Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Twill - Fantastic Shawl

Sometimes the most elegant textiles are based on a very simple woven structure.  This alpaca shawl woven by Jackie Hervey is sumptuous - everyone at our meeting agreed.  The photo is unfortunately not nearly as impressive as the shawl!  The shawl is woven with two natural colors of alpaca from Henry's Attic and features diamonds with plain weave centers! 

Jackie found her draft in A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler, draft number 97.  The original draft is credited to Christian Morath and found in A German Weaver's Pattern Book. 1794-1810.  However, when I tried to find it at the, I could only come up with something similar.    Anyway, if you want to weave your own spectacular shawl, here is the draft that Jackie used.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Gifts for Holiday Cheer

The Not 2 Square Weavers like to do some sort of community spirited project each year.  This year some of us decided to weave lap robes for Holiday Cheer.  This is a local outreach for home bound seniors (and others recouperating from illnesses).  Visiting nurses supply Judi Barbour with the number of people under their care and she puts together gift stockings from donations for those with the most need. 

Since some of the recipients are confined to wheel chairs, several of us decided on rather narrow pieces that would cover the lap, but not be too wide and cumbersome.  It turns out that for wheel chair use, the pieces need to be fringeless so there will be nothing to get caught in wheels, etc.

Gus is pictured above with one of her lap robes woven in cotton and acrylic - the draft follows.
I wove my lap robes using a networked threading and treadling in turned taquete and a couple of weights of cotton.  See the related blog post here that gives more details on the process.  Working with the warp faced weave and divided threading allowed me to separate and weave the hem in two layers, which I turned to the inside to finish.
Marcy had woven a chenille lap robe before we decided to participate in this project, and she generously donated it.

Diana bought acrylic baby yarn to weave her pieces, but had a disaster when the yarn slipped and slid during the finishing process so she had a hand sewn robe in reserve which went along with our donations. 

Ingrid didn't weave her piece, but rather sewed it and finished it like a quilt.  See her blog for the colorful and warm covering she donated.

It was very gratifying to learn when we delivered our items to Judi, that there were so many donations this year that everyone on the nurse's list will be getting something warm and wonderful for Christmas.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Huck, More Towels and an Ecology Shawl

Sue Habegger is using up special yarns that she has collected over the years.  She had a cone of natural brown Guatamalan cotton and Sue decided that weaving a solid color and a stucture were both out of her comfort zone.  This is the gorgeous yardage that was the result of her efforts.  The picture shows the yardage sideways. Sue wove bands of plain weave separated with bands of huck lace.  The huck takes up a bit more than the plain weave, so there is a gentle ripple which turns out to be very attractive.  Sue is still thinking of what kind of a garment to make with it.

At the meeting, Betsy had just come back from a fancy three day wedding in the Bay Area.  She had given the bride and groom their choice of colors and she presented them with handwoven towels as a gift.  She used warp colors in the weft and the towel above was woven with a white weft.  The draft is from Marguerite Davison's book, pg. 75 - John Murphy's No. 10.  I'm not sure which treadling she used with this towel - maybe X?  I thought it was a lovely thing to give a color choice to the gift recipients. What a good way to make the gift personal for the couple.
We all were so captivated by Carol's Ecology shawls that she brought in one that she wove using all handspun yarns.  She says the only problem is that the shawls aren't perfect trianges.  As you near the end of the warp, it gets tight and is very hard to weave - therefore one side is longer than the other.  We all agreed that it didn't make a lot of difference with this shawl, which is a real treasure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tale of an adventurous weaver

Dee Jones is an adventurous weaver who doesn't hesitate to use exotic knitting yarns in her warp or plastic bags as weft, should the occasion present itself.  In Dee's big bag of handwoven projects at September's meeting, there were some interesting surprises.  Dee loves to make handwoven bags and had been saving the orange wrappers in which her daily newspaper is delivered.  In the photo above, you will see the plastic bag weft puffing out at the selvedges in the log cabin design. Dee thinks that the handles are cardwoven - plucked from a long ago project; just waiting to enhance this bag.

Every year our local yarn store has a big blow out sale.  I have been guilty of buying a ball or two of this and that because it was so beautiful, but not knowing what I was every going to do with it.  Then it turns out you have all these odd balls that aren't enough for a project.  Dee has the solution.  She adds them as accent warps and leaves them floating free when she twists the fringe of the main warp threads.  This technique calls extra attention to their unique character.  Just take a look at  the exciting scarf pictures below.

She says the exotic yarns sometimes get caught in the heddles, but not as much as you might expect.  Dee warps from front to back and winds warps in chains of all the same yarn.  Then she designs her warp as she sleys the reed, dispersing the various yarns across the warp. 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Color Inspiration from Calendar Photos

Ingrid Knox has a big towel project in progress.  We were lucky enough to have the meeting at her home the other day so we could see what was on her loom and hear her plans.  She has a calendar with beautiful nature photos and plans to weave 12 different warps, all based on the colors from each of the 12 month's pictures.  She started out with December (see her blog for the color photo that inspired these towels)

Ingrid used an online random stripe generator to come up with the color sequence and a draft from A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler.  For this series of towels, Ingrid used a dornik twill (pg 50) that was originally submitted by Dee Jones.  Dee is a member of our group - small world, isn't it?  Here is the draft for January towels and a couple of treadling choices.

