Thursday, 18 December 2008

A saga of photos

So, the napkins are now off the loom. I've just pulled a (rather large) batch of photos off my camera, so I can now show what I've been doing over the last month. (Yes, I just discovered that some of the photos on my camera had been there for just over a month. I really don't know what I was thinking.)

First of all, the loom modifications. My table loom now has aprons at both front and back, which is (I think) the biggest thing I had planned to do. I've also added another hundred heddles, but that's not very exciting at all in pictures.

Secondly, the napkins. These are what was keeping me too busy to transfer photos for the last couple of weeks. Not sure what my excuse was before that...

These are a Christmas present, but I don't expect to have them hemmed and completely finished until the end of the year. That's fine by me, it's when I'll be seeing the recipient anyway. I finished them off in a fit of staying-up-too-late on Tuesday night. Most of the last one was very smooth - I was finally at the point where I was comfortably able to throw the (too short) stick shuttles through the shed relatively reliably. The last few inches were rather interesting though - I only just managed to squeeze it in. I was working with a teeny tiny shed (and having to manually push the heddle bars down), and it was right up against the reed - the one time that I have felt particularly grateful for having stick shuttles.

I had meant to have a photo of the back of the loom showing just how much warp was left, but I managed to fail to upload it. Needless to say, I physically could not wind it on any further (and that wasn't because I'd made the aprons too short).

The napkins are a summer and winter design. The blue weft doesn't cover as well as it should because it's the same thickness as everything else. The original plan was something entirely different that would have worked just fine with these thicknesses, so I thought I'd see how it went. I think it came out okay, but I'd probably use thicker pattern weft next time. These photos are before washing. You can see the markers I put in on the middle section so that I never had to count any higher than 20.

The sizes were not identical, but they were all within a couple of cm in length. Width before washing was 54cm, length ranged from 58-60cm. After washing they look like they're about 50cm wide and 53cm long, which should make them roughly square once they're hemmed.

I still have to catch up on blogging - I've got exchange towels to write about, and I've just discovered that the post that I wrote and thought I'd lost (about the warp weighted loom comparison) is not in fact lost, so I'll have to sort out all the photos that go with that too.

No idea what the next weaving project will be. I've nearly finished the scarf I was making for Christmas, and I'm not sure what the next project there will be either. The new loom will be being picked up after Christmas, and then I can see how long that takes to get sorted out - might be a while before I need to have a project planned. And in the meantime, I can always resurrect my warp weighted loom if I need a quick(?) fix:
It's only about 60cm high, and this warp has been languishing for quite a while. I need to find the ball of indigo dyed wool I was using for weft, which I think is why I stopped. I also stopped because it's just an annoying height to work at - I think I'll have to try putting it on a coffee table or something. Oh, and the orange thing hanging off the corner of the loom? That was the first thing I wove on it, a 2-1 twill bit of cloth, madder dyed. It was supposed to be a little hat, but it ended up being to small. It's probably going to turn into a bag eventually, but until then it's a decoration.

And a gratuitous close up, showing that the weaving is in fact a twill:
That's all I've done, and the warp is (probably) around 6m long. The weaving takes about 3-4 times as long as the table loom. It was my first attempt at a 2-2 twill on this loom, and I have to admit that making the heddles took me about three attempts before I got it to work nicely (and without mistakes). I like the flexibility of this loom - you can have as many heddle bars as you like, although too many is likely to drive you mad. But my favourite part is that you don't have to beam the warp, the tension takes care of itself quite nicely. Of course, the downside is that you have to keep moving the weights which can also get a bit tedious.


Leigh said...

I love the napkins! I need to so some. You've inspired me. Maybe I should spend more time weaving and less time blogging ;)

Trapunto said...

Hi, I found your blog on the weave ring and have been enjoying it for a while now. I'm really interested in warp weighted looms--one of my plans for when I have a bigger place. Yours looks surprisingly compact, though. Did you make it yourself?

Those are lovely napkins. Probably not as much contrast as you wanted, but to an outsider's eye they look great! My older books say to weave Summer and Winter with a pattern weft the same weight as the warp, but to use a tabby about half as heavy as either.

Geodyne said...

Wow, that war weighted loom is truly fasconating - I'm totally imtrigued. Do you have any idea what kind of width you could make from it?