Sett (ends per inch) and Ashenhurst

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.

I am Weaving–Hooray!

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.

Japanese Spool Collection

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.

Japanese Spool Winders

Old Japanese Spool Winder (click to enlarge)

I have had this old spool winder for years–but the arm to guide the thread onto the spool was missing.

New Arm on Old Winder

A friend made a new arm complete with tiny wooden pegs to attach it. When I bought it I loved all the gears. I tried to use it a few years ago, but without the guiding arm it was almost impossibly tedious to both turn the crank and guide the silk onto the spool.

New Spool Winder

So, I bought a new one from Habu Textiles in New York. It’s that winder I used for the skein that took a month to spool off. (see previous post) In the end, I sent the remaining skeins to Habu to spool off. I have several old wooden spools. they look lovely with silk thread wound on them just as they are.

Blue Indigo Weaving

Blue Indigo

This is one of the pieces in my show. It is linen ikat dyed with indigo. The warps were tied and dyed (called warp ikat) in the borders. The center is weft ikat. The patterns in the weft ikat are were simply made by one or two ties on the skeins of weft thread. In other words, the length of each weft was determined by a few inches of weaving. Then small skeins of weft yarn were made to be the same length as the wefts. A few ties were made on the skeins that resisted the dye when the skeins were immersed in the dye. Where the ties were remained white while the rest of the yarn became blue. Each section was woven with a skein tied in a different way to create the different patterns.

My New Old Studio

Here are photos of the “new” old space.

studio to the back wall (click to enlarge)

I’m thrilled with it. There are things yet to put away (the difficult things), but I began

Studio to window

putting a warp on the loom over the weekend. How nice it is to have my hands

Studio, right wall

on the threads and be threading heddles again.

It’s nice to have my work on the walls, too.

A Video About Me, sort of

Check out this video–I am thrilled with it.
http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2011/03/04/what-is-energized-yarn.aspx Click on “What is energized yarn?” and scroll down to the You Tube video.

I loved working with Kathryn Alexander and in this video she tells about working with me. The thread she spun for me that she talks about was really fine and fragile. She was sure that I couldn’t weave with it and that I would be mad at her. But I did–warping “back-to-front”, of course. I wanted to test my warping process with the most fragile thread I could find, so that’s why I asked her to spin some for me.

Pink Creature (click on to enlarge)

She calls the yarns “energized” I call them overtwisted. These  yarns are what I’ve used for collapse weaving where the cloth puckers. Search  for “Pink Creature” to read my post about it. This is one of my favorite collapse pieces. There is also a picture in the post of the cloth after woven but before washing.

http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2011/03/04/what-is-energized-yarn.aspx

Empty Teaching Studio

Empty studio used for photo shoot

Monday was the last day in the old teaching studio. I had a big photo shoot of much of my work while the space was empty. It was a good way to end that era and begin the next. Photos of the “new” space in a future post.

More of the photo shootIt was a grand way to close the studio. Photos of the "new" space in a future post.

Sheds Too Small?

One 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). A made this into the weaving tip: Sheds Too Small.

Weights and Croc Clips, Continued

Croc Clips (click on to enlarge)

Here is a welcome response to my post about how much weight to use for using croc clips instead of a temple to hold out the width of the warp. You can read a summary of  my post, below. Read more about temples in the tip section.  The illustration here  is from “Weaving for Beginners” on page 312.

Thank you so much! I have 3 lbs on each side right now, weaving with JaggerSpun Zephyr. It seems to be just right. I started with a temple, but it is one of the new Glimakra ones, these have mean thick teeth that no matter what seem to damage the cloth. The older ones have nice small teeth that cause no damage. That is why I am using the clips. I was uncertain, it was working, but…..was it right? Now I know it is for sure. thanks again!

Here’s a summary of my post.
“I have a question on the weight to put when using the crocodile clamps in place of a temple. …”
I’m not sure of an amount of weight to tell you. You want plenty of weight, that’s for sure–probably more than a pound on each side. What you want to achieve is to have the warp spread out to the width it is in the reed. You need whatever it takes to accomplish that. So much depends on the situation, such as, how wide is the warp and how much does the cloth draw in? I have a lot to say about draw-in in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners“–over 12 entries in the index.  (Too much tension on the warp can cause too much draw-in, for example.)
A weaving friend suggested that if you have a very wide warp it probably would be better to use an actual temple to be strong enough to hold out the warp wide enough. (There is a limit to the amount of weight croc clips can hold.)

better to use an actual temple to be strong enough to hold out the warp wide enough. (There is a limit to the amount of weight croc clips can hold.)

How Much Weight for Croc Clips?

I received this question. “I have a question on the weight to put when using the crocodile clamps in place of a temple. I heard once it should be at least a pound on each side. Is this so? I have used fishing weights and it does not work, I know it needs more than that, but how much?”

Here are my thoughts. Does anyone have more information to tell us?

I’m not sure of an amount of weight to tell you. You want plenty of weight, that’s for sure–probably more than a pound on each side. What you want to achieve is to have the warp spread out to the width it is in the reed. You need whatever it takes to accomplish that. So much depends on the situation, such as, how wide is the warp and how much does the cloth draw in? I have a lot to say about draw-in in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners“–over 12 entries in the index.  (Too much tension on the warp can cause too much draw-in, for example.)
A weaving friend suggested that if you have a very wide warp it probably would be better to use an actual temple to be strong enough to hold out the warp wide enough. (There is a limit to the amount of weight croc clips can hold.)

