Hurricane Harvey and it’s aftermath have caused a slow down or halt to any weaving the past 2 weeks. I’m lucky our house was not flooded. We were in a mandatory evacuation zone. After attempting to get out of town but finding roads blocked by rising waters. (A very scary situation) the night was spent in a hotel parking lot. The next day we were able to drive to a hotel in another area. This was our home the next 5 days. Before leaving our home we tried to move what furniture we could to the 2nd floor. Furniture too heavy or big, stayed down. Two of the looms were on the first level. One was placed on top of the dining room table that was on blocks, and the second on wood blocks.
The above scarves were completed before all this drama. It is my first attempt at Echo and Iris.
It’s hard to believe there are 2 colors of 20/2 mercerized cotton in the warp that alternate. And 2 different colors in the warp that alternate. The color blending that occurs creates totally different colors. The different colors in each scarf are from changing the weft colors used.
So yesterday I spent some time weaving. I’m amazed at how calming I found that time. My thoughts and prays are with those who have suffered from the storm.
In March of this year I decided to buy a Tempo Treadle from Lofty Fiber to create error free weaving on my Baby Macomber loom. So what is Tempo Treadle ? It involves adding magnets to your treadles, (attached with velcro), that are detected during weaving by a sensor array strip placed below the treadles. The array strip is connected via a ribbon cable to a “System Unit” or small computer with display that sits on the castle.
So what does the System Unit do? WIF files containing the weaving design are uploaded to the system unit, which also contains the system software which is customized for your loom type and model. The unit can be used to track threading also showing warp thread colors and progress. If you stop before completing your progress your place will be saved. It will list harnesses that should be tied to treadles. Allowing double checking for tie-up errors. Tracking weaving and detecting errors is my motivator to purchase.
When I chose to weave more complicated weaving, often it resulted in undetected errors or ones that required a lot of unweaving. I was beginning to wonder if it was still rewarding to weave. The Tempo Treadle has brought joy back to my weaving. It beeps when the correct treadle has been depressed and released during weaving. A different sounding beep is heard when the wrong harness has been depressed and released. These sounds can be adjusted or turned off. It will save my position when stepping away or turning the unit off. It allows me to now weave a long complicated treadling. The above picture of a woven Bateman Blend fabric has a treadling repeat of 104, including the tabbies.
Currently it is not available for all types of looms. The sensor array is loom specific, but the System Unit which is purchased separately from the array can be used on any loom that has a Sensor Array on it.
When I started this journey with Dawne and Barry from Lofty Fiber a Sensor Array had not been designed specifically for the Baby Mac. They had me make many measurements to determine placement of the sensors and Sensor Array strip to customize for the Baby Mac. The loom needed to be placed on raised legs to create space for the array under the treadles? This is only done for some loom types. The array is bracketed to the side supports so it does move. The only draw back with this arrangement is that to move the loom requires removing the Sensor Array and brackets and legs. There are many additional features to the Tempo Treadle I have not discussed that ease the weaving process, click on TempoTreadle.com to learn more.
Now to get the other 4 harnesses that I have on order for my Spring loom, then a Sensor Array can be added to it for error free, stress free weaving too.
After a trip to Aruba I finished setting up the Spring loom to begin weaving. It required learning new skills to get this far. Yes, I’ve been weaving for over 30 years but there are always new things one can learn about ways to use equipment.
Back to front, Front to back, how do you put on your warp. I had been warping from the front for over 30 years. It started when I was using mixed warps. Then I just got comfortable with doing it that way. So with the Spring I forced myself to learn once again how to warp from the “Back”. The raddle with all the small divisions on the Spring seemed tedious, but that warp sure wound on nice. Threading texsolve heddles is quite different than metal heddles. After threading almost 500 Heddles I seemed to find a way to hold them to make threading more efficient.
Monday I sat down to weave. Of course 3 threading errors had to be fixed before continuing. My first 3 weft throws were good. Then I depressed the 4th treadle, or so I tried. I could not get a shed. I was perplexed. Everything appeared fine. What had I done. The loom is tied up like a countermarche loom. Every heddle gets tied to a treadle whether used or not. Here in lay the problem. That particular harness had been tied to both a rising and sinking Lamm. A harness should only be tied to one or the other. Problem found and solved.
My first warp on the loom is for these cheerful towels. The warp and weft are both 8/2 cotton threaded 24 ends per inch. An 8 harness overshot. By the time the warp is woven off I should be much more familiar with my new friend.
The view from our room in Aruba. The hotels were all along the beaches on this side of the island.
On the other side of the island the beaches are covered with dead coral. The water here is much rougher. The second picture is a large volcanic rock.
The sunset made for a beautiful evening dinner. The next two nights were cloudy, so this was our best sunset.
It is so nice to be able to weave again. The work is completed on the house, (sigh of relief). I have almost finished washing all the crystal and china to put back into the cabinets. It makes me wonder why I collect depression glass.
