Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monk's Belt progress

I couldn't weave for a couple of days because of a ricked back. I am now back on track and should be finished tomorrow. It has been quite slow going with the frequent pattern weft changes and I am going to have do a little bit of work with a tapestry needle on the selvedges when the piece comes of he loom. I must finish it soon as I need the loom for some scarves that I am planning; more differential shrinkage

My wife has decided that it is worthy of becoming the front of a cushion cover - praise indeed!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monk's Belt

I wove a  Monk's Belt sampler in 2007 and it has been pinned to the back of a cupboard door ever since I wove it. I have admired it from time to time and vaguely thought about doing some more but nothing has ever eventuated.

In September last year a wove some Brighton Honeycomb scarves. The scarves were finished some time ago but I have yet to fringe, finish and photograph them in all their glory. They took second place to all the excitememnt of playing with my counterbalance loom and differential shrinkage. There was about two yards of warp left on the loom when I had finished weaving.

I have ordered some more 20/2 merino in several colours for my next foray into differential shrinkage and double weave. I have to get a birthday scarf finished and delivered by mid February so I hope that the yarn arrives soon.

In the meantime I am weaving some Monk's Belt on the warp left over from the Brighton Honeycomb. The weft is Bendigo  2 ply  which I have re-sleyed to 15epi ( a tightish plain weave) and I am using the same yarn for tabby and doubled for the pattern weft. I am not sure to what the use the final product will be put; perhaps a table runner or a wall hanging for a gloomy corner.

I have had to rummage through my unused equipment box to find enough shuttles. The bottom shuttle in the picture below is my shuttle of choice, an AVL end feed but I  have never used the top three before.

The pattern weft colours are those that I used for a multi-coloured warp early last year. I think that I have enough warp for three 24" hangings. This first one is fairly conventional; I might break out a bit for the next two.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Double Weave with Differential Shrinkage

At the Contemporary Doubleweave Workshop I decide that I wanted to try some form of combination of double weave and differential shrinkage. Our tutor Liz sketched out a design for me (see the squared paper below) and I worked it into a draft and plan for a sample.

I started weaving it at the workshop but with the distractions of the interesting things that everyone else was doing I didn't get it finished until I got home

This is what the sample looked like when I took it of the loom

and this is what it looked like when I had finished it.

This piece will probably end up as a gift for a small niece. I need to think about the colours but I have enough now to enable me to work on a full size version with four panels. I am delighted with the results and I don't think that I would have got anywhere near weaving something like this if it hadn't been for the workshop.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Contemporary Doubleweave Workshop

Well that workshop was fun and very informative. I have learnt a lot from both our tutor and from my fellow students. Now it is just a case of putting it into practise. I will not be giving any hostages to fortune by listing what I have learnt; I shall talk about each topic when I have actually done it.

The pictures show some of the work that was done ( I shall be plagarising) and the spacious weaving rooms where we produced it. I wonder what the topic will be for next year's workshop.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weaving Workshop - Contemporary Double Weave

It is just before 7:00 am on Monday morning and I am in Mittagong. I am just about to start  week long workshop, "Contemporary Double Weave: reuse, layers and containers with Liz Williamson"  which is being held at the Sturt Craft Centre and I have to confess to being a little bit excited.

My wife drove me down here last night (about 100k from Sydney) and I am staying in a student hall - very novel! The grounds of the Sturt Craft Centre are lovely, the buildings are set in very satisfying gardens with lots of arbors, pergolas and woodland walks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Weaving Focus

One of the problems I have when I am weaving is that my mind tends to wander off so that I loose the focus on what I am trying to do. A similar thing happens to me when I am listening to music or trying to meditate.

I end up thinking about what we should be having for supper or how I am going to solve the problems of the world and before I know it a selvedge has pulled in, the beat has gone to the dogs and something horrible has happened to a thread at the back of the loom.

On my last project (Differential Shrinkage Scarf) where concentration on the technique was so important ( beating 10 ppi with a 20/2 weft needs nerves of steel) I wrote myself a little list and pinned it to the loom and read it out loud to myself as I wove.  I consider myself to be an occasional weaver so I probably don't have the fully developed muscle memory that is needed to get all the little complex movements just right. It is early days yet but I think that this little weaving chant and check list might help.

I would be interested to hear if other people have a "focus" problem and how they resolve it.