Saturday, October 12, 2002

False Damask

I finally got a chance to play with my weaving. I'm still having some warp
problems, but I don't know if it's my loom or me! This is the first time I've
had all 10 treadles tied up, most with 4 harnesses tied to it, and I'm noticing
that when I press the treadle on the far left the heddle doesn't raise evenly.
The right side doesn't raise as much. Since I usually only had the four treadles
tied I didn't notice it. I think I'll also layer up some newspapers and spray
WD-40 on all the moving joints. After my misguided attempt to move heddles,
rsulting in them all landing on the floor, I steel wooled all the metal strips
that hold the heddles on all 8 of the harnesses, so they now just glide across.
Maybe that will help.

I have only a little warp left on the false damask tie up, so I thought I'd
try out some contrasting colors, rather that the white/off-white that was suggested.
Treadling with no repeats, treadling 4 times 1-4, then 4 times 5-8. Then I did
all 1-4 which gives the stripe. I like the look of the colors, although the white/off-white is cool too. If you
have WinWeave,
you can download the file.

Here's another problem that I have been encountering - maybe someone has a
suggestion. I've started using vinyl slats from some old blinds to separate
the towels. I keep getting the thread from the shuttle stuck on it. In the picture
on the right you can see the slats almost reading to wind on. Before that point
both the tie on rods and the slats catch my thread and my smooth rhythm is violently
stopped. There's got to be a way to keep that from happening.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Spin Your Stash

I got LOTS of ideas from the Stash Reduction Weekend I spend at Claudia's.
Claudia is a great teacher/facilitator, and I sat at the feet of some wonderful
fiber people and soaked in even more. It's sort of hard to say exactly what
I learned, but it's safe to say that I have expanded my way of thinking about
blending and color.

Once I saw what everyone else was doing, I really wanted to buy more colorful
fibers to blend. Except for the autumn cardigan
I'm working on now, I've shyed away from the brighter colors, mostly because
I was never successful in spinning into anything but garish or muddy colors.
But the easy way doesn't always teach you as much, so I went with what I had

The first thing I wanted to do was to use the mohair
combed top
that I found to be way too slippery for me to handle. I also
had close to a pound of Ashford Bay top that I
wanted to blend with it. Since I have about 8 pounds of a grey roving (I sent
out a bunch of washed romney from various sources to Ohio Valley and had them
blend it all together) I thought it might work with that.

Here are some of the working ideas we came up with:

The variations in this green Ashland Bay top weren't showing
up in the brown, I tried it with the grey and like it better, but now I'm
thinking I might try it with white. Yes, I do have POUNDS of white also.
I have a small amount of an angora, silk, merino blend in an off white,
so I may add that too.

This is brown roving, mostly romney, that I had blended and
carded at Ohio Valley I bought a little of the pumpkin Ashland Bay to spice
it up and used a tannish variegated top I had. I also used the mohair top
in this blend, but I still think the brown is taking over. I had planned
on plying this with a single brown, but unless I change the proportions,
I might get a better yarn double plying.

Here I just finger teased up some romney locks that had been
washed, but nothing else done to it. Then I VERY quickly spun it up and
plyed it with a some of the grey roving I had previously spun. This was
hard for me to do because I wanted to control it more, but I think I like
the rustic quality of the yarn. It's little too fuzzy in places, but I think
I'll flick the tips and cut end before I finger tease it and that should
even it out a bit.