summer flowers

summer flowers

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yes, and How are the looms doing?

I have been getting some weaving done.  It was nice to have the warp-weighted looms picked up, cleared out the garage and tidied up the PCH studio.
The three finished looms.
I hope they all work out well for the movie scenes.  I did get an email that the designer was pleased with them.

I have also been having a lot of fun with the little Cricket loom.  I got the Dogwood Runner off, but I still need to hem it.  I decided to put on as big of a warp that I felt the loom could handle.  It is 15" wide and 5 yards long.
Threaded full width
Wound a very full warp beam
I used the cotton/rayon slub that I used for the summer scarves last year, here

but because it is so fine, I doubled it in all the eyes on the reed.  I then wound leftover yarns in the denim color range for all the slots.  Because the leftover yarns are thicker, I chose to put them in the slots.

Weaving is going well the fabric looks good.  Will I have enough for a simple jacket?

Close-up of the weave
Although I wound the warp very carefully, the slot yarns (the thicker ones) seemed loose, and the more I wove the looser they got.  Maybe those yarns have more stretch than the cotton/rayon slub.  I have added a cardboard filler on the back beam, but I will probably have to weight a stick on the warp beam before I finish weaving the warp, I think I have only woven about one yard...I was so excited to get weaving I didn't put a tape measure to check...maybe I can still add it.

Rolled cardboard added to help get a clean shed

The blanket on the Leclerc 60" loom is actually weaving up well!  I was surprised how quickly I went from throwing the shuttle across the room, to just throwing it to the opposite edge of the warp.  I still slide pretty fast across the beam to catch the shuttle, but it is not as hard as it was when I started.

But now when I look at the piece, the squares are "square".  This yarn will probably take-up a lot, because it is a knitting worsted, so by blocks will shrink to flat rectangles.  Oh well, at least I am learning to weave on this loom and the parts I replaced are working well.

The two looms that had crackle samples on them, also got woven off .  The samples turned out fine, but I am still questioning my skill and knowledge of crackle.  I need to do some more work on it.
I tried several versions of crackle.  This sample shows the traditional (overshot style), classical style (with no tabby) and classical style with three colors.  Previously I had only woven it overshot fashion.  I really like the three color weaving, it has lots of room to explore.  Wilson's book is great with this and I want to work through more of her examples.

And here is a sample woven in several versions of "Italian fashion".  I found several different versions of "Italian fashion" in several books and wove them to compare.  Interesting, and it answered a question I ran into reading a new crackle book.  "Why is my Italian Fashion different from yours?"  I guess there have been a number of interpretations of this lifting method and all of them are interesting.  I tried two of them with three colors and with two colors.

I have been fascinated with the Italian fashion as explained by Mary M. Atwater.  She talks about dissecting a towel from Italy and getting the treadling.  When I reread the information in the Shuttlecraft book, it states that the towel was all white and in a "soft" cotton.  So I tried it all in white and then in white and colored to see the pattern better.

My sampler uses much thicker yarn than she probably used, but I think the ratio is pretty good for the warp I had on the loom.

I feel like I need to explore crackle more.  I really want to put it on more than 4 shafts and I have been reading information about the crackle study group in Complex Weavers.  I will probably have to borrow their samples sometime in the future.  For now I need to get my crackle notes is better order and work on the possibility of a future class.

We I did get some weaving done, and I did empty some looms, but I also warped the looms again and am trying to figure what I want to do.  The Big Mac and the Baby Wolf have not been touched and I really need to clean up around them so I can get weaving.  I am teaching less this summer so maybe I can get more of my weaving done.

Thanks to my doctor visit and some changes in prescriptions and eating habits, I seem to be sleeping better and getting more done during the day...not napping as much.  I hope that continues to improve and I continue to get more energy for the things around me and my craft.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

June was a very busy month

It seems like June just flew by.  I had so many deadlines and some travels so I never took time to write anything down.  

I finished up my Rigid Heddle classes for the season, I'll will have to think about scheduling the fall classes later! 
 For my final warping demonstration on the Cricket Loom, I decided to see how the loom weaves with the maximum amount on it.  I threaded the full width of the loom and put on 5 yards.  It would be nice to get enough fabric for a short jacket, but we will see how it does.  I planned to weave it with a doubled yarn of the cotton/rayon slub that I did the cotton summer scarves with, but I can't find my double bobbin that shuttle going to be too large or too heavy for the loom?...another maximum to test out about.

I got another commission to do warp weighted looms for a film set.  And like these things go, I get contacted 6 weeks in advance, then get the information 2 weeks before they need it.  These are for a weaving studio in the film.  I needed to set up warps and weaving on four looms for the background and three large warped weighted for the foreground...I wonder what the film story line is.  I know it is in the future and technology is gone.  I would be still working on a floor loom and repairing the broken pieces, not doing the old warp-weighted looms, but the director has an idea of what he wants his film to look like.

