Monday, September 9, 2019

Crepe Closer 2

A "Box of Chocolates" approach is my thing for sure. Variety definitely appeals to me. Weaving samplers is right up my alley.

Here are the next six 8H Crepe weaves from Strickler. On the first one you will see the number under which it appears in Oelsner.

8H Crepe Weave #29 from Strickler (Also in A Handbook of Weaves by G.H. Oelsner, #803)

8H Crepe Weave #30 from Stickler

8H Crepe Weave #31 from Stickler
Note: The threading in this draft puzzled me. I decided to change it
to treadle as a straight 8 which is what you see here.
It's impossible to tell from the black & white photo in the book which is correct.

8H Crepe Weave #32 from Stickler

8H Crepe #33 from Stickler 

8H Crepe #34 from Stickler
I have still more swatches to show. Watch for the next post and keep weaving.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Crepe Closer 1

Except at close range, the structures of crepe samples woven with 20/2 cotton sett at 37½ e.p.i. are too small to see. Here are a few swatches in close-up to better show detail of the structure. A tape measure appears in the photos to show scale. These are all from Carol Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, previously published in A Handbook of Weaves by G.H. Oelsner.

#23 This one is an "interlocking twill"

#24 Another interlocking twill

#25 Interlocking twill

#26 This one is a crepe

#27 This is one of my favorites
They are all rather nice though, so it is tough to choose.

#28 Yet another nice one

Of course, it would be best to see and feel these in person. But that will have to wait for higher technology. Until then, stand by for more close-ups.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Crepe Obsession

Once crepe came into focus, I couldn’t get enough of it. My study group even decided to take a closer look at crepe, too.
It was tough to show the entire length in one photo.
Here it is folded to show a bit of each version.

Of course, I went to one of my all-time favorite books, Carol Strickler’s “A Handweaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns”, in search of new crepe drafts. There, on pages 15-16, was a veritable chocolate box of delightful options.

Then came the obvious trouble of making a choice. But wait! Each of the 24 variations can be woven on the same straight draw on 8 shafts. I wanted to weave them all and with only a few changes in tie-ups and treadlings, I could. Yippee! Changing tie-ups on my Glimakra is less than convenient but ultimately do-able. Once I got started, climbing beneath my loom for each of the 17 required tie-ups became routine.

On my shelf I had a few cones of old 20/2 unmercerized cotton mill ends from WEBS. With those I wound a narrow warp, sett it at 37.5 e.p.i., and away I wove. And wove . . . and wove some more. The result is a sampler of 24 crepes and interlocking twills. There is a 6” length of each variation. The finished sampler is 12.5” wide and 108” (3 yards) long. It contains a wealth of useful information.

Left to Right - Drafts #23-32 from Stickler

Left to Right - Drafts #33-42 from Stickler
Left to Right: Drafts #40-46
There is some overlap from the last photo. The last swatch on the right is Draft #26 in both pale yellow and brown
because I ran out of the yellow.

This cloth is soft has a nice drape. It would make a comfortable shirt or a snuggly baby blanket. For now I will enjoy handling the sampler and think of future projects.

This is the entire length. That's a lot of crepe!

If not for my structure study group crepe may well have entirely escaped my notice. A little push outside my comfort zone often brings delightful results. This one certainly did. For a new weaving adventure, think about giving crepe weave a try.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Monday, July 29, 2019

Crepe-ing Along

My philosophy is: Time doesn’t fly; it accelerates. Can it be nearly two months since last I posted? Really? I guess I'm Back-Blogged. Again.

Here is our modest little goldfish pond.
The first water lily of the season bloomed way back in May.
Spring finally arrived followed by summer. I headed outdoors. Time spent outside has been healthful for both myself and for my garden. My ailing loved one is seven months post-treatment. We are dealing with a slow but mostly steady recovery. Time is our ally. Wedged in among these distractions I’ve found moments to weave.

My structures study group decided to take a look at crepe weave. Until now I have been only vaguely familiar with this structure, rather an interesting one. Crepe is characterized as having an overall pebble-like surface with no distinct pattern and a pleasing drape. The first thing that came to mind was the cloth used in fine wool suits and dresses.

I didn’t care for the green crepe from my previous post so I wove this blue one to share swatches with the group. The draft is #1000 from “A Handbook of Weaves” by Gustaf Hermann Oelsner. It is threaded in a straight draw on six shafts and tromp as writ. I liked the structure. The cloth has a nice hand but it seemed a bit heavy. It is woven of 10/2 perle cotton. Finer yarn might be better. Still, I shared swatches of both light weft and dark weft sections with the group and was happy with that.

