Friday, January 30, 2015

Table runner dimensions

Hello, friends. The Whig Rose overshot fabric is still on the loom (I'm just about at the end of the warp). My husband noted that the fabric seemed "pretty wide" for a table runner. It measures about 22 inches across. Most of my runners are not this wide and now I'm worried about it!

I like the design but if I do weave it again, I might limit the roses (circle motifs) to three instead of four.

It is a really uncomfortable feeling when you end up with a length of handwoven fabric that is not what you envisioned or worse, unusable. I confess to having a fair number of handwoven fabric efforts that only ever made it into the "at-least-I-learned-something-about-this" category. What to do with them? It is hard to toss them into the trash - but honestly, are trial-and-error efforts worth keeping around?

Next up are tea towels. I've got a few warps wound and ready to find their way onto the loom.

Be well,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Whig Rose from Davison

Hello, friends. I've woven a lot of scarves and shawls lately and decided to move onto some other projects for the short term. I purchased a copy of Marguerite Davison's book on four shaft patterns a couple of years ago and hadn't really used it. The "Whig Rose" design has always resonated with me and so I decided to give it a go:

I am using 10/2 mercerized cotton in the warp and tabby weft and a 3/2 mercerized cotton (colonial blue is shown here) for the pattern weft. It is coming along. It's pretty wide, so I'm not sure if it'll work well as a table runner or not. But I like the fabric and think it has potential for a lot of applications (pillow covers, in particular).

On Saturday I will be participating (rather last minute) in a local exhibit at the library. I'm taking a couple of scarves with me to display - one for the ladies and one for the gents. The organizers went to great trouble to line up musicians and lots of lovely visual art created by Londonderry residents. How fun! I'll take this new scarf with me:

An early December assessment of the contents of a couple of closets and many plastic storage boxes has led me to the conclusion that I really need to put the brakes on new yarn purchases. It has been almost two months and I have not purchased any new yarn! I'm going to make a concerted and determined effort to use what is on hand. Of course, if someone contacts me for a commission and desires a particular yarn or color, I will accommodate any such request. But until such an opportunity arises, I will try to work with what I have.

Happy weaving, friends.
Be well,

Friday, January 16, 2015

Adapting "Fiberworks" for my needs

Hello, friends. I finished weaving my short run of alpaca and silk scarves today and am very excited to get going on my next project: overshot table runners. I'm using Marguerite Davison's book as a guide to weave a "Whig Rose" design. If you're familiar with Davison's book, you'll know that the drafts, even though they are just four shaft patterns, are somewhat hard to read. I've used my weaving software program to help make better visual sense of the draft:

Now, this photo looks like I'd be weaving a hot mess. But I will use the breaks in colors to help me keep track of the threading sequence and also the treadling sequence.

I will let you know how this approach works while I'm warping and weaving. Fingers crossed for a small number of threading errors!

Do you use weaving software? If so, have you found any other ways to exploit the program to help you simplify any of the challenges that face us? Do tell!

Be well,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

M and W twill scarves

Hello, friends. You may have read about some bookmarks that I made for gifts in December (or maybe you even wove some for yourself!). I received encouraging compliments on the wee bookmarks that I gave as Christmas presents, and so I decided to use the same pattern in a scarf. I selected my favorite alpaca/silk yarn for the warp and weft. Sett at 20 ends per inch, the pattern seems to respond nicely to this luxury blend of fibers:

There is a quite a bit of weaving left to do on this piece but despite the number of pattern picks required to generate the motif, the pattern is rhythmic. I'll be anxious to take the piece from the loom to see how it washes up.

Yesterday I took the tartan blue shawl up to the Craft Center in Concord, NH, which is the headquarters for the League of NH Craftsmen. The multi-media gallery exhibition will open January 9 and run through 20 March. Click here for driving directions and for a list of participants. I got to see a lot of the pieces that will be on display -- wonderful! Here's the lady's wrap that I made:

Time to get back to the loom! And I'm thinking about making some more bookmarks -- they're really a great way to try out a new design or pattern (in miniature, granted). "Bug," my small Harrisville studio loom, could use a new warp so maybe I'll work out something for her. By the way, weaving friends, do you really sample? I confess: I find it very hard to do so but the bookmark avenue is, for me, justifiable.

Be well,