Archive for March, 2010

Virtual class

Term 1 of weaving class at the Guild has finished and we have a few weeks holiday. We decided to keep in touch with a weekly “virtual class” in the hopes we’ll all be weaving at least a little throughout. Classmate Martin has already blogged about his waffle weave plans here (I don’t think any of the others keep blogs).

My holiday project is a “super sampler” which I can use to play with waffle, oatmeal and dice weaves. I’m using 22/2 Cottolin, 26 epi, straight threading on 24 shafts so I’ll also get practise with design and shaft substitution. The right hand side is stripes that I’m hoping will work well with at least some sizes of waffle. On the left the colours are pretty much random, and the centre is plain. You can see progress is limited to date – I managed to injure my ankle slightly somehow over the weekend and am waiting for the swelling to subside.

This has the benefit of more design time. Our teacher, Liz Calnan, often highlights ways to improve efficiency – one tip being that if you have a loom with lots of shafts you can reduce time and errors getting a warp on and maximise flexibility┬á by tieing on to a straight threading. By chance yesterday Fern posted here about the benefits of going the other way!

For example, on a straight 24 threading I can weave a design for a 5 shaft pointed threading. A down side is more (heavier) lifting. If the tieup/lift includes shaft 1, I need to lift all the shafts in columns with a 1 – so 1, 9, 17. If it includes shaft 2, I need to lift 2, 8, 10, 16, 18, 24. You can see why I’m waiting for my ankle to heal!

The plus side is that a single threading allows weaving designs on straight threadings for 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24 shafts, plus pointed threadings on 4, 5, 7 and 24 shafts. If something doesn’t fit neatly I can play around and try to get the “flavour” of it, or combine 2 designs or…

The 23 thread float in the “basic” 24 shaft waffle may be a little impractical at 26 epi – but it’s one of the possibilities and I may give it a go just for a sense of completeness.

I’ve got quite a bit more prepared – some from Liz’s notes and various weaving books, some from sitting and playing in the software. I sure hope I can spend time at the loom over the long weekend.

Dusting

I blinked and time has passed! I’m afraid this post will be a rough-and-ready mix, catching up.

The major focus has been finding appropriate residential care for my mother-in-law. She had a rotten year with several long hospital stays – returning to her own home was not an option. She’s now close by getting the care she needs, and while not happy she is making an effort to accept what became inevitable. I feel lucky to live in Australia where aged care is heavily government regulated – complex and hard to navigate, but available (eventually), good quality and affordable.

There was also a weekend trip to Canberra with my mother to see the
MASTERPIECES from PARIS – wonderful artworks which transcended the crowds and queueing. The season has been extended to 18 April, but make sure you pre-purchase tickets and be prepared to be patient. If you have children, there is a wonderful room of activities available inside the exhibition as well as a child-friendly audio tour.

The March ATASDA NSW meeting was fun. The Maharajah’s Garden pieces were all there, though difficult to see in the crush of people. I bought these “weaving sticks” from another member. The warp yarn is threaded through the base of the sticks (see insert top left of the photo), the sticks provide a rigid form to wind the weft around, and as the sticks are covered you push the weft down over the warp.

There has been other weaving. (Sorry for the bad photos – time is crunching!)

This is one of the warps I dyed in Linda Coffill’s class in January. It’s 20/2 silk sett at 40 epi. Weft is 60/2 silk. Plain weave, with warp dominant but weft still visible. The result has a lovely drape, hand and shine. I’m really happy with it.

One interesting thing is the impact of the weft colour. It was dyed coral, the same as parts of the warp. The little dots of the weft showing intensify the colour where the warp is also coral. They dull the blue areas, and particularly the lighter greenish-blue. Overall the balance of colour is not what I planned. I don’t mind the result, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind in the future.

Another spin-off from Linda’s class was the formation of a new colour study group within the Guild. We’ve started meeting once a month in the Guild rooms – other members are welcome (we’re not meeting in April due Easter and holidays). At our first meeting we had lots of show and tell and talked about what we want to do. At our second, we brought dyed fibres, a couple of people brought their drum carders, and we played with colour blending. I experimented with blending the same colours (not necessarily the same proportions), creating rolags using hand carders and a layered bat in the drum carder.

I spun the results without plying, but was very rough when finishing the yarn so that it would felt up and not cause too many shrinkage problems when weaving. It became weft in part of my latest weaving class sampler – crackle.

The section above the dividing line was the drum carded part – texturally more evenly mixed and the brown dominant (it was the outside layers of the sandwich).

The lower part was the handcarded rolags. Lots of variation and interest. I really like that section.

I’m not going to attempt an explanation of crackle here. There’s lots of information available – Peg has a huge amount in her blog, and there are heaps of articles on handweaving.net.

This is another section of the same sampler. The right third of the warp was plain brown, threaded to show each of the 4 blocks. The left side was a fairly random mix of 6 colours in the warp, and the threading jumped around between blocks. I did quite a bit of playing with different pattern and tabby wefts. Lots of potential to return to another day.

For today, sorry about the jumbled rush but at least that brings me almost up to date. It’s progress ­čÖé


Calendar of Posts

March 2010
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Categories