September's photo was next with lots of golds, browns and greens.  This series of towels was woven with a twill tie up and different treadlings for some of the towels.

Here is September's draft.

Before we left, some of us checked out the towel in progress on her Cranbrook loom.  This one is being woven with a light blue weft and look at how it influences the stripe colors.

All of these towels are woven with 10/2 cotton, sett at 24 epi.

Stay tuned for towels, scarves and more from the September meeting.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Shadow Weave & a Bit of Theo Moorman

Betsy Abrams entered shadow weave pieces in the fair this year.  Her wall hanging has bead embellishments on the undulating twill design (click on the photo to get a better view) and is sporting a red ribbon.  Congratulations, Betsy.

She also entered several tencel shadow weave pieces.  Look at this striking design. I'm going to ask Betsy for the draft source so that I can share it with  readers of this blog.  I love her colors.

And, another red ribbon on this lovely shadow weave scarf/shawl.

In an entirely different weaving direction, Jackie Hervey embellished her cloth with a Theo Moorman fleur de lis.  I belive that this is destined to become a pillow top.  Theo Moorman is one of those things that if you can dream it, you can weave it (assuming you have the skills that Jackie has acquired.)

Monday, September 05, 2011

More Winners

Sue Habegger got a red ribbon on this beautiful top with the Theo Moorman motif.  Sue often utilizes selvedges as trim on her garments and is very successful at on loom planning.

Sue's yardage got a blue ribbon (well no surprise there because it is wonderful stuff).  I like the little jacket drawing she included with her piece.  On the side bar, you will see Sue Habegger's name.  Click on that to see previous posts about this yardage and the processes involved.

Several winners this year were white on white pieces.  Carol Phillips did an interesting scarf with a technique learned from Mary Berent.  She used a variety of weights of white cotton yarn, one after another in both warp and weft.  See how the piece undulates because of the varying yarn sizes.

  In another white on white piece, Gus Young wove a scarf from her handspun silk and Merino yarns.

 In the same vein (handspun yarn creations) Sharon Campbell got a blue ribbon for her handspun knit sweater.

And we have miles more to go with show and tell this month.  Stay tuned for more winners and a special Theo Moorman piece.


Monday, August 29, 2011

And the Winner is ..... Ingrid Knox!

Ingrid's gorgeous white on white cotton table runner won the best handwoven at the Nevada County fair this year.  The draft came from An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving 8,12....20 by Kathryn Wertenberger; page 65.  It was originally from the notebooks of Fred Pennington who started weaving in 1937.  He wove linens and collected drafts from all over the world so I'm sure would have agreed with the judge that this was truely a prize winner.

Here is a close up so that you can see the beautiful structure.

Should you want to weave your very own masterpiece table runner and have loom for it, here is the 16 shaft draft.  You might even rethink this tie up and see if you could come up with an 8 shaft that was similar.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ecology Shawl

One of the best things about weave blogging is that you don't have to wait until your favorite weaving magazine gets around to publishing an article -- you can beat them to the punch. Carol Phillips won a first prize ribbon with this amazing triangular shaped shawl. I'm going to let Carol's words describe the process and then add my own two cents at the end of this post.

The warp is wool/silk from Henry's Attic. I dyed it in Michele Wipplinger's studio about 10 years ago, 9 warp chains, painted, some resisted, some kept loose, then all was dipped in Indigo - some more than one dip. I have lost the very careful notes on specific eyes used - but it included cochineal, madder, fustic, woad, others I can't remember at present. It is woven "ecology style" where the warp becomes the weft, put on the loom double weave so that it is large enough for comfort. I think it was 34 inches in the reed, then not put on the back beam, but weighted at the back with heavy boxes. One thread at a time is pulled forward and used as weft, double weave for the first half, making a diagonal selvege, leaving a fringe on one side where the weft thread exits, then woven plain weave once it is halfway, continuing the diagonal selvege on the long side, fringe on two sides. I did take some photos as I went, but they're a bit hard to interpret! I have done this in the past, but it's been a while, and I had to really probe my memory! The idea is from an old PWC, and there is no date on it, but from the '80's. [Issue 10] The cover has a photo of the one from the article inside - bright colored plaid. The original is done with 2 looms warped back-to-back, not double weave, with a person in the middle to cut one thread at a time to use as weft on each loom, and the looms have to be moved closer together as it progresses. The end result is two matching triangle scarves or shawls. I think it would make a great demo at some event. My plan is to write up the process, so one day I must do that! I did send a photo to Madelyn suggesting she re-visit the project in an upcoming Handwoven. She would like me to do it again with an "available" yarn... perhaps in the winter I'll tackle it!

