Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bengala Mud Dye Project


 Diana A. shared her Bengala Mud Dye Project with the Not 2 Square weavers at our monthly Zoom meeting.

She wound off 9 skeins of 8/2 cotton and 9 skeins of 8/2 bamboo in the 9 colors included in the Bengala Dye Kit, for a total of 18 skeins which are each about 300 yards.  She used the pre-fixer included with the dyes on the skeins before they were dyed.

 Diana says that the yarns that appear blue in the photo, are actually shades of gray.  This shows up better in the next photo of the yarns wound into balls and onto cones.

Diana learned several things from her dye project.

1. Make sure the pre-fixer saturates all parts of the yarn.

2. Use enough dye to get the color you want.

3. Cotton absorbs the dye better than bamboo.  Silk hardly absorbs any dye.  See the photo of the silk scarf she dyed using resist methods described on the Loop of the Loom site.

Diana has plans for some possible weaving projects using her newly dyed yarns.

A set of 6 random-striped napkins from the cotton yarns, using a neutral weft.  From the bamboo yarns, she has in mind a striped warp and a commercially dyed weft.

We hope Diana shares her projects with us at future meetings so that we can add them to this post.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Pandemic Weaving

Not 2 Square Weavers have been meeting monthly for many years.  All of a sudden, the pandemic put all of that to an end, at least for the foreseeable future.  So, like many other groups, we have reverted to Zoom meetings.  

The first few meetings were a bit strange because we are used to passing around our month's work, asking questions and feeling the textiles with our hands. But, after several meetings now, we are getting used to the new format and still want to share what we are doing with other weavers.

This month, Diana shared a stunning scarf with us.  She delved into the world of supplementary warp and used a pattern from an older issue of Handwoven. 

Here is her description and a photo of that scarf.

Ground Warp- plain weave and Atwater-Bronson lace
Supplementary Warp - Overshot

Ground warp:  8/2 rayon in pale yellow and natural
Supplementary warp:  20/2 rayon doubled, in teal
Weft:  8/2 rayon in pale yellow

24epi (48epi in supplementary warp areas)

Finished size
8 1/4" W x 73"L + fringe

When winding the warp, add at least 20% more in length to the supplementary warp than you have wound for the ground warp.


Ingrid has been weaving scarves, and like Diana, is trying out new weaving ideas.

Here’s a picture of the new scarf.  It was woven with 10/2 tencel from Just Our Yarns (different color-ways for the warp and weft), sett at 36 epi.  The structure is an 8-point M’s twill, the tie-up is 2-2-1-1-1-1- twill.  It wove up beautifully, didn’t shrink much and felt nice and soft after a gentle machine wash and laying flat to dry.

Wendy-Marie has moved out of the area, but the fun thing about Zoom is that she can again participate in Not 2 Square.  This month she had a couple of adventures to share.

"This month I worked on a scarf based on Sarah Jackson's "Brasberry Scarf," (Handwoven, May/June 2019).  Since she used analogous colors and I did not, I was not sure how it would turn out.  But the blocks came out fine.  In the Jackson pattern, the weft changes color 4 times, and the blocks expand as the scarf progresses.  I think I will re-do using only one weft color and only one block size.

My second project was a boundweave rug based on Wendy Bestor's design, but not her colors.  This uses Collingwood rug wool (900 ypp).  I found it came out better for the weft if I wound three threads of wool together on the bobbin than to throw the yarn three times in one shed as suggested by the pattern.  I did not achieve anything like 14 ppi, so ran out of warp.  My weaving buddies tell me this is because I was using my Baby Wolf and suggest that I weight the beater next time round.  Despite a number of weaving errors (including accidental asymmetry), I like this rug a lot.  It is very attractive and sturdy."

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Circles and Rectangles

My offering this month is based on Susan Poague’s “Circles and Checks Towels in Turned Taqueté” in the May/June 2019 issue of Handwoven. I used the yarns I had in my stash rather than those she suggested, but I did alternate blues and green as she does, with a neutral Birch color substituted for her Natural. The yarn is 8/2 unmercerized cotton, sett is  24 ppi. - Wendy-Marie T.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Bobbin Storage Solution

These photos show the bobbin rack that Diana's husband made for her as a Christmas present. It actually took the coronavirus lockdown for him to get around to making it in April, but no problem, she has it now!

Diana designed the rack to fit on a shelf (shelf space is very scarce due to an overabundant stash of yarn). It is made of 1” thick pine 11” x 12” and holds 90 ¼” dowels 1 ¼” apart. Photo A shows the board drilled with 90 holes. Photo B is Joe inserting, gluing, and tapping the dowels in with a rubber mallet. Photo C shows the completed rack, and D is the rack loaded with bobbins.


