Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nose to the Grindstone

So, time for a studio check. I have been weaving most days.... and normally all afternoon. I have pulled a new a warp for the Spring today and it's ready to go on the minute the current towel warp comes off. (More on that warp another time.)

To refresh, the project underway on the loom is 2/16's cotton, sett 36 epi and threaded in the 8 shaft pattern 'breaks and recesses'. The threading is a straight draw and the treadling, a run from 1 to 8. All the pattern is in the tie up. The cloth is fully reversible and from my past experiences, makes great towels! I would say that unless you used really fine yarns, I can't see how this would be useful for clothing unless it was for a jacket. It would make good upholstery as there are no long floats. This weaves up chunky in yarns 2/8 and larger. I can't see how this would drape very well. Why is that? Let's take a closer look:

In this close-up you can see that the pattern forms little boxes. Clear breaks of plain weave horizontally and a line in the pattern vertically. This tucks all threads neatly together in a tight grouping. This will be more evident off tension, off the loom and better still after washing. Those little 'pillows' are dynamite for absorbing water!

Last time I wove this up, I used 2/8 cotton, sett at 24 epi and they are great towels. But my friend Gudrun uses 2/16's and I love those skinnier kitchen towels she wove. So, on went this 11 yard warp. This was much different weaving as the finer weft takes much longer to weave up. It took 4 repeats to an inch and times that by 34 inches (length of towel before hems) and you have 136 repeats to a towel. So I loaded up some podcasts and just went on 'auto-pilot'. Now I have ten towels and a swatch of samples. I serged them apart today and neatly stacked the towels for hemming. Then, started into beaming the next warp! The Louet Spring makes this a nice task with the clear steps to the process. :)
Here are some variations of plain white weft, or white weft with striped borders:

Blogger turned the image (again) and there's no fighting, or correcting it! So turn your head and you have the right view. The weft is the black mercerised 2/16's cotton. I wanted something to co-ordinate the kitchen appliances and black ceramic smooth top of my stove. Yes, I get to actually keep one or two for me. ( Usually the seconds!) The majority of the towels are in whites, or the main colours and fresh, crisp and clean looking. I'll show you the towels when they are hemmed and washed at a later time.

One other variation I did try was to use an approx 2/8 size boucle weft. It sure wove up faster and will make a thicker, thirsty towel:

Once again, turn head! ....geesh....

On the Woolhouse CM "Emmatrude" I have woven 3 or 4 placemats but the most effort has been on the towels. Weaving on this loom seemed to irritate my lower back so a day after gardening, I would weave on the Spring and avoid this one. I don't not want to be laid up with a bad back again like last year! Anyhoo.... I will be giving it much more attention now the towels are done.

The Louet Jane table (or Cricket as I call it) still languishes with the red bamboo huck lace. It's going to the guild meeting this coming Tuesday to be part of a demo on this new model loom for the guild members. I hope it will see some action that day! For later at home, I foresee a nice sunny day with me sitting just outside the studio on the deck and weaving away on the lace. Well , that's the plan.....

More news:
I sold a scarf yesterday. This one in fact ( tencel with silk/ cashmere blend weft)

......and three towels are reserved! Remember this pattern? It's this colour.. (exercise time! turn head :)

Also the client is coming back to look at the fresh towels just off the loom and I'll hem their choice first. So Lynnette, your prediction came true! You never get to see them as they sell right away! Seems I will have to do another warp of kitchen towels again *real* soon. Oh, and guest towels as well.... Darn!


Life Looms Large said...

Great that you've been weaving so much!!! The towels look cool - I really like that pattern!

Here's hoping that your back continues to behave!!! Pain is no fun!

Wow - it's great that so much of your stuff is selling while it's hot off the loom!!

Weave on!

barbara said...

Susan, I marvel at the amount of work you put into finishing a scarf / shawl. You are making heirlooms that need to be handed down from generation to generation. It is so inspiring to see your woven work.
It's also great that it is selling almost right off the loom, a nice feeling!!!! Weaverly yours .....

bspinner said...

I am so impressed with all the weaving you've gotten done.

The towels are beautiful!!! I love the color and pattern. Works so well together.

Congratulations on sell your lovely scarf and towels hot off the loom.

Lynnette said...

You really have been working hard, thumbs up! I'm glad that you are taking plenty of pictures because at the rate things are leaving the war chest, this may be my only glimpse of them!

The breaks and recess tea towels are real winners....great colours too!

And I've got to say, I'm liking the new masthead and overall look of your blog, it really makes dropping in very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Your work is absolutely stunning. I love the towels.

Anonymous said...

Just stunning. I love the towels!

i posted this once before but the comment just disappeared!