Sunday, April 14, 2019

Results of the 3 Shaft Study Group Part III

When you explore plain weave, you find out just how many ways there are to create exciting cloth.  Three shafts is even more varied and exciting and texture is a big part of the picture.  The first few examples here are texture weaves, woven with either the same warp and weft or a very similar color warp and weft.

This sample was woven by Anni B. from page 32 in Erica's book.  Anni had to modify the draft a bit to fix a long float.  She sett her warp at 30 epi.  The yarn is something from Anni's stash called Orlec and she wove a dresser scarf for her mother and these samples.
Beryl M. woven samples from a multi-ply cotton yarn she had dyed in the ball - giving it a variegated appearance.  The warp was sett at 10 epi making this a weft faced fabric.  The draft is extremely simple and fabric sett for a balanced weave would look much different.  The weft in this sample almost entirely covers the warp.

The three texture samples above were also woven by Beryl M.  Some of the cloth would make good curtains as you can see through it easily (like lace).  The pieces were all woven with a cotton warp  which is about 8/2 in size.  The weft is 5/2 mercerized cotton which is a bit whiter than the warp.  The drafts came from pages 39-41 in Erica's book and the structures are related to Swedish Lace and Huck Lace.  The last sample was held so that the light could come through it and show the texture.

There are a few more samples, but in order to make the blog posts reasonable in length, those will be posted soon.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Results of the 3 Shaft Study Group Part II

When it comes to study groups, participation is really the key to success.  For the past couple of study groups, we have been trying something new.  We are experimenting with  a group that is a combination of online and in person communications. Everyone in the group has access to an online mail group in which they can respond to questions, post photos and share results.  Our membership comes from anyone who has interest and is also a member of a CNCH guild.
How are we doing?  Well, we do have a pretty active participation in the Reno Fiber Guild, but not so much from members of other guilds. This is probably because guild members outside the Reno area aren't able to show up to meetings with their projects in hand.  The lack of personal interactions doesn't help some folks feel like they are a real part of the group.  Since weaving is already a rather isolated endeavor, not knowing group members has its limitations.  We have more work to do to make this experiment a success.
Now to the second part of the projects that were woven for this study.
Shelley N. wove this lovely, colorful scarf using the draft in the Weaving on 3 Shafts, page 37. Shelley used a 5/2 hand dyed Tencel and 8/2 cotton in navy.  The directions called for a black or dark thread on shaft 1 and pattern colors on shafts 2 and 3.  Shelley chose not to do that because the hand dyed yarn had so many colors.  It was sett at 24epi and Shelley finds it a bit stiff for a scarf.  Her suggestion is to use finer yarn or a less dense sett for a scarf.  For a table runner, the sett would be fine as is.  Shelley supplied samples of this cloth for everyone in the sample exchange.

Shelley also wove the samples in the photo above.  She got the yarns and pattern from Halcyon Yarns.  The original pattern was configured as a four shaft weave, but was actually only using three shafts.  Shelley found the exact same pattern in Erica's book on page 32.  The samples were woven with Block Island Blend yarn - (cotton, rayon & hemp).  She made a series of placements in addition to the samples using this draft.

Igor wove a gamp on page 9 in Erica's book.  There are nine different threadings, all tromp as writ to give 81 different designs and the sample shown above is just a small part of the total.  He had to make a few alterations in the threading so that he can weave off the rest as dishtowels without floats being too long.  The warp is 10/2 cotton sett at 24 epi.  He tried several different colored wefts to get one in which the pattern showed.  Some of the designs are quite tiny.
This is Nancy S. shawl that she wove with directions she downloaded from Webs.  The  pattern was called Chiyo Mobius Shawl and it turned out to be on three shafts.  You can see the open patterning stripes in the version that Nancy wove.  She also added a supplementary warp in gold as an accent.  Nancy then sewed the two ends of the shawl together to form a Mobius which allows it to be worn "hands free"  She said she loved that it was so quick and easy to weave.

There are a few more projects to show and more are still on the loom.  There will be another blog post in a few days.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Results of the Three Shaft Study Group Part I

RFG members and others from CNCH Guilds are winding down our year long study of three shaft weaves.  Primarily we used Erica de Ruiter's book, Weaving on 3 Shafts, which gave us a treasure trove of drafts and information on doing pick up using just three shafts on our looms.  But there were other sources as well, such as samples from past Complex Weavers' sample exchanges and the book Forgotten Pennsylvania Textiles of the 18th and 19th Centuries, by Thompson, Grant and Keyser.  Weavers were astounded at the complexity achieved with these drafts and techniques.  This post serves to share with other weavers the results of our journey.

Lilli M. shared a three shaft bead leno scarf.  Lilli is a relatively new weaver and she was experimenting with a "new to her" technique when she wove this scarf.  What amazed her most was how the threads twisted once woven. A friend thought that the scarf had been knitted, but Lilli explained that she doesn't know how to knit!  The instructions for weaving 3 shaft bead leno are in Erica's book on pages 82-86.

Kathy R. wove a color and weave gamp  and shared samples with a group of eight study group members.  This cloth was woven with 10/2 cottons and sett at 30epi.  Each color was a 2" segment, treadled to square.  The draft for this particular cloth is on page 32 of Erica's book.  Kathy also made towels from this draft.  It is hard to see the details in this photo, but the actual sample just pops with wonderful little textures.

