Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall project

Being in school and running my theater, I've been busy and haven't spent much time weaving, but here is what I finished most recently.

It's purdy.
I don't know why my computer is doing this with my pictures.  I rotate them, but they aren't saving properly, I guess.  Still, you can get an idea of what it looks like.  It's a gold and navy blue chenille/rayon yarn.  It's about 6 feet long and almost 3 feet wide.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blue and Gold Overshot project

A picture update on my latest project.  It's a blue and gold chenille overshot weave.  It's looking so cool!

 I love the way overshot looks.  Those are some amazing patterns!

You have just seen AWESOMENESS!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A new project

It's been three months since I updated this blog.  I didn't do any weaving for about 2 months.  I was busy with other projects.  Last week I finished what was on the loom.  I quickly decided on my next project and decided to go BIG!

The next project will use the full width of the loom - all three feet of it.  It will be 402 (if I counted properly) pieces of yarn.  I don't have any idea how long it will be.  I really should measure that.  My loom can hold 432 strands of yard, but the pattern I'm going to do is in multiples of 67.

This is all the yarn and the four pages of pattern that I'll use to thread the loom.
So, over the last three days I've been putting the thread on the warping board.  My board can only hold about two hundred threads at a time, so I had to do two groups.  This evening I managed to tie the threads to the back of the loom and now is my least favorite part of weaving, winding the thread onto the loom.  It gets tangled so easily.  This is scary:

I've only just started and already it's a tangled mess!  Oh well, there is no rush and each time I do this, I learn a little more.  It's going to look great!  Just you wait.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Preparing the Loom

Getting the loom ready. What a process.
First, I get the warp onto the warping board.
Next is the hardest part for me:  Getting the warp off the warping board and onto the loom without making a huge tangled mess.
There is a special kind of braid that can be done to keep the yarn in some sort of order.  Here I've placed the yarn onto the back of the loom with the aid of lease sticks.  I don't know why they are called that.  Then I'll tie the warp onto the dowel that goes over the back beam.

Next I wind the thread onto the back of the loom. Then with the greatest of patience, I thread each individual thread through a heddle (those metal pieces that are vertical).  After I get each thread in, I thread the yarns though the beater.  You can see here in the picture the green threads that have already been put into the beater.
Many slip knots are used to keep the threads separated and to keep them from sliding out of place.  Once I have all the yarn though the beater, I tie it to the front beam.  With that done, I'm are almost ready to weave.  Almost.
This picture jumps ahead a bit, but you can see the very beginning of the weave.  I've got toilet paper separating the threads and keeping them nice and even and in place.  Yep, toilet paper.
I use floating selvages on my edges.  They are not tied to the back of the loom, only the front, so they hang off the back beam of the loom.  To keep these floating bits of yarn in place, I use weights on the back.  In the past I've used PVC pipes, with the thread wrapped around it.  It didn't work well.  So, this time, I was trying to find something that would work better.  A quick glimpse into my children's room provided me with my answer.
Meet my weaving buddies, Gollum and Smeagol.
They hang around and keep my floating yarns in place.  They are perfect for the job!

That's how I get my loom ready to weave.  Now, off to weave.  These colors and this pattern are going to look great!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pretty, but what is it?

I have some beautiful cotton chenille threads right now to play with.  One of them is a gorgeous lavender color.  I had to do something with it.

I've been having a lot of trouble getting the patterns in my weaving to show up.  One theory was I was using too thin of a warp thread for the larger, thicker chenille weft.  So, this project used the purple and blue chenille for the warp and then I woven entirely with the purple thread.  It is so soft!

The pattern still didn't show up like I had hoped, but it worked out better.  So, I played with it.  It's pretty and it is soft, but I'm not sure what I want to do with it.  I'm thinking I might sew it into large bags.
This is weave #1
Hold it up to the window and you can see a bit of the pattern.  It's isn't spectacular, but it's nice.  You can see in the weave there are darker threads, they are random blue threads I threw into the warp to spice it up a bit.

Weave #2
Here it is up to the window.  You can see the pattern so much better with light behind it:

I like this a lot.  It's got a nice stripe thing going on in it.

I like the idea of making some bags out of this, but I don't know what to use for a bag strap.  I thought about using the inkle loom to make nice straps, but you can see in the previous post, that turned into a disaster.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Inkle Disaster!

A disaster on the inkle loom!

Do you see the very sad attempt at pick-up weaving?  There are patterns in the weaving. I found some wonderful blogs that focus on this kind of weaving.  I wanted to try it. I read the blogs, watched the videos and studied the pictures, but my attempts come no where close to the pictures I saw.  Why can't I get this right?

And another disaster!  This one looked so bad I quite after three inches.
If you want to see really beautiful weavings from an inkle loom, check out this web site called ASpinnerWeaver.

A tale of three scarves

Three difference scarves. 
Scarf #1 - RED
This scarf has two difference threads. The thread that makes up 10 inches on both ends of the scarf is a red cotton.  In the middle, making up about 40 inches, is a beautiful red and black yarn.  I believe it is called Electra, but I'm not 100% on the name.  It's soft and has a wonderful texture.  The two threads together don't make a nice combo.  I don't care for this scarf much.  It was just too expensive to get more of the nice Electra thread to make this any longer.

Scarf #2 - Blue and Red
This is made with a wonderful cotton chenille which is quite soft.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out very soft at all.  It is extremely stiff and dense.  I was so frustrated with this thing.  I had warpped the loom to have a wonderful pattern in the scarf, but it didn't work out.  It was just extremely dense and showed zero of the pattern.  I think the warp I used was too thin for the cotton chenille weft and that was why it was so dense.
It's about 70 inches long and 8 inches wide.
Scarf #3 - Stripes
I'm sure this has to be some school's colors.
I made this scarf on my good ole Dorothy loom.  I haven't used the table loom in a while and I gave it a try again.  This scarf came out a little shorter than I would have liked.  I rad out of the blue thread.
The blue and white thread are a thin cotton thread.  The red you might recognize from scarf #2, it's that red cotton chenille.  The chenille is quite a bit thicker than the cotton and so it gives this scarf a wonderful texture.  It's quite thin, about 4 inches wide, but I love the way it looks and feels.  The pattern I set up in the warp shows up in the white and blue parts of the scarf.  They are the same kind of thread that was used for the warp.  The red, which is thicker, didn't show the pattern very well.
They were all fun to make, but I'm not producing the kind of product as I would like.  I'll keep working on that, I guess.