Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pleated Twill Scarf

This scarf is totally different from anything I have done, which is kinda normal for me! It is black and white stripes which were going to be 8 threads each until I remembered that I was using 2/30 Tencel which would have made for really teeny tiny stripes. Oh, the stripes are going to become pleats! So the stripes became 1 inch wide.
To make the pleats the white stripe is a 3/1 twill and the black is a 1/3 twill. The strong diagonal line from the twill makes it pleat. There is a definitely two sides to this scarf, one side has white and black stripes, the other is white and charcoal grey. Here is a photo of the scarf on the loom with the tension off; the pleats are starting to show in the gentle curves. On the loom the scarf is 9” wide but after it came off it pleated down to about 2”. It was rather amazing to watch this scarf curl up and make these amazing pleats. After washing in warm soapy water and hanging to dry, I pulled gently on each stripe to set the pleats, no steaming was needed. The scarf is amazingly soft and has an unusual drape, which is still comfortable and pretty. The scarf now has two different sides, no more strong visual stripes, one side is white, the other black.This scarf is remarkable and I would totally do it again although I think that I would make the stripes only ½” wide because it would make more and shallower pleats!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rosepath and Twill Runner

After my cottolin test gamp was off the loom and it had past inspection, the gamp was neatly labled and pressed and put away in my Test Box. What to do with the remaining 3 or so yards of warp? At first I did some sampling on the loom, fooling around with treadlings, but I soon came to the conclusion that I was going to have to pull the threading and rethread.
After a bout on PCW Fiberworks I decided that I liked the look of both the Rosepath and the M's &W’s, so I created this draft. Very busy looking in the draft, but since the runner will be around 50" long it won't be quite as busy as the draft shows.
I put a M&W’s threading block on each selvedge and a double Rosepath block in the centre. I decided to weave a deep border of 10” of M&W as drawn in and then follow with about 48” of Rosepath as drawn in. The overall effect is a bit busy, but I like it. There are a lot of long floats, but they give the Rosepath the rounded look, so they will stay. Since my warp is set at 24 epi, they aren’t too long for a piece destined to be table ware. The first thing I did though was drop the lilac separating stripes, there was no way I could work them into the design and like it. This made narrowing the draft from 17-1/2” to 16-1/2”, but that still worked for me. I decided to keep the lilac threads on the selvedges and added a floating selvedge to make the edges neater. Here is a closer look at the M&W’s border. And of the Rosepath center block.

Book Review
Rep Weave and Beyond by Joanne Tallarovic is a beautifully crafted book clearly documenting how the author modifies traditional Swedish ripsmatta to create her own contemporary patterns. There are 29 well documented design projects including table linens, rugs and wall hangings. The projects are accompanied by step-by-step instructions and great colour photography. There is a nice section on finishing and care of your rep weave creations. I really recommend this book as it is lovely for any weaver to browse through and a great inspiration source.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Undulating Twill Cloth

For the first time both Mum and I are weaving the same weave structure – twill. I am weaving undulating twill for upholstery. Undulations because I wanted to have a sense of movement and to have a rounded shape to compliment the footstools that it will be covering (they are oval). It was also important to choose a pattern that had small weft floats as it had to be a tight fabric so there would be no catching and pulling on the threads. I am using Orlec because of the fantastic colours and the hard wearing properties. I am using three shades of teal in the warp, a light teal and two dark teal – they are actually the same colour but are different dye lots so they look like two different hues. I was going to do stripes of colour but soon realized that the undulations are partly an optical illusion so the colours needed to be random. When I pulled the warp, using 3 tubes at a time, I didn’t try to keep them in any type of order. So when I was threading I used whatever thread came first, I really wanted the warp to be organically random, no ‘fixing’ the randomness! The weft is an emerald green and is treadled in point twill. It really made the blues pop. The pattern reminds me of the surface of the ocean or maybe being inside of a kelp bed. It is really interesting; I spent a lot of time modifying the original pattern. I turned the draft and rotated the repeat, then mirrored the repeat, I think, maybe I inverted it too I can’t really remember as I was deep in the designing mode! I am doing enough yardage to do two footstools. For the second half I was going to treadle the pattern as drawn in, which made really pretty blocks . . . on the computer. With the emerald green weft the pattern faded into the background and just went blah.
I tried the pattern with other wefts but nothing worked so I have woven the same point twill as before. But I have kept the pattern and I know that I will be revisiting it because it is stunning. Here are a couple more photos which may show the pattern a bit better.
I have pulled the yardage off the loom and just need to wash and press it before I can cover the footstools. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished project!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Twill Gamp on Eight Shafts Part Three

