Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hat Band

I wove this band nearly a year ago and I have only just put it onto my hat.



A group of us went away for a "weaving retreat" and I was taught how to do this by my friend Anne. The idea is that we get together and weave, dye and exchange ideas and skills.

 


 




We are off on another retreat next week. For some reason I didn't post anything on the blog last year; I shall this time.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Brocade Scarf - Weaving has started

I have had a brief bout of flu which put me back a bit but everything is now back on track. I have woven the sample and the first 500 picks so the scarf should be finished over the weekend.


Some observations;


  • I really need to do a photography course. I can only get a realistic colours if I take pictures in day light. The picture montage below give a slightly better idea of the colours.
  • The 28/2 Alpaca Silk for the ground and 18/2 Wool Silk work very well together. I was slightly apprehensive that they might be too sticky to work at the close setts involved when using supplementary warps but the sheds are separating very nicely.
  • I was having a problem with the warp from my end feed shuttle catching at random intervals with a nasty effect on the selvedge. After a lot of stuffing around I discovered that it was being caused by a fairly compact wad of felted fluff deep in the Honex mechanism of the shuttle. If I only I ever have to clean them every 8 years I can't complain.




Monday, September 5, 2016

Brocade Scarf

I am not sure if Brocade and Supplementary Warp are synonymous but I am going to call my next project "Brocade Scarf" as I am intending to achieve a subtle ribbon effect. We shall see.

The picture to the left shows the pattern; the colours are overstated. Some of the colours that I am using are quite close but I need a clear distinction in my weaving software so that I don't mess up the warp winding or threading.

The actual yarns, 28/2 Alpaca Silk for the ground and 18/2 Wool Silk for the pattern warp (I hope that the sheds clear!), are shown below.






























When I was putting the ground warp onto the bottom beam I discovered that the sectional warp beam above it (where I shall be putting the pattern warp) serves very nicely as an additional raddle.




I am putting on a 4 yard warp for one scarf: a sizable sample and some left over for tying on the next warp which a has got to be the way to go. In the past I have tied on behind the shafts but with two warp beams in position I shall have to do it in front of the shafts. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cotton Scarf with a Supplementary Warp











All done!









































If you are interested in some technical details please read on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Supplementary Warp Scarf is off the loom

All the weaving is done. I ended up with a much bigger sample than planned because I over estimated draw-in and shrinkage in the length. Its cotton, not wool! Also the PPI off the loom seemed to relax to 20, not my target 24. I washed and ironed the sample yesterday.



Today the weather has been atrocious - I have been at the kitchen table twisting the fringe and winding some wool for my next project. Tomorrow I shall finish the scarf (the second one can wait) and start on warping up for my next project which will be some more supplementary warp bit in wool this time.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weaving to sound

The software that I use, Weavepoint, has the facility to play a sound when the weft colour changes. On my draft the weft colour changes every 24 picks so that the computer goes "ping" to remind me to advance the temple and the beater. I listen to music whilst I am weaving and the "ping" was too faint. I now have a couple of speakers sitting on the front cross member of the loom.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Supplementary Warp - Weaving Progress

Well, I am up and running and the weaving progresses. It took a little while to get the tensions of the various warp elements correct but I think that I have it now. The last piece I wove was 10 ppi; this one is 24 (well 22.5 actually, but hey) so I am not going to rattle it off in a day.


This is a view of the cloth beam; note the generous use of sticks. At the moment they are covering up the tie-on knots but they will continue to prevent uneven tension because of the different thicknesses of the weaving.




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Selvedge Rollers

I wrote a post 10 months ago about some Selvedge Rollers that my brother Gregory had made for me. This followed on from a previous post where I wrote about a rather Heath Robinson arrangement that I had concocted.

Well, now I have the rollers in place and functioning. They are mounted on a steel rod which is held in place by metal brackets on an extra beam which I have clamped onto the back of the loom. A webbing strap runs from the bottom of the beam up over the brake drum part of the rollers and down to some weights which can be adjusted to control the tension on the selvedge thread. The second photograph shows the selvedge thread coming of the roller and extending forward to the heddles.  All good stuff and I am very happy. I can have no excuse now for knurley selvedges.

 




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Supplementary Warp - tying on

Tying on


During this whole warping process I have made great use of  PeggyOsterkamp's weaving tips and Pattern Techniques for Handweavers by Doramay Keasbey.

This picture shows the two sleyed warps ready for tying onto the front apron rod. Although it is not immediately apparent from the picture the ground and pattern warps are tied up with slip knots into separate bouts.










The two pictures above show the pattern warp lifted up out of the way and kept up by weighted cords hung over the top of the beater.  Some literature suggested tying on the warps together, some said to separate them; I decided on the latter approach. Lifting the pattern warp out of the way made it easier to tie on the ground warp



I laced on the ground warp. I use a constrictor Knot to attach the cord to the apron rod and a netting shuttle to hold the cord whilst I am putting the lacing in place. I am using 2mm nylon Venetian Blind Cord.




The lacing on is complete. It is my preferred method for getting an even tension. (http://peggyosterkamp.com/peggys-weaving-tips-tips-lacing-warp/)








With ground warp in place and the pattern warp out of the way I wove a few picks of header.









Here the pattern warps have been tied onto the apron rod. I used a length of cord (green) to tie on each bout.  I have advanced the warp so that he apron rod is just clearing the breast beam


This is the initial weaving. It is all a bit sloppy at this stage before I have properly adjusted the warp tension and got the correct tension on my shuttle.

