Sunday, June 28, 2009

Potpourri Warp

I'm planning on placing an order for yarn to weave the huck-lace valance, but in the meantime I have thrown on a fun warp made from odds and sods of leftover knitting yarns. The dark brown used in the warp and also in the weft is some of my very early handspun.

I’m loosely following the idea from “Weaver’s Craft, August/September 2000”, “Potpourri Warp Pillows”. Two colours are used in the weft, one following the other in a plain weave and the way you handle the shuttles the weft automatically interlocks at the selvedges.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Different Approach

The 50/50 flax/cotton blend was just too pretty and unusual to give up on when it didn't work for weaving.

(click for bigger)

I've got a good start on the Lilac Leaf Shawl from "Knitted Lace of Estonia" and it seems to be working well. I'm finding that the concentration and focus needed to knit lace is an appreciated distraction as I go through a rather stressful period in my life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Learning Experience

I guess I’ll call this “finished”. It was an experiment that I wasn’t sure would work, but I put a warp on the full length anyway just in case it was successful.

Note: The yarn is a soft grey/beige, not at all like the picture. Also, the fabric is hanging in a sunny window with the shadows of a tree splashed across it.

(click for bigger picture and more detail)
<------warp runs crossways------>

I was given a large cone of 50%flax/50%cotton yarn that is about a 32wpi thickness. It wasn’t all that strong, didn’t fare well in the “snapping between hands” test, but I loved the colour and the slubs and wanted to weave a huck lace window valance with this yarn as warp and weft. It didn’t work. The slubs in the yarn abraded and sloughed apart under the friction of the reed and the opening and closing of the sheds. I don’t consider it a total failure though.

Long after I knew that the yarn would not work for the planned curtain I kept weaving anyway, enjoying the process and learning from the experience as I went. I learnt that I can indeed control my beat enough to weave this pattern evenly. I definitely learnt to fix broken warps though after so many of them I started just tying in a new thread with knots, knowing full well that this would not be correct in a “real” piece. I learnt that the pattern is easy to weave, not too terribly hard to thread, and I will likely try it again with a wet spun linen which should not abrade so badly. I also tried rough sleying through the reed and gained confidence in warping my loom. Much learning happened so I do not consider this a failure even though I ended up cutting it from the loom with much wasted (the yarn was free though so I wasn’t terribly upset).

I have a question for experienced weavers. I would like to try this pattern again, but I’m a little concerned that I will be using the finished fabric sideways. When hung the valance will have the warp running sideways, not from bottom to top. I know from sewing that this would be “crossgrain”. Do you think that would be a problem? My loom is only 36” wide but that is plenty of width if I go sideways. Done this way I can even do several inches on one side in plain weave for a rod pocket. I tried that with this experimental piece and it worked very well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Next Warp

I can see that this new loom is going to be a problem. She likes to be dressed at all times! I let her sit naked for less than a week while I contemplated my next project and gathered supplies. But Ooooh, you should have heard the weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth (she does too have teeth....they're on the front brake).

Flax/Cotton warp ready to go on the loom.

Yes I could theoretically just get her dressed and then leave her sitting there looking all snug and happy in her new warp, but that only works in theory. You see I have this budding weaving warp can sit unwoven.

I can see this situation might lead to some serial weaving.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cream Puffs

This little mound of cream puffs is on it's way to the guild's closing Potluck dinner.

Want my recipe?

Buy 4 boxes of mini cream puffs from M&M's Meat Shoppe and pile them high in a bowl. Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with chocolate.

Chocolate Drizzle is made by melting 2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 Tblsp of butter then gradually adding warm water until the mixture is of a drizzling consistancy.

What? You thought I made them from scratch? Don't be silly!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scarf Warp

My first warp on the new-to-me loom is an handpainted rayon for two scarves. The weft is turquoise bamboo. I'm weaving it in plain weave at 16 epi.

By 9:45 this morning I had the first scarf half done!

Warp Is On!

First warp is on! I've only woven the header so far but everything seems to be okay and weaving well. Which is a small miracle when you consider all the lame things I did while warping!

I did my own unique, hybrid style beaming.....and will do it differently next time!

Next, when threading the heddles I had to stop at one point to unhitch the centre of each of the harnesses to pass extra heddles to the other side out of the way. This was not because I neglected to count out the heddles first. No, it was because I'm an idiot who can't do a simple math problem!

Then when I got all the heddles threaded and the reed sleyed I suddenly just knew without looking that I had forgotten to take the warp UP over the back beam first. This was another thing I should have known to do, and even thought about a couple of times while beaming, but just had a memory lapse at the worst possible time. To fix it I loosened the warp, dismantled the back beam, put it under the warp, and screwed it back on.

warp is on

WEAVING begins tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Almost Home!

She's almost home. The new to me, 4 shaft, 36", Nilus Leclerc Artisat floor loom with a sectional warp as far as the drive way.

Then the dratted hockey game started.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flower Pincushions

I found a couple of different versions of this basic floral pincushion idea on Ravelry. Although the patterns were free, neither of them were written in English. This is my own interpretation of the general idea.

The first two photos are of the first pincushion. It's reversible.

My daughter liked it so I made one for her too.

They are both made from some hand dyed, hand combed wool that I hand spun. It's incredibly scratchy so can't be used to make anything wearable. This is a fun way to use some of it up.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Shaggy the Sheep

So here's the big fella I was showing you in bits and pieces as a work in progress.

I've named him Shaggy the Sheep. He was crocheted from Paola Navarro's Elton, The Sheep - Amigurumi Pattern .

I purchased large 400g balls of Bernat Worsted acrylic in the two main colours, but used only about 295 gm of the white and 155 gm of the "Heather".

Shaggy turned out a few inches larger than the pattern states but the pattern doesn't suggest a yarn size, yardage, or gauge so I had to take a guess.

He's 13" sitting...

or 20" when lounging around.

It took me longer than I expected to finish him. Not because the work was all that complicated or anything, but because I could only work on him for short periods of time before my hands ached. Crocheting thick yarn with a smaller than usual hook can be painful after a while!

Shaggy was created to meet a challenge my local spinners and weavers guild made this year. We are to show up at the closing pot luck dinner with something we've made in a "sheep" theme. No other guidelines, it just has to involve sheep. After he makes his official debut there, he will come home with me to be the mascot of my new weaving room.......which is coming along very nicely I might add. A few more days and I'll be welcoming a 4 shaft Nilus Leclerc Artisat floor loom into my home! Stay tuned.