Thursday 31 May 2012

Curved cloth

It would be an interesting challenge to get this effect on purpose, a curve down the length of the cloth.

The secret of this error lies in the winding of the linen warp. I wound half one evening, half the next. It might have just been that one day I was pulling the yarn tighter on the warp board. It could be that there was a second  factor - humidity. Linen is stiffer when drier, more flexible when damp.

I knew that there was a difference in tension when I was winding the warp on the loom, it was showing where the warp pulled through the lease sticks

(Super little lease sticks by the way, they came with the loom and you see them here joined together with a treasury tag and tied to the castle)

The warp in front of the lease sticks on the left is distinctly slack, whilst on the right the tension is fairly even. When the warp was wound on the ends on this side were a few inches longer. I trimmed them off before tying the warp on, assuming that the tension problem was resolved.

It looked fine when weaving, and fine when I first removed the cloth from the loom, only showing up when laid out flat to measure the piece before washing.

Something else I discovered very late, only when trying a few inches of wool weft near the end of the warp.  A threading error, that showed more with the wool and more on the reverse of the fabric.

Somewhere I have a mirror for inspecting the reverse of the fabric while it is on the loom - next time I should use it! This error hardly showed from the front with the cotton weft (left) although I would have seen it on the reverse (right).

Friday 18 May 2012

Stick Shuttles

I want to explain why I prefer a short length stick shuttle (this is a 26cm shuttle made by Ashford) and why I wind my shuttles like this:

The yarn is wound in a figure of eight pattern which I learnt some while back from this post on Laura Fry's blog.

This is how it works as I weave, I don't have to twist or turn my shuttle to unwind the thread, it's all a natural and easy part of the weaving action.

Monday 14 May 2012

Weaving on my Greg Meyer "Oonagh" loom

I don't have the spare time I once did to enjoy crafts and blogging, but I am getting my work/life balance organised so I have "a life" again after 2 years of all work, and re-organising aspects of the work to spend less time on business administration and more on editorial work.

The Oonagh loom I bought from Greg Meyer at Wonderwool Wales is part of finding craft time. It only takes up a third of my table and is small enough to pick up and carry around, so I can weave but still have the table available when I need it for paperwork.

It's warped, and I'm weaving again and what is more I've worked out I can blog as well, so long as I keep it short. So, this is a 15 minute post.

Pictures next:

I'm using these cotton yarns together as weft on a bright green linen warp.

All 12 shafts are in use with 3-1 and 1-3 twill taking 8 and plain weave borders on 4. I know I could have set this up on less shafts, but I wanted to use all of them - I haven't had a 12 shaft loom to play with before.

Friday 11 May 2012

J C Rennie & Co, wool spinners

I have just enjoyed a blog post by knit designer Kate Davies about visiting the Scottish wool spinners J C Rennie and would encourage you to read too and enjoy the lovely photos.

J C Rennie's own website is here. The business was set up by two brothers in 1798, spinning locally grown wool for weavers working in their homes.

I have shade cards from J C Rennie as their wools are suitable for weavers, although I haven't used them yet due to the rather large stash of weaving yarns I acquired within the first few months of loom ownership which I have yet to work my way through!

Saturday 5 May 2012

Things for weavers from Wonderwool Wales 2012

Last weekend I was at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells for the two days of Wonderwool Wales. I was there to meet people, talk about YarnMaker, and come away with material to write about the show for the handspinners who read YarnMaker.

So, this post is for weavers. I came home with two superb weaving things, firstly a new loom. A 12-shaft Oonagh table loom from new British loom maker Greg Meyer.  It is 12" wide and folds with the warp on.  This is a really practical loom as I am short of space for weaving!  When I started working on YarnMaker in December 2009 I had to find office space, and in doing this I gave up part of my craft room. I have been shuffling things around trying to get them to fit ever since.

This is how things look today:

I can get to the table (where my new loom sits), to my spinning wheels, to the desk where I was sitting to take this photo, but the floor loom is difficult to access.

How to make space has been troubling me for some time. Just shifting stuff into another room while I weave and back again is not a good answer. One of the biggest problems is behind the floor loom, near the bench, where my Leclerc Table Loom is stored. I have nowhere else to move it to where it is not in the way. It is going to have to go. After all, it actually duplicates much of what I can do on the floor loom.  The Toika floor loom is not going, so the Leclerc loom must. I am consoling myself with the fact the Oonagh has more shafts. Because it folds flat, the Oonagh can fit under the table when I'm not weaving.

I also brought this back from the show:

A shade card for the Venne yarns sold by a new supplier, My Fine Weaving Yarn. They also import bamboo and soy silk yarns. The colours were hard to resist, so I've promised myself that if I use up some weaving yarns in the next 12 months I could buy some more next year.