Each year the the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston have a Swatch Swap that any member can join for a nominal fee. At the end of the previous year members pick the subject matter with this year’s subject being “Seasons”. Participants can interpret this as they wish.
This is the weaving I needed to finish when I found myself in the boot for Achilles tendinitis. So I wove this 8 shaft, 8 treadle, twill, one footed.
The warp is a baby blue, 10/2 Mercerized cotton, sett at 30 epi. For the weft I used a double shuttle with with one shuttle white 10/2 unmercerized cotton, and the second shuttle a translucent white metallic yarn. The finished fabric has a nice sparkle from the metallic yarn and will be made into table runners. The actual fabric is a prettier blue than what I was able to photograph.
I chose winter for my season. Living in Houston I miss snow. I especially miss it after the endless days of heat and humidity. I grew up with snow in Minneasota and still find it magical. Of course I don’t miss the subzero temperatures or the dirty gray snow piled along the roadways, but fluffy snow coating tree branches, and the ground will always bring fond memories of bygone days.
I am out of the boot. The foot still is not 100%, so on trips I throw the boot into the suitcase just in case.
I will be attending the Hand Weavers Guild of America Convergence conference in Reno, Nevada later this week and hope to see some of you there.
The Iris is from my mother-in laws garden, in Superior,Wisconsin.
After a botched posting, I’m back to share. Off the loom now is this black, white, and gray, Bronson Lace weave. You can see the center of this towel design. I love lace weaves, this is the first time I’ve woven this design. It began with a pattern found in the Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Weaves: Carol Strickler. A Bronson Lace design on pg. 186 #619. I modified the design found in the book to arrive at this pattern.
The next batch of cottolin towels will use these colors; the deep coral will be for the weft yarn, with a surprise color used in the weft for some of the towels.
The outdoor Amaryllis was in full bloom for Easter. It’s not looking so good now but has one bloom yet to open. What started with 3 bulbs a couple of years ago, has now become six. It maybe time to separate.
Sunsets and sunrises inspire this scarf. The hand dyed yarn used in the warp was a former convergence purchase, a fiber combination Rayon/Linen, which I had not woven with before. The 8 harness twill floats show off the warp colors. A magenta tencel was used in the weft.
So why weave two scarves alike? The second scarf on the warp I used a olive green Tencel for the weft. Much more subtle. This scarf was also treadled differently, using the same tie-up. When finished the scarves had a nice hand and drape. The Linen gave a sturdier feel than a scarf from all Tencel/Rayon.
Thoughts of spring flowers.
A trip to the garden store, found beautiful daffodils and tulips. I came home with snapdragons, marigolds, and petunias for the flower pots on the deck. Flowers I hoped would last longer as our temperatures fluxuate.
Every autumn I weave a set of towels in colors of changing trees. There’s not much inspiration here, but my eye can take me back to the years spent in Minnesota.
The towels are a twelve shaft shadow weave, of 22/2 cottolin sett at 20 ends per inch. I used any where from 3 to 5 colors in their weaving. 3 colors in warp, The weft colors were changed as cones were used up to avoid adding to the stash.
The box above is the 4 shaft extension kit for the Spring loom. Not what I expected for all that money. Anyways it arrived a few days before Hurricane Harvey so was not assembled for several weeks. A few choice words were spoken during assembly. ( Have you ever assembled IKEA pieces?) My recommendation is if you think you want 12 harnesses invest up front and purchase a 12 shaft loom.
This bundle of joy arrived a month ago to my Son and Daughter-in-law. We are lucky to live 5 hours away, making it easier to visit my first grandchild.
A Baby blanket was woven and gifted.
I’m finishing items for the CHH Annual Sale. So if your in the neighborhood visit and support the Fiber artists participating as well as the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston guild.
Signs of the coming winter with the Blue Heron returning to the community lake.
Posted in 12 harness weave, 8 harness weave, CHH Annual Weaving Sale, CHH Guild House, Handwoven towels, Shadow Weave, Twill Weave
Tagged CHH Handweavers Holiday Sale, handweaving, Louet Spring 12 harness loom, Shadow Weave, weaving project
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.