I’m done with my gamp and overall I’m quite pleased with the result. Here are a few of the notable twill combinations.
Herringbone treadled Advancing twill was a complete surprise M&W treadled Advancing twill is very prettyRosepath treadled Advancing twill; this too was a surprise A very nice herringbone pattern treadled as drawn in This is Rosepath treadled Herringbone M&W treadled Point Twill Snowflake twill treadled as drawn in
This is Snowflake twill treadled as Rosepath
My overall conclusion on this gamp is that the most successful threadings are separate leg M & W and Rosepath, just about every treadling looks good with these two. After I finished the piece and did my first spot check to make sure there were no treadling errors; I machine stitched the hems. I then vigorously hand washed the gamp and laid it flat to dry. This piece was 16-1/2” wide and 41” long after it was removed from the loom. Today I started my blocking process; I have ensured that the gamp is square by measuring each block and pinning it to my Rowenta ironing board. The Rowenta is an extra wide board and it does make a difference…. Once I ensured that each block was square by pinning it into place– it now measures 15-1/2” wide and 38-3/4” long; I sprayed it with water and will let it dry before doing my first hard pressing and hand hemming. The final part of this test piece is to label each treadling and threading combination……painful, but necessary.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twill Gamp on Eight Shafts Part Two

I’ve continued to work on my gamp at a snail’s pace. What can I say life gets in the way!

My son and his GF are arriving today from Vancouver. We are a short stopover on their drive to Ontario so that his GF can leave her car and belongings at her parents as she is on her way to Afghanistan. She will be working for Services Canada at our base in Kandahar, so this is a bittersweet day for us as it may be a while till we see her again. Here's the gamp so far....
M&W treadled Rosepath is not very remarkable.Snowflake treadled Rosepath has a bit more potential.Rosepath as drawn in is simply lovely!Herringbone treadled Rosepath, hmmm not so much. M&W treadled Broken Twill is a firm twill. Snowflake treadled Broken Twill is not very much to look at.Rosepath treadled Broken Twill is interesting.Herringbone treadled Broken Twill is surprisingly pretty.I received this beautifully woven sample in the mail on Monday. I sent this 4 shaft draft to Dorothy at Christmas as she had expressed an interest in my 4 shaft shadow weave draft and knowing that Dorothy likes complicated twill patterns I popped this in a card and …Wow, it really paid off in spades! I now have this wonderful piece to add to my Sample binder. I love that this blog has put me in touch with some wonderful people and I truly appreciate it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Twill Gamp for Eight Shafts

A week or so before the Winter Olympics and many parts of British Columbia are having the warmest winter on record! We have NO SNOW and plenty of sunshine, it's feeling very Marchlike out there! I took this photo of the sky because it looked like my Network Twill scarves!

This week I found myself with both of my looms empty! This is a rare thing for me, so I used the time to give them a bit of a tune up before I put warps on them. It was completely amazing how loose some of the wing nuts had become!
Jane the table loom got loaded with a warp made from 4/8 Natural Linen; my intention is to work on a few ‘Weaver manipulated Rug’ samples for the GCW test. So far all I have done is 4 rows of weft twining as an edge protector…..not my favourite type of weaving and I’ll be waffling around with this for some time, but at least I have the warp ready and waiting.Lily got loaded with 2/22 Cottolin for another test piece, the Eight Shaft Twill Gamp. It must be in defined blocks showing 4 or more twill threadings, with 8 or more twill treadlings. I chose to use white cottolin for the piece with 4 picks of lilac for my separators. I’m using celery green for the weft and it’s coming out very fresh and spring like. The colours really make me happy and I must admit that the patterns are pretty nice too. Unfortunately my photos don’t capture the colour at all well.For my first treadling block I have separate leg M & W threading, treadled as drawn in.
This is a Snowflake twill treadled M & W.
This is a modified Rosepath treadled M & W.
And finally Herringbone treadled M & W. The whole piece is just a joy to do, easy; relaxing weaving that is only spoilt by my having to measure every ½ inch to ensure that my ppi are the same as my epi. So far so good! I’ve been knitting in the evenings and have just finished these socks for my sister’s birthday on February 14th! Yup she’s a Valentines baby….as a matter of fact everyone of my siblings were born on a ‘special’ day and my parents were married on Christmas Eve – quite spooky isn’t it?
I’ve also knitted these wrist warmers for Ngaire. These are made from handspun baby alpaca that I space dyed with Kool Aid in the microwave….They have half thumbs to keep them in place and are a great idea for when full mitts are just too warm.