Monday, June 23, 2008

Straight draw scarves

At Saturday's guild meeting, several of us presented a program on straight draw. For my part, I focused mostly on the versatility of straight draw on eight shafts and the many looks that can be achieved just by changing the tie-up. I started off with the second set of three rayon scarves that I wove for my grandma. These are all 5/2 rayon, threaded 1 - 8. The one on the right is a waffle weave on straight draw, which was fun to weave. The one on the left is my favorite; it looks the most fluid.
Then I showed this scarf, with a buffalo warp and a handsun alpaca/shetland/silk weft. It is herringbone, but I threaded it as a straight draw on eight. I don't usually weave with wool this heavy and started weaving with a much too heavy beat. I was then so conscious of not beating too hard that my beat became progressively light. The other end wound up rather sleazy. You can see the difference between the two ends in the picture. The lesson I learned from this scarf is that when I am unsure of my beat, I MUST NOT be too confident to get out the ruler and check the ppi.

The last scarf I wove, just for fun, in plainweave with a crammed warp, following a recipe in an old Weaver's magazine. The structure is so simple, but the scarf turned out so nice. The crammed stripes are handpainted 20/2 silk, the remaining warp was 20/2 Jaggerspun Maine Line, and the weft was 20/2 silk noil. This turned out to be a nice, airy, light-weight scarf. I am really pleased with it. If I were to do anything differently, I would beam the wool and silk warps separately. Toward the end, there was a definite difference in tension.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've been busy the past few weeks, but I did find some time to weave. First, I completed the towels on the lymon warp:

I used the threading from the March/April issue of Handwoven. I used cottolin instead of bamboo, added a couple repeats, and changed the treadling slightly. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.

My other recent accomplishment is a sample for our guild's advancing twill study group this weekend.

I used a 5/4 rayon slub mill end as the warp and 5/2 rayon as weft. I tried it with both black and blue wefts, and I like the black the best. The sett I used was 16 epi, which seemed a little too close. I think I will re-sley the remaining warp at 14 epi. I wound enough warp for several samples and a nice scarf. The colors in the warp are so much fun to work with. These pictures don't do justice.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Playing with Silk

I had so much fun playing with the silk hankies that I bought last week that they are all spun up.
I really like these colors together, and, all-in-all, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Of course, it will take some more practice before I can produce really nice yarn, but I think that what I have now is pretty darn good for a beginner. I plan on weaving a small scarf with it and some silver-colored tencel yarn in my stash.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another Fiber Festival

Yesterday several of us made a trip to Franklin, IN to the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival, and a good time was had by all. It was a smaller festival, but there was still a great selection. I came home with some fabulous fibers, but I did excercise enough restraint to come home without a raw fleece. A couple of vendors who particularly impressed me were Sandy's Pallette, where I picked up some nice hand-painted merino/tencel roving, and River's Edge Weaving Studio, where I found some beautiful silk hankies and merino/alpaca roving.

One reason I enjoy fiber festivals so much is, of course, the awesome fiber for sale. But the other reason is to see lots of fiber people. I thought about this and wondered why I'm happy to meet other fiber people. What makes them special? One answer is that we share a common interest, but I think it goes deeper than that. Working with fiber is a tactile, time-consuming, and, let's admit, sometimes tedious practice. This experience yields fiber artists who tend to be gentle and patient, both of which are qualities that define love in I Corinthians 13. If you combine that with the warmth and genuine interest that fiber people show in each other's work, it's easy to see why it's such a pleasure to be around other fiber people.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer's here! Also, more about me than you may ever want to know

I was so excited to see the first rose blossom of the year greet me as I left for work this morning. That's a good sign that summer is here!
I have the Louet about half-way assembled now. One small part was missing, so I'm waiting on it to come in before I go any further with it. I've finished everything I was weaving for the guild's straight-draw program. Now I just need to finish a wedding gift and an advancing twill sample for the guild's study group due the same day. I began to weave on the wedding gift yesterday. I wove several inches in plainweave, and everything was looking great. Then I began weaving the pattern and found that four warp ends were threaded on the wrong pattern shaft. So once I fix that, I should be good to go.
Cally had some questions to share. I'm not sure I have five answers for each, but here goes...
What were you doing five years ago?
I was working in a different department at work, living in the old apartment, baking a lot more than I do now, and not weaving at all.

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
Pick up some clutter, vacuum the floors, wash the dishes, and hopefully weave a little.
What are five snacks you enjoy?
Ice cream, fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt, homemade bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, dried cherries.
What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
Quit my job, weave a lot more, invest in IDES, buy new houses for some of my family, and replace all of the windows in my house.
What are five of your bad habits?
Procrastinating, daydreaming too much, not picking up after myself, forgetting to water my plants, and keeping to myself more than I ought.

What are five places where you have lived?
The family farm, dorms at college, off-campus apartment in college, an apartment in the town where I now live, and now my first house in the same town (all in Indiana).
What are five jobs you’ve had?
Produce clerk, cafeteria worker, library clerk, summer factory worker, engineer.
I won't tag anyone else just now. I've got to get moving and work on that to-do list!