I put some old rugs on a couple of the background looms, the colors are really too bright for the look.  The set designer said that he could "dust" them to dull the colors.

I just hung warps on a couple of the background frames, the director seems to like the look of the loom with warp strings hanging.  I had the pottery department make some bagel shaped weights for me.  They ended up being too light for weaving, but they are perfect for the look of loom weights.  Since the looms do not have to weave, I really like how the weights came out.

For the foreground looms, the set department made some very large free standing frames for me to warp.  Unlike the looms for the previous film company, I wove the cloth for these looms on a floor loom and then just hung the piece on the frame.  I learned how the loom works when I did the other warp-weighted looms, so I could do these faster for the visual.

Here is the first loom I finished.  I wove a twill section on the top to look like the band that is stitched onto the warp beam.  Then I wove a section of weaving to have finished on the loom.  I did tie heddles on the heddle rod.  I probably did not need to do that, they don't need to really weave, but I liked the look better.

Here are all three finished.  They are so large that we could only put them behind the place the garage door opens.  And when they brought them, they had to be tipped to get in the garage door!  I tied all the weights in plastic bags so they would travel with less chance of breaking.  I hope they look good on the set!
I also wove a wall hanging to go on the wall of one of the houses in the film.  The director likes fringe and the piece looks a lot like something out of the 1960's weaving.  I forgot to take a picture of it when I finished it...I was rushing so much to get done before we went on vacation, but here is how it looked fresh off the loom.
I used hand spun, natural dyed yarns for the inlay motif and Fibonacci series for the dark bars on the top and bottom.  I like the spiral form that the bars going into the motif make.

Two days after the looms were picked up, we left on a family vacation to Zion National Park.  We planned to spend five days there just enjoying the city and the park.  

Zion canyon is full of spectacular cliffs and grand monoliths that rise up from the valley floor.  The Virgin River runs through the canyon so there are places where the green complements the red rock.  The Navajo sandstone layers on the top add yellow and whites to the picture.  We hiked up to the Emerald Pools in the morning, then went back to the motel and to the city for the heat of the afternoon.  In the late afternoon, my two kids hiked up the Narrows.  Bruce and I took it easy and just enjoyed the hike to the mouth of the Narrows.  The kids were lucky, they made it back to the trail head for the last bus down.  (My son said that not everyone made it back for the bus!)  I drove up to the lodge to pick them up, it was completely dark by then.
Starting at the mouth of The Narrows
My son got special passes a couple of the evenings to drive up after the buses had stopped running.  He had planned on some sunrise and some sunset pictures and he got some wonderful ones.  I can't wait to have one or two printed to put up on my walls.

I wanted to find the old bridge built in the 1930's, we found it and I love the colors of the stone.  I really want to make a weaving with these colors in it.  Again, my son got some great pictures in this area, but he was looking at the landscape and I wanted pictures of the wonder colors of the bridge.  My poor husband was just bored by the time we both took for pictures.  
  I need to print some of the bridge pictures for my Idea Book, then I can start daydreaming about what I want to do and how I can show these colors and landscape.

I did get one landscape shot from under the bridge showing the Tower of the Virgin, but most of mine are of the wonderful stone work on the bridge.

My son even found a new place in the park we had never been to.  When you look at a map of the park, there is a small canyon at the bottom, this is where 95% of the people go.  We managed to drive to the top of the mountains to look down over the park.  The park is very large and the landscape at the top is so different.
Here we are looking down on the canyon.  You can see the tops of  Navajo sandstone monoliths in the background at the skyline.

We also drove up to Kolob Canyon, it is a smaller canyon at the top of the park.  I wish I would have taken some more pictures of this area.  I have wall hanging that I started and I  want to stitch over some of it based on this area.

Two days after returning home, I was on a flight to Complex Weavers Seminars.  I have been wanting to attend this conference for some time and after this experience, I want to attend every one that I can get to.

This is the first conference that has challenged my weaving for about 10 to 15 years.  I was not the "experienced" weaver in this group.  I saw new and exciting things constantly.  The wearables at meals, the unbelievable "Complexity" show, great seminars, fun weavers to meet...I don't think I can explain how much I enjoyed this experience.
I came home with so many things that I want to look into and try to weave.  I have less shafts that most of the pieces that were in the show, but the ideas from their work can be incorporated into my weaving.
Bergman for clothing fabric or more

Collapse fabrics for clothing and more

A self pleated scarf
What is this?  I love it, I want to do it!
And more
And more
Yes, I bought books, some great weaving by jacquard weavers I love, more yarn, of course, and I came home with way too many ideas.  I hope to join some Complex Weaver's study groups again and I want to weave!

The last couple of days, the clouds cleared and I saw this from the window in my room...pretty great, Huh?