Diana no longer has a basket of bobbins all tangled up, and she can easily see if she has a bobbin already loaded with a yarn she needs.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Sue Habbeger

This week, Not 2 Square lost one of our former members, Sue Habbeger.  Sue graduated from Chico State, having studied weaving while she was there.  Later she moved to Espanola, New Mexico and studied the Chimayo style of weaving.  She built her own loom and did a lot of tapestry type weavings.  She was a talented potter and weaver and won many awards for her beautiful work.  She was actively engaged in progressive causes and was particularly passionate about protecting the environment.

She will be missed by her family, friends and the weaving community in Nevada County. 

A retrospective of her work can be viewed at this link: .


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Twill Exploration

Observations about weaving twill towels from Mardi:

After completing some relatively difficult projects and wrestling with adding  4 shafts, expanding my Ideal Glimakra loom to 8 shafts, I decided to try a set of “easy” twill towels.  I browsed through 8-Shaft Patterns , edited by Carol Strickler and noticed that there were several variations of twills threaded in an 8 shaft straight draw and decided to explore the possibilities.  

First I decided on color and design and got started.  I chose turquoise with green stripes, sett at 18 EPI. The width in the reed was 22inches.  I wove the towels to 33 inches plus allowance for hems. 

Plain Weave is always a good place for me to start, just to see what the overall color effect is.  The result was as expected.  Then I tried #2, #13, 327 and #29.  I discovered that not every pattern looks good on both sides.  I also discovered that I hadn’t checked for floats.  There were a few with 4 thread floats. I wasn’t sure that was going to be acceptable. When I took the towels off the loom I wasn’t happy at all and then remembered that it is really not possible to evaluate the results without wet finishing.  They actually turned out satisfactorily.
Turquoise Towel

Another Turquoise Towel

After finishing the turquoise towels, I wanted to see if it would be possible to tie on a second set.  One might think that is easy, but I had not tied the first warp onto the back beam. I had looped a rod through to attach the warp.  I didn’t know how to tie on to slipping threads.  It was suggested at a meeting (Thank you Jackie Hervey) that I try to stabilize the first warp by weaving a short section in front of the reed, allowing enough thread length to complete the tying process. It worked beautifully and a second set of yellow striped towels was secured. Due to the difference in yarn grist, I decided to re-sley to 20 EPI.

Yellow Towels with Tied-on Warp

I decided to try #21, Brighton Honeycomb for the first towel.  It gave a nice texture (with some really long floats).  The finish was satisfactory.  Doubting further experimentation, I wove off the 3 remaining towels in plain twill and was really quite pleased.

My final notes to self are as follows.  First, I should sample.  I should also use Fiberworks to check things like floats and back of fabric view.  I also decided that while a straight draw “looks easy”, the patterns that can be achieved are somewhat limiting.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Cottolin Towels and Napkins

I hosted my first Not 2 Square group meeting this August. We gathered in my studio, a workshop addition my husband and I had built onto the back of our detached garage, where I debuted my latest project: two tea towels and ten napkins. 

The yarn and instructions were from the Organic Cottolin Tea Towels: Eight Woven Twill Towels  kit by Halcyon Yarn. I was lucky enough to win the kit at the Halcyon Yarn booth at Convergence 2018 in Reno. I chose the Peacock colorway which consisted of 4-1,550 yard tubes of 2/8 organic cotolin in peacock, teal, magenta and lime, and the pattern by Michael Patterson for Halcyon Yarn. 

I followed the warp color guide, wound an 8-yard warp and dressed my 8-shaft Baby Wolf loom at 20 epi with the threading provided, which was based on a four-thread herringbone draft. After weaving two towels I decided they looked good in my studio, but I didn’t need eight tea towels out there. What I could put to good use would be napkins. I was able to weave ten unique napkins by varying the treading and weft colors and I am pleased with the result. 

The cotolin, 60% organic cotton and 40% linen, was a little rough on the tube and shed a bit while weaving, but the finished items have a lovely hand. When washed in warm water in the washing machine, hung to dry and pressed with my 35-year-old Elna clothing press, the cotton bloomed and the linen relaxed. The fabric length was cut apart, edges stay stitched, and items hemmed by hand.  There was a 15% draw-in and shrinkage so the finished napkins were a touch over 17” x 17”. I would definitely weave with the Halcyon Yarn cottolin again.


Mary's Napkins

Mary's Towels