Archive for the 'Supplementary warp' Category

P2P2 reveal (late)

First, my apologies to Meg and all the participants in P2P2  for being late – poor management of time and energy yesterday. I’m really sorry.

This is my finished project together with the calendar reproduction of a John Bellany painting. Read here about the story I based on the picture and the idea of a scarf that blended in with the colours of the sea. There’s gruesome detail about the weaving structure here.

After sampling a series of wefts, and totally ignoring my previous statement that wool and mohair were too fluffy and warm for this project, I chose Fine Kid Veloute from anny blatt, 51% wool, 49% mohair, in a lightish blue-grey. The colour was perfect, the grip gave some needed stability to the structure, and the fuzz reminded me of a light mist over the water in the morning. The combination of the viscose/cotton warp, wool/mohair weft and leno structure has produced a light, softly draping scarf that feels lovely to wear and, I think, fits the watery theme.

This photo shows the status of the second P2P2 project I hoped to finish, plus part of the reason for the delay. In the background (how appropriate!) is the warp beamed but not threaded. In the foreground is a folding table I’ve put up to hold some of the overflow of tools and materials for my OCA course. On my main worktable (definitely not shown!) are more tools and A Space (many exclamation marks) for using them. I’m having a blast working on the course, but naturally time, as well as space, is at a premium.

So this is what I planned (and still intend) to do. I’ve previously blogged about this sample here and here, and my reactions to the inspiration photo here.

The draft is on the right and will require rather a lot of imagination.

First, ignore the bottom part with the squares of floats. That’s from Sandra Rude’s article “fulled merino scarves” in The best of Weaver’s: Fabrics That Go Bump. I’ve wanted to make it in this yarn for ages, so figured a threading and wound a warp to suit both. The top part shows a plain weave base in white cashmere/merino. The yellow stripes, evenly spaced and regimented, are a supplementary warp in shiny gold that will weave plain weave along with the base. You can see a hint of such a stripe near the right edge in the sample photo. The pink threads in the draft are a supplementary warp using Filatura di Crosa Luce yarn, a 40% rayon, 30% cotton, 15% kid mohair, 10% polyamide, 5% acylic blend that can be seen the third wriggle from the left in the sample. It’s threaded in groups of 3 – 2 – 1 – 1 (right to left), so regularity of a sort, sometimes aligning with a gold stripe sometimes not, but bobbling around all over the place.

I don’t know how it will look in practice – I think there’s a strong possibility that it’s lots of ideas that don’t work together as a design. The ideas are – free spirited, feathery spots of colour and texture, fiercely and exultantly individual (the multicoloured supplementary warp and the trombone guy). The base cloth is plain weave, very sensible and stable in a quality, even luxury, yarn, with regular stripes (clock-like regularity??) of gold (stashed in a bank account??) – being various aspects or caricatures of swiss people, products and facilities. The individual is experiencing freedom, but is actually one of a group (the band in the parade), working within a structure and constraints (swiss society and caught in plain weave even if it floats above). It seems very ponderous when I type it out.

Many thanks to Cally for a great set of photos and to Meg for making it all happen. I’ve really enjoyed being part of P2P2.

P2P2 Round 2 sample

The sample on the loom here is now cut off and finished (vigourous handwashing using olive oil soap and very hot then very cold water to promote fulling/felting/shrinkage). The photo shows before and after finishing.

The resulting fabric is quite soft, reasonable drape, and would be fine as a scarf. Both the novelty supplementary warps are reasonably attached to the base cloth – not enough for hard wear, but shouldn’t catch/snag too much as a scarf. I tried some fine gold foil type thread in both warp and as a weft inlay (plain weave, no floats). It didn’t felt in at all (as I expected – too smooth, wouldn’t absorb water). The warp looks generally OK, just a few slightly loopy spots (given it didn’t shrink at all). The weft inlay has larger loops at each turnaround point – not attractive. The long weft floats of the base cloth, which catch in and give wriggle room for the supplementary warps) are almost all OK in the sense of attaching in enough – just a couple of long ones in the central area aren’t great. However I do find the horizontal lines (vertical in the photo!) visually distracting.

