But first we wove.
We decided that scarves were in order for a bunch of weavers walking in a More Than Pink event. Some of these scarves would be worn by the walkers. Some would be sold and proceeds donated to the cause.
I put on 3 pink and white warps for 5 scarves each:
The Linen Scarves
The Pink Scarves with White Stripes
The White Scarves with Pink Stripes
We will walk on May 6th, and I will post photos of the event in the next blog post: Walking More Than Pink. Check back after the event!
In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation to my fundraising team and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, click here
-- Pattie Lamb
My niece (and goddaughter), expecting her first baby, requested that I weave a handwoven baby wrap for her. Favorite color: turquoise. Style request: "grown up". I knew she grew up around the water and teaches yoga so I immediately was thinking of something soft, peaceful, organic with colors flowing from one to another. We discussed using shades of turquoise and grays and samples went on the loom.
I would weave 3 sister wraps so I measured the warp: 6 chains, each 20 1/4 yards long. A total of 1000 ends of 10/2 pearl cotton in random stripes of 4 colors: light gray, medium gray, light turquoise/aqua and deep turquoise, to be sett at 30 ends per inch. I "ombred" the transitions from one color to the next so that the colors flowed smoothly from one to the next across the warp - all color changes being made on the warping mill.
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?
We met in Cary so we could drive to the mountains together. Sue came in from Connecticut (she had planned to fly, but had to drive because her flight was cancelled) and Jackie came up from Pinehurst). We packed up the car and headed out on our road trip with no real idea of what to expect.
The Folk School was founded in 1925. It offers year-round 5-day and weekend classes on a large variety of topics including music, arts, crafts, and some unexpected subjects. During the week that we were there, 140 people attended classes in weaving, nuno felting, enameling, jewelry making, Italian cooking, writing, mandolin playing, wood turning, wooden mantle carving, blacksmithing, watercolors, chair caning, woodworking, and book arts.
Classes actually began on Friday evening after registration and dinner in the dining room. After that we had daily class for four days each morning and afternoon with optional sessions in the evening after dinner. We were treated to stories and music at Morning Song each day before breakfast. All meals were served in the dining room. There were many optional activities at all times of the day including morning walks, tours of the campus and studios, chair massages, clogging demonstrations, contra dances, and the list goes on.
The best part, however, was the class itself. None of us knew anything about deflected doubleweave. Lisa (Elisabeth) Hill was a wonderful, generous instructor. She came with 2 tables full of yarn for us to use, pre-wound warps for anyone that chose to use them. We used gorgeous tencel, silk and wool, alpaca and silk, and merino yarns to warp our looms with beautiful 6-yard long warps that were 10” wide.
We had a 2 part mission: weave a sampler and weave a scarf! Our first assignment was to weave a nice long sampler using 2 different treadlings and a total of about 16 different treadlings. We cut the samplers from the loom and washed and dried them so we could which decide which treadlings to use for a scarf.
Decisions made, we tied back on and wove our scarves. We had time to twist our fringe, wash and dry (or almost dry) our scarves so they would be ready for the big presentation on Friday before everyone went home. Thirteen scarves, thirteen completely different threadings and colorways. (Number thirteen was woven by Lisa’s pretty wonderful assistant, Lillian). Pretty amazing results!
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.
Wet finishing, pressing and trimming
The final finishing took 5 steps (Note: My choice for wet finishing varies depending on the fiber and structure of the scarves. Bamboo and tencel scarves in twill and plain weave do very well with machine washing and drying)
To read my final thoughts on this project go to Life History-Final
I have been happily weaving since my son was born in 1988.