Monday, November 26, 2012

Makes me think of jewelry

  I received the Orlon for the scarf I've been commissioned to do and started weaving.  I measured enough for two scarves so I could have something to put on Etsy when I'm done.
It's really not that orange.
   I made part of the lace different colors.  The base color is a bright red, and the stripes are golden yellow and dark teal. I thought it would look better than just the one color.
   I need to take some pictures of this in sunlight and see if it still looks too yellow-y.
   Anyway, the first one is done, thanks to the Thanksgiving break I got from work (A FOUR DAY WEEKEND!!!).  I plan on getting this done as soon as possible, so the purse I wrote about previously is on hold.
   Next time I should have better pictures.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weaving a purse

   While I wait for the Orlon I ordered to make the scarf for my co-worker, I figured I would make myself a new purse, hobo bag style, since my current one's straps are rapidly fraying.
  I had woven this a good while ago in a diamond twill of a thick lavender linen and 16/2 undyed linen, and didn't have enough for the project.  Shocking, I know.
   Anyway, it has been sitting in our closet with the other stuff I have woven and not sold. I knew it would be strong enough for a purse, but that I would also have to line it.  Fortunately, I also had some bleached muslin left over from another project which I will use to make the lining.
   I am pretty much winging it with the design.  I figured the body of it would be a thin U of the lavender fabric, with the strap, woven on my inkle loom, sewn down the sides and bottom of the U.
The loaded loom, outer fabric, and inner lining fabric.

   It's kinda hard to see, but the design on the inkle strap is called wandering vine, woven in dark blue, half-bleached, and light purple linen.  I hope it will look better once it is washed and dried.
   The fun part will be figuring out how to do the lining, because I like pockets and compartments in a purse.  I don't like the black hole where everything goes in and good luck getting anything back out.  I had woven some little purses on Styrofoam forms that I might sew onto the front, for keys or cellphone or sunglasses.
   Once I have figured out how to do this, I will make a few others to sell on Etsy.
   We'll see how this goes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


   I. AM. DONE.
   It took me from July 21 to September 30, but I am done with the fabric for the baby carrier! I am very glad to have this done for this patient lady.
    What I learned from this project:
  1. Overestimate weaving time for custom pieces. 
  2. Linen shrinks like a son-of-a-gun. Calculate that in.
  3. Making something linen this long and wide is going to have problems with tension and throwing the shuttle.
  4. I need to treat my weaving like a business.  I can't afford an expensive hobby like this. Not if I want to make a living at weaving (eventually).
   Next job, a scarf like this one, but in primary colors.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm done! Sorta....

   I got to the end of the warp, cut it off the loom, washed it, dried it in the dryer, measured it....
...and it is eighteen inches too short.
<Deep sigh>
  Fortunately, I didn't take the loom waste off the loom and clean it up when I was done, so there is yarn still through the heddles and reed. I have already measured out the new warp and just need to tie it to the existing warp, tie it on to the front bar, and weave the rest of it.
   I'm not going to estimate how long that will take, but it will not be anywhere near as long as before.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh, so close!

  Note the amount of bamboo blinds left on the roller?  I am so close to done, I hope the hurricane coming our way makes me have to stay home and finish this!
    Look at that lovely pattern!
   That is a lot of fabric around that front roller.

   Almost done!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aggrevation, thy name is tension

Tension is important in weaving, especially even tension on all strands. If you don't have even tension on all strands, it looks like this--

--and you can't pass a shuttle with the weft through there with anything like your normal speed.  This makes the weaving very slow.  And this is AFTER tightening the warp eleventy-million times.
  So I do this--
Chopsticks, pencils, pens, and fishing weights hung from paper clips.
  Ugh.  So frustrating.

Friday, August 3, 2012

This is what I do, part 2

  Ok, so I measured my yarn and I've put it through the reed.
  Now I need to put each individual strand of yarn through what's called a heddle.
  Those white things, those are heddles. They are attached to harnesses which go up and make the pattern.
  It's kinda complicated. I feel like I'm trying to explain a sport to a blind person or something.
  So they all go through the heddles and you need to wind the warp onto the back rolly-thingy.  You have to put something between the layers you roll on so you can have even tension. I used bamboo blinds.

