summer flowers

summer flowers

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Teaching and Warping

A friend of mine was not able to take a private lesson last week, and I was able to fill in.  The student was interested in getting back into weaving and improving her warping.  So in our class, she warped my Baby Mac three times in three days.  She also wound on a 6 yard hairy linen/cotton slub yarn on my Big Mac and I warped a towel warp on the Baby Wolf to use for weaving and tension correction helps.

I wove the first warp that night after she left for the day.  It was a short warp for a runner.  (She was not interested in getting a project out of the lessons, she just wanted to improve her process.)   I wove a table mat to go in the kitchen.

Table mat woven but not washed.              

Third warp for a one strip bag.

The second warp was narrow and long.  I just took it off the loom after the lesson was over, there wasn't time to weave it.  I will put it back on later to weave.  The third warp was also narrow and long.  I want to try to make the one strip bag from  She has a great little bag that she folds so that there is no cutting.  I have been interested in that bag for a while but I did not have a strip of weaving to try it.  These pieces may be a little stiff because I was using 3/2 pearl cotton for these warps.  We will have to see what happens.

The warp on my Baby Wolf is a UFO, one of the "100 projects to finish"!  I am thrilled to get it on a loom to weave.  It is a fairly easy weave.  The worse part is the single shot of boucle that I have to weave every 20 or 24 shots.  You can see the shredded and tucked in ends on the left in the picture.  I usually trim 3 or 4 at a time.  After I weave the towels on this warp, I am going to tie on a green warp and do the companion towel.

This pattern is from an old Finnish weaving book that I have.  The lace blocks were only about a half inch in the book, because the structure is for a summer dress fabric.  I enlarged both the size of the blocks and the size of the yarn.  The structure ends up being a 3 thread huck lace.

The last warp is on the Big Mac, and is another UFO and "100 projects".  It is another towel.  This towel is just plain weave with stripes of painted warp.  I painted yarn for the stripes about 3 years (or more) ago...
Winding on the warp with a raddle.

Weaving the towels.

Repairing a knot in the warp.

I noticed a knot in the painted warp, and I always paint a couple of extra warps for repairs.  I pinned in the extra warp about an inch and a half before the knot and wove until it was about an inch and a half past the knot.  I put a small safety pin in the selvedge to mark the knot so that I can cut it out when the towels are off the loom.  This way, you will hardly be able to see the repair and I will not have a knot in the weaving.

Tonight when I walked upstairs and looked out the window I saw a beautiful sunset. 

Nice way to end the day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Emptied a Couple of Looms

I have been getting a lot of weaving done, but only on a couple of the looms.  Unfortunately, the Dorothy and the Baby Mac are still waiting.  I need to work on them this week to clear out some space for the holidays.

On the Baby Wolf, the dummy warp held up well and I managed to get 12 warps tied on and woven off.  I did two scarves on each warp. Because I had small amounts of each color, I needed to put on many small warps instead of one long one.  But that way I got a lot of different colored and designed scarves.   It was fun to design to fit the colors and yarns that I had.  One series was in natural alpaca colors and I wove about 12 scarves.

This picture shows a nice selection of the natural colored scarves.  I wove a short length, for under a coat,  and a longer length, to tie fancier knots.

The colored scarves also came in two lengths (I call them men's (short) and women's (long).  Although anyone can wear them,  I guess I call the short one men's because that is the way my husband likes to wear his scarves and I like to loop mine around a couple of times so I need a longer scarf. 

The Baby Wolf is now empty, but I want to put a Christmas towel on this week.  I don't plan on finishing it for Christmas, but I just want to weave one of the projects that have been sitting around for years waiting for me.

I wove off the shawl for me on the Bag Mac, but I have not gotten around to twisting the fringe or anything.  I just wove it off, folded it into a bag  and put on 20 yards of rug warp to weave rugs. 

I had not put on a "sectional" warp for a long time.  In fact, I'm sure this is the first one that I have put on this loom.  (I did quite a few on my old loom, but not as many really long warps since I got this loom.)  Needless to say, I had some problems.  It seems I am still not able to count!  It looks like I wound different amounts in each section.  I was trying to wind 27 wraps on each section (my beam is 3/4 yard in diameter).  Oh well, at least I got the rugs all done and did not have to re-warp to finish.
The first section ran out at the end of the eighth rug.  Since rug #9 was leftovers, I only wove a 2' x 4' rug, so I pulled out that section and several others on the two selvedges.  But as you can see from the picture by time I was done with the ninth rug, my poorly measured sections really showed.

In weaving the rugs, the Macomber is a heavy loom, but I ended up adding weight to the beater so that the loom worked harder and I did not have to.  I wrapped five pound ankle weights on each end of the beater.
I think that my looms have used the weights more than I ever used them for exercising.

Because the rugs were so thick, I could only weave two rugs before the cloth beam was full.  It was almost touching the shafts.
There is only about an inch between the rugs and the shafts, not enough for a third rug.  I did not want to waste warp on tying knots, so I glued a dowel on the warp, cut in front of the dowel and then laced the dowel onto the cloth beam rod.  That way I only lost a couple of inches at each cut, and maintained the tension.
  Above you can see the black/tan yarn for the hem, then blue and white waste yarn, the dowel and then purple and white waste, ready to cut then start the hem for the next rug.  I put white glue in a double row about an inch from the hem.  When it is dry I cut between the two rows of glue and lace the dowel on.

I managed to get 9 rugs woven with the materials provided by the spinners and got them in the mail to the owner to give as Christmas presents.  This is the heavy corespun llama/alpaca fiber from the growers that Spinderella spins up and I am weaving rugs for her.

This series was for 3' x 5' rugs.  There are 8 rugs that size and a bonus rug that I made from the leftovers of the "bumps".  (The yarn comes in bumps of about 200 yards.)

Here is a picture that I took of the group of rugs.

I was really pleased with the rugs.  When there was 2 or more "bumps", I wove a solid colored rug.  Then, I started designing stripes with the remaining colors.  I love the shaded colors like the third rug from the left.  The fleece was different shades of color and when it was spun there were changes in the colors.  This gives the rug a shaded effect. 

I also liked a couple of the striped rugs.  The main color on this one was a larger bump, so I just added the dark stripes from what was leftover from the dark stripe rug.  

A couple of times I mis-figured the amount of yarn for one stripe rug and used the remainder on another rug.

It was a nice weaving experience and I hope I will get to do it again for another fiber grower.