Perhaps this is my challenge for the year - something out of my comfort zone! It is not really ikat, just the way the warp crosses itself. One problem is that as it gets near the end the weft tends to pack in tighter, so it is not truly an equal triangle... Something to work on! - Carol Phillips

This month's Handwoven has an article by Joanne Parrish George in which the supplementary warp becomes supplementary weft. It seems like a similar process to this ecology shawl, but I think I would have to try it out before I would know for sure.

I agree with Carol;  this would make a fantastic demonstration at CNCH or something such. The problem with doing the shawl with two looms as the original article shows, is that they need to have a 44" weaving width.  The article also suggests two 44" rigid heddle looms could be used but during a brief online search, I didn't come up with any looms that were that wide.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where have we been?

Summer sometimes gets in the way of blogging.  This blogger is just resurfacing with lots of photos and interesting things to show from our group.  One reason for holding back on blog posts was that the annual Nevada County Fair was pending last month.  Many of our members were going to enter handwovens and it seemed better to just hold off posting until after the awards had been given and there was no reason for secrecy about who wove what!

Before I get to the grand prize winner this year, I'll post around the edges a bit. There were several prizes for scarves from our group.  Carol Phillips has been using up sock yarns for scarves.  This beauty was woven from wool/alpaca sock yarns and got a ribbon.

Diana Abrell had showed  a scarf at an earlier meeting.  Its a braided twill that has two faces, a light and dark and you can read more about it in a previous post.  The judge awarded her the blue ribbon for the handwoven scarf category.

Gus brought a fabulous soft shawl to the July meeting.  It was woven with Angora rabbit, wool and cotton yarns.  She admitted the Angora rabbit yarn had been in her stash for many years until she had matured as a weaver and could do it justice.  Sorry there is no way to reach out and touch this in the blog world.

Lots more to show in the next blog post - so come back again soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Has Arrived

We had a full house at our first summer meeting.  It was good to see Dee back with us after several months of absence while she helped her husband get back on his feet after surgery.  She hasn't been idle (Dee never is).  She bought some Pasa Yarn sight unseen in a variety of soft colors.  Here are the towels she wove using a two block twill draft (her absolute favorite).  She used a different warp color as the weft for each of the towels, but they look amazingly alike unless you study them closely.  Take a look at the photo below.
Then she brought out a bag that was woven and featured in Handwoven many years ago.  Now it has been included in their new e-book Best of Handwoven: Baker's Dozen: 13 Handwoven Bags, so you can download the instructions and weave and sew one of your very own.
As always, Dee's linings are exciting and unexpected. Also, the bag has a zipper to secure the contents and magnetic snaps to keep the whole thing in shape.

More to come from Betsy, Igor and me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A chenille shawl and some special yardage

Last month you saw this on the loom.  Gus is modeling her latest creation which you may remember was a handpainted chenille warp in a color gradation from dark to light.  She used a couple of yarns in the weft; aqua cotton and an aqua rayon.  Gus wanted to use both wefts at the same time, but finally had to resort to two shuttles thrown one after the other because the rayon didn't behave very well!  Gorgeous piece and now featured for sale at Shawlsunlimited.

Sue Habegger brought in her finished yardage for a jacket.  She ordered Navajo Churro yarn in charcoal to go with odds and ends of colored wool she had on hand for this fantastic piece of plaid yardage.  The material for the sleeves is not plaid but stripes because of the logistics of plaid matching.  She may even cut them on the bias which would be very interesting. 

Three of us decided it would make a wonderful lap blanket!  There is about five pounds of wool in this piece - what a stash buster project!  Can't wait to see the finished jacket, but that may take a bit longer according to Sue.  She wants to find some synthetic shearling (nice quality) for the lining.  If any of our readers knows good sources, please let us know.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cane weaving and a tale about a scarf

Sue Robertson attended a cane weaving class at CNCH in Sutter Creek.  The instructor was Thomas Holtkamp who taught himself  by reading instructions from a library book.  Sue says the process wasn't hard  and that she wove most of the top in about 12 hours. She is just about done with the top of the bench seat and plans to add a more open woven piece on the rectangle below the seat.  A tip that Sue learned in class is that when you have a cane woven seat that is sagging badly, set the chair upside down and get a sopping wet towel.  Place the towel on the seat so that the cane can absorb the water for 30 minutes or so.  Then, let the seat dry.  Like magic, the seat will restore to a taut condition.

Marcy had a tale to tell about her beautiful tweedy scarf.  A women's group asked her to attend their meeting to give a presentation on handweaving.  Marcy brought in a table loom and many of the group tried their hand at the process and asked a good many pertinent questions.  Marcy invited those who were interested to visit her home to weave on the big floor loom.  Marcy put on a wool warp and had a weft boucle yarn of wool and probably mohair.  Two ladies showed up to weave and between the three of them, they wove this wonderfully soft scarf.  It is plain weave and the boucle yarn makes a lovely selvedge edge.  Marcy is much more pleased with this scarf than the one she brought to the April meeting.  She thinks that one of the differences is the soft beat she used when weaving her May scarf.