Monday, February 23, 2009

Tabby and Basket Weave Tea Towels ~ It's All About Technique

Every once in a while I notice that my weaving becomes very tiring. I feel quite achy after only a short time at the loom. I know it’s time to put on an easy comfortable warp to weave and concentrate on my technique. Well, that’s what I’ve done today. Six yards of tabby and basket weave for tea towels. I've used all cotton set at 24 epi, that's fairly tight due to the basket weave floats.

Because the pattern is so easily seen when weaving and memorized, I can ask myself questions while I weave.

Am I sitting up straight? I do have a tendency to hunch over and drop my head forward while looking at the fell line.

Am I grabbing the beater bar in the center? It’s so easy to not reach to the center with my non dominant hand.

I have found a solution to this that works for me. Silicone sticky bumps….
I place one bump in the center of my beater bar and make sure that with each beat I touch the bead; this prevents any left or right pull on the beater.

Am I doing a long enough follow through with my weft after each shed? I have found that if I don’t allow enough slack at the end of the pass, the next pass can pull the weft and create a crappy selvedge.

Am I messing with the edges? Stop it!!!!! Sometimes when I’m doing a tricky piece of weaving I labour over each selvedge turn, fiddling around with them. This is a very bad thing. It slows down my weaving and prevents me from ever getting a good rhythm and I’m sure it makes the selvedges less uniform.

So today is all about relaxing at the loom and concentrating on some good habits.
Did you notice my new Library Thing? You can click on it and see a list of the weaving books I use.

Rhadzimir is a small checked pattern made on twill weaves, used for neckwear fabrics.


Theresa said...

What a great idea! The towels are lovely too. May be a simple weave but the results are anything but.
I was tired from looking for my scissors and use
those 3M removable hooks on my loom to hang them
on now.

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for the technique reminder!!

I'm trying to get better with my weaving software, and at picturing what something will look like woven after seeing it in thanks for putting up both!

I must admit, I almost always like the woven version better than what the software output looks like! (And I guess that's why I'm a weaver now instead of a computer programmer!)


bspinner said...

Super idea! Where did you get the sticky bump?
I sure do like your towels. Thanks for including the pattern.

R. Delight said...

Lynnette, what great pointers. I particularly liked the idea of the silicon bumps to make sure you grab the beater in the center. I know all too well how one's hand can gradually slide off center. Thanks for the tips!-Renee

Leigh said...

Interesting post with some excellent suggestions.

I love your draft. And I love it when my weaving allows me to think too. But my questions are usually, "what if I did this", or "what if I changed that." A great way to pass the time and be productive while we're at it.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

What a fantastic idea....and not to mention, the towels are beautifu!!!

Deanna said...

Love the little grip bump on the beater. Great idea! I like your draft too - lovely fabric.

skiingweaver said...

A great reminder to remember the basics! I catch myself hunching, too... Eeks. :)