This awesome thing happened this week.
I presented “A Color Vocabulary” yesterday at the Cross Border Weavers in Colville yesterday.
The first half are the slides, the second half is the slides again, with my notes.
Click Here to View A Colour Vocabulary.
I went to the Figure my Figure meeting for the Guild’s 2016 Yardage Challenge — how to figure out how much you need to weave for the pattern you’ve chosen. These are my notes.
First, you’ve got to pick a pattern. The upside to a pattern like this one is that it has many pieces — many pieces tends to mean that each piece is not super-wide, and that means that you can weave your cloth on a smaller (narrower) loom. Most patterns have the yardage labeled for 45″ or 60″ cloth — and if your loom’s that wide, bully for you, but if it’s not . . . well . . .
Our intrepid weaver’s guild president, Sarah Laudenbach, a long time seamstress, suggests tracing all your pattern pieces on to tracing paper, and using the tracing paper pattern for your garment, keeping the original for reuse. If you use (or cut down your) tracing paper to the maximum width of your cloth on the loom (minus the selvage, minus shrinkage), you can’t go too wrong.
Remember, you have to line up the pieces with the grain. Check the arrows, and get everything going in the right direction. When you get everything traced, and before you start cutting the tracing paper, measure the length of the tracing paper. This, plus shrinkage, is the minimum length you need to weave for your pattern. Weave more.
If you are using cloth with an obvious pattern/stripe/grid, you’re going to need more cloth, because you’re going to use the little dart-arrows in the pattern to line up with the lines in the cloth. You may need substantially more cloth to do this, if you have a long repeat.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still not feeling super-sure about this whole thing . . . weaving yardage, no problem — cutting my cloth . . . . eek.
Can I tell you just how terribly delighted with how this scarf turned out? It’s 60/2 silk, sett at 60 epi, handdyed lilac warp, creamy natural silk weft, with silk thread embroidery.
I’m particularly pleased with this addition. I knew that one of my normal angryspinner.com tags would be entirely too heavy for this piece, and I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do — of course — more embroidery! I think it’s pretty subtle.
But what I really want to talk about is this ^ — the work. There’s a number of different ways folks get their fringe to line up. I started with pinning the hems down with these beautiful, thin, glasshead pins. I used a ruler to hold the fabric in tension and straight while I pinned into a cotton towel-covered foam block.
I decided how long to make the fringe, and placed a second ruler along there.
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.