Wool Wrap as a Teaching Project

A friend in my neighborhood was keen to try her hand at weaving and I was keen to try my hand at teaching. Perfect!

A weaving loom with a short length of woven cloth

The picture above shows the loom set up for her to start her project, a wrap or scarf.

It was made with a lovely soft mohair wool blend doubled as weft and Bendigo three ply as warp. As I like to do for low stress weaving, I threaded dark grey on shafts 1 and 3 and java on shafts 2 and 4. The sett was 10 dpi.

We only had two 50g balls of weft yarn and when it ran out, that was the end of the project.

My friend is thrilled with what she achieved, as she should be.

Back view of a woman wearing a wrap over her shoulders

My friend almost always wears black

Not bad, is it?

Doubleweave Class with Kay Faulkner

This year I again took a week out to focus on a new structure under the expert tuition of Kay Faulkner. This time the structure was doubleweave, something I had long wanted to try, entranced as I was by the marvelous deflected doubleweave items I had seen online.

Accommodation in the Birkdale area is a mild problem in that almost all options require you to have a car to get to class. This year I shared accommodation with Barbara, a fellow linen and lace graduate who lives in Queensland. We were able to spend time discussing all elements of weaving, day and night and enjoyed sampling the many restaurants in the area, with Barbara very capably driving us everywhere we needed to go. I know she reads this blog so thanks Barb!

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I enjoy the intensity of a week long class structure and the ability to move from loom to loom to try different applications. This time was easier for me as I had with some familiarity with both Kay’s looms and her teaching style. The winner project was window panes, which still seem like complete magic, even now I know how they come together.

The editor of the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild newsletter declined my offer to write an article about my experience of the linen and lace class I attended at Kay’s studio last year, on the grounds that it might be seen as promoting a competitive source of weaving education. Dear readers, may I say that I thoroughly recommend that you attend one of Kay’s classes if you are able to get to Birkdale (in the Brisbane area) and can afford the time and the (very reasonable) class fees. I do not feel at all disloyal to the Guild in making this recommendation.

Avocado Dyeing Fail

Avocado stones and peel in a bowl

All I can report on this experiment is that the avocado skins and stones failed to colour my clean, undyed wool.

We had fun, had a good chat and had lunch.

We tried reheating and adding vinegar.

We giggled over whether we should pee in a pot and add that. (We didn’t)

Total fail.

Good thing my friend had brought her commercial dyes from Ashford.

The shrinkage was massive after all those interventions.

Two Rag Rugs in Rosepath

The two rag rugs I completed this week were closer to the kind of result I have been aiming for but had not quite achieved. The rugs used a double thickness of weft, made up of old business shirts and old sheets cut into 1 inch (2.5  cm strips) sewn together. The two weft strips were of different fabrics in the yellow toned rug and I am very pleased with the variation in tone that this achieved.

I chose to make folded hems as it’s likely they’ll end up as bath mats and experience has taught me that a fringed finish is like a magnet for fluff. Also I expect a folded hem to wear very well.

The new pro-tip from this project was serging (overlocking) the ends of the rug when they came off the loom. This gave me a tidy finish and secure ends.

Sett was 10 dpi in a 10 dent reed, threading was rosepath over 8. Warp 8/4 cotton in blue.

 

 

Shogun Bathrobe

This gentleman’s robe is made in a robust flannel and is based on Butterick Classics pattern 6968.

I made a few modifications as the pattern I purchased from my local thrift store was a Medium and my beloved would typically wear a size L or XL, depending on cut. He also wanted a shogun-style robe which to him meant belt loops over the hips and no patch pockets. Patch pockets would be a risk – one bad interaction with a door handle and the patch pocket would be but a shadow of its former self.

Adjustments were.

  • added belt loops. You don’t want your belt dropping in unguarded moments.
  • the belt has an inner core of calico for strength and to increase longevity.
  • pieced front band. The band is not matched. I don’t care and nor does my beloved. This was a design choice.
  • no cuffs on the sleeves. Cuffs on a robe just get in the way, in my experience. Unless you have domestic servants. We don’t. We have to do our own dishes and then cuffs definitely get in the way.
  • added 1 inch of width from shoulder to hem for increased coverage and comfort.
Flannel robe in kimono style tied with a belt below the waist

Gentleman’s Robe

Transparent Weave Summer School Class

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Transparent, indeed

This year I joined the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria summer school workshop impressively titled Sheer Delight- Transparent Weave Inlay Techniques.

We warped our looms with a fine linen and learned how to use inlays in different colours and textures to make pictures or room dividers.

I’m generally more of a weaver of household items and I enjoyed being taken to a new place with my weaving. It’s probably not a technique I’ll use again soon but I’m happy to have a new technique in my repertoire.

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The Good Old Days

Here’s a little throwback to the good old days of quality workmanship and pride in your product, in the form of cotton bias binding. I bought it at my local thrift store. 

Bias binding is something I look out for in thrift stores as it’s generally a polyester cotton blend when I buy it new and that is not my preference. The older bindings also tend to be better more stable, either due to starch or simply a tighter weave.

Bias binding and its accompanying label

Love these stripes

The binding is made by WM. E. Wright Co in Massachusetts. This company stood by their product.

This material is fast colour and perfect in workmanship. Should it be faulty in any way, making the article on which it is applied unusable, we will reimburse you for the reasonable cost of your labor and all materials used in making the article.