In term of the wriggly lines I was looking for it’s definitely a success.

The process of weaving went quite pleasantly.  (A tactful silence on selvedges!). As mentioned previously my improvised threading was way off, but using pickup to create the floats gave a lot of additional flexibility, was only every 10-ish more or less picks so didn’t slow things down too much (I used the Ashford table loom) and I rather enjoyed playing with it.

As for the draft, I was very interested to see Jessica-of-Sharing-the-Fiber-Fever’s cannelé post here. It looked very similar to the “spider weave” from Sharon Alderman’s book that I used as a starting point. (I turned her draft then hacked it badly). I tracked down an old article about cannelé on – Master Weaver No 12 1953. There are a few variations with Fig 5 looking closest to Sharon’s. The big difference that I could see is in the warps that float over the fancy weft (remember my samples are turned). In Sharon’s draft the warps weave in with the plain weave cloth when not required for floating. The Master Weaver has them floating on the back. Yet another structure that seems similar but different is a “novelty weave” from Doramay Keasbey (draft b on page 270, discussed page 271). It has something slightly different in a corner of the plain weave base – just a couple of interlacements, but in weaving that could be significant. Don’t know.

The major question for now – could one or more elements of the sample be used to make an attractive scarf?

The Luce yarn is probably out (just half of one warp in the sample). Something about the chunkiness and the quick colour change makes it less graphic and interesting to me. Although it might be closer in feel to the original photo. Gold in the weft is definitely out. I think some staggering and being mindful of float length will reduce the visual distraction of the weft floats.

Hmm. Any thoughts?

Bristol Maximus in Supplementary Warp

This has been a long time coming.

Back in February inspiration struck – could I represent complex bellringing methods using supplementary warp floats?

I did some sampling – the idea held some promise if only I could get the right sett. Advice from Liz and the weaving group was very welcome.

In March I was dyeing yarn, then redyeing!

Next step was warping using my new AVL warping wheel. It went very smoothly, onto the sectional beam for the ground warp and the plain beam for the supplementary. Tension held nice and even throughout weaving 🙂

However the weaving didn’t go well. The first few centimetres looked streaky, obscuring the patterning.

Weeks passed, some pleasant (Forum in Orange), some less so (virus in tummy). Finally I bit the bullet, and on Monday unwove all that had been done and resleyed.

Weaving restarted, all looked well – until I realised I had mucked up the ringing pattern.

Deep breaths.




There is still some streakiness, but the patterning is clear and readable  (I tested it on the other ringers this morning). The hand and drape of the cloth is good and with finished measurements 184 by 19.5 cm plus fringe it’s a great weight and size to wrap around the neck in Sydney’s autumn.

I was able to include 4 leads of Bristol Maximus – a ringing pattern with 12 bells. The brown ground cloth squares show the path of the treble (highest note) – it follows a path ringing first, then 2nd, then first, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th etc, forming a jagged but regular line going from 1st to 12th and back 4 times. The blue supplementary warp float blocks show the path of one other bell – it could be any of the other 11 bells since they all follow the same Bristol Maximus pattern, just starting at different points (it’s a bit like 4 people singing “row row row your boat” in rounds). If you’re a ringer and the photo doesn’t quite look right, the pattern is mirrored and doesn’t start exactly at a lead end.

After all the palaver it was pleasant to weave. I did some experiments at the end of the warp to see if I could further reduce the streakiness and did manage to get improvements, but only with a lot of fuss lifting and manually clearing sheds that I didn’t actually weave in order to keep the ground and supplementary warps in proper alignment. Given I like the final scarf, the cost/benefit of the extra fussing isn’t worth it. Maybe playing around with reed size and denting would be useful if I revisit this.

