Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shoelaces and Snitch Knots

I learned about warping with shoelaces from fellow weavers Meta Thompson and Victoria Johannson and from Nadine Sanders' DVD Warping on a Shoestring. I keep shoelaces tied with a larkshead knot to my front apron bar and space them about an inch apart. Here's the procedure for easy tying the warp on the front. It goes really quickly, and then it's easy to adjust the tension before the final knot.

Here's the procedure:

First tie off the ends with an overhand knot. The hanks here are 16 ends (8 red and 8 white)
Then split the hank in half with finger and thumb facing down.

Bring the yarn around finger and thumb as you turn your hand. 

Pinch finger and thumb together and widen the loop.

Bring the two shoelace ends through the loop.

Pull the two shoelace ends apart until the hank is taut enough.
When all hanks are pulled through, tighten with a half bow.
They are easy to pull out if you need to adjust tension.

Here's a video:

Dummy Warp

For my October project I decided to keep the straight tie-up that I had used for the space-dyed placemats, and just tie on the new warp. This was for red and white napkins for the Piedmont Fiber Guild Weaving Study Group. Tying on is pretty easy, but the challenge was to shake and strum the warp into submission. With the help of a fellow weaver, we managed to roll it all on, and keep 7 yards of 280 endsof 8/2 cotton  in order. I divided the warp in half by opening the shed and holding it with two shuttles.

Here is a video of the shaking/strumming/rolling on process:

That's what I like about weaving: bringing order to chaos. A good metaphor for life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Space-Dyed Projects

In 2009 I took a workshop with Kathrin Weber at Fiber Forum on weaving with space-dyed warps. It was so much fun that I did three projects with using what I had learned in her class. I love working with color and designing on the loom. And it is a real treat to see the colors change throughout the weaving.

I used fabric strips as weft on my first project. It had a nice thick look and wove amazingly fast, but I decided it was too much trouble cutting the strips. I used the method of cutting a continuous loop on the bias. Also, when I went to sew the fabric, my sewing machine would not go through the fabric weft. For the next project, I changed to 4/2 cotton, doubled for the weft. It was much faster to prepare, and was easy to sew.

to accent the beautiful colors in the warp, these projects were done as warp-faced rep weave.

 Here are the luscious materials  from the third project (including Kathrin's space-dyed warp) before I began:

And the final products:
 Computer Bag Front
 Computer Bag Back
 Larger Bag
 Sock Yarn Bag
Sock Yarn Bag Back

I also made a set of placemats, a table runner, a wall hanging, and more bags which I gave away before I took photos. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Starting a Blog

OK. Here it is. First time starting a blog. What a word: BLOG. It sounds like something squishy and round and disgusting, something you should avoid stepping in.  Now that I've detoured around the mess, a few words about what I intend to do on these pages and why.

I learned to weave in 1975 at Southwestern Tech with Susan Leveille (great weaver and teacher extraordinare) and when I left the area, I also left the weaving behind. Now, a career of teaching, three children, and thirty something years later, I have returned to weaving, and I love it! I have an 8-harness Schacht Mighty Wolf that I bought on Craig's List a few years ago. Every time I sit down to weave, I think of things I want to remember about the project, but as yet have not written these things down... So now I can begin...