Think about Ashenhurst’s Rule

I use Ashenhurst’s rule to take the mystery out of sett (warp or weft-wise). Check this out in my Book #1, Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle” and also in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners“. In both books I’ve devoted a chapter to determining the ends per inch (epi) or sett. Book #1 has more details. In upcoming posts I hope to explain it and say why it’s so very, very useful. If you can read the book(s), you’ll be ahead of the game.  I’m swamped with getting my room in my studio emptied–more about sett next week or so.

A Home for the Curtain Stretcher

A home was immediately found for the curtain stretcher! I couldn’t bear it just going out there to anyone. We call yarn and stuff like I’m giving away, “dead weaver’s yarn”. I’m glad I could pass on so much on my own steam. Today I took a workshop about silk–degumming and shrinking with overtwist yarns. It inspired me greatly. I’m glad I kept some of my overtwist yarn–but I gave away pounds of it. People were astounded that I wove my own cloth! I showed them the photos that are in the blog’s gallery. I know the silk in those pieces collapses a lot–so that with degumming and resisting parts of the cloth by clamping, I’ve got a lot of ideas swirling around in my head.

An Old Curtain Stretcher

Today while cleaning out my studio I found an old fashion curtain stretcher that I think my aunt used to use. I hate to part with it, but I only used it a few times many years ago, so it must get passed on. It has wooden “sticks” that unfold to form a big rectangle the size of a curtain. The whole thing stands up (wobbly) or leans against a wall. There are pins on all four sides. I used it when stretching and drying some large pieces  I did when I was beginning to weave. There is something else–sticks that make a frame and some metal rods–perhaps it is an upright quilting frame. It is going out into the world, too. I used it once–perhaps to stitch hems on a piece, I can’t remember exactly.

Warping Paddles

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.

Rigid Heddle Loom Weaving

Rigid Heddle Loom (click to enlarge)

Do you know that there is a whole chapter on rigid heddle weaving in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners”? These looms are very popular with knitters and would-be weavers. I’m mentioning it because a friend told me he had gotten a rigid heddle loom and hadn’t realized I had included it in my book. Also, I want you to know it so can have it in mind so you can recommend it to others.
They are really fun to use! Warping takes minutes instead of hours or days.

Fan Reed Solution

Fan reed

I decided that the way straight wefts could be woven with the fan reed is to have the middle of the reed be in place when the wefts should be straight. Moving the reed up and down during weaving will make the

Obi woven with fan reed (click to enlarge)

wefts wavy. Any thoughts?

A Weaving Teacher’s Happy Day

Double Weave: Two Separate Layers (click to enlarge)

Today a weaver (former student) and a student (a super beginner) came to see my show. The now-weaver, former student brought me wonderfully gorgeous things he had made! Was I ever proud! What pleases me greatly about being a weaving teacher is that none of the students’ work ever looks anything like what I weave. Each one does interesting and original projects. That is thrilling.
Now he is learning double weave and I wondered if he had read my chapter about it. He hadn’t realized it was in my new book, Weaving for Beginners. I always loved to teach double weave to what I called, “virgins”. I wanted to be the one who introduced them to the subject. See my tip about double weave.

Doubling Stand

My other visitor is a motivated “beginner”. She bought a small floor loom that I found in a second hand store. Today she went home with some of my “stash”–it was wonderful to find such a good home for my extra equipment. I gave her a warping board, an electric bobbin winder, a wooden swift, a ball winder and best of all–a doubling stand. I think two boat shuttles went home with her after her previous lesson.  See the tip about the doubling stand.

A Weaver’s Stash

I got an email  from a weaver with too many books who hoped that my books were available in PDF format. When I replied that they weren’t she answered, “I think I’m probably just going to have to shuffle up some space on the bookshelves and hope my husband doesn’t notice!”

Before my divorce 11 years ago, I hid a warping reel in our guest room shower stall. Whenever we had a guest, I would sneak  it over to my neighbor’s garage. This week some of you know that I am emptying 1 of my 2 studio rooms and by now I’ve given away over 500 pounds of yarn. And today, some equipment went—I found about 5 or 6 temples stashed away! I think it will feel so good when I get settled into my one room with just the yarns and tools  (and looms) that I think I’ll really use (and those that I couldn’t part with yet!). I hope I don’t have to sort through the books  just now. I’m embarrassed to tell people how much stuff I had stashed away–but many say that they, too, have big stashes!

PS There are “before” photos of my two rooms on my blog posted on January 28th. 

A Review of My Weaving Show

Silk Pieces in my show (click to enlarge)

Here is a review of my show which goes until February 13, 2011 at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae, California. This is just what I would want a reviewer to say. You can see more of the silk pieces in the blog gallery.

“Many a critic has discussed where the line is drawn between art and craft.  Peggy Osterkamp has crossed that line into the arts in her current show at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae. Her work ranges from richly textured, tapestry-like hangings to “critters” fashioned from her woven pieces immersed in water to shrink them into whimsical little pieces, to soft, pale, gossamer pieces which seem to float on the wall.

Small Pieces Mounted in Plexi boxes

Peggy’s reputation as a teacher and author of numerous books on weaving is enhanced by her skill as a fine artist, and we look forward to more of her magnificent creations.”

I’m Still Teaching Weaving

Someone wrote to ask if I was giving up teaching weaving when I give up one room of my studio. I still teach privately in my weaving studio. There is still space for that. I love seeing people one-on-one. When I retired I decided a book for beginners was necessary for my good methods to get out to potential weavers. My new book, Weaving for Beginners, came out mid June and has been a huge success. I’m hoping that it along with my other three books will take the place of my teaching classes and workshops. Also, my DVD on setting up the loom is helpful. So, you see, you can not have me and have me, too. See descriptions of all my books and DVD here on the blog or order on my web site: http://www.weaving.cc. Let me know if these suit you. PS There are two  wonderful reviews of my new book here on the blog. Use the Search button to find them.