Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lilibet Lace: The Start

It sure is nice to have my laptop back and things reasonably set up again. Oh, there are email addresses that are 'gone' ( sorry Peg) and it will take time to restore all the little details that personalize a computer. That was a very long month and during that time so much happened here. I'll share it all but you have all been very patient waiting for something weaving related so I'll start on the lace shawl. The shawl is one of two that I planned to weave for the Victoria Retreat at the Oceanside Hotel in Cowichan Bay on April 3rd and 4th. I thought I would make a start on them early and be finished in plenty of time. It's a good thing I did given the home reno's that happened here. Today will be the first of two posts on this huck lace shawl.

Below is the tencel warp being spread in the built in raddle on the Spring "Lilibet" It is 10/2 undyed tencel and this yarn came some years ago from Textura Trading. The various sett guides I have to hand here all say 18 epi for lace, 20 for plain weave and 24 for twills. I thought 18 epi sounded way too open and so went for 20 epi. Even that looked too loose and I did consider resleying to 22 at one point but held my breath and went for the 20. This particular 8 shaft huck lace pattern came from a Complex Weavers' compilation CD and was designed by Christina Hammel. I'm doing that from memory as my Fiberworks program is still not set up again to double check. (I'll edit a correction later if it's not.) I also have yet to work out how to import a weaving draft to here for posting. Got to learn that soon.

All set for beaming...

It sure does roll on smoothly. A real treat actually.

Here the threading is under way for 6 lace blocks and plain weave over 8 shafts. I decided to have only half inch plain weave borders as I wanted the emphasis to be on the lace.

Sleying all completed at the agonized over 20 epi.

Here is the start of the shawl. Notice how open it looks and you'll understand why I considered resleying. I wove some small blocks of lace and then did three alternating rows of Danish Medallions. That was actually a fun thing to work with and good practise!

Then I started on the lace repeats and then the weaving simply became a wonderful process as I found the 'zone'. What also helped was my new ipod and I listened to music as I wove. The inches flew by!

What also helped was no floating selvedges to watch and no temple to shift. I used my end feed shuttle and the edges just took care of themselves. Over the days I wove off roughly 80 inches not including the borders and left warp of 16 inches for long fringes at either end. The warp length was only for the one shawl but somehow I had added a bit too much of 'something' as there was a lot of warp left. Too much for just samples and so I wove off a small tray cloth as well. A much welcome addition to the sale box. But to be truthful, it's so pretty I may just keep it for myself if I can find the perfect spot for it in the house.

I go the iPod Classic by using my Airmiles points. It will hold 30,000 songs when full in 120 gigs of space. That's larger than the computer I'm using right now! I also got a player/ radio docking station so I have more options and can recharge it faster. I might be a late comer to this technology but I'm glad I found it. I still recall the large bulky walkman's of the 80's and we thought we were so cutting edge then. Quite funny actually.... I'll be downloading Weavecast podcasts once I learn the ropes on how to do that. One of the main reasons for getting the player actually. Incidently it will hold pictures, entire e-books and videos... probably a movie too. Amazing.

So next post will show the shawl off loom and finishing techniques that I used. It feels good to be back and thanks for hanging in there!


Kelly said...

That lace is beautiful! Makes me think I really should consider weaving some curtains for some of our 42 windows. I'm glad you're back, I've missed your posts! I love my ipod, too. I have one that is really classic (had it since '03) and I love listening to music or audiobooks while I weave.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about how your method of twisting your fringes. Once you have all the pins in place and you start the twisting action, are you bending over or have you supported the high density styrofoam in a vertical position so that your ends are handing down and you are standing up?


Life Looms Large said...

Yay!! Now you're really back!! Happy, happy, joy, joy!!

The shawl looks great so far!! Glad you lead off with a weaving post!

Can I ask you a weaving question? With texsolv heddles, do you put them on straight or twisted? (I'm setting up texsolv heddles for the first time and assumed I'd just put them on the shafts straight - but one twisted and that made the eye face front and I wasn't sure then.)

I'll check back for the answer. Guests just arrived!!



bspinner said...

I love to weave huck lace. Looks so different once its off the loom and washed. I've never woven with tencel. Does it shrink when washed?

Theresa said...

Oh so good to see you back! Love the danish medallions. Beautiful work Susan.

Susan said...

Wow, looks like you all did miss me!

June, with regards to fringe twisting: I opt for comfort every time and sit. It can be at the dining room table, or across my knees as I watch TV or at the desk in my studio. The styrofoam board can be cut to what ever size you need. Watch for tension across the shoulder muscles as you work. Stop and shake them out. It seems to be serious business and you can tense up.

Sue: texsolv heddles normally put on in all one direction but they sare soft and twist so it doesn't really matter (unless looking at that one rebel heddles drives you nuts) Personally I'd turn it around but then I'm anal about such things :)

Barbara: Tencel doesn't really shrink or full/ fluff up so it must be sett closer than you would with other yarns. It does 'shift' and close up gaps (as you'll see in part 2 of the huck lace shawl ) This is one reason why a consistent beat is required as the streaks of a faulty beat will show when its held up to the light.
Hence my fussing over the sett for the lace. I have an article I wrote on weaving with tencel I could send if you give me your email address. All I ask is if you share it, please give me credit for being the author.

...who hopes it was saved and on the new hard drive.... off to check!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

The lace looks amazing!!! I'm so glad you are going to download weavecast! I just love listening to Syne talk about weaving and her interviews can also be very boot, she has a very soothing voice. :)

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for the heddle scoop! And yes, I will be turning that rogue heddle around!! (Mostly because I'm at least a wee bit nervous that I'll never actually get this loom to work.....even though I know it won't be because of how the heddles are attached!!)


Magic Stix said...

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go all the way to bottom of post

Peg in South Carolina said...

Oh, my newly died silk would look so gorgeous in that huck........... Temptation, be gone! Welcome back. It's wonderful to see your weaving again.