Sunday, March 29, 2009

The End of an Era (sort of !)

My turn with the little structo loom has come to a close. I borrowed it months ago to do preparations for a presentation on double weave. The presentation is done, the sample warp- that was on the loom for the meeting-has been woven, and it's time to return the loom.

Here are some photos of the bag that the sample warp became. It's based on a tutorial by Doni, with double weave fabric. The long, thin strip of fabric is not cut to make the bag. It's wrapped in a coil (more or less) and seamed.

The pattern doesn't work very well on the bag--I expected the bag to be square/square column, showing just one width of the fabric. Instead it's more of a flat, 2-dimensional piece that is two fabric widths wide.

It would work better to have the pattern line continue across the seam. Doni's bags are all plain fabrics. That's probably a much better way to do this bag! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Little Knowledge

I was sitting in a photography class with the 12-18 year old girls at church. The instructor provided two pages of notes dealing with f-stops, ISO, shutter speed... And all I could think of was, "But I just have a point and shoot digital camera!"

Well, I took the instructor's comments to heart, dug out my camera's manual, and learned that I have lots to learn about my camera!

I have a Cannon PowerShot A400. It's a little old. It's a little slow. But, wow! It can do things I didn't know about! Sepia, black and white, portraits, night scenes... There's even a way to adjust many of the settings the instructor focused on! Wow!

My three year old was a good sport and let me take many pictures of her. I like this "open composition" (see, Kelly! I was paying attention!) of her in sepia.

My asparagus let me play around with the rule of thirds. See how the tall spear in the back is on a (almost!) 1/3 line and the smaller spear in front is on another 1/3 line? Whoo-hoo!

And then, I do have fiber content! I pulled out a tub of spinning fiber to prepare for some drum carding...and discovered a Shetland wool sampler. Off came the spinning that has slowed down, and on went the dark wool. The old bobbin and roving snuggled up beautifully for this parting shot:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Overshot -Pleased as Punch!

Look at this bit of overshot! I am pleased as punch at how it is turning out!

The weave structure is Marguerite Porter Davison's 'A Handweaver's Pattern Book', pg 148 titled "Valley Forge Dogwood".

The warp and tabby weft are a two ply acrylic --about 25 wpi. The pattern weft is reclaimed yarn from a skirt & sweater set. It's mostly acrylic with a bit of metallic sparkle and some mohair.

More importantly, the warp/tabbyweft and pattern weft work beautifully together! I have been able to sit and weave without tweaking, without struggling to get the right number of picks per just works!

I am so pleased!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Double Weave

I'm preparing to do a presentation to my weaving guild about double weave. As I wove and watched tv, I realized that I may finally have gotten bit by the doubleweave pick-up bug.

Previous attempts at doing doubleweave pick-up were slow, and tedious--cute (remember Fred the Fish?), but painfully slow.

My new set-up included nice, clean, hand-drawn graphs (patterns from a knitting book!)...and the trick seemed to be watching tv while weaving! Gone was the tedium of the 4-passes-per-square! Most of my brain was elsewhere, and a tiny bit of the brain and my hands were busy!

Here's the set-up:

the loom: 4-harness structo
the yarn: 5/2 mercerized cotton warp, 15 epi (doubled) sett
10/2 unmercerized cotton weft

The graphs are held onto a handle at the top of the loom with a binder clip.

Double Weave Shawl

This doll-sized shawl was woven as a double weave tube (5" wide, on-loom) based on the design in "The Magic of DoubleWeave" called "It's an 'L' of a shawl" by David Xenakis and Ruth Morrison.

Essentially it is a woven tube that has been fulled and cut at a 45 degree angle. The trick is that the angle is rotated by 90 degrees at the center of the shawl, to make an 'L'. (Come to the Wabash Weavers' guild meeting on Friday and I'll show you--visuals are very helpful for this one...but the book has good photos, if you can't join us at the meeting!)

My daughter's baby doll played the model for the finished shawl. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Dyed

Oh, happy day! The school age kids are all well and back in school, the three year old was content to play, and I dyed.

And dyed.

And dyed.

I'm dead (tired, that is!)!

Today's techniques included vat dyeing (over half a pound of beautiful sunshine yellow!), over dyeing (the little bit of yellow and orange next to the yellow), crock pot dyeing (the blues & greens), and painting (the pink/purple combo).

Lessons learned? Hmm. Steaming cheap plastic wrapped wool in the oven melts the plastic wrap. I think I got it all off! Dooh! A dunk in the big pot and a chance to simmer helped even out the color from this particular crock pot batch. And, vat dyeing does a great job of completely dyeing the wool!

Dye Days are great!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Duvet Update

No photos here, just good news. I am much happier with my "Indiana Puzzle" duvet cover since I did some finishing work on it! Hooray!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Overshot Challenges

I've been working on some "overshot as doubleweave" samples for an upcoming guild meeting. I really like the one to the left. Unfortunately, I didn't weave it correctly. Check out the back side--all those floats aren't supposed to be there!

Yarn: warp- 10/2 unmercerized cotton in grey and variegated blue. Weft handspun cotton single.
Sett: 15 epi (doubled--ie. 30 epi)

The biggest problem with these samples--I think the sett is too close. With a smaller sett some of my challenges in getting these square would have gone away.