Diane S. shared this sample made with Just Our Yarn Caravan  (65% lambs wool/35% camel down).  She used the draft in Erica's book at the bottom left of page 37.  She finished the samples cloth and a scarf with an aggressive warm wash to make the yarn bloom.  The cloth was laid flat to dry and then a light steam press.  This cloth is also quite textured and the floats didn't behave as well as Diane could have hoped.  However, the cloth is very soft and spongy and the scarf will be very warm with all the little waffles in it. 

This cloth was also woven by Diane S.  The detail of the towel above is woven with 20/2 Lily cotton. and sett at 32 epi for a looser cloth suitable for towels.    She also wove a more substantial sample sett at 36 epi, which gave a more balanced cloth.  The draft for the towel above is from page 32 in Erica's book.  Again, the most amazing thing is the wonderful detail in the tiny patterns.

see description of Karen S. towels under the photo below
Karen S. wove two renditions of navy and white towels.  One of them (top photo) has longer floats and Erica's draft on page 32 were used in this towel.  The other towel with the dots (see photo above) was woven with a draft from a weaving manuscript of Joseph Leisy, 1793.  The color and weave effects were added by Jayne Flanagan in a sample exchange with the EWBM group of Complex Weavers.  This delightful towel defies you to think of it as being woven on three shafts.

There are lots more samples and projects to show from this study group.  Stay tuned for Part 2 in a week or so.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Pine Needle Basket Workshop

Reno Fiber Guild members enjoy access to some wonderful workshops.  Here is what the guild president had to say about the pine needle basket workshop held this past Saturday at the South Valleys Library.

We had a great class with Michelle Hazelton of Lakes Basin Creations on Saturday.  Everyone enjoyed themselves, and came home with a finished basket at the end of the 4 hour class, along with the knowledge needed to make more.  There is already some talk about having Michelle back to teach her next class of more advanced techniques.  Here are some photos of the day.
Nancy B.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Weaving with Unusual Wefts

 The program theme this year has been "Off the Beaten Path".  One of our members suggested a program about weaving with unusual weft materials  - which sounded pretty much like just plain fun!  People brought a variety of wefts and tried to think of the outrageous as well as novelty yarns, etc.  Choices ranged from zipper yardage, corn husks, unspun wool fiber, clipped twigs, narrow strips of cloth from antique kimono linings, stainless steel yarns,  paper yarn. plastic bags and much more.


After this program was completed, I think that most of us will have an eye out for usual things to try in our woven pieces - especially wall hangings and art pieces. 
Cheri weaving with a plastic bag strip

Beryl weaving with paper yarn

Kay weaving with a fancy yarn picked up at Tuesday Morning.  Look at the texture here!

Gloria and Diane.  Gloria is weaving with a yarn made from bias strips of cloth

Gloria and Kay discussing an unusual piece of yarn

Lorene and Nathalie  with some bobble yarn at Nathalie's table loom.

A little bit of everything (sometimes referred to as pig's breakfast).

Red branch clippings woven alternately with a narrow silk fabric strip in a three shaft twill

Samples brought by Sue from her class with Giovanna Imperia at CNCH several years ago.

Sue at the loom.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

How We Weight Our Floating Selvedges

There is more than one way to weight a floating selvedge and weavers are a creative group, so have found many solutions.  At Sage Weavers, we discussed some of our methods and decided to share them with the rest of the guild.

Most of the guild members that sent in photos like to wind their floating selvedges with the rest of the warp. They beam the threads on, but don’t thread them through a heddle. Here the similarity ends as they use a variety systems to weight the threads as the warp advances.

Gayle uses a box with a collection of stones in different sizes,  little baskets to hold the stones and a carabineer that forms a loop around the selvedges and supports the basket. More tension - bigger rocks! Her husband says the patent is pending on this system!

Rae uses a similar system with an S hook and a couple of clamps for weight. 
More tension - more clamps!

Nancy S. has elegant wood weights, turned by her husband on his lathe. Washers are added or subtracted according to how much weight she needs. Another hook on the bottom would accommodate additional weights. You can use these weights for selvedges that have been beamed with the warp (hook just goes over the selvedge thread) or if you add the floating selvedges after the warp is beamed, the yarn can be wrapped around the body of the weight and probably anchored by using a half hitch to keep the yarn from unwinding
Karen found the same type of solution as Nancy has in an Etsy Shop (Carr Park Artisans   Her solution to a free floating selvedge is in the photo below with the selvedge thread wound around the weight.

Beryl and Igor add their floating selvedges after the rest of the warp is beamed on.

Beryl uses hardware store clamps (having learned this trick at the CNCH in Sacramento several years ago). The yarn is wrapped around the two arms of the clamp in a figure 8. The clamp then pinches the yarn to keep it from unwinding. She also uses this system for supplementary warp ends that don’t take up at the same rate as the rest of the warp. The photo on the left is the system for a floating selvedge and the one on the right is for supplementary warp threads.

Igor changes his floating selvedge to match the color of his weft and so makes changes more frequently if he is weaving a series of items and using a different weft color with each item. Naturally, his selvedge threads are added after the warp is beamed.

Clamps or weights also make a good solution to mending broken warp threads. The new warp thread is threaded through the heddle, pinned into the correct warp location and then the clamp hangs off the back of the loom until you can add back in the broken thread or until the piece is completely woven.