Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Saga Continues

My third warp came off great and I would the yarn for the final warp of shawls.  Again, I tried to get the correct number of warps, and again I was wrong.  This time I had about 16 extra warps.
Extra ends from miscounting
I don't know what my problem has been with this dummy warp (a bit of a dummy myself?), but I was careful and did not cut this bunch of yarn, I was able to wind it back up on bobbins and used it for the weft.  (There is another tale, 5 yards of warp on the floor and me walking back and forth trying to save it.)

This fawn, alpaca and silk yarn is wonderful.  It weaves up easily and it looks great.
Beautiful Huck Lace Pattern

The family took a couple of days to go to St. George in Southern Utah.  The reason for the trip was a photo taken by my DS was accepted in the National Parks show down there.  It is a beautiful picture of the Madison River in Yellowstone.  I was so proud of him.  There were no pictures allowed in the museum, I tried to sneak one...but my DH was not pleased so...no picture.

The next morning my DS went out before dawn to get pictures of Snow Canyon.  He came back and after breakfast and checkout, we headed up there for a look.  We managed one short hike in the shade (temperatures were up to 102 degrees--about 39C) so it was a short hike.
Reading the Pioneer Inscription
I think "Auto-correct" upped the color a little too much, but that area is beautiful and it restored my soul to be in the Red Rock country.  

And I love taking pictures of my children.

A student told me about the upper section of the canyon, up there the sandstone is the white Navajo layer and very different.  There is a large amphitheater,  but it was about a mile walk and in the heat...only my son went out.

The amphitheater is on the right,
When my son came back, he said it was beautiful, but the heat reflecting up from the white rock was hotter than the sun beating down on him.  But he said we MUST come back in the fall or spring when the temperatures are cooler and we will all get to see it.

Back home on the loom, I decided to re-thread the dummy warp to a straight draw and make it narrower for the warps of scarves.  I have been wanting to do pinwheels since I took a workshop and I decided that I would do it on the first warp for scarves.  Since it is faster to wind two threads at a time on the warping board, and I need the same number of black and white warp ends...I just wound them double.  

Two threads at a time cut the time in half!

When I tied the warp ends to the dummy warp, I pulled the first eight black threads out of the cross and tied them on.  That left eight white threads ready to tie next.
Tie on 8 black, then 8 white across the warp.
This gave me a striped warp.

And, wow, those pinwheels are dramatic.
I did a second pinwheel using the fawn with the white and got a very different look, the last scarf was a black twill stripe.  Sorry I did not get pictures of these on the loom.

Then I took another little break from the loom.  My sibs and I were responsible for the Family Reunion with my Dad's family.  We spent some time getting addresses and email addresses for extended family members and I hope we contacted most of the local family to attend.  It was great to see the family and to hear family stories about my Dad and his brothers.  
Here is Mom and her five children
Mom and my Aunt were the only two left from Dad's generation (Mom is 90 and her sister-in-law will be turning 91),  

We set up a photo space and provided some "props" to liven up the pictures.  

We even had the "Sawdust Scramble."  This is a big pile of sawdust with candy and quarters thrown in for the kids to "scramble" and find it.  I remember doing this one when I was a child...our family has been doing this for a long time.  I even heard the same remarks that I made as a child..."I got sawdust in my eyes."  We do prevent any throwing of sawdust so there is not many complaints and all the kids (big and small) got their share.  The organizer set up time limits for the various age groups so it was a big success.

Final scramble with all ages included.

I think it was a great day and I really enjoyed seeing the family.  I still want to get a few more email addresses to be able to pass on the list to the group doing the next reunion.

Back home on the loom I measured the next warp.  YEAH!  I managed to count correctly on this warp and I feel better about my math skills.
Second scarf warp
This second warp is a simple stripe with that wonderful fawn colored yarn.  I want to try a couple of eight shaft twill patterns on it.  

I started with the eight cones of yarn that are currently my heading picture.  I have been using them pretty evenly, but with this warp I emptied the third cone.  This is great, I am getting closer to the end of this commission.

