Thursday, 27 November 2008

Festive exchange towels

Sorry Meg, I said I was going to post this yesterday...

I have two tea towels to enter into this exchange. I've posted about them both previously, so nothing new and exciting here.

They're both a cream cotton (not sure of size, maybe a little thicker than the 22/2 cottolin that I have). The colour is a fairly dark cream, but isn't "dirty" looking at all. They can either be a pair or separate - they're the same colour but not the same design or size.

The patterning on both is Swedish Lace. "Chantilly Cream" is 32cm x 55cm, and is an allover lace pattern (blocks of varying sizes).

"Devonshire Cream" is slightly larger, 32.5cm x 63cm. It was done on the same threading, but I did a pickup pattern to make a plain diamond in the middle.

I've already been told quite a few times that the second one would make a nice table mat, so I guess there's that option too. The pictures don't really show the lace patterning too well, but my photography skills could do with a bit of work.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Wickelbander off the loom

During the weekend I decided that I wouldn't get my weaving finished by Tuesday morning, so I didn't put too much effort in. Last night I decided that maybe I could do it... Four hours later I was cutting the 6-ish metres off the loom and giving it a bath. And now I am trying to drape it over things at work to get it dry without making it dirty (not so easy when you work in an office attached to a foundry...)

Using an eyeometer it looks like a fairly good replication. The new version feels stretchy, but possibly not as stretchy as the old version. This may just be wishful thinking though, since it's the result I was hoping for. When it's dry and I have space (and a tape measure on hand) I will test stretchiness, take photos, and compare weave density more closely. If they really are different then I might have to think about incarnation three - warp weighted horizontal loom. I'm not sure how well that will work with a table loom though, it seems like it would be a lot easier to set up on a floor loom.

Next table loom project is making a cloth apron for the back beam, my (somewhat bendy) stick tied on with string is starting to drive me batty...

Thursday, 20 November 2008

First differences

I've found the first differences already. When I wove the first set of wickelbander I beat them as hard as I could. With these ones I found that I had to resley the outside threads to try and keep the number of picks per inch down - and I'm still beating very lightly.

I'm assuming the difference is a combination of different tensions (beating harder on the WW Loom just lifts the weaving because the ends are not fixed - maybe heavier weights would allow for tighter weaving?) and the different method of beating. The warp weighted loom is beaten with a 'sword' (or a ruler) across the weaving. I can see how that might behave differently to being beaten with a reed.

I only managed a couple of inches on it last night, after fiddling with threading and tension. With any luck the set-up will be good enough now (I think it's still not quite as loose as the first pair, but I don't think I can do much about that easily).

Monday, 17 November 2008

Let the experiment begin

And the experiment starts... A couple of years ago I wove some wickelbander (leg wraps) on my baby warp-weighted loom. The bands were coarser than they should historically be (12 epi), but as they were my first real project on that loom I was more interested in getting a feel for the loom. The wool was a DK semi-worsted wool (Ashford Tekapo), in natural grey/brown (warp) and dark madder-ish orange (weft). The weave was a 2-1 herringbone twill, 8 ends in each section (48 ends total). The end result was an amazingly stretchy strip of cloth (each one is around 2.4m long unstretched, and stretches to around 2.8m (I think, I'm pulling numbers off the top of my head - I'll actually measure it at some point)).

Anyway, the short version is that I now want to see how much of that stretchiness is related to the wool, and how much is the weaving method. I have wound a white warp onto my table loom, which will be woven with a blue (indigo-ish) weft.

I expect there to be some difference between the two methods of weaving, but I'm not sure how much it will be because the wool is a fairly stretchy knitting wool.

I still need to finish threading, but I'm hoping it should be a fairly quick weave, even if it is around 6m long.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tea towels

Tea towel 2: Before washing - 34 x 66.5 cm, after washing - 32.5 x 63 cm
This one was an experiment with warp manipulation

Tea towel 3: Before washing - 34 x 62 cm, after washing - 32 x 59 cm
This one was going to be simpler, with some colour experimenting and a combination of warp and weft lace spots. But then the middle section looked like it needed some warp manipulation too, which also had to contain warp and weft spots...

Apparently they're too pretty to use...