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.