Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brighton Honeycomb

I like Brighton Honeycomb. It is some time since I wove some but I have a few scarves that are favourites, just the thing to wear when having a nap, admiring the view from the top of the Rockefeller Building or just off camping.

Carol Strickler (#21 & #22 - A Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Patterns) gives two treadlings, the second of which produces a rib effect (Black Scarf - Rockefeller). The left hand draft below is a copy from Strickler.

One of the nice things about Brighton Honeycomb is that if you thread your selvedge threads on shafts 3 and 6 you get a plain or basket weave selvedge. The draft on the right shows what I am weaving. It is the 8 shaft draft extended to 24 shafts with selvedges and header rows added.

I am currently working on the trial/sample area, sorting out my beat, the shuttle tension and the warp and selvedge tensions. I had one crossed warp thread which was easily fixed.  The warp is two close shades of orange and I will be using a red weft.

Weaving 8 shaft Brighton Honeycomb in a single or analogous colours is just a starting point for this structure. There is quite a lot of information on the web. I like Priyank Goyal's notes, and Posselt has some interesting things to say, particularly on the use of colour.

I am using a twill sett which seems to work fine for scarves. If I have room on this warp I shall re-sley to a looser set for a small sample - shawls perhaps?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Selvedge Rollers

In an earlier post, Back of the loom, I showed some design possibilities for Selvedge Rollers. I have now come up with my version (Mark 1)  in which I have plagiarized a little bit from each of the ideas.

I bought two spinning wheel spools and mounted them on a long wooden dowel. The dowel is attached by four metal brackets to a narrow beam that sits in the currently unused mountings of the secondary warp beam. The selvedge threads are wound onto the spools and dynamic tension is applied by nylon line wrapped over the rollers and weighted with fishing sinkers.

 The system works but already I can see plenty of scope for improvement. This will all have to wait otherwise I shall never get going with some weaving. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Threading with the AVL Cross Maker

I set out to thread a warp today on my 24S Glimakra but ran into problems. I had the threading cross on lease sticks suspended as usual  right behind the heddles. Note the cunning use of the snitch knot to get the lease sticks at the right height!

Normally reaching through the gap between the heddles (24 shafts worth of them) to pick up the next thread from the cross is fine but because I have slightly wrenched my shoulder playing tennis I found this tricky today.

My solution to the problem has been to move the threading cross to in front of the heddles. I have used the cross maker from my AVL warping wheel to act as a little set of lease sticks and the photograph shows the rather industrial way that I am holding it in place. The selected threads are easily slid of the ends of the sticks. I thread in blocks of four, selecting and grouping the correct heddles and then taking the threads off the cross. I still have to reach through to bring the threads into the correct position for threading but it this is much easier on the shoulder (and the eyes) than trying to get hold of threads that are 2 feet away.

I have a rubber band (not shown) that I put into place on the cross maker to hold the threads firmly in place. I put this on every time I get up from my sitting position which is the danger time for knocking things out of kilter. I take it off again when I am settled back down again and ready to resume threading.

The next photo shows the total set up. The ubiquitous milk crate ( I have seen a students bedsit completely furnished with these) is just the right height for a seat. The loom controller foot pedal is sitting on the knee beam and always remember to take your watch off before starting to thread.

I have a special threading draft that lifts each shaft in a block of four in turn. This is when I select the heddle. After I have threaded them I use the draft to lift all four shafts together so I can check that all is correct.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ray's Scarf

We  went camping over the weekend at Crowdy Bay National Park . We met up with our friends who are members of a bushwalking group. They all shot off on some long walks  but I stayed close to the campsite and limited my activity to wandered off into the bush a couple of times and making a short foray along the beach. I positioned myself with camera, binoculars and did a bit of fringe twisting whilst letting nature come to me.

This scarf is one of the last three that I wove from a very colourful warp that has kept me happy from months.

Whilst there I caught up with Ray who I first met when we went camping at Knorrits Flat. On his travels around Australia Ray has collected wool in different conditions and quantities and from a variety of sources including derelict weaving sheds.  A friend spun this wool for him and lent Ray a loom on which he wove this scarf; his first bit of weaving for over fifty years. 

The colours are so natural and organic and the blending is lovely. I hope that the picture of the scarf draped over a tree and contrasting with the bark shows what I mean.

It just so happens that I am starting spinning classes next Saturday and I have already researched how to dye with Australian plants. I have even bought the necessary  mordants.

I think that seeing Ray's scarf will have given me the inspirational impetus to move a project from theory to practise.