Thursday, 29 September 2016

Engage brain before weaving

I’ve had a cold over the past few weeks, not life threatening, only had half a day off work but bad enough that when I got home from work there wasn’t much energy left to do anything creative.

I decided to put a tea towel warp on the 4 shaft loom, how hard could that be?  Found a draft I liked from, via Pinterest, #33677 from G H Oelsner’s A Handbook of Weaves. I have to confess that Pinterest is becoming a bit of an addiction.  I’ve heard of stash acquisition beyond life expectancy but I wonder what draft acquisition beyond life expectancy or draft acquisition beyond loom reality should be called.

The draft had a 20 end repeat – 3 contrast ends sleyed together and 17 straight twill background – but as it was mainly twill and I was using 8/2 unmercerised cotton, 24 ends per repeat and inch seemed like a better idea. I planned the warp for 21 repeats, for a width on the loom of 21 inches.  I promptly warped 21 repeats of, you guessed it, 20 ends.  I knew it would be too narrow so spaced it out to 20 epi which was the next big mistake.  

The weft packed in too much, the twill line was flat and it just wasn’t right.  Fortunately I had enough sense to stop until I was thinking more clearly. 
It was too late to add those extra 4 ends to each repeat so I added a couple of repeats to each side, weighted with bottles of water, and sleyed it to 24 epi.  What a difference.  The weft is packing in properly, it's easy to weave and the twill lines are at 45 degrees.  

When I should be doing other things about the house, I keep going back to do ‘just one more repeat’ and I’ve already got more than enough ideas for the 6 towels that should come from the warp.  The back of the loom is not a pretty sight but the good progress on the front more than compensates.  I guess that this really is a lesson to engage brain before weaving - or planning a project, or warping.

There was good news from the Geelong Scarf Festival this year.  The 4 scarves I entered all sold and I received the hoped for, no parcel and large cheque

rather than a large parcel and no cheque.

I did manage to complete another project.  A few years ago when I had cleaned the rust off an old reed and just wanted to make sure it wouldn't leave any dirt on the next project, I warped up the 4 shaft table loom with dark grey 8 ply knitting yarn and made some double weave tubes.  Even though they were named, somewhat pretentiously, Felted Vessel 1 - 4,

and had great dreadlocks around their tops,they didn't sell and ended up at work as very small winter hats for the window display.  They were on display recently when someone came in because she thought they would work well at her work where she has to cover her hair.  I confessed that they were really too small to be hats but we got talking and I agreed to make another run of them.  It wasn't a difficult project, the hardest things were finding wool that was machine washable and not felting them in the washing machine for too long.  My customer was happy 

and I now have some more felted vessels for the collection

Spring has arrived here and with it a burst of activity in the vegetable garden, I’m hoping to be self sufficient for salads,

and also in the garage cum studio where it’s finally warm enough to work without using the heater.

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