and wouldn’t go away. What a day!!
Since I’ve been working with silk threads, people have asked about silk worms and silk cocoons. Here are some cocoons I brought from my studio. You can see one where the silkworm escaped leaving the cocoon so it can’t be unwound because it isn’t intact. The others are whole. The colored cocoons were dyed at a place I visited in Japan. We reeled the silk off of blue and yellow cocoons and the company knitted up the thread
into the green scarf in the photo. In another post I’ll send pictures of mereeling green silk from blue and yellow cocoons. The gold silk I previously unwound from a skein onto a Japanese spool is the natural color of the cocoon. A friend sent it to me from Cambodia. One fine strand of silk is made from unreeling many cocoons together at once. These fine threads are what I used in the pieces in the gallery.
I discovered that a student needed to use a counting string when making the warp for her very first project! I’ve put a note to myself to add it when the book is reprinted. See the tip: Counting String.
I’ve been preparing my long silk pieces and other hangings for a show in January. The work was already finished and ready to hang, or so I thought. The silk pieces needed to be significantly shorter for the space so I knew that job would take some time and consideration. Of course, I didn’t want to shorten them by cutting off anything! Most of them I sort of made them 1/2 as long by turning the bottom end to the back and attaching it to the top–sort of like a roller towel. One I rolled up as much as needed and had the roll at the top on the front of the piece. Since the pieces are sheer, it took tiny stitches here and there and making sure the two layers were smooth against each other. I’ll have pictures of this when they are in the exhibition.
Other pieces needed their fringes combed and invisible hanging loops made. This has been a relaxing pleasure. I love handling them and looking at them up close again. You can see the original pieces in my gallery.
I have two cats–this morning I heard scratching noises by my spools of silk thread. I have wound two more spools and each one has a thread sticking out from it. Joey was trying to get at one of the threads! Yikes, I said and covered them up. He kept hanging around, wondering where his precious thread-toy had gone!. After all my work, having a cat snarl the threads up again would have been awful. Molly is seen investigating the first spool on a previous post.
I’ve been winding more of these lovely Japanese spools from cones of fine silk. They are so nice to look at–“thread-sculptures”, really.
Check out my most recent tip about about counting the threads when warping.
I had a student the other day who had trouble tying the knots at the crosses and chock ties. I gave her lengths of shoelaces and she tied everything with ease.
Here are what my studios look like today–after finishing a book and accomplishing a major move. The two rooms are adjoining. They are a mess, but workable for both teaching and weaving. Someday you’ll see them all cleaned up with everything put away. (Don’t hold your breath.)
I finished the skein last week–that is, I stopped just short of finishing it. You can see that it’s almost completely unwound. I stopped unwinding so I could just cut the skein. Then I have a hunk of this thread to use to lay in the sheds –similar to the silk pieces in my gallery.
You can see the wound spool and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. The “spool” is the style used in Japan for silk–a much larger circumference than “our” spools.
Instead of giving up on a skein that is too tangled to unwind, I cut it which gave me a large hunk of yarn. Then I broke down that hunk into smaller hunks–some about the thickness of a pencil, some fatter, and some thinner. I cut them to the sizes I wanted. Then I laid them into the sheds in various ways. This can be seen in my silk pieces in the gallery section of this blog.
I also used this idea when I cut off a warp that was a “dog on the loom”. In that case, I just used the hunks of warp as thick wefts–didn’t cut them and have them extending outside the selvedges.
Weaving for Beginners
WEAVING FOR BEGINNERS: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE
SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA: LEASE STICKS PRESS, 2010. HARDBOUND SPIRAL, 406 PAGES, $49.95. ISBN 978-0-9768855-1-1
“Whether you are learning to weave or teaching weaving, this book offers everything you need to know. Based on Osterkamp’s years of weaving and teaching using time-honored Europeanweaving techniques, Weaving for Beginners opens by guiding the beginner through the basics of equipment
and back-to-front warping and then presents a sampler cleverly designed to introduce balanced, weftfaced, and warp-faced weaves on the same warp. The first project is followed by an in-depth discussion of
the benefi ts of back-to-front and front-to-back warping, with a section written by Patricia Townsend on front-to-back warping that includes mixing warp colors at the loom and specifi c instructions for weaving
a chenille scarf. Later chapters suggest future projects for the beginning weaver, explore hand-manipulated weaves, and teach the basics of rigid-heddle weaving.
Advanced chapters include an in-depth discussion on how to read and write a draft and then progress to drafting for block weaves, such as overshot and summer and winter. One might wish that the later chapters on sett, selvedges, project planning, and troubleshooting were laminated, because they are so packed with useful reference information that they are likely to be worn out over the course of a weaving career. Worksheets and formulas
for determining sett using grist, diameter, and weave structure; tips for good selvedges and diagnostics for poor selvedges; and well-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for repairing a fixed thread or threading error, finding a lost cross, or fixing weaving mistakes—all are designed to get the beginning-to-intermediate weaver off to a smooth and confident start.
The chapter on computer software and the chapter on knots are especially innovative and informative. Written by experts among Osterkamp’s students and colleagues, the computer chapter explains the benefits of WIF files, tells how to choose a weaving software package, explores the design capabilities of weaving programs, and gives a sample assignment to get the
reader started. In the final chapter of the book, Osterkamp answers your questions about what knot to use when and relieves all knot anxiety: snitch knots, lark’s head and double half hitches are all revealed through excellent illustrations. After you finish reading the “rabbit hole story,” you will never forget the weaver’s knot again.
Weaving for Beginners is clearly a labor of love by an outstanding teacher and a community of enthusiastic and dedicated weavers. It will be a welcome addition to many a weaver’s bookshelf, beginning weaver or otherwise.”
Click this link for more info about the book:
“Weaving for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide”
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