Friday, July 25, 2014

There Are Days...

...when I shouldn't be allowed near a loom. Or a computer.

So I was merrily weaving along, and finished the current piece on the jacquard loom. Here it is at the point where I had just begun the top border:

As soon as that one was woven, I began the next piece in the queue. I wove the bottom border - no problem. Then I reached the body of the design. After a few picks, I realized that there were some mighty long warp floats in the "black" area. Hmmm. Oh, #$%^%$@!

I had completely forgotton to apply a weave to the black areas, and since that meant all-black areas in the design file with no white pixels representing places where weft was crossing over warp(s), the warps were enjoying their freedom and never interlacing. At all.

Back downstairs to the desktop computer I use for designing. Apply weaves, re-save the file, crop it, resize it, then redo the part of the file where I'm casting out one (nonoperative) hook. Back upstairs to the studio. I rewove the bottom border, and held my breath for the first few picks until I was sure those warps were interlacing where and when they should.

Aha! That's more like it!


Why is it that all the knots on this warp are showing up in the middle of this piece? I mean, really, what are the odds??

OTOH, I really like the way this piece is coming out. Here it is at pick #999 (that seemed like a good place to pause for lunch):

By this point in the weaving, the color fields (and the blends of 2 wefts) are much more visible.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Small Sample, and a Beginning

I have another abstract I want to weave, so I chose yarns from the stash and did a small sample. The red and the dark blue are okay, but the light blue needs to be a little more vivid, so out came the dyepots. Once the dyepot was in process, I began another abstract image.

This one is going to be a challenge, as I decided to change the order of throwing the shuttles. I wanted the most vivid color to be in a certain part of the design, and the blue-violet I had is too dull a color, so I revised the throwing order to put the bright red in that part of the design. So far, I'm happy with how it's coming out - tomorrow will tell the tale, though.

The original image was created in Repper, based on a photo, and then vastly modified in Photoshop. At this point, all you can see is fields of color. Tomorrow's images will make more sense.

The little sample, by the way, is based on another of Connie Rose's paintings:

The weather has been hot and dry, so the yarn I dyed today has been on a rack on the balcony, and should be dry tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to weaving this one. Should be fun!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nearing the End

By late afternoon, I'd nearly reached the end of the jaquard piece, and managed to complete the weaving before dinner time.

Tomorrow, on to the next one in the queue.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Next on the Jacquard

Rather than wait a day to get the errant hook repaired, I decided I would just figure out how to "cast out" that hook using Photoshop. In the design file, I made the column for that hook all white, so the loom would not ever bother to try to lift it. Then I highlighted all the columns from there leftward toward the selvedge and moved them left 1 column. That way, hook 393 is doing what hook 394 should have been doing, and everything flows left from there to the selvedge. At the selvedge, where I use an extended basketweave structure, I had to recreate the rightmost column of that part of the design - no big deal, it's easy in Photoshop to copy 1 column, and paste its contents into the next column to the right.

If I used real jacquard design software, like Arahweave or JacqCad, I'm sure there's an easy 1-button fix, but this wasn't really all that difficult once I wrapped my head around what needed to happen.

So I was able to finish the first abstract piece based on a painting by Connie Rose, and began another. Here's the original image, indexed to several values of 3 hues (see the color chip strip at the bottom of the image):

And the lower part of the woven image - I only got to pick #300 by quitting time. The blue isn't the same as Connie's - not as much green in it - but I think it'll work anyway. And it was the closest color in the stash.

Monday, July 21, 2014

On the Jacquard Loom

Today's jacquard piece is based (with her permission) on a painting by Connie Rose. As soon as I saw it on her blog, I knew I wanted to interpret in cloth.

Here's the my version of the original painting, indexed in Photoshop to 12 colors (several values of each of 3 hues):

And here it is on the loom. The wefts are red-violet, gold-ochre, and pale silver-grey. The gold-ochre isn't orange enough, but the dyepot simply refused to cooperate, so I'm using what I got from the dye gods.

The white line in the original doesn't stand out enough, and I'm thinking about couching a thick white thread on the surface of the finished weaving. I'll decide once the piece is woven, cut off the loom, and wet finished.

As you can see from the pins in the cloth, I'm having some trouble with a couple of hooks on module 4 (about 1/4 the way in from the left side).

DH says it's a solenoid that needs to be replaced, and he can't get at it without removing the module from the loom altogether. So tomorrow will be an interesting day. First, the 120 tiny clips that connect the heddles to the hooks need to be undone, and a thin metal rod run through the holes at the top of the heddles, to keep them in proper order. Then the module can be removed from the loom and the solenoid replaced, and finally the whole process has to be done in reverse order to get the loom's guts back in place. I'll try to take a few pictures of the process to post later.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Gift for a Leo

It's been a busy weekend. On Saturday, we went to a dinner party in Santa Rosa, about 2 hours by car north of San Francisco. On the way, we stopped in San Francisco at the workshop of a metal sculptor who specializes in critters made from recycled agricultural equipment - tools, tractor parts, you name it. I had ordered a lion from him when I saw his work at a craft show in SoCal. My sister's birthday is in August, making her a Leo, so I always try to find lions for her.

We planned to stay at her house in Petaluma, south of Santa Rosa, so it was a perfect opportunity to deliver the lion (early). However, she and spouse were away for the weekend, so we had the house to ourselves. We left the Leo for the Leo in her front hall, awaiting her return. I haven't gotten a phone call yet, but I expect it any minute.

He stands about 36 inches tall, and about 40 inches wide. His mane is made from one layer of a street sweeper truck's brush, and the rest are miscellaneous tools and parts, all welded together. I hope she likes him as much as I do!

P.S. She likes it. Just got the phone call this morning (Monday).