Denting issues

I got the warp on – all seemed to go well. Wove a few test centimetres to check threading. It looked OK, but somehow a bit streaky. The pattern definition wasn’t as good as in my samples. Perhaps it was the closer values of the foreground and background colours. Obviously the sett had changed – the samples were 40 and 30 epi, with the new reed I had changed to 36 epi.

The photo shows where I stopped, while partway through hemstitching. Clicking will get the larger version, and I’ve arrowed the two single blue ends which outline the edges at the pattern reversal. The one one the right shows clearly. The one on the left is almost completely obscured. Plus there’s a general streaky and lumpy effect going on.

I’m using a 12 dent per inch reed and each of my warps (ground and supplementary) is 18 ends per inch. The ground is plain weave on shafts 1 and 2. The supplementary is on shafts 3 to 15, but in the area arrowed they are all on shaft 3. All the supplementary ends lift with shaft 1, unless they are involved in one of the float areas.

Sometimes figuring things out in weaving does my head in, and after stomping around the house a while I decided to post about it – partly for advice, partly because just sorting out the question can help find answers (I tend to see this blog as my work diary, which happens to be public and occasionally of interest to others – though I’d be surprised if anyone gets this far!).  The incomprehensible sketch (playing with yet another new toy, a wacom bamboo tablet) helped me see the problem. The ground warp is 18 epi in a 12 dent reed, so 2 ends in one dent, 1 in the next etc. The supplementary warp is 18 epi, so 2 ends in one dent, 1 in the next. The way I’d done the two warps I ended with a total of 4 ends in one dent, 2 in the next. So there’s some lumpiness!

So I could redent to even it out with 3 ends per dent – 2 ground + 1 supplementary in one dent, 1 ground + 2 supplementary in the next. I suspect this will help, but not solve my problem. The threading has ground ends alternating with supplementary ends – eg 1 3 2 3 1 3 2 3 1 3 2 3 (1 and 2 ground, 3 supplementary). That is, the supplementary ends sit either side of the ends on shaft 1, rise and fall with it, and are sometimes dented with it. So I think it’s in the nature of things that they won’t necessarily sit nicely side by side. The current craming isn’t helping.

If I had an 18 epi reed I could dent: 1 in one dent, 3-2-3 in the next etc, and overall maintain my 18 epi per warp (the ground warp 1 end per dent, the supplementary 2 ends every second dent). But I don’t. And I’m now in frugal mode (all those new toys to pay for), even if such a fine reed is available and such spacing didn’t give me warp abrasion problems.


The post that got away

Last week’s post didn’t happen. It was a distraction from the weaving that wasn’t happening, but I was waiting for some brighter weather to take (distracting!) photos. Being in a frugal phase I now offer last week…

Here’s some impressive weaving I noticed recently – a building facade, part of the revamped Centrepoint Tower building in Sydney. The artwork is by Dani Marti, who created a woven rope sculpture which was then cast in glass-reinforced concrete. There are some more photos and information here (click on “Construction” at the bottom to see the original work) and here. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the patterned glass canopy, but to me it looks a bit like a weaving drawdown. (photo to come??? – in the meantime check the links – I think they’re worth it.)

On the home front, there’s nothing going on with the supplementary warp project – the new reed is still on its way, the new warp is still damp. While waiting I’ve been doing some dabbling.

First up was braiding or kumihimo, using a beginner’s marudai I got secondhand from the guild shop. I’m happily improvising the rest of the equipment while I try out this craft.

Photo shows marudai (the stand that holds the braid while you are working), the improvised tama (weighted bobbins) and my first two braids. For more photos and info see wikipedia. The teal warp-faced weave is my backstrap attempt.

I’ve also been played with backstrap weaving, following Laverne Waddington‘s brilliant instructions. So far I’m only partway through step one – backstrap basics on WeaveZine, but at least I have the satisfaction that despite significant tension issues the second half of my first weaving was much better than the first (which does set the bar very low indeed!).