Crepe Weave Swatch -- The little square surrounded by zig-zag stitch is
 the one I shared with my Weave Structures Study Group

The group decided to continue our study of crepe. More samples followed and I promise to share those soon. Crepe has been an interesting topic.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Thursday, May 9, 2019

What, a Crepe?

When Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum packed up the old place and moved into their shiny new building they unloaded old, non-museum-quality stuff. You know how it is during a move. They offered several boxes of cut/torn rolled rags to my weaver’s guild. Two of the boxes found their way to me.

Toothbrush rug from narrower rag strips

Enter the toothbrush (rug). Well, I don’t actually use a toothbrush since the old style is virtually extinct although one at last has been found and properly carved into a point. But that is beside the point. The name has very little to do with the technique being the name of the old homemade tool used to make these rugs.

Toothbrush rug, detail

Normally toothbrush rug technique calls for rags strips 1½ to 2 inches wide. The rags I’d been given were only 1 to ¾ inches wide. But they were worth a try.

Here is the result: a finer rug than the usual. It looks good and works well in our Powder Room. If it holds up I will switch to narrower rag strips in future toothbrush projects.

A study group I attend is studying Crepe Weaves. Having very slim experience with this structure I began thinking it would be a quick study. Did I ever have a lot to learn. It isn’t!

First attempt at weaving crepe
Putting together a threading from one source and a tie-up from another that seemed like a winning combination. Choosing two similar shades of green 10/2 perle cotton I chose a sett of 30 e.p.i. and dressed my loom. The result produced the required overall pebbled crepe effect. But the cloth seemed heavy and did not satisfy me. It’s time to think again and head back to the drawing board.

May the learning continue.

Warp On/Weave Off,


(P.S. What a difference a comma makes!)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thrum Cloth

Thrum Cloth
Knotted thrums of random color and grist on every third pick

Loads of carpet warp fills my collection of thrums but lots of finer yarns are in there, too. I’ve been concocting  ways to put those finer ones to use.

Here is a very simple weave structure. Small weft skips lay between every two plain weave picks. The design came about by way of serendipity. As I wove the plain weave structure I experimented with frequency of thrum placement. Were they best included every other pick, every third pick, etc.

In the end I decided on a three-pick repeat but found the uneven number of picks difficult to maintain. I rely a lot on rhythmic shuttle movements. Once I am in the groove my mind is free to wander. The two picks of shuttle one, one pick of shuttle two kept throwing me off so I decided to throw the third pick, the thrum pick, on treadle #3. My previous tie-up was still in place so I just used what was there. It happened to lift two adjacent shafts. The result made me happy and made shuttle movements more predictable.

The resulting Thrum Cloth yardage is visually interesting with a nice hand. I’ll be considering it’s final use; perhaps a sewing project is in order.

Thrum Cloth
Swatch of my original sampling appears at lower right.

Next is a group photo of my three Deflected Double Weave towels. This structure would be great for scarves, baby blankets and lap robes, too. So much to weave, so little time . . .

Three Kitchen Towels

Spring takes me outdoors more and more, keeping me from the loom. But a study group project is in hot competition for time. A deadline approaches so I am deep into the study of a structure of which I know very little: Crepe Weave. Wish me luck!

Warp On/Weave Off,


Friday, March 29, 2019

Spring Sunshine and Happy Colors

Great Colors Make Me Happy

Things that make me happy include grandchildren, sunshine, flowers and just the right color combinations.

My third foray into Strickler Draft #760 was a happy one. Color is one of my life-long delights. I am rather a practical person. Still, practicality does not exclude beauty.

I take particular joy in weaving everyday household textiles that are both useful and visually pleasing. This kitchen hand towel exemplifies my goal and makes me happy.

Kitchen Hand Towel, Stickler #760

Structure: Deflected Double Weave, #760 from "A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns from the Friends of Handwoven" edited by Carol Strickler

Yarns: 10/2 and 20/2 perle cottons in three solid colors and one variegated. Sett: 30 e.p.i.

Third color way of Stickler #760 on 8 Harnesses
Reverse Side, Third color way of Stickler #760

Spring has sprung. Yard work beckons and the fun continues.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Monday, March 11, 2019

Weaving and Wishing for Spring

Wishing for Spring Cotton Towel

This has been a tough winter with more snow, colder temperatures and more freezing nights than I can remember. Added to my Midwest Polar Vortex adventure, spring seems a very long time coming. Yet it is still early March. Guess it’s time for patience. In the meantime, I’ve planted several seed trays indoors. Anticipation grows.

