Over the years I have gathered many tools that have become indispensable to me in my studio. Here are a few that are easy to find online.
Goody Girls Ouchless Elastics, 2 mm, No metal
Target or Amazon, various counts and prices
I use these on my treadles so I can treadle without peaking: “Braille” for my feet. I put them on all of my treadles and slide certain ones down so my feet can feel them and others up out of the way so I cannot. I like to put 3 on each treadle so they are "bulkier" and easier to feel with my feet.
There were only three possibilities (all cats):
So Lizzie was found guilty by a process of elimination. I pulled the rug up and growled and fumed for a few days while I debated what to do.
Fully a year later, I finally got around to repairing this debacle. Fortunately, I still had some of the linen I used for the warp for the rug. And the structure of the rug was a simple plain weave.
A photo journal of the steps for replacing the fringe follows. The basic steps are:
What a relief to finally have this little project done and the rug repaired. I have missed having it at my front door.
I have long used rubber bands on my treadles to mark my path and help me treadle without peeking. It is a great tip. But I go through rubber bands like they are water because they dry rot very quickly. And they are hard to roll up and down the treadles between projects.
Walking the treadles:
I tend to walk my treadles from the center out whenever my pattern allows me to do so. When I do that, I will put bands on the two center treadles so I can find my way back to center without peeking. I also place bands on every other treadle going out from the center.
Treadling straight across:
On the rare occasion that I tie up my treadles straight across, I simply put bands on the odd treadles and leave the even numbered treadles naked.
Treadling pattern with tabby
If I have 2 tabby treadles and a group of pattern treadles, my personal preference is to have the tabby treadles on one side and the pattern treadles on the other. If the tabby treadles are on the left, I will put a band on tabby a and leave tabby b naked. I will then put bands on all of the odd numbered pattern treadles and leave the even numbered pattern treadles naked.
Remember: You can click on any picture to zoom in!
I gathered the tools I would need for repairing the broken warp threads The warp used in this rug was 8/4 cotton rug warp used double, and luckily I still had some on hand (this will not surprise anyone who knows me and has seen my yarn stash).
So now all I need was a tapestry needle threaded with a doubled strand of the warp thread and a little patience. The weaving should be easy because the rug was woven in plain weave.
Step 3 - Fixing the Broken Threads
All done! And I think the rug looks better with short fringe anyway.
The Bride's Shawl
So the warp for two shawls went on the loom: one for the bride and one for a gift our outgoing guild president, Janice. A dozen of our guild board members took turns in April weaving off the first shawl so that we could present it to her at the May board meeting. I wove the bride's shawl off in May.
Next... Shawls for the Wedding Party
I offered to weave shawls for each of the four bridesmaids and my daughter, the "best sister". I put on a warp for 6 shawls: 5 for the wedding party and an extra:
Next... A Shawl for the Mother of the Bride
This shawl was a little more of a challenge. Or at least it caused me a little more angst. Mostly because I only had a photograph of Jamie's dress. So after exchanging photos and yarn samples, I finally decided on a huck lace shawl in 2 shades of teal, charcoal gray and mauve in the warp.
Again, I wove 2 shawls: the first I wove with the greyed teal for the mother of the bride., and the second with the dark teal to sell.
Finally... Pocket Squares for the Groom and the Dads
I really wanted to weave a pocket square for my son, but I wasn't sure if I would have time and I wasn't sure exactly what would work. After sampling quite a bit with 60/2 silk, I settled on a very simple plain weave square with some burgundy stripes on 2 sides and hemmed on 4 sides. I made 4 squares: 1 for Ryan, 1 for each of the Dads and 1 extra.
And What Did I Wear?
When we first learn to weave we usually are taught to tie up our treadles from left to right just as they are written in a typical draft.
Traditionally, you would set up the treadles from left to right as they are written in the tieup:
Treadle 1 2 Center 3 4
Lifting 12 23 34 41
Foot --Left-- --Right--
To weave this pattern, you would use your left foot to weave treadle 1 followed by treadle 2, then switch to your right foot to weave treadles 3 followed by treadle 4.
