Sunday, June 11, 2017

Empty Yarn Cones - The Great Recycling Dilemma

This blog post was originally published about 7 years ago and deals with a problem that most weavers encounter - what to do with empty yarn cones.  Sure, you can throw them away, but weavers are a thrifty lot and many are uncomfortable with that obvious solution.  The search has continued for a better recycling idea.

It turns out that Pinterest has dozens of pinned solutions from many crafters/artists and probably a lot of primary school teachers. 

(I had an ulterior motive for reposting this article.  Now I have a link to share when I'm handing out free cones.)

Friday, June 02, 2017

Combining Card Weaving and Regular Weaving

This blog post was written by Not 2 Square member, Wendy-Marie, about a technique she has been wanting to try for a long time. 

"This month I tried out combining loom and card weaving. With guidance from Inge Dam’s book Tablet-Woven Accents for Designer Fabrics, I made an experimental piece, 8.5” wide (7” for the loom-woven section and 1.5” for the tablet-woven section). The yarn was 5/2 cotton; sett was 16 epi in the loom section and 2 cards per dent in the tablet section. Inge Dam uses finer yarn, her largest grist being 10/2 cotton. 

Some things I learned:
  • For the tablet section, the sett is gauged by “cards per dent,” rather than ends per inch.
  • The cards are placed behind the reed, so an Ashford loom is not really suitable for this kind of work.
  • To hide unsightly white weft at the band border, I found a cloth marker that matched my blue warp, and colored the white speckles blue. (Inge Dam uses a particular card warping method that avoids the weft-at-the-selvedge problem.)

Since one must turn the tablets as well as change sheds for every pick, it is a time-consuming process, and I thought the same product could have been achieved more easily by making the band separately and sewing it to the cloth. However, I’d like to try one more loom-tablet hybrid using 10/2 cotton."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blue and Violet Tencel Scarf.

We are trying a new approach here on the Not 2 Square blog.  Instead of a couple of us writing up descriptions all the time, we have invited our members to explain their process and details about their pieces.  Mardi N. offered to do the first post about her tencel scarf.

This is my first project using Tencel. It is essentially a scarf length sample.

I had already woven one scarf using the Dornick Twill #196 by our own Dee Jones that I found by accident in Strickler’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. The first scarf, magenta was treadled as directed in #196. For this second scarf with the same threading, I decided to use the alternate treadling, #197.

Half of the yarn was dyed in KathrinWebber’s class last spring and the blue gray stripes in this scarf were dyed at home as it was necessary to augment my supply of warp to achieve 10 ½ inches in the reed. The yarn used was 10/2 Tencel. For the weft I chose some wine colored rayon of unknown grist that I had in my stash.

The sett was 20 EPI and the PPI was approximately 19-20. The overall length on the loom was 72 inches, not counting the fringes. After wet finishing, the width was 8 ½ inches and the length 64 ½ inches. Take up was 12% and the overall draw in was about 20 %.

I was extremely pleased with the weight and the hand of the scarf. - Mardi

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Last Weaver's Poker Hand?

As you may know, the group decided to take on a challenge last year called Weaver's Poker.  In our version of the game, we came up with options for five different attributes of a handwoven project:  Structure, Yarn Fiber Type, Color, Color Relationship and Design Element.  All of the Not 2 Squares who participated drew cards from grab bags containing the five different aspects.  Each person had the flexibility of discarding one of the attribute cards.

Last spring most of those who chose to participate finished their projects.  Ingrid finally finished hers.

Here's her hand:  Color – Orange; Color Relationship – Split Complement; Yarn – Linen; Structure – M's and O's; Design Element Large Checks.

Being rather competitive, Ingrid decided she needed to use all of the cards even though the rules allowed participants to throw out one card.  She selected 22/2 cottolin in Autumn red, Light Green and Aqua.  Three cards down.  Two to go.

After thinking about M's and O's, she developed a three block design with the help of Fiberworks-PCW.  The software allows you to draw a profile draft and then convert it to a threading.  This design used the three colors in the warp to differentiate the different blocks.  Those colors (and blocks) would then be used in the weft to create the large checks. That took care of all five cards.  (The area between the black "threads" was repeated a total of three times.)

The resulting fabric was a towel.

The color and texture of the final piece was nice but there was some puckering and draw in because of the M's and O's.

