Tag Archives: weaving

M’s and O’s

Cloth up of woven cloth

The Simple Weaves book has a pattern for guest towels in M’s and O’s that I thought would be perfect for the Cottolin yarn I bought in Sweden a few years ago. It was perfect.

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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.

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.

 

 

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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Completed Hand Towels

I have now completed the six hand towels and while they aren’t without their treadling faults, I’m pretty happy.

hand towels

They were dented at 2-2 in a 10 dpi reed and the sett was 20 epi. The 6/2 cotton was sourced from Lunatic Fringe Yarns. Now they’ve been washed and pressed, the slightly funny selvages have come good and I’m happy that I made what I planned to and that my calculations were all OK. I was able to play with a number of twill patterns and that was great fun, as well as being part of the original project plan.

I did try a different, thicker weft yarn in plain weave with the small amount of warp left over on my Dorset loom after I completed the towels. I sampled using a pale yellow cotton weft yarn that’s a little thicker than 8/4 cotton. I can’t say too much more about that yarn as it was part of a yarn de-stash I purchased from a former loom owner who had a clean up over the holidays.

After washing the plain weave sample it’s looking like a winning combination for some future tea towels (dish towels) as the cloth is very stable, looks attractive and will have good absorbency.

True to form, I have the next project in mind already but putting that warp on the loom will have to wait until after Weaving Summer School at the Guild.

 

Hand Towels in Twill

This twill exploration project is for hand towels that measure 10 1/2 inches wide in the reed. I am using 6/2 cotton and a sett of 20dpi.

The plan is to make a set of six towels and use different treadlings and combinations of the two colours.

I had a few warp tension issues and made a very serious threading error. The books tell you how to fix one wrong warp thread. They’re not so helpful when you have a block of 12 threads that are all wrong. My solution (as I had already started weaving) was to chop the whole lot off, fix the error and then tie the warp on again.

The first towel was 2/2 twill. The next will be broken twill. At the moment I don’t quite have an even weave so once again I find myself praying that the miracle of wet finishing will once again be transformative. This weaving business is hard.

And fun.