Walking the treadles is a much more comfortable, ergonomic alternative to this. The treadles still lift the same harnesses in the same order in order to get the same pattern. The difference is that the treadles under the loom are not tied up from left to right. They are tied up so that you can “walk” the treadles left-right-left-right from the center out. Your odd numbered treadles will be on the left, even on the right.
Advantages to walking the treadles:
My Treadle Minder
When weaving my Bronson Weave tieup, my left foot travels from treadles 1 to 2 and back, while my right foot travels down the pattern treadles 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10. My feet are always treadling left right, left right. But my left foot is going 1-2-1-2-1-2 while my right is going 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. For my brain this is a little like patting my head and rubbing my tummy, and I have always had the tendency for my left foot to "wander" to treadle 3.
This would work well for any pattern where you left foot is working one set of treadles independently from your right. For example, I use the left 2 treadles for tie down treadles and the treadles to the right for pattern treadles in summer and winter.
Consider this an Addendum to yesterday's post about my attempts to weave off 6 shawls for my son's wedding attendants.
There was an additional adjustment to my weaving that I made midway through Shawl #1. Once I realized that the tencel was going to be "sensitive" and prone to breaking, I began misting the warp lightly with water every time I advanced the warp.
The tencel experts of the weaving world have told me that tencel like to be wet and that keeping the warp damp (especially the selvedge threads) helps to strengthen the fiber. This can be especially helpful if you have to unweave tencel!
It should have been a no-brainer. Apparently not!
I wound a 20 yard warp for 6 nice long shawls in stripes of light gray and silver 8/2 tencel. Each shawl was to be woven in a modified Bronson weave using a charcoal gray weft. I decided to weave several different treadlings so that the shawls for each young lady would be a little different.
The saga continues:
I cut Shawl #1 off the loom and retied the warp to make sure I had perfect tension before beginning the next shawl.
The selvedges in Shawl #2 were somewhat better, but I continued to have broken threads along the right selvedge as well as in two sections in the center of the shawl. By the time I cut the shawl off the loom, I had about 20 repairs to make, and more than a dozen of them were along the right hand selvedge. And I can assure you I do not enjoy making repairs in the finished cloth - especially along the selvedge edge!
I was shocked at how much this helped! The selvedges were great and I did not have a single selvedge thread break for the entire 95" length of the shawl.
I still had threads break in the other two trouble areas of the shawl, confirming my belief that this batch of silver yarn was probably defective, under-plied in sections, or otherwise weakened for some reason. But just to be able to solve the problem on the selvedge was a huge relief!
Three shawls down, three to go…
Well the scarves are done, and you might be thinking that this seemed like a lot of work and a lot of days. I can assure you that it did not really take 9 days to make these 2 scarves.
Four Harness Alternatives
I have had a request for a draft for a similar scarf for those who only have a 4 harness loom. It is not possible to mix plain weave and twill in the same way with only 4 harness, but I have come up with a draft that uses the same bamboo warp in a twill, with a couple of possible options for treadling.
This draft uses EXACTLY the same colorway and treadling as the scarves that I wove. It has 281 threads, just like the warp I used. It is a point twill threading, and I would recommend using a floating selvedge with this treadling. The draft is shown below, and a partial drawdown is shown to the right so you can see what the cloth would look like. Click on either photo to zoom in.
This draft uses the same colorway as the scarves I wove EXCEPT that the last group of aqua threads on the far left of the draft has 11 threads in it instead of 12, giving a total of 280 instead of 281. This allows for a multiple of 4 for the straight draw threading. You would not need a floating selvedge with this threading (as long as you start your shuttle from the right side). This draft uses the same treadling as the scarves that I wove. The draft is shown below, and a partial drawdown is shown to the right so you can see what the cloth would look like. Click on either photo to zoom in.
I have been happily weaving since my son was born in 1988.