Sunday, September 12, 2010

Putting 2200 Heddles on the Loom

Here are my new 40 shafts waiting patiently to get their quota of heddles.


I’ll put 100 each on shafts 1-4 and 50 each on the other shafts, so that I can do tied weaves without messing with the heddles. Here’s the loom patiently waiting to get its shafts back:


And here (I don’t think this is going to be fun) are the 2200 heddles:


But it will be fun when they’re all on and I can start using the loom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crossed Thread – Broken Thread

I had something very weird happen today. I had a warp on the loom for two scarves. I wove one scarf, cut it off and finished it. Then I tied on again and wove about 35 inches when I made a mistake and had to unweave about an inch. While I was unweaving I kept catching a thread about half way through the warp. I finally figured out that two threads were crossed between the heddles and the reed. However, I saw no evidence of this in the first scarf or the first 35 inches of the second scarf! In fact, I looked back on the scarf on the loom and only one “cell” had a float in it that would indicate a problem – everything before that wove correctly. So, …, did the weaving gods visit during the night and cross two threads just to make the project more interesting? Or, did the cross somehow stay back where it wasn’t obvious and just managed to work its way forward after 120 inches of weaving? Who knows.

Anyhow, I had to cut the two threads and resley them. I then had to treat them as broken threads. I don’t use the '”book” method for broken threads because it just leaves you with two sets of ends to needle weave in. I just get a new thread (or in this case two threads) long enough to finish the scarf and T-pin them in with weights on the back of the loom. Then, I just forget about the original thread unless, e.g., I had a third scarf on the loom, in which case I would reattach if for the third scarf. This way I only have one place where broken warp ends overlap instead of two.

Here’s the new set of threads (the ends of the old threads are already woven in:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just-in-time Gift

Finished weaving Thursday night about 10:30 pm. Friday morning into washer and dryer. Came off the ironing board at 1:15 and we were out the door on the way to the wedding at 2:15. Whew! They loved it, though.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Busy Week – Table Runner

Too many deadlines this week. Friends are getting married on Friday and last week Dolly said why don’t we weave them something. So, I took her up on the offer and she wound the warp, I beamed it, she threaded and sleyed, and now I’m weaving. Goal is 20” per day for the next three days and then off the loom and into the washer and dryer Friday morning.

On top of that, I’m twisting fringe on three scarves that just came off one of the looms and I’m starting to weave two deflected doubleweave scarves that I hope to have all done by Sunday because Monday is jury day at the gallery. I’m thinking the beginning of next week will not see much weaving – I’ll need a break.

My amiga, Catherine Mayo, who has a great writer’s blog, just had a post about blogging, and she advises writers to write about something other than their new book. I’m thinking it might be nice to blog about something other than what’s on the loom – maybe I’ll post more.

Anyway, here’s the design for the table runner. It’s basically a shadow weave design with some variations.  I’m pretty sure these friends don’t read my blog ;-)


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Color Gamps Drying on the Line

I’ve had a color gamp warp on one of my table looms for longer than I’d like to admit and this week I decided to weave with two colors per day until I finished it and could cut it off the loom. Today it came off – finally!

The one I just finished was a plain weave gamp, but I had four others that used different weave structures.

Here are all five of them hanging out to dry:


Once they’re dry and ironed, I’ll try to get close-up pictures of some of the more interesting ones and post them.

(Incidentally, I love Windows Live Writer).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Blogging Software and Doubleweave Windows

I’m trying out the Windows Live Writer as a way to generate my posts instead of the web interface on blogspot, which I’ve never been crazy about.

Here’s a picture of a doubleweave placemat that I wove recently.


Doubleweave is my favorite weave structure. This is a fairly simple two-block doubleweave on 8 shafts using five different colors of red yarn. Most of it was either 8/2 cotton or 8/2 cotlin but I think there was some finer cotlin also, maybe 14/2 or something like that.

Right now on the loom I have a warp for three Tencel scarves but it turns out that it’s not a very interesting design, so it’s a struggle for me to sit at the loom and weave. I’ll be selling the loom it’s on (a 16-shaft, 40-inch Macomber). I just finished the second scarf and may cut it off and leave the rest of the warp on for potential buyers to play with.

If I like this Windows Live Writer, I just might post more!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have done a little bit of dyeing but not enough to feel comfortable with it. We have two dyeing study groups locally but both are full and not taking new members, so when a third group started I jumped in. We had our first dyeing session last weekend and used Procion MX fiber reactive dyes. I dyed four skeins of Tencel, two of cotton and two of a Tencel/silk blend. The results are shown here:

The four Tencel skeins are on the right, the orange ones are cotton and the pale ones are the Tencel/silk blends. I agitated too much when I washed them so they look like a tangled mess. I did wind one of the Tencel skeins into a ball and it worked fine. I'm sure the cotton skeins will also unravel well, but I'm pretty sure the Tencel/silk blend skeins are toast. They're not only very tangled but for some reason they didn't take the dye very well, so I'm not all that unhappy to lose them. I'll try to unravel them but I don't have much hope.

Now that I've got these under my belt, I may be more inclined to just set aside a day for dyeing in the basement. I'd like to play with more color blending and then, later, try some acid dyes on protein fibers.