Oh, and I finished the rugs that I was warping on the last post, that is for this commission also.  I will need to get a picture of them.  I still need to stitch and hem them.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Saga of the Dummy Warp

You saw the mess of the dummy warp last post.  It did really wind on easily, 8/4 cotton is an easy yarn to use.  My problems started coming up after the warp was wound and I checked the threading and reed.  First I saw that I had missed a dent...easy fix.  But as I was lifting some of the shafts to check the threading, I noticed three pairs of threads lifting instead of two pairs.  (This is a six block, eight shaft, huck lace and the pattern threads lift up in pairs).  When I checked, I could see I had threaded block 7, then block 8 then, then block 7 two times.  That is why I was 5 threads short at the end of threading.  I pulled that end of the warp out of the reed, it was less than a fourth of the width, and rethreaded the pattern.

I had the alpaca warp wound and I was excited to get it on the loom.  
Tying on the first warp
Unfortunately, I had not counted the warp threads right and I had 11 threads more than I should have...Oh well, I will use them on the third warp that is also white.  I wove the header and checked the pattern, somehow I had missed tying two threads, I only had a block of three threads instead of the five threads required...there were two of the extra eleven!   I put those two threads through the heddles and weighted them to hang off the back of the loom.  I resleyed the reed and checked again.  This time I had put those two threads on shaft 2 instead of shaft 7 and I was only getting plain weave.  I spent some time repairing that and finally got on to the weaving.
First shawl in Huck
The weaving was easy and pleasant, I finished a shawl a day...not as fast as I should be, but better than I have been for a while.

But I was still wondering if the dummy warp was doing any good with making things faster, especially after the many corrections and rethreading that I had to do.  For the second warp, I decided to watch the tying on in front better.  I decided to just tie four ends at a time.  That was a good number to have me double check my progress.
Four and four, I should be able to keep track of that
And the four threads made a good group to tighten.  I pulled each group of four to check the knots.
Checking the strength of the knots
This time I did not miss any knots, I was one thread short, but added that easily.  (I do have trouble counting!)  I timed myself on the knot tying, on the first I managed to tie 44 knots in 30 minutes--that was not good at all.  On the second warp, I was tying 96 in 30 minutes, so I decided that the prethreaded dummy warp was saving some time.
Second warp with knots ready to pull through.
I eased the knots through the reed and the heddles.  I only took a few minutes and I had no problems with tangling or knots slipping.
Hemstitching the second shawl on the second warp
The black warp was hard to see the first pattern, but the second one in the picture was a quick and easy to weave.  The small amount of silk in the yarn gives this piece a little bit of a shine and I think will make a couple of great shawls.

I had to spend some time at the craft house studio, so while I was there I wound a warp for a couple of rugs.  Since I have not finished the piece on my Macomber, I need to use the Macomber at the studio.  Since I have a class using that loom starting the 21st of July, I need to get weaving.
Sectional warping a small warp
The warp was short, only 7 yards, but because I had enough cones, it was faster to sectional warp, besides there was a student that wanted to see sectional warping in action.
Because I was talking and not paying attention when I cut off one section I cut two warp ends on the beam...(*&#$@*&).  
Two cut ends with temporary repair

I used some carpet warp to tie the ends together while I wound the warp forward to thread the loom.  I will add two weighted ends when I tie on.  I will probably make them long enough for one rug, then tie the original warps back in for the second rug...I do not want a repair in the rug!
Threading the heddles
I got the rug warp threaded and sleyed through the reed between helping my students...I will probably go in Tuesday (not during studio hours) to repair the two and get the rug started.  I already graphed out how I will stripe the first rug.

Back home last night and today, I put on the third warp and wove the first shawl on that warp.  I used the extra 9 ends from the first white warp...but somehow I was two warp ends short.  Well, better to have too few than to have too many and I could easily wind two ends to tie on the dummy.
Again, not able to count...two threads short
I wove up the first shawl and I love the pattern.  I seem to really like the diamond shapes, I was thinking of trying a square based pattern for the second shawl on this warp.  We'll see how that works.
Beautiful pattern on shawl 3a