Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crackle Weave ~ Still Crack-a-Lakin'

After my last horrible warp, I decided to put on something that would give me some positive reinforcement. Well, this 2/8 tencel shawl is just that. It was quick, fun and very rewarding to weave! Everything I was looking for! The warp is sett at 24 epi on 8 shafts and is 2/8 black tencel. The weft is the same 2/8 tencel in scarlet. I put a straight twill border of 8 ends in red on the selvedges to keep the weft turns looking good. The weave structure I used is a modified crackle, which is my structure of choice at the moment. So pretty! I could not believe how quickly this 80” x 24” shawl wove up. No kidding, it took no time at all even though the pattern repeat was a whopping 293 picks long. The treadling was slightly modified from the regular advancing twill so it was very quick to fall into the swing of it.There is a definite right light side (red) and dark side (black) to this shawl. I think of it as giving garment options to its eventual owner!

I decided to put very long – 14” fringes on this shawl. I wanted to make a big bold statement with this shawl and since my virtual customer is a statuesque woman; I feel that the length of the fringe can really push it up a notch. No fancy beading yet, but that too shall come! I thought I’d show you what’s been keeping me away from the loom lately. Yup, that’s me up about 25 feet painting the eves…..scary doesn’t even begin to cover it! The change in our house is remarkable, from this… To this….

We chose to work on the hardest parts of the house first. All the trim work and frankly the learning curve we had working with the HardiPlank… all takes time! The house should look great by September! We can only work in the cool of the morning as the 35C+ temperature stops work by 11:00.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crackle Weave on Eight Shafts

I really like the first project I did on the AVL. The green Crackle scarf with the tone on tone colour way really made the Crackle pattern pop. So I decided to do another scarf in the same pattern with 2/8 Tencel using Adobe for the warp and Sea Coral as the weft.
The above picture is quite purple but the scarf is more rosy in colour like the below picture. While I was weaving a way my loom made a horrible crunching sound and I wasn’t sure what happened. It turned out that one of the bars skipped; of course I didn’t figure it out until quite a bit later when I could see the mistake in the pattern. I haven’t quite figured out how to go backward yet, so I decided to weave a few more picks and then to fix the miss while still on the loom and under tension by needle weaving in the missing weft pick.
I used blue thread to follow the correct thread in the next pattern repeat. It really helped to keep track of the pattern pick that I needed to copy.

I finished the needle weaving and it was apparent right away that there had been a fix because of the density of the picks, it just looked crammed in there. I was hoping that washing the scarf would ease the picks apart, but it didn’t and so now the scarf is mine! I really love the pattern and the tone on tone is lovely, and who doesn’t need another scarf!

Here is a sneak peek at my next project; colourful doesn’t even begin to cover it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life is Just Too Darn Short So Cut It Off!

I realized that my weaving had gone pear shaped about 1 inch into the 12 Shaft Drall piece. I planned the runner meticulously and on paper it looked wonderful. I was going to use fine black linen as a weft, but I was still weaving in my header when things went dreadfully wrong. This photo is in front of the heddles.
It was soon apparent that the singles linens just didn’t want to separate even after going through the heddles. As soon as the shaft lifted each thread seemed to grab onto its’ neighbour like a life line. No amount of strumming or moving the beater made a difference. It was just as bad behind the heddles, except I had the added advantage of nice little pills of linen being produced to make nice snarls and uneven tension for me!So, without further ado and as cavalierly as possible; I cut it off!!!
So from ‘golden hair’ to ‘gone in there’ what a blessed relief! Going to put something really, really slippery on now and know I added several hours to my life!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moving Warp From Loom to Loom

Seems that everything I touch lately becomes an ugly problem! Lily Louet, my Spring Loom, just doesn’t have the ability to take a very hard beat. A hard beat is paramount to weaving good overshot and Lily just can’t take it, so what to do with the remaining Overshot warp? I decided to move the 2 yard warp from the Louet to my good old faithful Leclerc Minerva which is a much sturdier loom and to weave another piece.I still had the warp through my reed and well secured, so before I did anything else I put Minervas’ least sticks in the warp and tied them well to the Spring loom. Then I pulled the remaining warp off the back beam to the front of the loom so I could get to where it was attached to the Spring loom back beam. I pulled the Leclerc loom back to back with the Spring loom and inserted Minerva’s back rod next to the one on Lily Louet capturing the warp, luckily, I wind on back to front so there was a lovely loop to catch. I then pulled Lily’s rod out. Then crossing my fingers and toes, Ngaire and I started to wind the warp which was still through the Springs’ heddles and reed onto the Minerva’s back beam. Surprisingly, it went very smoothly. I stopped just before the warp got to the lease sticks. After untying the lease sticks we flipped them from the Spring Loom over to the Leclerc and tied them to the castle and I was ready to start threading again. I decided to take a break from Overshot at this point and here it sits! Since my lovely Lily Louet was bare now I decided to try something completely different! I have pulled 935 ends of 1 ply fine linen for a 20” runner…..yup that’s 48 epi! I used 4 different 16/1 linen yarns which I blended on the warping board. I have had these kicking around my stash for yonks and they were looking a bit sad, so I thought that now was the time. Oh crap…..they bridge like crazy!!!! I’ve now got 2/3 of the warp through the heddles and hopefully I’ll finish today and have some weaving to show for the next blog.