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. (

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


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.