Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Challanges


The soy silk scarf that I am weaving (just put a photo up today) is pretty predictable - and I needed to be challenged a bit today (perhaps to distract me from the high winds, and if the roof was going to blow away, or at the very least to distract me from if we are going to loose power again) so...... here's the story:
I've been weaving for about 30 years - geeze that makes me old doesn't it! Ok, and I've been buying looms most of those years also. Along with the looms, a lot of times - includes yarn. So, many years ago, with a purchase of a loom, came this pre wound warp with no instructions. There is even balls of yarn for weft. I neatly put it in a bag and every couple of years come across it. I pull it out of the bag - ohh and ahh over the pretty mixed warp - set it on a table for a couple of days to ponder what it was supposed to be and then wrap it back up and neatly put it away because I have no clue.
Well today I guess I'm up for the challenge - Well to be honest it has sat on the table in the studio for about a week with me going thru the whole process as described above. I just decided to go for it - what's the worst that could happen?

We'll see....... here's where I am so far....
Mystery Warp
This is what I have been looking at for years - 
Mystery Warp / Lease sticks

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

David - you're warped!


DSC_0007
Once the warp is wound on the back beam - the beater is flipped over the castle - to make the heddles accessible to thread.
The breast beam easily lifts off and the heddles can be threaded easily by sitting right within the frame of the loom.
Bronson Lace Scarf / 16/2 Soysilk
The reed is threaded - a header woven - and I am good to go!

Bronson Lace 16/2 SoySilk



ETA:  Completed Scarfs!
The weaving has begun! The Soy Silk is just awesome to weave with. It's very fine compared to the cottolin and 8/2 cottons that I am used to. I've already ordered some more since I think scarves woven with this will make wonderful gifts. I can tell already, that the drape will be beautiful!

I'm only about 12 inches into this scarf since the weather has not been cooperating. We have been having terrible winds of 40-60mph for the last 2 days and have been without power a couple hours both days. I don't want to chance a treadling error only to find it when the lights come back on!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Winding a Warp for the new Louet David


16/2 Soysilk
Now it's the new Louet David's turn to be "tried".
I purchased the yarn and the pattern last January while in Kansas at the Yarn Barn. This will be 2 Bronson Lace scarves. It's really a different feeling for me to be using such fine weight yarn; almost like when you're in Kindergarden and use a really fat pencil and then they hand you the skinny one in first grade!


More photos to come.....

Infinity Soy Silk 16/2 Colors: #517 Bronze #515 Med. Teal #509 Purple

Sunday, October 17, 2010

They're Back...


When you hear a strange noise coming from your roof....
It seems to happen about the same time each year. First you notice that the turkeys begin to roost in the trees all around the house and other buildings. Where they are in the summer is anyones guess. It's like clockwork, 6:00pm. at night - they come in and begin flying into the trees. 7:00am. - they start flying out. A few weeks later they decide that prior to landing on the ground - that they ought to land on the roofs to get a good look around. Problem is - that there is a flock of at least 20 of them - and roof damage is not what I'm looking for! So when the weird roof noises begin - out the door I head. They are quite skiddish - so any noise sends them into flight mode.
Off they head down the driveway and into the woods. The majority are all behind the studio when this shot was taken.
And then the only thing left are feathers! This time of year the grandkids come over and have turkey feather collecting contests!

The end is in sight....

DSC_0002
Assuming I do not get out of my pajamas or do any housework today, the 4th and final towel will be done!
Good thing Jim is working a double shift today...

DSC_0004

Friday, October 15, 2010

A temple experiment....


I switched the weft color to a chocolate brown cottolin on this towel, due to the fact that I got bored with the rust on the first towel. I also decided to give a temple a try due to a current conversation on temples being held on Ravelry. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I own several temples and have never really used them.
temple towel

I grabbed a temple to see if it made any difference in my weaving. I have pretty good selvages with out the use of a temple but I did notice a bit better selvage, less draw in, and a bit faster weaving over all even with moving the temple every inch, because I had no need to ever adjust the weft on the selvage end. I did use an end feed shuttle on both towels to keep the experiment fair.

Disadvantages of using a temple: (which one would get used to after a bit of time)
  • Dang - those pins on the raddle are sharp when you forget that they are there!
  • Difficult to see the pattern as you weave (if you make a mistake) until the temple is moved up after an inch of weaving.
Advantages of using the temple:
  • Nice even selvages
  • A bit less draw in (3/8" for me on this towel compared to the first one woven).
  • If you tend to fiddle with the selvages - the temple will eliminate this.
I'll make the final decision as to if a temple will be a tool kept near my looms or not, after both towels come off the loom and a side by side comparison is done.
Choc close up

Next towel - Black and Natural


DSC_0003
DSC_0001
Same warp of cottolin on the Louet Spring. One more to go and they'll be off of the loom.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Louet Jane


DSC_0001
Jane was one of the new loom arrivals last month also. I had a left over warp from a class that I taught - so I took the remaining 3 yards and decided to warp her up and see what she could do. I have been so used to warping the big floor looms that this was quite a breeze to wind the warp onto the beam with out any assistance. I really like the raddle that is positioned on the top of the castle, making the whole process of winding quite easy!


Once the warp has been wound on, it is then removed from the raddle and the beater is flipped to the back of the loom for easy heddle threading.
DSC_0003
Sitting on an adjustable office chair - this warping process is just so easy. I also got the stand for it, which I'm very glad I did - this way no table space is taken up, but even better is: that you can remove the warp and cloth beams from the loom and add them to the stand - allowing more buildup of the woven cloth to occur! (this is really an awesome feature).
DSC_0002
I do need to say - I have not been a fan of table looms in the past - but I am singing a different tune already. I really think Jane will serve her purpose for exactly why I got her, portability and sampling!
DSC_0006
I've woven about 12" and love the mechanics of Jane. Her shed is 2 plus inches!
DSC_0009

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yard work and the creatures you could bump onto (or step on)


DSC_0011
Trimming out the flower garden and this is who's watching!

DSC_0003
Spraying for insects around the buildings and I almost stepped on this guy! We both looked at each other for a minute and went on with our agendas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weaving on the new Louet Spring


DSC_0012
The Spring arrived a few weeks ago. We built it within a day and it was warped a few days later. But then the dreaded "yard work before winter" beckoned to us. We've spent a better part of a week just getting everything done outside before Jim leaves for Pennsylvania, the first week of November - to return home on December 25th. If you have been following this blog long enough, you already know why he's heading out there - if not - here's a clue ......
Santa Jim
Yep - you guessed it - he is a mall Santa in North Wales Pennsylvania! So, in addition to yard work - we are transforming (beaching) Jim's hair from blonde to white. This is not a one time process. We'll do it at least 5 times before he leaves to get it totally white - but then he must do the upkeep while away.

The Spring is an awesome loom to weave on. Warping was easy. I really like the built in raddle located at the top of the castle. It's difficult to see in this photo. Treadling is effortless and weaving is quiet (other than me talking to myself!) The floating breast beam is great because your tension remains the same throughout your weaving.
The pattern is from the Yarn Barn - "Yellow Brick Road" - only I switched up the colors - so the name makes no sense what so ever! I put on enough warp to weave a total of 4 towels. Two will be in the Natural / Rust combination - the other two will be in Natural / and yet to be determined!
Here's a close up of the pattern. This is quite a bit busier than I am used to - but fun and easy to weave. This is a 8-shaft pattern with a 42 treadle repeat. I do have to concentrate while doing this one - and refuse to answer the phone - no matter what!