Getting going

I have been ignoring my loom – the rug was growing too slowly so I stopped weaving on it. Not exactly logical!

A decision to enter it into the guild exhibition and the realisation that I would surely miss the deadline has been a massive motivator. So every morning I install the kids in front of the TV for an hour and get a suprising amount of weaving done!

I’m nearly halfway there now but the tension has suddenly become uneven – the back of the loom is a sorry sight with all sorts of jerry-rigged weighting devices dangling, clamped and wedged in the offending areas. Gawd I hope it all works out!

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The greens are wrong in this phone photo, but you can at least get an idea of what I’m doing.

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A Rag Rug

I have finished the rag rug :-D

Striped rag rug

Starting Notes
I had planned to make a taupe and white rug but I wasn’t happy with the way the taupe fabric frayed, even when cut with a rotary cutter.

So I decided to wing it with the strips I had already ripped for my last project.

The colours are a straight 2×2 twill and the white is plain weave. I got the original inspiration for this from an old Vav Magazine :-D

Final Notes:

Finished Dimensions:
135cm (53”) long and 78cm (30 3/4”) wide

EPI: 5epi in a 10dent reed

Warp: 6/2 cotton given to me by a weaving friend.

Weft: The white fabric was a sheet that was given to me by my partner’s mum. The coloured fabric was hand dyed by me when I was into quilt making.

This rug was fiddly to weave with all the colour changes. However I’m pleased with the outcome.

My guide string for length must have been incorrect because I was expecting the rug to be 150cm! However, it works well in front of the couch and covers the bald carpet nicely ;-D

I note that off the loom the stripes in the centre of the rug are a bit bowed (more noticeable in photos than real life). I used a temple but I think I could have been a bit more generous with my weft, making a few ‘hills’ rather than a straight diagonal. Something to take away for the future.

Nice for dancing on:

Ada on RugI have sourced some rug wool and I’m keen to try that out as weft for the remainder of this warp :-D  I can’t wait to go up and tidy my workroom – I find that working with rags is very messy.

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Persistence and Potential

Some time in the middle of 2013, probably about the time of my last post, Ada suddenly stopped having a day time nap.  The effect on me being the lack of space to think and read and do…. to weave.

Ada Xmas 13However, I am a lucky mother;

I am able to use my spinning wheel when my children are around me.  I am happy for them to help me with the treadling and now Jasper is able to draft a little bit too.

Jasper Xmas 13I am happy for them to fiddle with my wheel when I’m out of the room (kerThump goes my patient Ashford Traditional as Ada once again tries to shove a handful of wool into the orifice!).

And, in general, they are happy to play or watch TV when I’m at my wheel, leaving me to get on with it. So:

Spinning2 2013That is 18 skeins of handspun wool.  Waiting to be turned into cloth.

What a lucky woman I am to have all this to look forward to.  All this planning, weaving and maybe even sewing.  And definitely more spinning :-D

I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2014.

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As Planned – Some Spinning

I have been glued to my spinning wheel this week and the grey fleece (my major project) is nearing the end.  The little sample of white merino is finished, it was difficult to spin due to the short staple length – but I did learn alot.TdF Day9 plying2 TdF Day9 plying In fact this week has seen my spinning skills improve enormously.  Putting in the hours and watching a few Interweave DVDs has given me some great tips and a bit of confidence.

I am spinning on the smaller whorl now and I have modified my drafting to be a backwards draft with the forward hand providing tension only.  I’ve previously used a forward pinching draw which is pretty tiring on my hand and forearm.

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I’ll Be Spinning

I watch the Tour de France every year (even though this doping stuff pisses me off and tests my patience) and this year I’ll also be participating in the Tour de FLEECE at the same time!  This is a preview of what I’ll be spinning:

TDF Day 1 pliedGrey Wool for a woven sleeveless jacket.

TDF Day 1 previewReally, really fine merino with a really, really short staple. This one is tricky and sort of fun.  I only have 8g of this fibre so it is just a sample but I may also try out some other merino bits and bobs I have saved from my felt making days.  Merino is just a diversion though.  They grey wool is the main game :-D

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Grapevine Tea Towels

Some ‘finished’ photos:   Grape vine towels

I used a draft called 8 Thread Herringbone from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite P. Davison.  I used this draft on the little twill tape I made a few months ago and decided to revisit it on my floor loom… with interesting consequences:

Cloth 1, 2 and 3 – left to right in the group photo:

Cloth 1)GV 1

The weft is a dark brown cottolin. In the first cloth I followed the tie up and treadling as shown in Davison. It uses 8 treadles tied up as follows:
4,1
1
1,2
2
2,3
3
3,4
4

My first issue was that I couldn’t see treadling errors on the face of the cloth. Those single shaft treadles meant the weft nestled in really snuggly with it’s neighbour. I was feeling pretty unhappy about this and mentioned in the warped weavers forum on Ravelry. Bonnie Inouye very kindly shared some of her thoughts about this tie up (ie it’s strange) and suggested I try some different tie ups.

(While I’m talking about this fabric I’ll also note that it has a very heavy hand and is too firm to use as a tea towel. But I think it will sew up nicely into a pair of oven mitts)

Cloth 3)GV towel3

Weft is purple cottolin. I untied treadles 1,3,5,7 and had a very happy weaving experience. I treadled a diamond pattern in a 1/3 twill producing a cloth with a predominantly green face and purple back. I love this cloth, it is soft and cushy and will make a delightful teatowel.

Cloth 2) GV towel2

I untied treadles 2,4,6,8 and reinstated 1,3,5,7. This produced a 2/2 twill that I treadled as a straight herringbone. The weft is a blue swedish linen. The hand is thinner and ‘floppier’ and has a pleasant sheen after I gave it a ‘very hard press’.

Not pictured here (but fairly prominent in my last post) is a sample I wove at the end of the warp using 5/2 mercerised cotton in ORANGE. It is a gorgeous bit of cloth and I wish I’d woven a whole towel with it! I’ll be going for the purple/orange combo again very soon – stay tuned!

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Done!

Phew! I am sooooo glad that I’ve finished this warp, the problems at the start made it feel like the project was dragging on a little but too long.

The problems I was having did go away and the second two towels were quick and error free :-) I like the colours!

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