Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Job Down ......

so many more to go!

I made this to go in back of a sofa, a primitive console table. I've rearranged the living room furniture and decided to recycle it into much needed shelving for the studio.

Here's the plan.

I'm not going to bother and stain the added shelving.

This just makes me smile! This is mostly 8/2 and some other mill ends.

I wish I could say the rest of the basement studio is looking as organized as this but ....... well, my weaving was calling me.

Hot damn! 912 ends and I didn't make one mistake. That's going down in the record books! I tried lashing on again. I'm not a big fan but I want to use my handspun for warp and I want to cut down on loom waste. I took a little more time (that's probably the reason I don't like it) and it worked out well. I probably won't use it for cotton warps but it doesn't hurt to have a few tricks up my sleeve.

I started and finished the first blanket today and I'm paying the price. How long has it been since I wove and here I was throwing the shuttle over 38". It wasn't a pretty picture. I don't know what I was doing with my right arm but I must have been pulling it back to far because I kept getting the thread caught on the edge of the breast beam and my right shoulder and wrist are a bit tender. I guess that's what I get for trying to cram so much into this week.

Here's a closer look at the twill. This is the second draft on the previous entry. I wove 1.5" in plain weave, 42" of twill, and another 1.5" plain weave.

Tomorrow I'm going with either the third draft or the hopsack, which is fabric woven with 2 ends up and 2 ends down.

I wonder if weaving wide warps will help tone up the triceps?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Twill Thoughts

I think that it's time to put the loom puzzle on the back burner and use this week to focus on some real weaving. The time spent weaving will should give me some insight on the workings of my handmade loom.

Here's the plan. 8/2 warp spun cotton from WEBS, Alabaster, sett at 24epi.

Each blanket will be a little different, changing weft colors and/or size.


I have some 3/2 that is the same color as the warp. I was thinking of using that for the one pick of cream and keep the three picks of green the same size as the warp OR have one pick of a thicker green and keep the three picks the same color and thickness as the warp.


I saw this in Dixon's book and I think it gives a sort of cobblestone effect.

I'll probably keep to the 8/2 for this weft but I put enough warp on to experiment at the end and I want to see how 5/2 or 3/2 would look with this draft. It might be a nice placemat weave.

I don't know about you, but I think it's time for a Jackson update!

Somebody turned one last week. He was thrilled with the Elmo cake Mommy baked and Daddy decorated but not so thrilled with the surrounding hordes of singing relatives. To keep from freaking him out completely I sang very quietly!

Since he never had cake or icing before it took him a minute or two to figure out what he was supposed to do. But it wasn't long before he looked like Elmo's twin. Luckily (?) the temperature as in the 90s so it was right into the kiddie pool for a quick clean up before opening presents.

The next day was spent relaxing and getting over the pressure of turning one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Loom Progress

Thanks to Marie, Jane, and Trapunto I received some great ideas and resources for putting this loom back together and in working order.

I saw Jane's comment in the wee hours of the morning, before going to school. She suggested that I take the cloth beam off and slip the tool over the pawl end of the beam. Despite scrambling to get to school I took the time to run downstairs and check it out. I didn't look like there would be enough room. Then I just pushed the beam slightly to the left and voilá!

I was able to slide the tool in and see how it would be able to engage the pawls.

Now to figure out that chain break.

See that eye screwed on to the base? I'm wondering if I could attach a long spring, like I have on my Macomber, and that would allow for some tension on the chain. And then there's the question of this mystery bolt....

It's not fastening anything, just a bolt, two washers and a nut.

Along with puzzling over this loom I've finally finished winding the warp for the 2/2 twill baby blankets. 912 ends wound in 8 bouts, sett at 24 epi.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Crazier

I was dealing with the aftermath of the pool table removal pretty well. I had an all day instructors meeting on Saturday and when I got home everything in our garage was out in the driveway. All the shelving units (ready to collapse at any moment) and one of the two work benches were knocked down and put in the dumpster. The huge dumpster was more than halfway loaded and they hadn't even touched the attic over the garage, family room, and laundry room. I took on that chore and was pretty brutal. There are a few piles to sort through now and then we'll be ready for to plan out the new work space and storage areas.

While this is, ultimately, a good thing, added to the basement organization, end of the year exams/projects/grades, Jackson's First Birthday (Saturday), and taking on two new grad courses to teach this summer - well, let's just say things are interesting!

I have the new loom put together, but I need to pick up some more washers and nuts for the carriage bolts. I also need a reed. Marie tells me I'll need a tensioning device and some spools for the sectional beam, especially if it's strong enough for rugs, but for now I just want to figure out some things.

Like how to wind on the warp and what some things are for. Why don't you take a look? There's a link to a second page with pictures taken after I attached the warp beam. I think that the tool hanging from the front should somehow hook into the pawl of the cloth beam to advance it, but I can't seem to do that.

Two naked looms were a little much for me but I kept getting hung up on all sorts of new things I wanted to try. Last night I just started winding a warp of an old standby, WEBS Eight-Two in Alabaster, for 2/2 twill blankets. I'm winding enough for three blankets and another 1.5 yards for sampling. I want to experiment with using one pick out of the repeat of a contrasting color and with two different size wefts. I'm using ideas I've picked up from Dixon's book and Leslie Voiers' monograph Plain Weave is Anything but Plain.