Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Days Fly as Fast as a Weaver's Shuttle

Don't I wish my shuttles were flying fast!  

I think I have finally gotten over the stress of my DH's health.  It really hit me harder than I though and it has taken longer than I though to get back up to speed.  I still am not able to get to the gym, but I have started walking around the neighborhood in the mornings.  It is hard on my knees.  They should be doing better after I have been walking for a couple of weeks.  I am trying to take boron to see if I can get the arthritis pain down and the bones stronger. 

I have really enjoyed the spring flowers and the blooming trees.  We planed a crab apple in the front yard and it is beautiful this year.  The buds were so red and the blossoms opened to white.
Sargentina Crab Apple
Today when I looked at the tree, the blossoms seemed to be turning to a yellow gold.  The blossoms are already going, not quite the "rusting" color that my Mom's tree used to get after a rain.  I will have to get a picture tomorrow!

I managed to empty a couple of looms and warp up four.  The first I emptied was the Dorothy.  I got the Swedish Art weave sample off the loom.  I ended up with four panels and I will apply them to some pillow tops.
Unfinished ends but off the loom
I need to stitch the ends to stabilize them, the hot turquoise header at one end looks wrong.  It is nice to have the Dorothy empty.  But after all the work upgrading the levers on it, I do not want to sell her yet.  I know that I will not use it as much now that I have the Woolhouse, but it is twelve shafts...

I warped up the Woolhouse with 5/2 pearl in a corkscrew pattern for the Robyn Spady workshop.  I still do not like the corkscrew that much, it seems so stiff.  It may make a good bag, but do I want that much pattern on one?  I was thrilled that the warp got finished and I did not bring home a warp (another loom emptied)!  But some of the other structures that we did are more interesting to me.  

I am very interested in trying bead leno.  I would like to make it two or three blocks of leno, but what product.  Scarves?  Shawls?  

I also liked the networked pattern.  I now understand the method of making the structure, but I need to get used to a computer program so that I can explore the structure before I put it on the loom.  

After taking the workshop for the second time, I think I am interested in Beiderwand.  With only sixteen shafts, my designs need to be simple, but I like the idea of an overall design, not sections of design.  Anyway, it has possibilities.

I threaded a Bronson lace pattern for a sample in my Summer and Winter class.  I did not get my sample done before the students started weaving on it, but I am interested in doing some blocks of lace.  The interesting part is that I put some color stripes in it.  Usually, I think of lace in one color...this is a good improvement for me.  Now I will have a block of lace in the white section and a block of lace in the striped section.
Warp for Bronson Lace

I warped a long length on my Rigid Heddle loom.  This is an old Schacht loom and I had a woodworker make an adaptation for me so that I can use two heddles.  I want to teach a class in two heddles, and I had some students ask about double weave on the Rigid Heddle loom.  Funny, the only reason I wanted two heddles was to increase the density and make it easier to use finer threads.  
I warped up some napkins in doubled 8/2.  I am weaving the first couple off for a class sample for plain weave (using a single thread in the weft).  I plan to have three other samples off this warp.  One with the same half basket, the next with basket weave,  then I will resley with a second heddle to show the different hand with the warp and weft single.  It should be a good example of changes in density, but I am still not at weaving double weave.  I have some cotton that I wanted to make a large table mat.  I was going to sew two panels together, maybe I should try it double width...
When I threaded the RH loom, I did direct warping, but I attached a warp board to make the warp longer.  It is easy to find space to do a warp that is only a couple of yards long, but harder to find a place to do a 3 to 5 yard long direct warp.
Direct warping with a warping board
I used zip ties to attach the warp board to the front of the rigid heddle loom, than I started threading through the heddle, in this case two ends through each slot and eye.  I pulled the loop the same as usual, but wound it on the board to get a longer warp in a shorter space.

I used rubber bands to hold the apron rod to the heddle, and I tied a red marker each place where I needed to make the color changes for the warp.
Red ties on the heddle for the color changes.
It really went pretty fast and I managed to use more of that pink yarn.  (I think I finally found a project to finish it off!  More on that in a future message.)  

I ties several "choke-ties" to keep the warp tidy and then I wound the warp on.  

This ended up being a good way to make a longer warp on the rigid heddle.  Using zip ties to hold the warp board to the loom, was much better than the rubber bands and string ties that I tried before.

My last warp is a run of alpaca scarves.  This is some local mill spun yarn.  All the yarn is the same beautiful rag, so it is hard to see the pattern.  I have been doing an eight shaft point twill and I hope that the subtle pattern will show when they are washed.  I have five scarves on this warp and I hope to put on a second warp of five narrow scarves tomorrow.  (I am half way through the last of five on this warp.)
I hope the pattern shows up more when it is off the loom and washed
So there is my work, four looms warped, and two emptied.   I hope to empty the scarf loom and re-warp tomorrow.  And I am on the second napkin/sample on the rigid heddle so I am over a third done on it.   The Bronson will take more time...I need to re-do the tie up and to weave my design.