There is an errant tan thread right in the middle of the weaving which I had to correct. Fortunately it was a just a case of colour transposition and heddles out of order rather than a missing heddle.



 A bit more weaving after the mistake has been corrected. The tension is about right. I am only getting 18 ppi rather than the target 24 so I will need to weave another 6" to get the feel for that before I start weaving proper. This is the exciting bit!




Friday, July 22, 2016

Supplementary Warp - threading and sleying

Threading and Sleying

I have been tag threading - do 12 ends then get up and do 5 minutes housework before returning to thread another 12 ends and then back to the domestic stuff and so on.

From what I have read there are two ways of threading the two warps;

  1. Thread the ground warp first leaving empty heddles for the pattern warp, then thread the pattern warp 
  2. Do both warps at once

The first method seemed to me to be fraught with danger so I just started with the first thread and went from right to left across the complete threading. It was all very straight forward; I was however very careful and constantly checked my work.

View of both warps on their lease sticks


Penciled on shaft numbers


In action; the keys to happiness are height and light


Sleying



The all important Threading/Sleying plan
  


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Supplementary Warp - putting on the pattern warp

Putting on the Pattern Warp

Putting on the pattern warp had a few complexities and at times I wished I had smaller hands but all went well. Once the second warp beam and back beam are in place there is not much room.



After putting the warp onto the sectional warp beam I put little weights onto each bout to keep them tight and under control when I unwind in preparation for putting in the lease sticks. There are more EPI in the centre sections hence the disparity in length; 6" over 7 yards which will have to be watched later on for tension problems.



The bouts are hanging down the back of the loom. The sectional warp beam is at the top of the picture and the weights are out of sight at the bottom. The green wool is securing the crosses which have to be moved so that they are all level




The lease sticks are in position and held in place by string loops around the beam.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Supplementary Warp - planning and winding the ground warp

Planning and winding the ground warp


I have previously woven an Overshot Sampler using 16/2 Cotton. It worked quite well so I am using this yarn again for the ground weave of the Supplementary Warp Scarf that I have started work on - a summer fashion statement!

For the pattern warps I shall be using some 10/2 Perle Cotton that has been sitting in my stash since I bought in Pennsylvania nine years ago. I am hoping to get a good contrast between the mercerized and un-mercerized cottons.

For the draft I have used elements from the Juanita Giradin scarf that I had analysed ( see previous post) but with enough changes to transition it from pure plagiarism to a thematic variation. The picture above is a graphic representation (from WeavePoint) of what I am aiming for.

Normally the information needed to wind the warp can be taken from the threading plan but I

Part of the threading


needed to separate out the information for the ground warps (shafts 1 to 4) from the pattern warps  (5 to 10). I did this by importing the [WARP COLORS] section from the .wif file into MS Excel and doing a bit of manipulation to get a  "Winding Plans" for both the pattern and the ground warps.


Ground Warp Winding Plan
I am in the habit of taking a photo of the warping board or reel with the guide string in place. This averted a disaster once when I removed the guide string with the first warp chain before I had wound the second. In this instance my wife has made an unscripted appearance.


Warping reel with Guide String

The bottom warp is now in place ready for threading. The next task is getting the top pattern warp onto the loom.
Ground Warp ready for threading

Friday, July 8, 2016

Supplementary Warps - ideas and inspiration

 A bit of research



Since I got back from the UK last year I haven't done any weaving. I am not sure why not; it just seemed that nothing was interesting enough to justify the effort. I was still interested in weaving and read various bits and pieces and did some designing on my weaving software but ennui set in whenever I contemplated actually doing some work.
.
Whenever Handwoven bring out electronic versions of their magazine I buy them so I now have every issue from 1988 to 2015. I was browsing through some of the older ones when I was rather taken by the front cover of the Nov Dec 1988 issue and the corresponding pictures inside on some scarves by Juanita Girardin. There were no drafts in the issue, just the information that they were in plain weave with an 8 shaft supplemental warp.
























The world wide web is a wonderful thing so I soon came to this page with loads of examples of Juanita Giradin's work. Lassitude was dissipated and I read everything that I could on supplementary warp/brocade.
Articles and Papers
 I looked for as many examples as I could; the majority of the articles in Handwoven were by Barbara Walker and her site has some lovely examples of what can be done with supplementary warps.

I took the photograph of one of the scarves and reversed engineered it to produce a draft. I used pixeLoom to produce the draft and WeavePoint's excellent  fabric view to check my work. . These are the notes that I made at the time.

Contemplating Juanita
The following  observations are based on what I think that I can see from looking at photographs of some of the works of  Juanita Giradin.  My interpretation could be completely wrong! Think of scarves of this type as being turned Monks Belt with a bit of Turned Overshot thrown in for good measure.
The body of the scarf is balanced plain weave. The warp and weft are both dark (black?) but there are areas where the warp is paler or alternating  pale and black.
The supplementary warps have a variety of interlacements and different yarns are in use.
In certain areas I find it hard to tell if the pattern is coming just from the ground weave or is from a supplementary warp.

The three pictures below are of the original scarf, the my interpretation as a draft and a graphic representation of the draft.

Original Work


Draft - my interpetation


Graphic Representation of my draft

Now, I have a Glimakra Standard with an additional back beam that I have often admired but never used. Time to get going again I think.