Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday Runner Finished

Weaving this 100 step pattern (plus tabby) on an 8-shaft table loom was time consuming.  I put on 5 yards and was able to do fit three runners.  This is a pic off the loom before wet finish.  Pic shows both sides.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Planning holiday table runners

As the stash reduction continues, I came upon some large cones of red cotton.  One is conshohocken softball cotton (which makes it pretty old) that is a 3/2 cotton strand wrapped with a fine cotton strand to create a uniform texture in the yarn.  The other cone is a darker red in mercerized 3/2.

The textured yarn has charm that is better shown by having longer floats.  I stumbled upon an interesting draft that I had saved on my computer without any notes that really explained who/what/where except the file name "networked-weaving-draft-3".  The draft below is my modification to exploit the motifs I found most appealing in the target width of approx 15inches.

The project will be woven on a LeClerc Dorothy 8 shaft table loom...that has been made more user friendly by adding some ergo touches.  I added some sugru handles to the beam takeup cranks, some bumpers to the front where beater strikes, and perhaps most important, finger pads on the hard plastic shaft pull.  Before adding these improvements in 2011, I was ready to retire this loom because the hard plastic pulls were too hard on the fingers for hours of weaving.  With the padding, it is possible to weave long periods. If you have one of these older looms, Sugru is a great product that is now widely available.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Double-width Doubleweave Blanket Finish

Double width wool blanket
 Just in time for the coming colder weather, the wool double width blanket is off the loom.  There was only ONE fix needed where the layers "crossed".  Easy fix with the wool weft.

The wet finish was done in a front loader using the wool wash setting.  I did check the progress at 10 mins but let it finish the entire cycle.  The amount of fulling was perfect.

In the first snapshot, you can see the overall look of the blanket.  Note the center line which was the fold for the two layers.

You can see the center line more clearly at the left of the second photo.  Even though the sett was a little more open by skipping dent during sleying, the end result looks like a design element.

I showed off my blanket at the guild meeting recently and was pleased that my talented friends also thought it was a success.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

DoubleWeave DoubleWidth

Looms take up space, and large looms take up a lot of space.  With the possibility of downsizing "looming", I may have to give up either my 8-shaft 36" Harrisville, or my 4-shaft 45" LeClerc.  Not having an 8-shaft floor loom seems limiting.  And not having my LeClerc workhorse (think BABY BLANKETS) seems even more limiting.

I like to use 40"-45" for baby blankets.  Easily done on the LeClerc.  I decided to try a double width doubleweave project to see if my skills are up for doing blankets in TWO layers.  I have only done doubleweave samplers following the excellent instructions published by Jennifer Moore in her "DoubleWeave Basics Book".

I had a bin of wools that needed to be used (part of the downsizing) and so I planned a project for a large wool throw blanket.  I decided to use the LeClerc loom because the Harrisville had another project going.

I put on a width of ~33" as two layers. Since the LeClerc only has 4-shaft that meant each layer could only be plain weave.  The opening would be on the right and the 'crease' or midline, would be on the left.  I also sleyed the sett more loosely right at the midline, and added a nylon floating selvedge.

The challenge of doublewidth is to only join the layers at the midline.  In this case it was the left edge.  During the first 12" or so I checked my layers every few minutes by lifting the shafts for the top layer and peeking in the side.  After 12 inches I felt more confidence and just wove carefully (and more slowly).  I did find myself catching threads, but less frequently than I worried.

Sure, but the real test is when it is off the loom.  I was SO VERY HAPPY when I found only one small error where the layers were joined!  The fix was pretty quick and easy since it is loosely sett plain weave.

I need to finish the twisted fringe and wash to see how the midline will look.  I will post some additional pics with the completed blanket.

It's Hard to Keep up with a Blog with all these Baby Blankets

I like M&O pattern for baby blankets.  The floats have never been a problem and the pattern adds great color and texture.  This blanket was done in all cottons.  The binding is a cute and colorful Owl print.