summer flowers

summer flowers

Friday, October 24, 2014

Too Many Looms

No, I don't have too many looms...Is that possible?  But right now I have too many looms with tired warps...warps that have been on too long.  I also have several warps that have been put on in the past few weeks, for classes and such, but mostly I feel like I need to empty some looms and make room for new ideas in weaving,

I have warps on three looms at the PCH weaving studio where I teach.  I have not had too many rentals on those looms, so I warp them when I need a big project done and my big looms at home are tied up with something else.
60" Leclerc with test warp after loom repair
The Leclerc is the last of the floor looms that I have repaired.  It needed new sectional beam parts, a new brake and a new brake pedal.  I put a warp on to test my repairs on each loom. For this one, I put on a 58" blanket.  I think that I will like it once it is woven.  The yarn is a worsted weight knitting yarn that I bought for a sweater for my DD.  I started the sweater and she decided that she wanted red and white instead...
Once I got the rhythm of how to throw the shuttle the width of the weaving without having it fly across the room...I moved on to other things.  I need to get the blanket off and have the loom available for students to rent, it is a great loom to weave a large piece...not many of us have the room for such a large loom in our homes.

The little test for a rag bag that I put on the Hammett 1 has been languishing for too long.  I was a little disappointed in the width...I'm not sure it will make a good bag...and I am not a big fan of rag weaving so I left it after the first test of how much weaving I got out of one "fat square" of quilting fabric.  It is the perfect color for this season, maybe I can get myself weaving and enjoy the colors.

The rug on the Macomber was really a problem.  Not the weaving or anything like that, but the fact I had to use a PCH loom. 
Warp on and threaded
Weaving the rugs
 I should have woven off the yardage on my Macomber at home months ago.  I have been so slow to finish the weaving on my loom at home that I needed to use the PCH loom to get a commission done.  Last summer I had to use the PCH looms to put on the warp weighted loom material...again because my big loom at home is tied up with the yardage. 
Just another catch-all
I really need to empty my Macomber.  It has had that warp on for over a year!  And it has been so long since I wove that the piles of stuff on the loom are getting worse.

I have the same problem on my Baby Wolf.  I have not woven for so long that the weaving is hidden.

These towels have needed to be woven for a long time.  I am not having fun weaving them because the yarn should have had a warp dressing.  It is singles linen and works OK when I keep the warp and weft wet.  But there has been a lot of shredding on the selvedges.

I took a fun workshop last week, and of course it required a new loom warped.  I would have liked to warp the new Woolhouse for the workshop, that is what I bought this loom for.  But it has a yardage project on it.  Again, it has been on the loom since I got the loom and oiled it.  This is the test warp for the new loom.  I put on some handspun warp and found a second handspun to weave a plaited twill.
I have four or five yards on the loom and with a table loom and eight shafts it takes some time and concentration to weave.  But if I would just get started and put some time in it, I'm sure I could develop a rhythm and get some yardage done.

Horoscope weaving
So I used my Baby Mac instead.  It is a great loom for a workshop but now I have got an additional loom with a warp to be finished.  I probably got about half the warp done at the workshop, so now it is on my list of looms to empty.
The poor loom had a pretty rugged trip home and needs some TLC to get it in weaving order again, so that I can finish the weaving.

I have been enjoying teaching and weaving with the rigid heddle looms I have.  I have a bunch of examples of pick-up stick patterns on the Cricket.  They need to be done and off the loom in the next two weeks for the class.  Yes, I think I have almost emptied that gold 3/2 pearl cotton cone of yarn, there are several samples and examples using this yarn.
Yes, lots of warp to get off the loom.
For the end of the Beginning RH class, I demonstrated indirect warping.  Now I have a half warped loom to finish then weave.  The good thing is that it is an example that can be used for the Pick-up Stick class.  It will be a Bronson Lace scarf when I am done.
Rigid Heddle loom with new warp
It is a pretty simple warp, but the weaving will be using a pick-up stick to get the Bronson Lace pattern on the full length.
The other night, I spent some time at PCH and finished the rugs on the loom done.
I wove to the very end of the warp!

Hot off the loom
Now, I need to hem the small rug and finish the fringe on the larger rug.  I think they really turned out well and I'm pleased with the dyed warp that I used on them.

However,  I need to demonstrate sectional warping for my class.  That means I need to warp another loom.  Should I make it a real warp, or just put some yarn on the loom and then cut it all off?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weaving in Bits and Pieces

I feel like my weaving has only been in bits and pieces.  I have put on a warp for a demonstration at the Great Basin Fiber Festival, a demonstration at the Gem Fair, a TV spot with Big Buddha and samples for classes.  I have not finished the big stuff I have on two of my looms.  I think they are getting dusty from sitting for so long!
Here is the plaid one
The towels for the fair were rainbow so that they would attract attention to the Mary M. Atwater Weaver's Guild booth.  This is the plaid one I wove when I got home...the last (fifth) towel.  When we were at the fair, we would be talking to the visitors,  so a simpler pattern was needed there.  All the towels worked out well.
All five of the towels
One of the men visiting the booth felt one of my heavy weight towels and said "That is a man's towel".  They are heavier, but I like to use them in my kitchen.  
These are 8/4 carpet warp, I wonder how the colors will hold up.  The yellow usually softens pretty fast.  I need to put one of these in a kitchen to test them.

I didn't get a shot of the TV yardage on the loom.  I got it woven off and have about 4 1/2 yards of fabric.  I would like to make some pants with it, I think.  It washed up to a pretty good weight for pants.  Maybe I could make some narrow pants to wear under a skirt.  I also knit a tunic with that yarn and it could go over everything.

When I needed another demonstration for the Gem Fair, I remembered the little Grant looms in the closet at PCH.  I pulled out one of those and scrubbed 40 years of dirt off of it.  After I oiled it, the loom looked pretty good.  I put all the heddles in order and luckily there was not rust on the heddles or the reed.
After Scrubbing
After Oiling
It really is a sweet little loom and easy to carry, so it is going to be my new "take" loom when I need to do a demonstration.  I did end up using it for a Heritage Days demo that weekend also. Wow, two demonstrations in one week, I have not done that for a long time.  I guess I am off the hook for a few months!  Good thing, a gentleman was playing around with the loom and almost finished the warp I put on.  He was enjoying his weaving.
I originally looked at these looms as a great loom for kids.  It is only two shafts and the handle for switching the shafts is a simple mechanism.  There are three more of them in the closet, maybe when I get them all cleaned, I can think about a class to use them.

 The other weaving I have been doing is samples for classes.  This is an lace pick-up design  
RH lace pick-up
for the new rigid heddle class.  This is the type of pickup where the pickup stick is in back of the heddle and it stays in until you want to change the design.  This piece was just 3 "pick-ups" and I got a nice pattern.  I think I need to try the Bronson variation for a scarf.

I also warped a 3 inch demo for my Summer & Winter class.  It is just enough to see the patterns and for me to demonstrate the various liftings that we are doing.  Next week we will be talking about Bronson lace and I threaded an eight shaft sample for each of the students to weave.

See what I mean, just a bunch of little bits.  I guess in the long run they do add up to some weaving, but I think the two large pieces waiting for me to finish are hanging over my head and causing the feelings of inadequacy.  

Well, I'd best get washing.  I measured a warp for a commission rug.  I need to dye the warp and the yarn is not scoured, so that is tonight's job.