summer flowers

summer flowers

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Days are Swifter than a Weaver's Shuttle

I have a card that says that and it is true.  My days fly by and I wonder what I was doing...Did I get enough done?   What did I forget?  How can I catch up?

Actually my month has been pretty blog is one of those things that didn't get done before the time slipped away.  I have been working hard on two things...get some weaving done to add to the products to sell at the Garden Sale and empty some looms that I have warped up.  I did pretty good at both of them.

I managed to get some towels finished for the sale.  The block twill towels are hefty and will dry dishes very well.  I may have chosen colors that are a little soft, but that is the colors that I like to use.

 The second set of towels are huck, I saw this pattern on the Weaving Today site and loved the look.  I think I will do them again in another color way.
These were a much brighter color and I sold several of them.  I had a big cone of the gold, so that is how I decided to use it.  All the changing of colors in the weft really slowed down the weaving, so these towels took longer than I would prefer.  But I like them and tried several variations to add variety.  I like the ones with the stripes on the ends, but I didn't care as much for the white one that is all one color.

I also painted and wove another run of scarves using the cotton/rayon slub yarn.  I loved the blue series of scarves that I wove before, but I sold all of them.  This time I will pick out the one I want to keep and not put it in the show.
Maybe I'll keep this one.

The sale in the Garden did not have as much traffic as I had hoped it would.  They usually have art and paintings at her garden sales.  This was the first time for textiles...but they are willing to do it again next year and I want to participate again.  We will just have to see if we can get more advertising.  My table looked pretty good, but when it got dark there was not enough light to see the work.

The Garden is a beautiful place to spend some time in.  I got to spend two weekends there, first for the sale and the next weekend for a meeting that was held there.
She has fountains, plants, flowers and art everywhere.

The house and fences are covered with art and mirrors.
The fountain next to my booth.

And I managed to empty three looms. 

My Baby Wolf was used to weave the three warps for the sale.  She is getting a rest now. When next month's workshop is finished and the classes slow down, I need to do some repair and cleaning on that loom.

I also emptied my sweet, little Mountain Loom.  I had put a test warp on the loom when I got the it last year.  I put on a warp of handspun yarn, using a plaited twill.  I want to use the fabric for a kimono jacket, but I will need to weave some additional fabric to extend it.  
Plaited twill started on my Mountain Loom
End of the warp.
The last loom emptied gave me some problems.  This is the 50" HD loom in the weaving class room.  The yarn is the same as I used on the blue hand painted scarves up above, but it really reacted differently on this loom.  I had several pounds of this yarn, so I tested it at several setts to see what I could use it for.  When I put it close enough for towels, I didn't like the way it looked, so I decided to make some yardage.  I put on a 10 yard warp and started weaving. 

I had problems with the warp breaking right from the start.  I only managed to weave about 20 inches in the first three hours.  I was repairing broken threads and they were breaking at a strange place, on the heddles.  The heddles on this loom are inserted eye and are very smooth, so I was at a loss to figure out what was happening.
Here is the start of weaver's hell.
Because it was breaking at the heddle, I had to weave about 10 inches before I could put the original warp back in the web.  This picture shows the start...I ended up with about ten repair weights hanging down from the back of the loom.  It was not a pretty sight.

After I thought about the problem, looked at the loom and warp carefully and slept on it; I figured out that the shed on this loom is so big that it is straining the warp at the weak spot (the slub).  I could change the level of the shafts, or I could just weave pressing the treadles half way down.  This is a technique that is common with counter-balanced and counter-marche looms, but I am not used to weaving this way.  But it worked I managed to weave a yard without breaks.  The problem was as I wove faster and got into my rhythm, I started pressing the treadles down more...that is how I usually weave.  So I placed a board under the treadles to prevent me pressing them to the ground.
Board added to prevent treadles from full lift.
With this fix I was able to weave about a yard or so an hour...a little slower at first because I was still working in the broken ends.  The last eight yards of fabric probably had only three or four breaks, a vast improvement over the first yard!

Yardage in my new basket.

Now I have some burling and repairs to do on the two pieces of yardage, but I can work on that listening to music or TV.  

Here's a better shot of the my new basket with legs.