I planned my weaving on a woven piece that was so uninteresting I relegated it to a scrap. This gave me the dimensions for the new piece. And it allowed me to play with various stems of rose hips to get a composition I liked and that would allow me to use the supplementary purple warp to attach the stems. As I wove the new piece, I unpinned the stems as needed and wove them in. It also helped that I’d taken a photo of the composition so I could replicate the placement in the new weaving as I went along.
Weaving with Rose Hips, 2
This photo is of the woven piece. The color is more like the top picture.
Woven Cloth for Ruffle, 2nd view
I’m weaving another in my Ruffles series now on the sewing thread warp. I’m pleased that it is sheer–you can see the treadles through it. It’s slow going because the weft is very fine–like hair. Weaving double cloth is also slow. I maybe did 3 or 4 inches today in 45 minutes. It’s easy and meditative. I’m loving just weaving and weaving–it will take many sessions before it is long enough.
I have my weavings mounted in plexi shadow boxes. The front and back are clear and the sides, top and bottom are white. the boxes are unobtrusive and I like the way the pieces have their own space with this system.
Weaving with more than one warp is something I really like to do. We call it a “supplementary warp” when in theory, it could be removed and an intact cloth would remain.
“Red Square” was woven on 10 shafts–2 for the foundation warp and 8 for the red warp.
The sewing thread warp I’m weaving on now has a supplementary warp, too. In this case these warps aren’t threaded in heddles, but between them. See more in previous posts.
I weight my supplementary warps with washers that are hanging from shower curtain hooks.
The knot to use (because it is easy to undo and redo as needed) is described in 3 of my books because I think it is so useful. “Weaving for Beginners”, Book #2: “Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps”, and Book #3: “Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth”. See the chapter, Two or More Warps in Book #2 for details.
I’m going up the coast to Gualala, CA, for a few days. I love the country-side and ocean so much. Back in time for the SF Opera Opening Night, then back to blogging, I hope to take some pictures of naked ladies (amaryllis) and the surf/coast for future blogs.
My Weaving Apron (click to enlarge)
Here’s my weaving apron. I couldn’t weave without it. The pattern is in my book, Weaving for Beginners, beginning on page 374. I hope you are inspired to invent your own.
The other day a student complained that the boat shuttle I loaned her was too big for the sheds on her table loom. I suggested that she throw the shuttle closer to the heddles and advance the warp often. The reason is that the shed is bigger the closer it is to the heddles (shafts). It’s obvious that the shed is small when it is closer to the fell of the cloth (the place where the last weft is woven).
White Border Too Big (click to enlarge)
I wove what I hoped would be a narrow band to be sort of a border separating parts of my wavy wefts cloth. I used white because that was what the warp is and it would blend in since a lot of white shows in the wavy wefts cloth. I forgot that light colors really advance and actually look larger than darker ones. I made my “border” 2 inches tall–it looked much wider. In fact it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Narrow Borders Look Better
What to do–it came near the beginning of my proposed hanging. Well, since the lam broke, it made me stop and think about it. I cut off what was woven and made narrow hems which look much better. In the illustration the wide border is a little rigged up, but it shows an inch of white. Originally the border was 2″ tall and really looked too big. But that lesson of light colors looking larger really came home to me.
Wavy Wefts, Linen and Silk (click to enlarge)
One of the lams broke! Yesterday my friend beefed up the lams. I am waiting for the glue to dry before proceeding again. There is a lot of pressure on the treadles and thus, the lams. I played with what I had woven already until the loom is fixed and ready to go. It’s a good thing, really, because there was a part I wove that didn’t look good and needed to be removed. At first I thought of unweaving down to the “bad” place. Then I was thinking of cutting the whole piece off and cutting it into parts that I like. I did cut it off and mounted the pink area you see on a card. It can stand alone but could be matted, too.
Wavy Wefts, silk wefts, linen warp (click to enlarge)
The blue part looks very nice, too.
Mechanism for making wavy wefts
Here’s what we did to create the wavy wefts. You can see the dowels woven into the warp behind the heddles (and the maker of the modifications).
