Thursday, July 27, 2017

Our looms and our weaving tools - Part 1

Every weaver needs a loom of some sort.  Many of the Not 2 Square Weavers started out on rigid heddle looms and have progressed on to four and eight shaft looms.  In fact, almost everyone in our group now has an eight shaft loom and loves the freedom to weave many of the more complicated structures that eight makes possible.

We thought that it might be fun for our readers to see our looms, and what we weave on them. 

We start the series with a relatively new weaver, Diane C.  Although Diane also likes back strap weaving and has taken classes with Laverne Waddington, she also sports a Schacht,  8 shaft Mighty Wolf.  As she began weaving on the loom, she documented her projects by taking a photo of her project while still on the loom.  As you can see, lots of variety here.  Is it possible that starting out with an 8 shaft loom lets you progress as a weaver more quickly?
Marcy E. started out with a four shaft loom.  I believe it was a Gilmore and she happily wove on it for several years. (see the photo below).
When Marcy learned about an 8 shaft Gilmore that was a real deal, she snapped it up right away and sold her old loom.  Marcy has mastered the art of tying new warps on to old ones and loves to do a series of projects with color changes in the warp.  See the evolution of colors displayed on her new 8 shaft loom below.

This new loom has a wonderful light and a raddle on the castle.  Marcy hangs bits a pieces of weft yarns from the loops since she always warps front to back and doesn't use the raddle.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Using the Open Reed

Wendy-Marie was really interested in trying the scarf that appeared on the cover of  Handwoven May/June 2017.  She tried a new colorway and wove her first scarf.  Immediately she didn't like what the spacing of the yarns in the reed did to the plain weave portion of the scarf.  Since the technique to make the medallions at each end of the scarf requires that you skip three dents between the motifs, the plain weave sags into these open dents.  See the photo below.

In trying to figure out a system to get around this problem, Igor and Beryl suggested she borrow their Open Reed  This would allow her to sley the reed according to the directions given , but when the plain weave portion of the scarf began, she could open the top of the reed, and move threads over for even denting, recap the reed and start weaving. When she reached the border motifs she again opened the cap on the reed and reversed the process to leave the open dents.

Here is the reed with the open dents

And here is the reed with the warp resleyed

Because moving threads with the open reed can be tricky, it was suggested that she brace the reed so that it wouldn't fall forward or backward during the resleying process.  Meticulous work, but it paid off.  Below is a close up of the finished scarf. Notice the nice clean appearing plain weave section.
And here are the two scarfs shown side by side.  The results are more pronounced when you can see the scarves in person, but the Not 2 Square weavers did like the "fix" for this design.