  It's all rolled onto the back. Now we go back to  the future-- I mean front! The warp is then tied to the front rolly-thingy (no, that is not the technical term, I just wanted you to be able to read this without a glossary).
  Adjust the tension. Adjust the tension. And again. Some more.  Linen is kind of fidgety when it comes to even tension on all strands.
  Now it's time to weave!

  It's always a good idea to make a sampler of what you are doing so you can refer back to it at a later date. That is the first bit of weaving with scrap, thick yarn above and below it.
  This is going to look pretty cool.
  The next post should be the end result.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is what I do when I do this thing I do

  I know it's hard to tell how complicated it is, handweaving, if you don't do it yourself.  So I'm going to lay out, step by step, what the process I go through when I am making something. I will try not to be too boring.
  I have a commission for some custom fabric from a lady on Etsy.  She gave me the dimensions, the colors, and that she wanted it to be linen. So I start with having to do math.
  I hate math. Calculators are my friend.
  So I do the math and figure out how long and wide and dense my warp needs to be, and I order the yarn. And wait.
  And wait.
  Finally, my yarn comes!
  Look at those gorgeous colors!  The notebook under the grapes? That's my project book, where I plan things out and make notes about how long it takes, how well it turns out, that kind of stuff.

  This is what I measure all 768 ends of my warp out on. It took me 10 hours yesterday to do this.
  When all the warp is measured out and coiled in a basket, to keep from getting tangled, it's time to move to the loom.
  The loom has what's called a reed, which is like a metal comb, that is the first place the yarn goes through. I did that today for two and a half hours. 
  I also started to thread the heddles with the linen tonight. I should get it mostly done tomorrow after work. So stay tuned for part two.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just to let you know I am not dead

  Wow, it has been 3 months since last I posted here. I am a bad, bad blogger. It's a good thing I am not trying for any awards or whatever.
  I finished the linen towels and they look great! I can't wait to sell them and get money for more yarn!

  Isn't that a cool pattern?  It's called Viking Twill because it is a pattern developed from a scrap found in a Viking burial. Can you imagine some Olga in her Viking hall weaving this fabric for her lord or lady? Sitting next to a smoky fire, listening to wind or rain outside after a long day of cleaning, baking, and taking care of children the hard way (without Xbox, disposable diapers and internet)?
  I clearly am very imaginative tonight.
  This is what makes history interesting to me, the people behind the dates and places and dry facts they try to make us memorize in school.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More new toys

New stretcher
  Thank you, Federal government for giving us our money back so we can do stuff with it. Among other things, I got to get some weaving stuff.  The stretcher above is one of the things I got, something I have always needed. Also, my wonderful husband bought these for me off of ebay.

  Sixteen inch shuttles with bobbins from a West Tennessee textile factory that closed down a good while ago, according to the seller. The metal ends had some rust on them so I poured a little Coke over it and scrubbed it with a ball of tinfoil. The Son taught me how to do that. Works great on rusty bumpers too! The red Duck tape was to protect the wood.
   The bobbins had some sewing thread-thin yarn on it that is who-knows how old which I had no intention of doing anything but cutting off. Which I promptly did so I could use it for the linen towels I have been working on since October. I should be done with them soon, although I don't yet know what I will be weaving after that.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Also, this---

Because who doesn't like to look at this Viking god of a man?
  Husband:"You know that picture is airbrushed.""You know he's probably a jerk."
  Me:"I just like to look at him! I DON'T CARE!!"
  Cue wolf whistle.

Pictures of life

  I have pictures for you!
This is where my loom now rests in our new apartment, in front of a south-facing window, next to the door to-
-our little second floor balcony. I was in heaven one Saturday a couple months ago: the kids were elsewhere, the husband was sleeping after the night shift, it was sunny, the windows were open, and I listened to the music on my iTunes as I wove. It doesn't get much better. Unless there had been Starbucks.
This is some Viking Twill towels in linen that I am working on. I love the pattern. I got it, like many others, from Handwoven magazine.
  I have found an awesome website called Goodreads. I love that I can catalog my books, write reviews, find new books to read, see what my favorite authors are doing, and enter giveaways (which I have already won one). I have been spending A LOT of time on there.
  Anyway, it is past 1 AM so I had better go to bed. Night, everybody!