New treadles and lams (click to enlarge)
There are 2 new treadles complete with lams.
Wavy Wefts (click to enlarge)
For a long time I’ve been wanting to weave wavy wefts without a fan reed. I have a swatch of curtain fabric, bookmarked pages in two books, and an article by Peter Collingwood. I have an engineering-minded friend who has modified my loom.
Wavy Wefts Detail
This is the first sample to see if it worked. We are thrilled. I hope to weave all afternoon today–hope it looks as good as this first sample. Deatils later.
Why was this lock of hair saved? (click to enlarge)
I am wondering why my box of locks of hair (all labeled on scraps of newspaper) was saved and by whom. They seem to be relatives of my dad. I wonder why they were collected in the first place. In an earlier post I mentioned that one of the newspapers was dated 1872 and that there might be around 40 little packages in the box. Any thoughts? More pictures are on my previous blogs.
pocket for lock of hair (click to enlarge)
I received a comment asking if the pockets were double weave. Here’s my reply:
Yes, double weave. I did the pocket with pick up because I was using only 4 shafts and just wanted to experiment. I used an extremely fine weft for the front of the pocket and a slightly heavier one for the borders–that spaced the fine wefts apart so the name could be seen and the lock of hair. I just made one big pocket so I could manipulate the objects a bit. Picking up the same warps all the time made it easy. Not beating in the fine wefts was tedious, but worth it.
I bought my fine singles wool over-twisted yarns from a shop in London. Try The Handweavers Studio & Gallery. www.handweavers.co.uk.
“Peggy Osterkamp has done more for getting threads on looms than any other person on the planet.”
At Convergence in Albuquerque last summer, Linda Ligon from Interweave Press stopped by my booth and left this message. I was overwhelmed. She said I could pass it along.
What an honor. My book, Weaving for Beginners, had just come out. The previous three books have more reference material–beyond what the beginner needs to know. These are the ones Linda was familiar with.
I got this tonight on Facebook. I’ll have sweet dreams tonight!
“Hi,… Love your books, loaned one to a weaver friend, she has ordered a copy. She showed the book to another weaver in our guild who has also ordered a copy. Looking forward to seeing your new book.”
The new book is Weaving for Beginners
which came out almost a year ago. I’m thrilled with the amount of sales so far.
Balanced and Warp Faced Cloth
Ashenhurt and other sett charts tell you the setts for balanced weaves–where both the warp and the weft show equally. Weavers often don’t want both to show equally, they may want the warp to predominate in some cases, or the weft. Then you adjust the sett from the charts accordingly–more warps per inch (epi) for a warp predominate fabric or fewer epi for a weft predominate cloth. Read more in my new book, Weaving for Beginners, in the chapter on sett. These photos are found on page 277.
Weft Faced Plain Weave Cloth
One reader suggested I talk a bit about sampling. How much to make, wasting “good” yarn, when and why, etc. etc.You can save yourself a lot of heart ache if you make a sample before weaving something and find out that it shrinks too much, or “doesn’t turn out.” You might make a sampler or weave samples. Read below how the two are different.
Beginning Sampler (click to enlarge)
A sampler is generally a warp designed to sample a variety of weaves and ideas. I’m making one in the studio right now. I feel like it’s a big gamble because I don’t know how it will turn out. But because it’s “only a sample”, there is no pressure to make it wonderful (although I hope it will be) and I can be free to try anything. I am not sure about the sett for what I’m visualizing so I need to weave with the sett I decided on and see if it works for me. I am worried that my sett is too open–but I know I can try different techniques (eg.fatter wefts, or beat lighter) if I don’t like the initial look. I can re-sley the reed if necessary. My warp is only 4″ wide so I’m not wasting much yarn–and 3 yards long. I planned the length to try to get a good piece or two after my sampling.
The sampler I have all my beginning weavers make is shown in the illustration and is found beginning on page 93 in Weaving for Beginners.