Towel Detail

Based on that, Ingrid decided to just do the one towel and is rethreading the warp to something different.

We thought this was the last challenge piece to be finished but it sounds like there is at least one more to be done.  We'll give details if it is finished.  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Towel Bonanza

Around Christmas, Not 2 Square Weavers seem to be finishing up on towel warps.  Why - because they make such good gifts.  One size fits all and the amazing variety of choices is just so much fun to weave. 

At our December meeting, we held true to our usual offerings.  The green and purple towel below was woven by Eileen.  It is a two block broken twill design.  The warp and weft are 10/2 mercerized cotton and the towel is very light weight - although the sett was 32 epi.  Eileen thought it too "whimpy" but most of us thought it was great for drying glassware or other delicate items.  Gorgeous colors.  We will have to break out the McMorran Yarn Balance to test the yd/lb of her yarns from Lunatic Fringe and compare them to other 10/2 mercerized cottons we have.

Marcy had finished another warp on this two block twill threading.  She has found the joys of tying on to an old warp and weaving another colorway.  This time the towel warp was a burnt orange and gray.  Look at what happened when she used a white weft and then a navy weft.  The glory of neutrals and the geometric design just sings in both of these towels.  This pattern has been featured here before and is from Strickler's book on 8 shaft weaving.  The draft is #228 if you happen to own the book.  

 Marcy had also been busy on the loom weaving overshot runners.(see our FaceBook page)  There was some warp left over and she did this striped beauty, and changed around the overshot motifs.  Great idea and a good use for the end of that warp.
 Mardi told a story as she showed us her towels woven on her old Leclerc loom.  She said she had always had problems with getting even tension across the whole warp.  When she went to the Vavstuga school a few months ago, she asked the instructors there to give her advice. Their answer was to use a temple.  Mardi warped up the loom, and woven this stunning stripe and plaid set.  The temple helped tremendously and her selvedges are perfect.  What a great feeling to have conquered this common weaving problem.

Marjorie brought in some woven items from several years ago, including this gorgeous hemstitched towel.  Love the color and the detail on this one.  The towel also has some huck patterning.
 Sue V. went to the Weaver's School on Whidbey Island this past spring.  Sue hasn't been weaving recently, and wanted to get her weaving mojo back so she took the beginning class.  The first photo is of the sample she wove in class with the huck lace design and a frame of stripes and plaid.

So Sue took inspiration from her woven sample and designed a towel warp specifically for a husband who doesn't always make sure his hands are perfectly clean when he uses the towel.  The towels are a beautiful red clay color - just like the soil here in Nevada County.  Sue used the same framing stripes, a huck design and made the towels just a bit longer than usual so that they hang around the handle of her refrigerator.  Stunning towels - and one would never know if a bit of red clay smudge got on them or not!

There's more to show from this meeting, so stay tuned for part two of our December meeting show and tell

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's on Our Looms

Several of our members have been working on their looms,  Jackie wove a very geometric chenille scarf.  The fringe turned out to be very interesting.

Jackie's Scarf

Jackie's Scarf - detail

Jackie also wove a rag rug.

Jackie's rug

Betsy wove a scarf using 8/2 tencel.  The design is an 8-shaft, M's & W' design, sett at 24 epi.

Betsy's Scarf
Betsy's Scarf - detail

Diana wove a set of five towels. The design was polychrome (reds) crackle. The design was from Handwoven, Sept./Oct. 2016, pg. 46.  There were nine different colors in warp and three rotating colors in weft.  Each towel has different colors in weft, although they all came out looking sort of alike.  Diana used both 8/2 and 10/2 cottons, sett at 24 epi.  She felt it was a good project for using up a lot of reddish yarns.  

Diana's Towels
Marjorie shared two pieces of yardage that were woven several years ago and meant to be pillowcases.  She found that they were too narrow for that purpose once completed. Both pieces used 100 percent cotton, in a lace pattern - huck- Marjorie thinks.

Marjorie's Yardage

Ingrid shared a scarf she wove using Malabrigo yarn.  Arroyo for the warp and Rios for the weft.  The design is an 8-shaft advancing twill woven with a 3-1-2-2 twill tie up.  This is one of two she hopes to weave from the same warp.

All in all lots of interesting things being woven this month.