Saturday, May 31, 2014

May TotM Completed

The May towels are completed, and one will soon be on its way to its new kitchen-home.

Weaving this towel made me curious enough to try this structure (lace Bronson and turned lace Bronson) in another variant, and I got a surprising (to me) result.  More on that in a future post!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Light and Airy Summer Weaving

Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer here, I have started my summer project which is to learn about gauze (crossed-warp) weaving, also called leno weave (there's a whole digression on the terms but many people use them interchangeably).  The movement that the warp ends make is similar to sprang, except that a weft is thrown to hold the twists in place.

I got a copy of the 1980 Shuttle Craft Guild Monograph #32 Doup Leno by Hella Skowronski and Sylvia Tacker, and I plan to go through it like a textbook.

This sample is the first "exercise", a simple threading the same all across the width of the warp, 1/1 twists in pairs, all in the same direction.  It is 10/2 cotton.  I set it at 16 epi based on an old article on leno by Mary Meigs Atwater in her Shuttle Craft Bulletin, where she suggests that a warp setting of 2/3 the "normal" is appropriate for leno.  The next sample will be at 20 epi as a comparison.

Weaving this sample, I learned there is quite a variety of treadling variations possible, basically varying the number of plain weave picks before the twisted pairs return to their original position.  That number can be anything from zero to several.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May TotM - Weaving (Turned) Bronson Lace

Here's the May Towel-of-the-Month on the loom.  This is 40/2 linen warp and 20/1 linen weft, with stripes of 5/2 cotton warp and weft.

The "lace Bronson" (horizontal weft floats) and "turned lace Bronson" (vertical warp floats) are being used to put the thicker pink threads to the top side of the fabric, to accentuate the windowpane check.  I find it interesting that where the two lines of lace intersect, there is a little area of plain weave.

I omitted two picks before and after putting in the weft stripe, and I think it looks better this way.  Compare the intersection in the top of the photo with that at the bottom.  The one at the top is woven according to the original draft.  The one at the bottom omits the "extra" pick between the blocks in the treadling sequence, and omits one of the two picks on either side of that "extra" one.  So instead of adding a pick between the blocks, they are "sharing" a pick instead.  See how the plain weave area looks more square in the bottom intersection, while the top one looks like a vertical rectangle.

Here's the modified treadling sequence.  I think it must be the color-and-weave effect that makes me think this looks better, because now there is more plain weave in the horizontal direction.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Upcoming lecture to local weaving guild

I'll be giving a presentation "Sprang: Contemporary Applications of an Ancient Technique", to the Inland Empire Handweavers Guild this coming Monday, May 12. I'll present a lecture with images, giving an overview of sprang, its structure and method of working, its prehistory and history as well as traditional uses, followed by a sampling of works by more recent and contemporary fiber artists working in sprang.

Then it goes into my own work, covering a progression of various ways to incorporate sprang with loom-weaving, and how I set up and work the sprang on my loom.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May TotM - Turned Atwater-Bronson Lace

The May Towel of the Month features a lace weave.  It has warp floats in a contrasting warp, and corresponding contrasting floats in the weft direction, forming a windowpane-check-like design overall on the towel.

The lace is "turned", then, because some of the floats are weft floats (in the "default" or "normal" lace manner), and the other floats are "turned" - in the warp direction.

The draft in the Weaver's Journal article looks to me to have a couple errors in it.  I hope I've corrected them in the diagram here.  I tried it out in the weaving software I have and it looks right.  We'll see when we start the weaving on this one!

Since I haven't seen anyone new joining in here weaving along, I'm changing my plans and weaving only two of each towel, one to give to a family member and one to keep.  Otherwise I'll end up with 24 kitchen towels, which would probably last the rest of my life.  I still hope you will join in the fun and try some of these towels, and try weaving them in linen especially.  I am having fun weaving with linen, and the fiber is so thirsty it dries off dishes without spots or lint and is quick to dry hands as well.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April TotM off the loom

April's Towel of the Month is off the loom, and one of the towels has been hemmed and wet-finished (put through the laundry), here on the right compared to the un-wet-finished towel on the left.  The second photo shows the shrinkage that occurs in the washing.

This pattern again is "rosepath" a small point twill threading on four shafts, woven with a supplementary pattern weft "as overshot": that is, weave a pattern pick with the pattern weft alternating with a plain weave ("tabby") pick using the ground weft.  The pattern weft is different colors of cotton embroidery floss, and the ground is 20/1 linen.  The warp is 40/2 linen set at 30 epi.

You can check out the patterns for upcoming months by downloading the original 1983 article by Clotilde Barrett in issue 30 of Weaver's Journal.