Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weaving Fun in Small Ways

Wee Swedish Coverlet

Photos of my final Wee Swedish Coverlet warp are probably in order. Here they are. Since this warp turned out to be other than perle cotton, it behaved differently. Shrinkage was greater. The finished cloth drapes well, better than the 100% cotton version. Overall, these are nice but I am wishing to weave some brighter colors for my next Wee Coverlets.

Wee Swedish Coverlet, Detail

Wee Swedish Coverlets
This group of coverlets drape beautifully.
The colors are pretty subdued for babies.
Maybe parents will appreciate this at laundry time.

Since last I posted life has taken a few twists and turns, some far less than pleasant. In the face of turbulent events, returning to the studio and immersing myself in weaving truly helps. Whenever calm reflection is necessary to peace of mind the studio is my go-to destination.

A box of odds and ends, mostly 8/2 cotton, had been on my shelf for a very long time. My guild sale was coming soon. It occurred to me to use some of that cotton to weave some quick coasters for the sale.

I took my first weaving class in 1988. My first exposure to Rep Weave at that time was an article by Joanne Tallarovic in issue #74 of Shuttle Spinal and Dyepot. A narrow runner in her article was the inspiration for these little coasters.

Rep Weave coasters
Notice the blue ones. One has rag as thick weft.
All the others have bright yellow cord-type yarn as thick weft.

Life intervened and I did not complete as many of these as I would have liked in time for the sale. But that is fine because Christmas is coming soon. Each of the four warps shown was an opportunity to learn and improve on the design. Exciting discoveries along the way made for a load of fun.

Blue coasters:
I wind my warps twice as long as needed but only half as wide, with a cross at each end. For Rep weave I wind two ends together. This works out great except when I forget to divide the total number of ends for the center block by four – not two. That is why that middle block is wider here than I meant for it to be. Since the extra ends were available, I just threaded them as wound.

The first few coasters on the blue warp have rag as thick weft (see group photo above). I liked that well enough until I thought to use a bright yellow cord that has been on my shelf longer than I can remember. Wow! That bit of bright yellow at the selvedges really pleases my eye.

Green coasters:
Now that is better. The center block is the proper width.
Unfortunately, in the meantime I’d forgotten to weave six thick wefts in the center. These coasters are shorter than the blue ones. Sometimes life events interrupt my train of thought. Oh, well.

Red coasters:
The challenge here was a limited supply of red and white. Making due, I used black and grey for the borders. Somewhere along the line I’d had a conversation about floating selvedges with a weaver friend. It motivated me to do something for the very first time – add floating selvedges to a Rep weave. I am never too terribly worried about matching floater color to warp color. Here I decided to go out on a limb and used a red floater next to the black border. The result made me very happy.

Yellow coasters:
Here you see more odds and ends from my box of 8/2. The border yellow is darker than the center yellow. And take a look at that floater!

Floating selvedges on Rep Weave???
What will be the next adventure? I saved the warp for a tie-on and there are still remnant cones of various colors in my box. Ideas are brewing and so is my next mug of tea. Hum, any coasters around here?

Watch for coaster hemming technique in my next post.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Brewing a cup of tea with first two versions of Rep Weave coasters