Monday, February 9, 2015

Designing at the Loom with a Raddle

I am working on some pretty spring coloured tea towels.  They are mainly periwinkle blue with nine colourful stripes in pale blue, lilac, green and peach.  But there was a little problem while pulling the warp.  I ran out of the pretty green.
I knew that the green was going to be tight so I pulled the warp in batches starting from the edges working my way into the middle.  I have used this tea towel draft before and I have the weight of the warp broken down into each coloured stripe.   I measured all the cones and subtracted the empty cone weight and I thought I had just enough.  But I forgot that I changed the draft from 5 stripes to 9 stripes so of course I was short!
I needed a new stripe pattern for the three stripes left in the middle of the warp.   I replaced the green with the peach and this makes the stripes brighter.  When I put all the mini warps together on top of the loom in preparation for pulling on the warp, I thought that the peach stripes stuck out in the middle of the warp.
So I decided to move the stripes around in the warp.  The edges were pulled with two green stripes each and I also pulled two small warps of a single green stripe.  So I really started designing on the loom!  I kept the edges the same but moved a peach stripe between the single green stripe.   So the sequence is two green, peach, green, peach, green, peach and two green.
First thing that I did was pull apart the three peach stripes into separate crosses but I kept the 5 yards of warp together. 
To warp the back beam of the Louet Spring the warp is separated into the five dent raddle on the top of the loom.  On the top of the loom you can see the warps crossing over each other because of the moved stripes.  There was no trouble pulling on the warp due to the raddle and it took less than five minutes.  
I used to have a Leclerc Minerva (wish I still did, love that loom!) and one of the improvements for that loom was a removable raddle that could be lashed onto the castle which was made from a five dent reed cut in half.  I really think that warping with a raddle makes a huge difference to how well and fast a warp can be pulled on.
If anyone is interested we have a raddle chart that we have compiled and that Mum and I use it has common epi’s and how to warp them on a five dent raddle for the Louet Looms.  A Pro Tip is if you are pulling a warp from two cones keep the two thread group together because the threads have a twist added to them and if you separate the double threads in the raddle you get a twisted mess.  I've attached a JPEG of the raddle chart below.
Garden Picture is Sweet Box (Sarcococca) it blooms in January/February and has an absolutely stunning fragrance of vanilla.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

6 Shaft Twill Tea Towels

It feels like forever, but I’m finally weaving again!  It seems like so many things have taken up my weaving time lately, I’m blaming the fitbit….all that walking is really eating into my play time!

I decided to go to my ‘happy place’ and put on a 6 tea towel warp, both to use up my stash and to get back into the rhythm.  Don’t you love the look of a fresh warp over the back beam?
The pattern I’m using is 6 shaft 2/2 twill and the colours in the warp are silver grey, navy, shale grey, slate grey and beige. 
I decided to use the navy for the weft and to not put in any stripes; I think the pattern speaks loudly enough don’t you? I was hoping for a nautical feel and I think it works.
I finally, and I mean finally finished the silk scarf, and I’m really happy with the result, but it took literally forever!  I swear I had this sitting on the dining table for weeks as I slowly stitched the cord to the edge.  The result is stunning though, but I don’t want to have to do it again anytime soon!
Here it is in all it’s glory….
At the beginning of this post I was blaming my fitbit for not having enough loom time, but I must admit that a few ‘crafty’ projects have managed to sneak in. 
My KitchenAid mixer got a new set of duds…after 34 years of hard work I think ‘Betsy’ deserves a new look!
I have a friend who eats gluten and dairy free and since we were having a Spanish meal we found this Spanish Orange and Almond Cake to end the meal. The Spanish usually decorate this cake with the cross of St. James of Compostela and I think it looks amazing and it tasted spectacular! !