Monday, June 18, 2012

Warp Rep or Ripsmatta

I am still on a stash busting mission and Rep Weave uses a lot of yarn, so it seemed like a natural choice for me. I haven’t woven Rep Weave since 2004, when I was doing the Guild of Canadian Weavers Master Program, so I thought I’d have another look at the whole weave structure.  I found that Lila Lundells book Rep Weave to be really good.

Rep Weave gets its name from its strong horizontal ribbing; rep and rib have the same root word in French.

“Rep Weave is a derivate of Tabby with warp set so closely that it covers the weft. Two wefts are used alternately; one very heavy and another very fine. The fabric has ridges parallel to the weft. If the warp has all uneven numbered ends of one kind of yarn; and all even ends of other the fabric will have two sides woven in two different yarns. The same applies to the warp made of two alternating colours; the fabric will have one colour on one side and the second colour on the other”. Excerpt from Encyclopedia of Hand-Weaving by Stanislaw A Zielinski published by Funk & Wagnalls New York.

I decided to use two different colours of the same yarn rather than two different yarns, although that sounds pretty exciting and I may try it in the future. I found exactly the pattern that I was looking for in Handwoven Magazine September/October 1988. The article is entitled Warp Rep by Lynne Giles. The actual design is called ‘Lace’ and was designed by Catharina Carlstedt and published by Glimakra.

This is the draft that I got from the magazine and it took me forever to key it into PCW!

Ngaire had a look and noticed that I didn’t have enough heddles on 8 shafts for the pattern, so she took it to PCW and stretched it over 12 shafts for me. I still ended up making 20 extra heddles…..painfully slow! I can see an order for a few hundred more heddles will be in my future.
Pulling the 808 threads seemed to take forever, but thankfully it pulled onto the loom really easily. I’ve sett the Rep Weave at 40 ends per inch ~ 4 per dent in a 10 dent reed, so that part went quickly.

I found that the origianl draft in the magazine was just too big for my purposes, so I reduced the pattern overall to make a runner the width 20 inches. I’ve chosen to use 2/8 Orlec for the warp in mid-green and light green alternately for the warp.

Threading was pretty straightforward, but I had to really keep my mind on the colour sequence as it changes on a frequent basis and there are plenty of times where two light or two dark colours lie next to each other.  The pattern looks like it has some texture but that is an optical illusion caused when the warp colours change.
I’ve used the same 2/8 Orlec for the fine weft and thought I’d use a DK weight Acrylic Knitting Yarn for my heavy weft. It was cheap and cheerful and I thought it would wash very well.
Well that didn’t work out well at all– can you see the fluffy knitting yarn popping out between the warp threads? It's just too fluffy and poofy and it makes the pattern appear a bit fuzzy.
I went to my local yarn shop and found a skein of Butterfly Mercerized Cotton from Greece! This is a 6 ply cable yarn and it works much, much better. The cotton is very firm and it behaves itself and allows the warp to cover it completely.
This is my runner so far.
This is the runner from underneath. I took this photo lying on the floor looking up and it was much more difficult than I thought it would be!  This runner will be completely reversable.
I'd forgotten how much fun Rep Weave is ~ I'm really enjoying this simple, graphic pattern and I can't wait to see the finished result!


Susan said...

It does look like a fun weave! I have a ton of 8/2 orlec so should 'borrow' the 12 shaft version for some stash busting here too.

Looking forward to seeing you both soon!


Anonymous said...

I agree with you the firm cotton yarn is much better looking than the original orlec. Very pretty piece, looking forward to seeing the finished runner.

India said...

If you are intrested in "Ripsmattor" you should look in to this site:
Birgitta is a proffessional rips-weaver.

Pegi Rose said...

If you have a wif of Lace, would you mind sharing it?