Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another kind of weaving - baskets!

I'm a little behind on posting these pictures, as these were completed before Christmas, but better late than never:-)

I made this mini bread basket from a kit that was purchased online:

The wood strips that were included for wrapping the rim were troublesome, but my friend, and basket weaving teacher Cathy, helped me out and I was able to replace it with a nicer piece. I did end up doing just a plain wrap, even around the handles, because I couldn't get the fancy wrap in the instructions to be the same on both sides of the handle. At least I ended up with a basket I'm happy with!

This next basket is another Blueberry Basket, but much more rounded than my first. It was fun making this one in a larger class, but my life that day was super stressful (nothing like getting a call about a broken water pipe that is 2 hours away, from husband who is traveling out of state, and not able to go see it because I have to be there to drop off / pick up a child from school - luckily someone found it, and was taking care of it for us), and I can see it in the basket, although it's funny how looking at someone else's project can affect what I'm doing, even when it's not intentional.

You see, I was running behind because of "things beyond my control", and trying to catch up in class, while a classmate that was ahead of me had a basket that was rounded, and I was admiring it, wishing mine would be rounded too. I guess my hands listened and it became rounded too, so I'm happy to have made a beautiful basket on a day that would have been even more stressful if I'd been home worrying, when there was nothing I could do until the next day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Mini Mochi and sock yarn

Yep, as soon as the loom was empty I wound a dark plum sock yarn as warp for this scarf. Mini Mochi is my weft (I learned my lesson with this yarn, as I tried it as warp on my rigid heddle and had troubles) and really like the self-striping colors emerging. I'm using the same 1-2-3-4 twill and plain weave tie-ups as the color gamp, arbitrarily creating a zig-zag twill when there is enough contrast for it to be seen. It's already off the loom and pinned to a pressing mat in my studio so I can get the fringe twisted.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Color Gamp

As soon as the loom was emptied it was warped again. This warp came prewound in a Laura Fry kit that I purchased at the Seattle Weaver's Guild sale, so no winding required, just warp and start weaving. Since the loom is like a magnet, calling me to sit and weave (even when I should be working on other things), it's hard not to sit and weave - just a few inches.... Before I knew it, I had used all the weft yarn that came in the kit. I tried out some 5/2 and 3/2 pearl cottons in black and cream on the remaining warp and decided I liked the more colorful weft. Maybe I can make a tote or something from the area woven with the pearl cotton - the colorful gamp that has matching warp and weft will be hemmed for a table runner (if I can stop weaving long enough to wash and hem it).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bamboo on Spring loom

The bad news is that I forgot to take pictures of my weaving progress, but the good news is that I was so excited I kept weaving in between all the other things one does preparing for Christmas and finished weaving the whole warp. I haven't measured it, guess I should before washing, but I wove as much as I could of the 4-1/2 yard warp (assumption of length because I used every post on my 4-1/2 yard warping board).

Even though I'm a beginner, first warp on a loom, other than a rigid heddle or inkle loom, I had to try out a design and threaded this 8-shaft design which looks similar to a tiny braid, and would probably show up better with thicker, and more contrasting thread.

Along the way I learned many things, and will need to learn how to add plain weave selvedges, as I found that when I wove this pattern edge-to-edge, I had a loose thread along the outer edges that wasn't caught (maybe it would have been caught if I had started the shuttle on the opposite side?), so I only used it here and there, and played with using just two treadles at a time, creating a design that did catch the edges.

Once I used up all the bamboo weft thread I had, I wove the rest with a matching cottolin, which actually wove up without drawing in as much, and that area of the fabric is almost as soft as the all bamboo part.

Of course as soon as I removed this project from the loom, it was immediately warped again with another project.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

spring warping part 1

A little while ago I saw an article with a projet for using Aunt Lydia's bamboo yarn (of course I can't find that inspirational article now), and happened to see the yarn in a local shop and purchased some (no, of course I didn't have any idea how much to buy, just guessed). I planned this pattern in my journal, and started to wind the warp for a multiple heddle test project on my Knitter's Loom, only to find out that I did not have enough of the correct colors, so just made do with what I had (I did reserve some for warp, and only time will tell if there is enough for all the warp).

Since it was wound and ready to go, and already planned as a test project, I decided it would now be the first warp on my Spring loom, and began to follow Jane Stafford's directions to warp the Spring loom from the Louet video. So far, I'm finding the only trouble I'm having is user error with the warping board (yeah, it's the first warp I've tried on it too:-) with a few ends that I tied to the post at the cross end, instead of tying to the next thread - oops! I did manage to figure out their positions and other than my errors, the warping is going along well. So far, I have the warp spread in the raddle, and hopefully I'll get it beamed later today (would love to continue now, but need to get some other things done first).

Lessons learned:
1. Always tie one end to another when changing colors, and if possible have it be at the opposite end of warp than the cross.
2. Put more ties on the warp before removing from the warping board (I only tied the cross around the X and through the loops, and had some twisting going on when I started putting it on the lease sticks, so had to fix one section twice (once to pick up threads I missed on one stick, and second time to untwist the end loop).
3. Post-it notes work very well for marking the center of the loom and the first raddle notch for spreading the warp.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas came early

and guess what I got:

I had started out looking at table looms so that I could weave faster, and better than on my little rigid heddle loom, but in researching, thought a floor loom would be too large, too expensive, etc. I had looked at one used loom, but decided not to get it, as it needed work. My husband started a secret search, and found this Louet Spring loom. We went to see it last night, and were able to bring it home with us!

The partially woven warp is the same one that had been on it when the original owner purchased it, and although there are broken and loose warps, and I have no idea what the threading pattern was, I've found a simple treadling pattern that catches all the threads, and looks a bit like a crepe texture. I figured that I might as well weave off the remaining warp and work on my selvedges, as it feels like cotton, or cotton / linen that might be usable as a dish towel (or something).

The treadles and shafts are a bit sticky, so once I take the fabric and remaining warp off the loom it will be getting a thorough cleaning, as well as whatever else it needs to run smoothly.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I'm Back!

Sorry it's been so quiet around here. I had to get my secret project turned in, and every time I turned around, life got in the way, with all kinds of things that were beyond my control, and others that couldn't be ignored, because they were expected of me, or previously scheduled.

I have quite a few projects waiting for me on the design wall, and others stacked up elsewhere. I've got to get busy getting samples and projects ready for Creative Twist on Tuesday, so I'll get to work, but now I'll be able to blog about my quilting projects too:-)