On the loom is an 8 harness shadow weave. They will be towels when completed. The 8/2 cotton is from Webs in a black and light gray. The colors alternate in the warp and weft, except at pattern block transitions where 2 shots of black are used. Keeps me on my toes. I really like the business of the pattern.
I was surprised at the size of this bubble bee collecting pollen from the snap dragons in pots on the deck. With temps the last few days in the upper 80’s those snapdragons are beginning to fade . Soon some summer annuals will be planted to replace.
If this shawl had been started after the awards ceremonies earlier this month it’s inspiration could have been all those beautiful metallic gowns worn by the celebrities attending. But my inspiration was from a previous project, a scarf woven in this pattern with a different metallic yarn.
The warp is an 8/2 Tencel sett at 20 epi. The weft is a gold metallic sewing thread sold for quilting.
The shawl is off the loom and having the fringe twisted and beaded. My fringe twister broke on finishing the previous shawl. One of the two alligator clips broke. It surely broke from over use. Luckily a second twister had been bought when the other had been misplaced for a short time. I could not live without this must have tool.
Normally I will weave a lot at this time of year. I have been distracted by preparations for my daughters upcoming wedding. Distractions also came in December from having a water connection break in an upstairs bath which proceeded to rain downstairs. Repairs from this will begin in a few weeks. This has meant moving my large loom to the center of our living room to initially dry carpet underneath. Soon it will be moved temporarily to an unknown space so new carpet pad Installed with carpet relaid and cleaned. Painting will also be done. I’m planning a project for a bateman study group. Hopefully that will be on the loom before long.
Varigated warp, Solid weft
Huck Lace is traditionally done the same solid color in both the warp and weft. The floats that create the design, are more visible with a solid color scarf. But why always follow tradition in your weaving, explore! So that is exactly what I have done with these two scarves. The weave structure is the same Huck lace pattern used in the previous post Love that huck.
The first scarf used a Varigated 8/2 Tencel warp. The weft was a solid color to coordinate with the darker color in the warp. The second scarf used a metallic quilting thread as the weft. Here the same warp was used as in the first scarf. The metallic weft created texture in the scarf after washing.
Varigated Tencel warp. Metallic quilting thread weft.
I’ve been busy weaving Huck lace scarves. It is one of my favorite weave structures. The first were these lovely purple tencel ones. I modified the draft from one for 12 harnesses to weave on 8 harnesses. But it still creates a nice pattern.
Being happy with the first 2 scarves, I tied on a new warp. These used a silver-gray tencel for the warp and weft. Later I played with the extra warp making samples for possible later projects. Using different types of yarn for the weft, as well as a different weave structures to create a crimp weave samples too.
When the metallic quilting thread was used for top of sample in photo 1, it remained soft after washing. This same metallic thread was used in the second sample photo. The crimp process gave a rough hand which would not work for a scarf. The third photo an 8/2 poly was used in weft giving a much nicer hand for this crimp weave sample.
If you’ve read this far I hope you enjoy the sunset at the beach in Cancun, Mexico, taken on a recent vacation.
Ok, I’ve been offline for a long time. Life got in the way. Some good and some bad , but I’m going to try to get back in the groove of posting more often. These Rep weave pieces were woven with the warp from Rosalie Nielson’s workshop last October.( I don’t yet have another warp on that loom.) They were all done using the same tie-up. The different looks were created using treadling variations and weft differences. The first is a traditional rep weave, an original design. Applying the design tools learned in Rosalie’s workshop made creating an original design a breeze.
This runner does not have the thin weft in between each thick weft. It gives a totally different look. The weft is also half the thickness as the traditional rep runner. Below is a close up of a sample piece with this technique.
I’ll close with these Spring flowers from a recent trip to the Dallas Arboretum.
Weaving simple works when one can’t weave on your floor loom. These rag weave coasters were woven on a 2 harness peacock table loom. They will be gifted to a neighbor whose dog ate their last coasters.
I’ve started to weave on the remaining warp from the Rosalie Neilson workshop I took in October. I’ve designed a new runner with what I learned in the workshop. When the rep weave runner is off the loom and hemmed I’ll share the final results. The runner is woven but there is still another yard of warp I want to weave. With any luck the weaving will be completed yet this week.
This red Amaryllis bought in the after Christmas sales is now blooming, brightening up this gray overcast day.
So I skipped threading the heddles and sleying the reed, by tying on a new warp to the last warp on the loom. From earthy Autumn to Jewel tones the warp has changed. These colors just made me feel happy as I wove. There will be 5 Cottolin (cotton and linen blend yarn) towels.
One of the towels will be for me and the remaining four are for sale in the Gallery at the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, Guild House . The color in the photo on the loom is better than of the finished towels. Funny how different light sources affect the captured image.
This Santa ornament was added to our Christmas tree this year. It was made from a Mill Hill beaded counted cross stitch kit. The kits contain everything one needs to complete the project. The beads add sparkle to the piece. I’ve started stitching a new ornament for next year. The tree is decorated for Christmas and awaiting packages to be placed beneath.