Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Intriguing World of False Damask

In the weaving world, false damask is just a four thread broken twill.  At a recent Not 2 Square meeting, Jackie brought in two lap robes for Holiday Cheer gifts, both woven in false damask or more correctly labeled "turned broken twill blocks".  What our group found most amazing was the optical illusion created by placing darker lines at the block changes.  We started digging deeper into this illusion technique and found a couple of sources that take a slightly different approach to the structure.

Margie and Sue holding up the lap robes woven by Jackie

This is the draft that Jackie followed for her two lap robes with the exception that Jackie used large blocks and wider black outlining.
This is a draft found in a Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns draft #246 on pg. 60

You can see that they are very similar, but the second draft uses only six threads in the outline stripes (black) and the outline isn't threaded on  all four shafts of the block.
There are two other examples of the color and weave version of this block weave.  Check out Jackie's towel and Dee's towel from previous posts. 
There is a lot of variation that could be used with this block structure.  Think about changing the squares to rectangles; make the rectangles unequal in size and play with the color in the outline stripes.  

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

It's either not enough shafts or not enough treadles!

At the February meeting, one of our new members (Wendy-Marie) brought a recent copy of  Handwoven  with a two block twill draft.  She wanted to weave yardage for a Happy Coat with the body of the coat in the two block twill and have the border be plain weave without adding a separate piece of material.  Wendy-Marie's loom has 8 shafts and we assume 10 treadles.  Ingrid and I eagerly pointed out that she could use three thread twill blocks and have the plain weave border.  We went home to our respective weave programs and tried to come up with a draft for Wendy.  We forgot one important piece of the puzzle.  Treadling for two three thread twill blocks will be three picks long for each block and plain weave is two picks long. 

Here is Ingrid's solution.  The treadling is easy, but the border isn't plain weave except when you change from one twill block to the next.  It will work with a floating selvedge, though and it is a border treatment.
Beryl's solution.  Treadle plain weave along with the twill blocks (depressing two treadles at once).  Three picks against two is probably not going to be all that easy to remember.  If Wendy had 12 treadles, it would be a straight treadling sequence.
I put this problem into Tim's Treadle Reducer, but the solution also used two treadles at once and the treadling sequence was a nightmare.

This is the clean version for 12 treadles. 

Dear readers - do you have a better idea?   Let us know and we will post your ideas and give you credit for them!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Lap Robes for Holiday Cheer

It's Holiday Cheer time again in Nevada County.  Each year the visiting nurses in this county collect Christmas gifts for their homebound patients.  For the past few years, the Not 2 Square weavers have been putting together lap robes to help warm the heart and the body!   This year there were a total of 10 lap robes, several knit hats and a knit scarf in our donation bag.  What follows are photos of some of the lap robes donated this year.

Dee Jones wove the striped material in both of these quilted covers.  She artfully combined a variety of commercial fabrics with her own hand woven to make generous sized lap robes.  There will be a couple of very happy folks when the nurses deliver these.

Diana Abrell wove the overshot top of this lovely blanket.  It is lined with a striped material and bound with satin binding.  Diana then secured the quilt with ties.

Igor Raven wove this lap robe double width on his Baby Wolf loom.  The binding was woven by Beryl Moody to match the throw.

Ingrid Knox donated three lap robes this year.  Pictured  are two of them.  Ingrid used a variety of yarns in beautifully designed stripe combinations.  All of her lap robes are easy care and will keep their recipients warm and cozy this holiday season.
Jackie Hervey wove this two block 3/1 twill throw from a variety of rayon yarns in her stash.  It is a nice weight and lays very comfortably over lap and knees.  Don't you love the color contrast between the two sides?

Members of the Not 2 Square group often donate items to older teenagers in foster care as well as this Holiday Cheer project.  We find it is a great way to work down the stash, try out new ideas and techniques and give back to the community.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Another First Project

I realized that I forgot to include one of our member's first project in the previous posts.  Sue Habegger shared her first sampler.  It is a twill sampler.  She used different twill patterns (and colors) across the piece.  The sampler was woven using the different twill patterns and different colors.
Sue's Sampler

Sampler details

This kind of sampler is a great way to see how different twills look when they are threaded one way and woven with a different twill.  It can also be used to look at different color interlacements.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Very Special Baby Blanket

Jackie needed to weave a special blanket for a member of her family who was having her first baby.  Since the couple wanted the sex of their baby to be a surprise, the mother was requesting pastel colored items that would suit either sex. 
In my stash, I had a five pound cone of heavy, white cotton chenille, won as a door prize at CNCH 2007.   I offered it to Jackie to use as much as she needed for a couple of baby blankets.
Jackie dyed some of the chenille yellow and used a pale yellow cotton warp. 
Jackie found a blanket she wanted to use in Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave by Tina Ignell.  On page 94 is a Heart Blanket with Weft Loop Patterning.  Then she looked online and located a giraffe photo which she converted to a graph to make her loop pick up design, rather than the heart shown in the project. She alternated the white and yellow chenille when weaving the blanket - I believe that the border loops were yellow and the giraffe was white. Sadly for the weaving group, the baby shower had passed and all Jackie had to show was a photo of her blanket and a couple of small samples.
Because the book mentioned above is very expensive now, I tried to find another resource for the weft loop patterning technique.  I couldn't find anything, but if readers of this blog know of one I hope they will share it. Here is a tip; Jackie said that the weft loop patterning had to be done in short lengths at a time because wrapping over a long dowel made it next to impossible to pull out the dowel to leave the loops.  I believe she used a series of shorter dowels to make the process manageable.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Plaza Jacket, Ikat Top and Rag Rugs at our September meeting.

At Not 2 Square meetings, Dee is often the one who has a new garment to display.  Here we have her version of the  "Plaza Jacket" and Sue Robertson is the perfect model to show off its lines. We decided that this particular jacket shape is called a huipil, but the Sewing Workshop pattern has more width to it than the traditional blouse tops by that name.

Sue Habegger has made a top from  ikat yardage she had woven some time ago.  She experimented with the ikat dyeing technique while in collage using Lydia Van Gelder's book as a reference.  Notice how expertly she has placed the ikat stripes on both the front and the yolk of the top.

Jackie Hervey's ingenuity amazes us all.  She used alternating reds and greens in her rug warp.  Then she alternated picks of fabric with a pick of fine cotton.  This made all the green warps prominent on one side of the rug and the red warps on the other side. The pictures show the green side on the left and the red side on the right, in case your monitor didn't detect the difference!
There is more to come from September's meeting.  Stay tuned for another post soon.