Now fast-forwarding to today’s exciting episode…

In the last few days the sun has come out, the dyed warp has dried, the new reed has arrived (I’m very happy with the service from Luke at Independent Reed Co – no website but email indreed at bigpond dot com dot au.)

Yesterday I wound the dry silk/merino supplementary warp, using the AVL warping wheel and chaining off the sections so I could put it on the second back beam. The winding went well, the beaming got ugly at times – but it’s done.

The photo on the left shows the two warps, the silk for the ground cloth on the sectional beam, the silk/merino on the plain warp beam which is a bit lower. I’ve only used the second beam once before, for the deflected double weave scarf, when I made a total hash of it – hopefully this will weave up more easily.

I’m currently threading and so far it is going better than I expected. I’ve put the two warps on separate lease sticks, one set hung high, one low behind the heddles.

Working from the front, it is not too bad to reach both warps and select the alternating ends I need. With recent projects I’ve become much more careful of counting out the heddles I’ll need, moving un-needed ones out of the way, and pulling out sets of threads and heddles to work with. It seems to keep me more accurate, giving additional check points along the way. Just hope writing this doesn’t jinx me!

Sampling supplementary warp

This title brings an unrelated-to-weaving smile. I had years of elocution lessons – “six silly swans swimming in the snow” and my husband can still judge my tiredness by the amount of lisp…

Focus. Yes. (now everything has an ess, and this was not deliberate).

Ahem. (OK. better.)

I’ve spent some time the last few days seeing if my bus inspiration actually holds water – will the design be readable and will the cloth drape for a scarf?

Here’s version 1 on the loom. Base warp is 20/2 silk. Supplementary warp a silk merino 2 ply, 650m/100g (the supplier closed her small dyeing business a while back). Sett 40 ends per inch (20 of each warp type), except in the selvedge area and breaks between pattern areas. The threading is pretty much the original idea seen at the bottom here, but with variations on the number of supplementary threads per block. From left to right I tried 3, 4, 5 and 1 threads. Weft was 20/2 silk. I didn’t pay much attention to picks per inch – just standard comfortable not light or heavy. As I was weaving I tried a few different numbers of repeats/length of warp floats.

Version 2 had warp unchanged, but 60/2 silk for weft.

Here are versions 3 (at bottom) and 4 on the loom. I resleyed to 30 ends per inch – 15 background warp plus 15 supplementary. I also added some undyed merino-silk to the selvedge/pattern break areas, so they would feel more consistent with the rest of the cloth and cope better with the more open sett. I made a major hash of this, threading the new warp ends in with the same heddles as the base cloth. Plus the back of the loom became a rats nest as my supplementary warp got short (I was using thrums from Geoff’s scarf). Not a pretty sight (the camera seems to agree – the colour went very odd).

I kept to the 20/2 silk for weft, but tried both my default beat (which worked out around 17 picks per inch) and a deliberately light beat towards the end (around 11 picks per inch on the loom).

The washed and pressed samples together – left to right samples, 1, 2, then 4 above 3.

All have good definition of the design, with the brown float/white background/mixed plain weave areas clear, even in the unpleasantly sleazy sample 4.

The big issue was getting a nice scarf drape. I really like the final sample 1 cloth, but it’s too firm for the purpose. I’d like to return to it another time, maybe as part of a light jacket (the patterning could be a bit strong all over).

Sample 2 draped a little better, but not enough plus I think the finer silk brings a slight harshness.

Jumping to sample 4, this actually feels nice but is crazy-sleazy.

So, we have a winner. Cue close up of sample 3. Overlook the fact that end-of -warp issues have introduced a few oddities. The drape and hand are nice, and (I hope!) suitable if not perfect for a scarf. The floats cover the background quite well. There is some deflection of the warp and weft around the background areas. I rather like the irregularities – not sure how much will be in the final, given a better tensioned warp. In any case the pattern is quite distinct (it’s not any actual bellringing method, just playing around).

Colours are chosen, so the next step is calculations of lengths and weights for dyeing.


The 3 brothers afterwards.

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