Sunday, January 01, 2017

Peaceful towels

These are from the Peaceful Rhythm draft , with a warp of unbleached 8/2 cotton and the towels in coloured cotton.  I'm really enjoying this pattern so I'll make more.

One thing I did differently this time around is to weave the underside of the hem in 16/2 cotton and a basket weave.  Since I didn't expect it to show, I used unbleached cotton - but it does show, and I like it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I've been tablet weaving on the Ashford Sampleit loom

It's a cute little loom.  When I first saw it, I thought that's just what I want for tablet weaving.

Tablet weaving is a way of making a warp-faced band or tape.  Only instead of having heddles to control which threads are up or down, we have cards.  I made this set from an old deck of playing cards, but you can also buy weaving cards if you like.  Medieval ones were often made of bone or leather.

This sample was to get used to this style of weaving and to see how many cards I need for my goat.  Yes, I said goat.  Both my goats need new collars and I thought it would be a treat to make them some.  This band has 12 cards and is just over half an inch wide.  I think I'll try a pattern with 20 to 26 cards.  Here are some sample drafts I'm hoping to try.  I don't know if my idea is any good, but it whatever it turns out to be, it will be blue.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Next up, peaceful rhythm dishcloths

We need more towels in our house and I need more practice weaving cotton.  What a great combination.

I discovered the draft for the Peaceful Rhythm Towels and decided to experiment with it.

I'm not certain if I would like the pattern or not, so I adapted it to make some dish cloths.

I'm using 8/2 (or possibly 2/8 - the Canadian one) with the warp in undyed cotton and the weft in different shades of green.

Isn't it amazing how different treadling can give the same warp an entirely different look?  I love it.

Blankets finished

In the end, I chose a 1/3 twill and a black weft.  One side is vibrant, the other more subdued.  I love them both.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

loving the rainbow warp

Anything bad I said this morning, I take it all back.  I found the perfect colour weft for my rainbow.   Black!

The photos just don't do it justice.  It's perfect!

Actually, I had black in mind when I planned these colours, I just didn't have any black on hand.  While I'm waiting for the yarn to arrive, I dug out some black linen.  I suspect the linen yarn is a bit too thin for this situation.  When the Ashford Cotton gets here, I'll ues that.

While I wait, it's time to start planning the great big tea towel binge.  I am going to weave tea towels until I am happy with my cotton weaving skills.  That might take a lot of towels.

So I called up the local weaving superhero and asked her to send me some yarn samples.

I am finally on the road to becoming a weaver.  I just got my first order from Jane Stafford.  A few cones of  white cotton and this lovely card.  I'm thinking I want to make something inspired by these colours.

Or maybe this flax flower?

this is why I sample, or more to the point, this is what happens when I don't weave a sample.

Isn't that pretty?  That's a picture of the back of the loom.

My goal is to learn how to weave wider fabric.

The thing is, I have this gorgeous warp on the loom and I can't decide what colour weft to use.  I tried a few different colours and nothing really pops as 'the one'.  I'm also not very happy with the threading.  I wish I had sampled a few different patterns first.  I also wish I had tried a few samples in different setts (how many threads per inch) because it would make different densities of fabric and I could see which would be best.

All these things and more I could learn from weaving a sample.  But instead, I made a guess and wound a 4-yard warp.  I actually only need 3 yards, so I have a little bit of room to play with... actually, 3 yards was with the original math, which I got wrong.  To get two squares, I only need 2.25 yards.  This gives me lots of room to play with.  But how to play and what?

Here are a few colours I've tried for the weft.  from the bottom, red, a lime green colour, white and grey.  I don't know if I like any of them.  I can't see the pattern at all.

I don't know if I'm happy with this, I don't know if I want to continue.  I adore the colours in the warp... but everything else could have been so much better if I had woven a sample first.

What do you think?  Any suggestions on what colour to try next?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Handwoven sweater - the first of many

That sweater I was weaving was quick and easy to make... once I decided on the pattern.  Sampling is the hardest thing and it seems to take more time than the actual weaving.  But it's also nice to take the time to be sure I'm making something I'll enjoy.

And boy oh boy, do I enjoy my new sweater.

I don't think I made any treadling errors for the whole six yards of fabric.  There are a few areas where I beat too hard, but that just adds to the charm of the piece.

The sweater itself is surprisingly light weight, but lovely and warm.

I used Ashford Tekapo 3 ply yarn set at 12epi and beat at 10ppi.  The cloth is quite narrow (14" wide on loom) and is sewn using Japanese Kimono inspiration.  I had the option to leave the centre front open with a button, snap, tie or no closure.  All looked good.  What finally decided it was my desire for another pullover, so I sewed the front shut and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Colourful warp in the new Ashford Weaving 5/2 Mercerised Cotton

I'm still weaving like crazy.  Insomnia helps, but also, it's just so much fun!  I want to find the limits of what I can do on my little Ashford Table Loom.  Well, I say 'little', it's actually a 32" loom (which means I can weave a fabric that is 32" wide - before shrinkage).  Finally, I've found a loom that matches me!  I love it, and I secretly suspect the loom likes me too.

Today's project is sort-of-secret, but I don't think she reads this blog, so I'll give you a hint.  Let's just say it's for a bundle of joy that 'hatched' into this world on the weekend (a few weeks earlier than expected so this project got bumped to the top and quickly) and it's woven in the brand new 5/2, Ashford Weaving Cotton.

Here it is on the raddle, getting ready to wind onto the warp beam.  The raddle is the funny thing with nails in it, one nail every 1/2 inch so that the warp doesn't bunch up and make weaving a nightmare.

The colours I chose for the warp are:
46 Dazzling Blue
44 Scuba Blue
40 Daisy Pink
42 Honey Suckle
56 Radiant Orchid

I've wound enough warp for two blankets top-secret-projects.

I really like this yarn.  The colours pop and the yarn feels a lot like silk but still has that cotton quality.  Actually, I shouldn't be using this yarn as it's not technically mine, but it is an emergency and I'll buy the other person some replacement yarn next week.

In the meantime, what to choose for the weft?
any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

sample weaving with Ashford Tekapo 3 ply yarn

After such great success with the sweater, I've been weaving samples with the Tekapo 3-ply yarn.  I've been experimenting with colour (not my forte) and treadling, to see if there is anything I like for a second sweater.  This time, I think I'll make a hoodie.

These are all woven at 12epi.  In many ways, I like the green, but it tends to be a little bit too bright.  Maybe I'll tone it down a bit by adding more naturals to the warp.  

This picture is highlighting the plain weave sections I did.  If I choose plain weave, I think 10epi would be better.