Sunday, May 11, 2014

Days of warp and irons

Finally, the handtowels are finished--hemmed, washed and ironed and ready for use in our master bathroom. It felt like a long process, but really it wasn't.  I like the way the hems came out.  This time I decided to weave an inch before each towel design started.  I used a straight twill treadling (1,2,3,4) for an inch and separated it with a strand.  Of course, the threading did not produce a straight twill hem, but it worked. This is best shown below.

One inch wove with same thread as warp to use in hem.
I was using a slightly finer warp--a 4/2 cotton with a 3/2 weft.  This made the hem just a bit less bulky.  For the most part I had success neatly rolling it over for the hem.  I like this hem better than using the actual design as I did in some towels earlier. Plus it leaves a line of white to start off the design. I used a contrasting color to delineate the beginning and ending of each hem and finished the sides with blanket stitch before carefully cutting along the line to separate the towels.  I then folded the hems over and used hem stitch.

I am really happy with the way these turned out.

I've begun weaving a gold and green Tencel scarf on the Loomcraft.  I am liking the way this came out but interestingly, I've discovered the first and eight treadle have the same tie up!  I still haven't checked to see if I made a mistake or if the instructions called for it. I'm not sure I want to know!
Scarf with possible tie up error.
So far the scarf looks pretty good with nice looking diamonds.  This is a simple threading of a V and an inverted V and I'm treadling the same way 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, and then,8, 7,6,5,4,3,2,1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 .  I need to miss the "1" on the next round because the tie up for 1 and 8 are the same!  I suppose I should take a look and see what the tie up should have been, but since it looks nice and I'm in no mood for unweaving, I will just continue what I'm doing.

That's all for this week. Now to just make sure the DH hangs up that hook for my handtowels.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Weekend Weaving

Roll of towels fresh off the loom.

There is nothing like a nice weekend to catch up on my weaving!  I managed to finish the hand towels I was weaving on the Fanny just in time for the stitch n' bittch retreat last Saturday. I cut them all off the loom brought them with me in the roll you see above.  Now that was a relaxing time.  It was great fun to see everyone, and people I don't get to see because they go to the daytime meeting.

Work cramps my style. Time spent at the Big "B" gets in the way of all kinds of fun I could be having either at home or at some get together somewhere.  Well darn.  I do like to keep a countdown until retirement, regardless of how silly it may seem.  I do look forward to the opportunity to socialize with other stitchers.

The towels hemmed but not wet finished.
The towels are all hemmed and waiting for a chance to be wet finished, which is weaver talk for washed and ironed.  Though weavers don't iron things the way normal people do, we give them a hard press.  Which means leaning into the iron as you press. You need to do this on a firm surface as ironing boards have been reported to collapse during the "hard press" process.

I don't own an ironing board, and won't have one in the house. Ironing is for dry-cleaners. Hard pressing is for weavers and I use my workbench.

Handpsun cotton yarn.
I also finished the cotton I'd been spinning since the beginning of April.  There isn't much of it but I think it will make a nice weft for a placemat or something.  My latest spinning project is a merino/bamboo blend I dyed a few years ago for the bamboo class I taught at the spinning guild.  I dyed the wool red and then the rayon blue using the two different dye methods appropriate for each fiber.
Fiber I dyed a couple of years ago.
The fiber is enjoyable to spin. I am making fine singles to ply into a fine two ply.  This is going really well.
I also have a lot going on in the world of weaving and I'm going to try new weave structures, including rep and overshot.  But more about that next week!