While awaiting spring, indoor color adventures continue. Here is the second warp using the Strickler draft #760. The turquoise 10/2 unmercerized cotton had been on my shelf for some time. With 10/2 perle cotton in Porcelain Green, 20/2 UKI mercerized cotton in Banana and 20/2 cotton in a variegation called Spray I think this is a winning combination.

Wishing for Spring Cotton Towel, reverse side

I don’t usually complain about the weather and a few crocus have been blooming. Patience is a virtue, right? Still, I’m very happy that this winter will soon be over – at least according to the calendar.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Saturday, February 23, 2019

2018 Christmas Towels

Christmas was months ago already and I’m back-blogged again. In my defense, travel and an ill loved one are the reason. My dear one endured a final treatment over Dec.24-26. Over the past 11 months suffering has been profound but we saw completion as the ultimate Christmas gift. (Now for the long recovery.) Then I spent the better part of January in the USA Upper Midwest “enjoying” the Polar Vortex and welcoming a new addition to my family. As you can tell, family comes before my weaving. I expect the same is true for you, too.

You may recall my 2017 Christmas towels were waffle weave. Those towels are pretty, soft and super absorbent, a real treat to use. The waffle weave texture works especially well for towels.

When it came to considering structures for Christmas 2018 towels I sought textured weaves. One particular draft caught my eye. In my search and study I kept going back to it. It seemed an unlikely option but it drew my attention so I wove a sample using various odds and ends from my stash.

Two 2018 Christmas Towels, Front and Reverse sides
Left Towel: Strickler Draft #763
Right Towel: Strickler Draft #760

The draft is #760-763 from “A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns from the Friends of Handwoven” edited by Carol Strickler. The short description calls this “Silk Brocade” from a Virginia West workshop. I am no expert on weave structures. My idea of brocade is quite different. But I don't really know. This weave seems to be “Deflected Double Weave” - a term coined, I think, by Madelyn van der Hoogt. If you can tell me more, please comment.

These were my goals:
  • Weave Christmas towels in time for gift giving
  • Make towels unique from those of previous years
  • Weave thirsty towels with texture
  • Make use of yarns already on hand
  • Try a new structure

Detail, front side - Strickler Draft #760
 The two sides of these towels are very different. It's fun to look at both sides as I dry my hands. Both are nice so I hemmed one end of the towel as if that side was the front and the other end as if the reverse side was the front. That left me with the dilemma of choosing a side for my label. So some are labeled one one side and some are labeled on the other side.

The olive yarn is 10/2 cotton, the terra cotta and yellow yarns are 20/2 cotton. These were all already on my shelf.
Detail, reverse side - Strickler Draft #760

Detail, front side - Strickler Draft #763
Having sampled all four version of this draft, all of my towels except for one were woven using #760. Just for fun I had to try one towel using #763. In spite of some fairly long floats for a towel, this one is nice. In one corner I tried tucking a large sequin in between the plain weave layers. That was nice, not great for a towel but something I'd always wanted to try.
Detail, reverse side, Strickler Draft #763

Did these ever meet my goals! And they were fun to weave. It may have been slow fussy weaving, but the results speak for themselves. My family and friends love these. So do I.

Since I’ve been back at home I tied on to this warp two times more. Watch for photos of those additional color ways to follow soon.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Sunday, January 13, 2019

On the Ply

This is rather exciting. Using what I already have makes sense to me. Finding new ways to use what would have otherwise been binned is especially fun. Once the idea of plying my knotted thrums using the drop spindle method occurred to me, I was off and running.

Here I'm weaving a Rep Weave Placemat using knotted and plied thrums as thick weft
Knotted thrums add colored bumps poking up between warp ends. I worried about the effect those bumps would make in the finished weave but the added texture turned out to be a plus. The added interest serves to camouflage crumbs, a valuable trait in a placemat.

Rep Weave Placemat
8/4 Cotton Carpet Warp colors - Black and Tan
Knotted and plied thrums as thick weft

Rep Weave Placemat
8/4 Cotton Carpet Warp colors - Black and Tan
Knotted and plied thrums as thick weft, reverse side

Rep Weave Placemat
This one is still on the loom in the first photo.
This warp is a multi-ply marl that had been sitting on my shelf for years.

The third warp used Christmasy colors but will work at other times of year, too.

The reverse of the Christmasy colored Placemat

Here are the three color ways of my Rep Weave Placemats
with knotted and plied thrums as thick weft
We have enjoyed these placemats for several weeks now and all three color ways are pleasant. They wash well, too - always a plus.

Here's wishing 2019 is a year chock full of happy weaving adventures for you.

Warp On/Weave Off,