Down with a bump

a rollercoaster??

a rollercoaster??

My last post I talked about roller-coasters and unexpected curves. Oops. This is not quite what I was looking for – I guess that’s why we call it “unexpected”!

The plan was collapse weave using structure – stripes of 1/3 and 3/1 twill, various wefts all finer than the bendigo two ply wool warp.

collapse_wrong_2What happened? It looked good on the loom. The photo shows the section done with superfine wool (left over from the double weave scarf) on the loom with tension relaxed. Definitely the initial signs of collapsing!

I used six different wefts, 15cm of each. Behaviour varied off the loom.

collapse_wrong_3Three sections with significantly finer weft all showed signs of collapse – bright red on the left is the superfine wool again, in the centre is 20/2 silk, to the right is 12/2 cotton (aurifil Mako – a heavy machine sewing thread really).

collapse_wrong_4Some didn’t look so exciting. These were all specialist yarns supplied by Liz, my weaving teacher. On the left is 110/2 tex wool, a shrinkable merino as used by Anne Field of Collapse Weave (and other) fame. In the middle, a beige colour, is a 98% wool 2% elastomeric yarn – passed on from other weavers, of dubious vintage and many breaks on the cone. To the right, an overtwisted wool – I’ll need to check the details with Liz, but it was hard to the touch and uncomfortable to work with.

installation art??

installation art??

Another view while we contemplate what could have gone wrong? It was a lesson I’m meant to have learnt already, and wrote about back here – “no matter how keen I am, no matter how much I want to finish the next little bit, no matter how careful I think I’m being, I need to STOP when tired.”

In this case, I shouldn’t have started. I got home from work, super tired, the standard million chores to get through, and decided to wash the sample. Down to the laundry, warm water, swooshing away a few minutes – nothing. A big nothing. Did I mention tired? I noticed the pile of towels on the floor waiting to be washed. Front-loader washing machine, nice and gentle… in it all goes sample and towels, and I trudge upstairs to cook for ravenous teenagers. Time passes………. Finally, I remember the washing – but the machine is still going! The towels were unbalancing the spin cycle so it had just kept tumbling. and tumbling. and tumbling. Oh.

I took the pathetic result, complete with pathetic story, to weaving class. We actually found quite a few pluses, in the sense of a sample providing lessons. The three “specialty” wefts had all fulled to the point of having the drape of corrugated cardboard, pleats felted permanently in place. The Bendigo Mills 2 ply warp survived remarkably well. The section with red superfine wool actually feels almost soft, and I like the bright colour peeping out.

I’m feeling quite positive about it at the moment. I’ve still got warp on the loom, so I’ve tied on again at the same sett and will repeat the experiment – all except the washing machine and decision-making-while-tired part!

6 Responses to “Down with a bump”

  1. 1 Peg in South Carolina February 24, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Sometimes we just need others to give us perspective. I’m so glad you brought your piece to weaving class. I’m not sure I would have been so brave had I felt like you did about a piece! Congratulations!

    • 2 fibresofbeing February 24, 2009 at 6:37 am

      Thanks Peg. I’m usually so pleased with my weaving it could get obnoxious without some balance! I’m lucky to have the class – supportive and honest, they laughed with me and settled in to get as much valuable learning from it as possible – just what samples are for.

  2. 3 Lynnette February 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    What a learning experience – good on you for sharing it with your class. Maybe I should pull some of my disasters out of hiding and share with my groups too!

  3. 4 trapunto March 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I call it a ceremonial felted sash.

    I am so with you on decisions when tired!

    I received Anne Field’s Collapse Weave book for Christmas, by request. I love it insofar as I’ve had any time to read since then. (I am not so fetched by the idea of rubbery stuff in my weaving; differential shrinkage is more up my alley. And can be quite dramatic, as you’ve shown!)

  4. 5 Geodyne March 5, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I see what you mean about the pleats! This is a valuable sample all the same – there’s always something to be learned from samples.

    You may be interested in the post I’ll be making tomorrow, as it will include a pleated sample with a number of different wefts.

  5. 6 Geodyne March 5, 2009 at 4:03 am

    ps: I learned to weave in Sydney, at Virginia Farm wool works!

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February 2009

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