Sampling: I had a student this week who wanted to make a baby blanket. Since it is a fairly wide project I suggested that she make the warp a little longer and weave a sample at the beginning and cut it off and wash it and be sure it suits her. If it shrinks too much or doesn’t look right. She can then make changes before weaving the entire project without wasting all the yarn and time. Use the two-stick heading from my new book, Weaving for Beginners, to reconnect the warp without wasting yarn to tie the threads back onto the front apron rod. You cannot make a narrow sample and expect the information to directly translate to a wide warp. Since there will be more friction in the reed, the wefts in a wide warp won’t pack down in the same way as for a narrow warp. I suggest allowing 6-8 inches, minimum for the sample. I really like to add an extra yard for sampling. That allows plenty to sample at the beginning and usually there is warp left for me to try out more ideas at the end. (This is when I am the most creative.)
I got the CDs from the photographer today. They are wonderful. I can’t wait to get them in my gallery!
Optical Illusion (click to enlarge)
These three little pieces were in my show. The triangles and rectangles were woven with a simple inlay technique. That is, the yarns for the shapes were on separate bobbins or in butterflies and put into the regular weft sheds where needed. I’ve played with transparency and illusions over the years. It fascinates me.
There is a comment asking for more information and clarification about sett and Ashenhurst and various sett charts in other sources. My reply follows. What do you find confusing about my descriptions in my Book #1, Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle, and in my new book, Weaving for Beginners? Your input will help me address all of this.
Most sett (ends per inch) information is determined by the yarn and the structure. We know twill and plain weave require different setts. When a different weave structure is described, usually the appropriate sett for the structure is given–eg. “use a plain weave sett”, or “use a sett more open than plain weave”. When a sett chart gives 3 setts, two are the usual plain weave and twill which we might think of as medium and close. The third sett may say for lace, but we could also think of it as open. So, for a given yarn you are given 3 options for each yarn–depending upon the weave structure. Ashenhurst offers a way to calculate the sett and gives more specific setts for various purposes. The words, calculation and purpose are the operative words here. A yarn for plain weave for upholstery would require a different (closer) sett than for a delicate shawl. With the three-choices charts, you might choose the open or lace sett for the shawl, but you wouldn’t know what to use for upholstery.
Can anyone help me with my discussion of Ashenhurt? Do you understand what he calls diameters? Where should I start to clear up this important, important subject?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Neal Howard Warp (click to enlarge)
I’m weaving a lovely warp I bought as a kit at Convergence in Albuquerque last summer. It was made by Neal Howard. She dyed three warps and told how to thread them in the heddles to integrate them. Each one is different, so it is great fun to weave along and see the color changes–in one or all of the stripes.
Neal Warp Showing Separate Selvedges
I’m not following her idea–so I’ll report later if my idea for the cloth works out. Dyeing is Neal’s speciality– I bought one of her jackets at the previous Convergence. She offers yarns and woven pieces.
Silk Spools (click on to enlarge)
I have a small collection of the spools that fit my various Japanese spool winders. The dark one on the left goes with the Mingei winder in yesterday’s post. There are two spools that don’t fit any of them.
Very Large Spool
One is huge–18″ high and has fiber wound on it that I think might be wisteria vine thread. I also have a tiny one–about3″ tall. I have no idea whether it is a toy or a real piece of equipment.
Plastic and Wooden Spools
The white one in the picture is plastic and the size of the regular spools–about 5-6″ tall. It comes apart so can be stored as the legs and the center pieces.
You can get croc (crocodile) clips at hardware stores. They are made to clip tarps and are very inexpensive.
Slot and Hole Paddle
For many weavers, “paddle” is a mysterious word. Perhaps they’ve tried and never quite figured out how to make it work. It may have seemed awkward, confusing—but always seductive. How liberating to be able to warp multiple ends at once! But keeping one thread organized and moving freely onto the warping board or reel can be a challenge—how much
All Holes Paddle
more dexterity it must take to manage four or six or a dozen! But that is exactly the advantage of using a paddle. The paddle lets you measure many threads with every pass up and down the board or reel. Becoming proficient with the paddle need not take any special dexterity—in fact, its use has developed precisely because it acts as an extension of your own hand. See the Weaving Tip: Why Use a Paddle?
See Chapter 1: Using a Paddle, in my Book #1, Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle.