Friday, December 16, 2011

16 Shaft towels coming off the loom.....

Holiday 16 shaft - towel

All of the towel drafts came from the book:  16 harness patterns - the fanciest twills of all (Beautiful 16 harness hin und wieder patterns, with a few 8, 12, and 20 harness patterns too. Taken from the weaving notebooks of Fred A. Pennington.)  The only change was the tie up (or the peg plan in my case) as I used my AVL 16 shaft mechanical dobby loom to weave these on.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keep it Simple Towels - Complete

This pattern can be found in both the Handwoven Magazine - 1985 Summer and Handwoven's  Top Ten Towels on 4 Shafts - EBook.  
I did alter the size (smaller) due to friends suggestions stating that they turn out really big with the provided directions.  My 7 towels came out as 18" x 26.5".  Both the warp and weft were 8/2 unmercerized cotton and the nice thing about this pattern is that you use a solid color warp (in my case white) and then can change colors for each towel.  This was a wonderful way to use up partial cones of of my stash.  I did get somewhat bored weaving this after about the 3rd towel though.  Why must I always insist on winding long warps?  Next time.....5 yards maximum for a towel warp!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Taking a break to spin -

Fat Cats Fiber - Magnolia by macweaver
Fat Cats Fiber - Magnolia, a photo by macweaver on Flickr.
The beginning stages...
And here it is completed!
My friend Lisa from Iowa spent a few days with me this last week and we had a wonderful time in the studio, dedicating 3 days just to fiber fun!  She gifted me this beautiful FatCatKnits falkland roving to spin - colorway Magnolia.  I must say - this is the nicest stuff I've ever spun with to date.  I see a new fiber shop addiction occurring.  Thanks much Lisa!  (for the fiber not the addiction)

ETA:  I spin because I enjoy this activity, not because I'm awesome at doing it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh happy days!

It was about 6 months ago when I realized that the Blog I had going for over 3 years was lost due to a removal of an email address (and all things associated with it).  Well tonight - I found copies of all of the postings I had made (minus about 6 months or so).  It will take a bit of time, and I will be working from the newest backwards to the oldest posting.
So if yo are interested - just follow the blog backwards starting in October 2010 (go to blog archive on the right hand side and click on 2010).  I'll copy and paste the old posts a few a day.

I feel like a part of my missing past has returned!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Keep it Simple Towels

Keep it Simple Towels by macweaver

Keep it Simple Towels, a photo by macweaver on Flickr.
Inspired by so many weavers on Ravelry doing this simple yet eye catching towel, my buddy Connecticut Mary and I decided to have an impromptu weave along.

White warp of 8/2 cotton and weft of 8/2 cotton - any color. That's the beauty of this 4 shaft towel one warp and gifts of many colors!  I'm planning navy, burgundy, terra cotta and greens for this project.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fingertip Towels

Fingertip towels complete by macweaver

Fingertip towels complete, a photo by macweaver on Flickr.
When I purchased the Louet Octado, it came to me with the previous owners remaining warp still on it. Normally I would just cut it off and start fresh, although this 8/2 seemed pretty nice, so I decided to "get to know the loom" with what ever amount remained. Turned out that there was enough warp to weave 8 - finger tip towels (finished measurements: 16.25" x 12.25"). I just picked a pattern and used a different color warp for each towel.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aluhring Towels

Aluhring Towels by macweaver
Aluhring Towels, a photo by macweaver on Flickr.
The 40" - 16 H Compu Dobby AVL is warped up and I've begun weaving the Aluhring Towel pattern from Lunatic Fringe. This is a 8 shaft pattern. 10 yards of foxfiber cotton, 604 warp ends, in 3 shades, threaded at 28 EPI.

Friendship Towels!

16 shaft dishtowel - pattern 87 A by macweaver

Here's my current project on the 40" - 16H AVL Mechanical Dobby loom. Actually the loom is warped up and ready to weave on - for a few of my weaving friends who plan on visiting in the next couple of months. Everyone gets to weave a 16 shaft towel of their own when they visit. If they do not like the pattern that I've chosen, they can go thru the book 16 Harness Patterns - the Fanciest Twills of All and choose a new pattern and re-peg the dobby bars to their liking.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Santa 2011

Santa 2011 by macweaver

Santa 2011, a photo by macweaver on Flickr.
Santa (my husband Jim) is out in Pennsylvania - already busy visiting with the kids. His mall is the first one in the region with a Santa! I'll see him again on Christmas Day when he returns home.

Here is also a a video link to Santa's arrival at the mall.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lattice Scarf

 2/10 Merino Tencel - Colrain Lace - from WEBS
I used the blue and black on the right for this scarf.
Pattern from:  Weavers Magazine - Issue 44
On loom looking from below.  It is such a mesmerizing pattern, that I never got bored weaving it.
And Completed.  A small hem was added as the person this is for doesn't like fringe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Studio....or Loom Warehouse!

The Studio took on a new look - as another AVL and a Louet Octado were added last week, after a 3100 mile field trip.  Walking in through the front door you see this view:  
From front left to right:  Louet Megado, Louet Delta, Kessenich
From back left to right:  AVL, AVL, Harrisville Rug Loom
Babywolf and Louet Jane not in photos.

AVL PDL 48: - 16H (left), Louet Octado (far right)
The AVL is built and ready to be used!  It came with the Compu Dobby-1 and a mechanical dobby.
And here is the newly acquired Octado!  It has both the Electronic Interface and mechanical dobby.

The yarn tree and sewing area remain the same on the right half of the studio.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Off the loom and finished!

3 Towels by macweaver

All 10 towels are now off the loom and completed!
Pattern from:  Handwoven’s Design Collection #16 - Kitchen Collection

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bats, Bees and Frogs - oh my!

We're having storm damage repair from the spring tornado that came through (7 roofs being re-shingled on all of the buildings and new siding on the house and studio).  When the shutters were being removed from the buildings - there were bats, bees and frogs that were forced to find a new home.  I chose the frog to photograph since the bees and bats were really upset at the eviction notice given!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tis the season for spinning

The cooler temperatures, attending the WI Sheep and Wool Festival (motivation) and less time working as Dizzy D Clown - has opened time slots for spinning on my 2 electric spinners.  On left:  Hansen MS in Bloodwood and Maple and on the right: a Ertol Roberta in cherry - both have Woollee Winders on them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First warp for the new to me AVL

Untitled by macweaver

Warped and ready to weave!

Treadling pattern #1
Treadling pattern #2
This pattern is from:Handwoven’s Design Collection #16 - Kitchen Collection
Pattern: Red and White Checked Towels pg. 16
This is an 8 Harness weave.
I am using 8/2 unmercerized cotton for both the warp and the weft. I have substituted a golden yellow for the red.
Warp Length: 10 yards
Total Warp Ends: 492 + 2 for selvages
EPI: 24
PPI: 24
Width in Reed: 20.5”
Weaving Width: 19.75”
There are 3 different treadling patterns for this project.  
I had ordered a few parts from AVL which were missing when we purchased this  loom from an auction - which finally arrived this past week. Fortunately, I have the identical loom on the other side of the Studio, as it took a bit of tweaking before this 40" - 16 harness mechanical dobby AVL was up and running.  Since AVL's loom manual is not the greatest - we would just walk over to the other AVL, check out the things in question and then adjust accordingly.    A few hours of adding the final pieces, warping the loom and then making the needed adjustments and I was off and weaving!  Two days of off and on weaving have produced 2 towels so far on this 10 yard warp!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Washing and then winding the wool.....

 20 Skeins of handspun were washed last week  - 
 This was an accumulated pile of hanks from a few years of spinning - I'm definitely not a speed spinner if that was what you were thinking!
 Then came using my new setup from Nancy's Knit Knacks:
The Heavy Duty Skein Winder is currently mounted on a table - but I also purchased the optional stand which is really great.

Heavy Duty Ball Winder
For years I've used the inexpensive plastic ball winders.  Sure they worked, and occasionally the plastic center cone would fly off while winding, but I didn't realize that there were bigger and better winders out there.  About a year or so ago - I sold off 3 used plastic ball winders and decided it was time to give Nancy's Knit Knacks - Heavy Duty Ball Winder a spin.  I had read good reviews on this winder, so the expectation was high.  After receiving it - and giving it a try - immediately differences were recognized compared to the past ball winders I had used.  First and foremost - the smooth operation in the winding process.  Next, the ability to wind large balls and finally last but not least, the visual beauty of this tool.  Two thumbs up for this one.

Then a couple months ago, when fumbling around with a wooden umbrella swift, trying to wind off hanks into balls for an up coming weaving workshop, I thought of Nancy's Knit Knacks once again.  Off to their website - I sat watching all of the product videos that Bob (from Nancy's Knacks) has produced.  A phone call with Bob, a delightful discussion on their products and my yarn winding needs - and another order was placed, this time with total product confidence since the ball winder has been nothing short of a great investment.

The next day an UPS delivery tracking email was sent to me with the tracking information.  Wow - the Skein Winder with optional stand, Electronic Rotation Counter and Electronic Yarn Meter were already on their way!  It was time to reorganize in the Studio a bit to make room for my new winding area.  I had 2 Schacht winding Stations, so I decided to put them side by side to line everything up.  

Last week when I began winding from a plied bobbin to a niddy noddy (knowing from the start that there was more yarn than the niddy noddy would hold), Jim asked why I was doing that when I could wind directly onto my new skein winder.  Duh! - So out to the Studio I headed with bobbin in hand.  I must say, this was a easy and slick way to wind a skein - it seemed much to easy and knowing immediately that there was 214 yards of plied wool (by reading the rotation counter) made this experience even more awesome.  

The real test was yesterday when I needed to wind from 20 handspun hanks into balls.  This would have been a lengthy task if I were using a standard umbrella swift, but with the ability to adjust the arms on the Skein winder to the size of the hank - the job was nothing short of simple and enjoyable.  Again noting from the reading on the Electronic Yarn Meter the accurate yardage immediately.  The only other tool that would have been a valuable asset during this process would have been The Motorized Power Base that can be added to the ball winder.  

A bit of an investment - but I must say - "you definitely get what you pay for".   I would highly recommend any of these noted products from Nancy Knit Knacks.  If you have questions as to what these items are capable of doing, the product video page and home page  will give you more than enough information via video, to make a educated purchase.  Also I should add that if ever there is a question, Bob is just a phone call away - the customer service it great!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ogle Design's - Lazy Kate

 Ogle Designs Lazy Kate
Showing storage area
Yesterday we decided to head down to Milwaukee (where we are originally from) for some awesome Mexican food and totally delicious Kopps frozen chocolate custard.  We were not but 5 miles from the Ogle Designs - gal who makes the Lazy Kate - so I took a chance and called her.  She was so nice.  When we got there she had her inventory of lazy kates set out for me to choose from.  This maple one called my name!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Even Cinderella needed a bit of help.....

So, last month I decided to be involved in an on-line estate auction.  There was an AVL loom (16 harness - 40" production dobby) identical to the one I currently  own, amongst other things that belonged to a weaver that no longer was able to weave.  The auction (therefore the loom) was located over 300 miles from us - so viewing it prior to the bidding - for us was not practical and bidding beyond a certain amount could be a financial disaster.  The photos were not very helpful - oh, what to do.  I had an amount in my mind that I was willing to gamble with.  For 3 days, up until the last few hours, I was the high bidder, and then the bidding war began.

3 minutes before the auction was over - I was outbid.  I was done.  Jim looked at me in surprise.  "Really, you're letting it get away?" he asked.  "Yep" I said.  "Ahhh, just bid $100 more" he said.  "Ok - but that's it", I said.  Well - needless to say - in the end I owned a loom.  We loaded up the trailer and headed out for a 10 hour round trip the next day.

It was sitting in an old storage warehouse - the surroundings grey and dingy.  The loom itself was pretty dingy and dusty to say the least.  I was not impressed.  I was actually feeling disappointed and sorry for the $ spent.  But keeping a stiff upper lip we loaded it up and hauled it home.  Photos were not even an option - it was too ugly.

So the job began the next day.  Disassembling the harnesses and removing the dirty texsolv heddles.  They needed to be washed for sure! Next was cleaning all of the wood with Murphy's oil soap.  Little by little - something began to change - there was a warm wooden glow underneath all of the dust and grime.  With each dumped bucket of dirty water - the more excited I became!  Yes - this was a diamond in the rough.

The finished loom!

What was the most ugly part of the loom is now the most eye catching feature - the harnesses are beautiful!

16 Harness Mechanical Dobby

Now I wish I would have taken the "before" photos to show the difference.  A few minor parts were missing - so a call to AVL to place the order - and when the parts arrive it will be good to go!
Heads up to anyone in need of AVL parts - they are not a cheap date! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shadow Weave Gamp / Towels

Shadow Weave Gamp - from Handwoven Magazine
Pattern From:  Handwoven Magazine 2004 - Jan/Feb pages:  42 and 43

Shadow Weave gamp warp
Ready to thread through the heddles and reed.

Warp going thru raddle on top of loom
This angle shows how the built in raddle on the David is used.  It is convenient  and so easy to use.
I am participating in a Weave Along in Ravelry focusing on the structure of Shadow Weave.  This project will be a gamp.  Later in the summer I will weave another pattern of Shadow Weave dish towels.

Warp and Weft Colors
Colors used.

Section One

Section 2
Section 2

Section 3 - Shadow Weave
Section 3

Section 4
Section 4

Section 5
Section 5
Section 6
Section 6
Section 7
Section 7
Each section contains a different treadling / color sequence.  

Here are the two sampler shadow weave towels (the pattern was for a runner in gamp form) that I just completed hemming this morning. I didn’t just want to do a gamp as it would have just been folded up and put aside, so I decided to make these into a useful objects (beyond just testing out the different threadings and treadlings).