Friday, July 06, 2018


The fine wool warp is threaded and sleyed, but it will have to wait until after the Complex Weavers Seminars next week for further activity.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Next in Line

The next project to go on the loom is another series of featherweight wool boucle pieces. Narrower this time than the last, this warp is18 inches in the reed, sett at 30 epi. The warp yarns are three different blue-leaning-slightly-toward-green cones pulled from stash. One is a Zegna Baruffa 2/32 wool that is spun for the sweater industry, thus pre-fulled and fluffy. The other wools are approximately 2/36 and 2/40 (only the McMorran Balance knows for sure) and spun for weaving so they appear much finer than the other because they aren't pre-fulled.

The weft is another very fine boucle called Mousse, whose merino loops are blue-green and nylon binder is a blue that is close in value to the warp yarns.

The weave drafts will be 4-end broken twill or crepes. I've trawled through Oelsner for 8- and 16-end crepes, and have chosen a few with short-enough floats as possible candidates. The threading will be straight draw on 16 shafts, with 4 more shafts for selvedges.

I wound the warp 6 threads at a time, with a 3x3 cross. As I thread the heddles, the order among the triplets is random.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Are We There Yet?

Yes, we are!

It was difficult to get the selvedge ends (threaded on the last 4 shafts) to lift accurately because the knots were so close to the heddles. But I was able to finish the scarf, and weave some scrap yarn for 1/2-inch or so to hold everything firmly in place. Then I applied Fray Block to the scrap yarn area. It was still damp when I took the photo - it is clear when completely dry.

I had to cut the warp off to finish for the guild picnic, and at the time I was in the middle of the next piece. The rest of the warp was rolled (bit by bit) onto a cardboard tube on the floor under the loom. It always looks lost down there, until the final cutting off ceremony. And the lighting is dim, so I had to use the flash, which sometimes makes the cloth look different than it does in real life.

Onwards! I have to do some studio cleanup before I can do the wet finishing on the last 3 pieces.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Last One

Here's number six, the last on the guild challenge warp. The weft is the same mossy green that I used on number two. The treadling is an elongated networked zig-zag, shown in the draft below.

I love the effect of the three design lines in the threading and the way the colors blend!

The guild members only saw the first two pieces at the guild picnic, so I'll have to bring the rest of the series to the September meeting. They're good examples of how different the weft colors and treadling design lines can make the cloth look.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Challenge Piece Five

Sometimes, the weaving software doesn't tell you just how interesting a cloth is going to be. In most weaving software, it can be difficult to get the color palette exactly like the yarn, and you certainly can't predict luster and its effect on the cloth. The weft is another tramm silk

Here's the draft, with the colors on the computer as close to the actual yarn as I was willing to take time to achieve:

And the cloth, from the left side of the loom and then from the right:

The draft certainly doesn't predict the way the cloth looks from straight on, where the fabric rolls around the sandpaper beam. The light catches that tramm silk in a spectacular way at certain angles:

I've just started weaving piece number six. It will be shorter than the others (perhaps a one-wrap cowl?) because there are only a couple of yards of warp remaining, of which at lease 20 inches will end up as waste.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Challenge Piece Four

The weft is a bright Kelly green. I dyed it using my usual formula for the weight of the skein, but even though I left it in the dyepot to cool overnight, the skein never got as dark as I expected. The effect in the weave is nice, though. The treadling for this piece makes long lengthwise curves.

I will probably cut off the pieces woven so far on this warp, as the finished work is to be shown at a guild event on Saturday. That leaves me the rest of today and all of tomorrow to mend, wet-finish, and press what I've completed.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Challenge Piece Three

This one is driving me crazy. The weft is a bright gold tramm silk that is even more prone to static electricity than plied silk. The weather is hot and dry, and the weft is clinging to everything within reach, even though I wound the pirn using a piece of fabric softener sheet to reduce static. Even a humidifier hasn't helped significantly.

Love the look, not the yarn!

I bought the tramm silk when Scalamandre went out of business; several resellers (who fortunately didn't know the true value of the silk) let it go on eBay for a low price, and I bought several weights and colors. It's difficult to wind onto cones - usually, toward the end of the skein it becomes so tangled that I have to sacrifice some length or lose my temper and patience altogether trying to coax it from umbrella swift to cone.

P.S.  The weather's been hot and dry: in the 80s-90s (F) with humidity in the 23-25% range.