Tag Archives: weaving

First project

IMG_5674After 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.IMG_4065

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.

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The sunset made for a beautiful evening dinner. The next two nights were cloudy, so this was our best sunset.

 

Look what I got

IMG_5499This is a new to me 8 harness Spring loom. I had been pondering for a year getting a new loom that would treadle easier than my current Kessenich 8 harness jack loom. But if I was going to get a new loom I wanted to have more harnesses and greater design capability.   At Convergence I explored AVL and Louet looms. I sat down and wove on their different models, both computerized and not. A computerized loom was not in my budget, so they were eliminated. I narrowed my search to a Louet Spring loom or a AVL Home loom.

On my birthday this year I gave myself permission to get a new loom.

Thanks to Ravelry where someone had listed in the Warped Weavers Marketplace group  “find of the day” a Craig’s listing for a used Spring loom in San Antonio. I had persued 2 other used  looms, but neither had worked out. After making contact with the seller I drove 3 1/2 hours to San Antonio the next day to see the loom. It was an older 8 Harness Spring loom a little dirty but in good shape otherwise. It came with various shuttles, an Ashford bench, a couple of books and some other items I won’t keep. It would not fit in my Ford Escape, which I knew when I went.  The following weekend we borrowed our neighbors Suburban and picked up the loom.

My husband helped reassemble the loom. The front and back beams needed to be removed to get it out of the previous owners home. The wood simply required a wipe down. The texsolve Heddles and tie- ups all got washed, now being sparkling white. Removing, washing and restringing the 800 heddles with the loom is something I don’t want to repeat.

My goal is to weave on the loom to get used to it, then add another 4 harnesses. I also would like to add a Temple Treadle to the loom. More about Tempo Treadle in my next post.

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This  fella I saw on my morning walk. It’s hard to get close enough to get a picture before they’re spooked and fly off.

 

Borders

 

 

IMG_5488A horizontal band or accent along or near the edge used to highlight a design is one definition of border.  When I design towels adding a border creates visual interest. The shadow weave towels just off the loom have borders at the bottom edge of the towel. More details about these towels can be found in a previous post In the Shadows.

The middle towel above does not have a border added.

For these shadow weave towels, the border is simply plain weave. The alternating colors create the horizontal and vertical pattern due to the threading of the warp. This border is a simple “color and weave” pattern. The towels border that has 2 bands of pattern is a plain weave, color and weave pattern known as log cabin.

Now that your all confused which towel do you prefer, no border, a border with a single band or block of accent, or the border with 2 blocks (the log cabin design)?

These towels can be found in the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston – Guild House Gallery in  mid May.

 

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I’m transitioning to summer blooms geraniums, marigolds and zinnias. The summer heat is almost upon us.

 

 

Wholly Lace

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Barbara E.    Huck Lace

“Wholly Lace”, was the theme for this years swatch exchange. Each year the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston have a swatch exchange. The subject varies from year to year. Themes tend to be structure based like this years or artistic. Swatch Swap has taken place since 1990. Twenty Seven years and this was only my second time to participate.

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Rosemary  – Swarthmore Lace

Samples of Bronson, Canvas, Huck, Spot Bronson, Swarthmore and Swedish lace are in our finished books.  Nine of us created a Huck lace variation.

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Linda’s    Bronson Lace

Next year’s Swatch Swap theme will be “Seasonal Inspiration”.  What combination of colors, fibers, structure and design will you choose to create your interpretation of the theme?

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Theresa – Canvas weave

 

In the Shadows

IMG_5379It 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.

Not Weaving

 

It’s hard to weave when your loom is folded up. The loom is waiting to be moved out of the room while the carpet padding is replaced. Then the existing carpet will be re-laid and cleaned. It has been a very unproductive time.

In desperation I dusted off the inkle loom and warped it. It had been a while so the 1st attempt at warping I cut off and threw away. It felt good to do something with my hands, while the construction people are in the house. About 1 1/2 yards of 1/2 inch wide trim this made. The trim is really too wide for loops on towels.

So I put a longer warp on the inkle and am weaving a narrow trim 5/16 inches wide. This should work on future towels. when finished there will be 2 1/2 yds, maybe a little more.

My large loom is open and back to its designated place. A Shadow weave towel warp is being threaded. The best part is our reconstruction is almost complete.

All that Glitters

img_5164If 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.

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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.

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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.

Small Bags

 

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So what do you do with all the small pieces of  handwoven fabric from sampling and weaving off a warp? Small bags with and without a strap are one possibility.

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With pockets

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Beaded

 

 

 

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                                                  Antique button closure

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Simple, but elegant

The possibilities are endless.

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Happy Holidays to all, and may your New Year be filled with many fiber related projects.

 

 

 

 

Linen and Huck

 

img_0820Linen and Huck lace weave go beautifully together. The loom was threaded with a bleached 16/2 linen  in an 8 shaft Huck lace pattern. These two towels and the following gray towel were woven on this warp.

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The guild annual sale has come and gone. An amazing amount of work goes into putting on this event. It always amazes me how many towels we sell.

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Cotton, linen, and cottolin towels of every weave structure. Inspiration for future projects the sale is full of. Since I weave more than I can use or gift, this is an event I participate in to support my guild. Hopefully it will continue to take place in future years or I will need to find a different outlet for my work.

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Possibly a swallowtail, it’s definitely larger than the monarchs that visit. Not sure if he was resting, injured or drying his wings.

Obsession

img_0814 Hard to believe this Weave It throw has been in the works for too many years. One of those projects begun before I owned a floor loom, ( 30 some years ago), which seems a life time ago. In moving around my studio this year it required the emptying of the walk-in closet for painting. What should I come across but a bag full of Weave It squares and some skeins of matching yarn. The original goal was to make an Afghan or throw, but there were not enough squares In that bag. I hate unfinished projects langushing away in hidden places. So do I trash them or finish what I had begun years ago. The nice thing about Weave It looms is they are very portable and easy to work on in the evening while sitting by the TV.

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So the obsessive work continued. Enough squares were made for a throw 13 squares by 11 squares. Each square is about 4 x 4 inches. A total of 143 squares, which were then crocheted together and all the ends sewn in.

Do you have unfinished projects tucked away?  Should they be resurrected and brought back to life? More incomplete projects remain in my closet, maybe another will be completed in the coming year.