I know I haven’t been posting about what I’ve been weaving . . . I couldn’t. But I’ve been working deep in the background of this project — weaving things to help the teams make decisions on what to bring into production: Project Jacquard
I wash, dry, and steam press my wraps before they go out. Before you send a piece of cloth this big through the washer to finish it, it’s best to baste it along the rails. I’ve determined that basting by hand with a high-contrast thread is the best way to do this:
I’m so glad you liked it!
After the loom is threaded, the threads must be brought through the reed in the beater. In this case, most of the threads are brought through in pairs, for 16epi, except the ones on the selvedges, which are, for one inch, sett at 24epi.
The ends are then bundled and tied on to the cloth beam, then tensioned to make sure that they all have an even tension, allowing for perfect weaving. Then, scrap yarn is used to spread the bundles back out to make nice cloth. Here, I’ve used a sage yarn in the weft.
I suspected it would be pretty, but the real weft, black, is spectacular. (Click on individual photos to enlarge).
The first yard!
Finally! All the warp threads are wound, and placed in the raddle, which allows them to be spaced on the warp beam for back-to-front threading and sleying. Back-to-front is really the only way to thread this particular loom, because the Louet Spring allows you to remove the beast beam *and* the beater, and to sit, nicely upright, right inside the loom for threading and sleying. It’s rather fantastic that way.
Each thread gets its own heddle — so this means that every single thread is threaded through its very own eye. In this case, we’re talking about 547 threads (16 threads per inch for the cloth, 24 threads per inch for the rails) and several hours of work.
Knotted in bundles on the other side to prevent ensuing tragedy like cats or dogs or small children pulling them back out of the heddles:
(I don’t have cats or dogs or small children at this point, so this must be just to prevent myself from doing something stupid).
Next up: sleying the reed!
To recap: my client had this inspirational photo.
Using the Fibonacci Sequence for striping and colour changes,
I’ve been winding the warp for the Peacock Baby Wrap:
Here’s the warping board straight on:
To conserve space in my studio (which is also my bedroom), I installed the warping board over the light switches. (This actually makes them easier to find in the dark). The thing behind the warping board is a child’s counting toy from Ikea that used to belong to Farmertot. It’s got 100 beads in sets of 10, and it perfect to help keep track of the number of threads as I’m winding.
There’s a sticky note above the warping board to the left. Here’s a detail of it:
If it’s not evident on the sticky note, there is more green and blue in the sequencing, because they are two of the three colours that are striped into and back out from. (The teal, in the middle, is brighter, and I needed to reduce the number of threads to fit the width of the cloth, so it has fewer threads, but because its value is lighter than the other colours, I think it was the perfect place for a reduction.
I have a new client who wants a baby wrap (looks like I’d better get the one on the loom back off!) This one is two greens in the warp in a Fibonacci sequence . . . it’s for a friend who is a geeky geek. Here it is, ready to be cut off the loom (ooh! look at all that cloth!): My new client has this inspiration photo: And likes this kind of colour blending: It’s going to be so pretty! Some colour progression ideas (please ignore the colours used): A (Fibonacci Sequence) and B (Scattered Sequence) A (Fibonacci Sequence) and C (Plus One, Minus One Sequence) C (Plus One, Minus One Sequence) and B (Scattered Sequence)
WIF of partial Fibonacci Sequence
For curious weavers, I used a sett of 12 epi using sport weight Brown Sheep Naturespun yarn in Natural, Irish Shamrock, Nordic Blue, and Scarlet, sourced locally at Paradise Fibers.
I will have it at the 13 May meeting of the Spokane Handweavers’ Guild in Spokane Valley, if you’d like to see the finished product. I fulled it further than I intended, which makes me a wee bit sad, but it would make a GORGEOUS blanket at that weight.
As we learned at the last guild meeting, blue DOES in fact felt at a different rate than the other colours, so I also had puckering of the white squares, which I worked out with a makeshift mangle (large rolling pin) and lots of elbow grease.
My spinning client send me musk ox (so very soft!) and silk (for strength) to spin.
Some of it had been spun before, and she wondered if I could take it back apart.
It was loosely spun, and the musk ox is short, so I started by teasing the yarn into short strips.
I held the strips and charged the carders with it.
Looking good. So I started carding back and forth.
The fibers opened up nicely and the blending went really well: here’s the resulting rolag:
After just an hour, I got the yarn back to fibers, and the rest of it processed. On to the spinning!
Unfortunately, the spinning and un-spinning resulted in some of the musk ox felting on itself. This happens with really fine fibers — too much handling results in felting. It’s basically the same thing that happens when a fabric pills. Here’s one of the rolags that shows that:
And a close up:
Fortunately, I noticed this early, and I separated out the rolags with the damage from the ones that weren’t. Here’s what happens in the spinning when you encounter the wee nubbies:
(Click to enlarge and get a good view of the nub). Yarn with these nubbies intentionally placed can be gorgeous and interesting — they add a tweedy texture to the yarn and make beautiful cloth. However, since so much of the musk ox was NOT damaged in this way, I wanted to preserve the smooth nature of the bulk of the yarn, so I spun two separate skeins: one smooth and a smaller nubby one.