summer flowers

summer flowers

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and warp yarn that does not work

I wove a scarf with a sock yarn. It was a beautiful yarn with no color repeat in the skein, singles yarn and soft,...Too soft. The color stripe was beautiful but by time I was on the last 3 inches the yarn was shredding, no just on the edges! I ended up weaving the last part with a needle and weft yarn, because the warp could not stand to open a shed with the shafts.

Obviously a bad choice for a warp yarn, but I was so excited about the colors that I had wound another warp before I got to the problems with the first one. So now, I have a new problem warp to put on and I am not sure how to help it out. I did soak it in a gelatin bath to try to give it some strength, but I mostly noticed stiffening on the cotton ties and not on the wool yarn. Maybe I can get a flax seed gel made and use that to "paint" the warp on the loom.

I am also going to try denting the yarn different. Instead of a single dent in a 15 dent read, I am going to try a triple dent in a 5 dent reed. I think I have one that will fit this loom. (If not I can double dent in an 8 dent reed, but that would make the scarf narrower.) I will be checking the warp more often in the back of the shafts to keep an eye on the twist. (I guess if I really wanted to continue weaving with this yarn as a warp, I could re-twist it, but that seems a bit extreme even for a wonderful yarn.)

I had thought that this great variation and the color-line of the yarn would be really easy scarves for sales (a new goal of mine), but with all the additional work required that puts the price up too high. It is fun to see them though, I will probably knit me something with the yarn to enjoy the color changes as I go.

I will sley the reed today and hopefully have some pictures and good news for tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Isn't the way it always goes....

I found a great tool and then when I tell everyone about it, the company stops carrying it.

On Weave-tech, there was an entry with someone showing the great tool she found in a Japanese office supply store. She used it to hold the heddles out of the way on the shafts. I thought it looked great, but didn't know of any Japanese office supply stores near me. So I went on a quest to find an equally great tool in my area. After checking several office supply stores, I found it.

This is a binder clip that fits on the metal heddle rods on all my looms. It's easy to put on and take off with the application tool and the clips are reusable.

I bought several and told all my weaver friends, then several weeks later I went back and found that the store didn't carry them any more...

It is such a great tool to use. You just load the clips in the applicator, then use it to put them on each heddle. The clips hold tight and they do not interfere with the movement of the shafts. They come off easily and then can be reloaded in the applicator and used again. Now I need to find another source of this tool so that I can pass the information around.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rose hips, fall 2009, Alpine Loop.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What the hell happened?

I was weaving on the tea towels, and every thing was going great. I wove the first section where I was testing the color of the wefts. I confirmed the colors that I thought I would use for the towels that I am giving as gifts, and found a nice neutral for the towel that will be an example in the Beginning Weaving class.

I was about half way through the weaving for the first towel and the tension on about an inch of the warp on the left side gave way. I wound the warp forward until the woven part was at the cloth beam and tightened, but that did not make any difference.

I went looking for weights to hang on that section, so it would be tight enough that I could finish weaving the towel. I knew that I could correct the warp at the cutting line between the first two towels. I found a collection of washers and C-clamps that added up to enough weight to continue weaving.

I finished weaving the first towel and the fine thread for the hem. At this point I removed the weights from the back of the loom and pulled the loose threads forward. I tied a waste thread around them and pined them very tightly to the finished towel so I could even out the tension across the warp. I started weaving again and it is going well, again. I guess I will remove the pin from the warp when it gets to the cloth beam. I hope that the remainder to the warp holds tension.

The towels are a little out of my color comfort zone, but they will please the recipient.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent calendar

I got the advent calender up only a few days late this year. I made the calendar when the kids were small so it's felt and unbreakable. I get such pleasure unwrapping all the little figures each year. It's fun to see it up again.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I wove napkins for our guild exchange. I was late getting the warp on (but from what I heard from the other weavers at the exchange, I was not that late!), so I didn't do a sample to test the sett. I ended up beating extremely hard and I could still not square up the design perfectly. I was beating so hard that I developed an upper arm pain and have been doing exercises to help it. Maybe I messed up the rotor cuff again, that is what the pain feels like. The nurse at work said to baby it a while. Well, I have put off weaving for a few weeks, but today put on a new warp. Winding the warp was hard, I had to give it a rest several times... that right arm is still tender. Anyway, I will try to put a picture of the towels in the colors I wove.

Monday, December 7, 2009

trying something new

I have been wanting to start a blog, but not sure if I am going to have time to do it. I guess the only way to find out is to start.