Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flowers and Lace

So let's resume with our newly beamed warp. I laced onto the front beam and slid my lease sticks to the back beam. They are there just in case something needs 'fixing'. If all is well, I pull them out.

I had threaded, and sleyed the 2/8 cotton to 20 epi. This sett is the one normally recommended for this grist of cotton and plain weave/ lace. Using a ten dent reed, I sleyed where the flowers are to be at 2 per dent (or 20 epi) but there is special denting required for the mock leno. Sley the three ends together, leave an empty dent and continue.

After weaving a header of scrap yarn, this is the end result when I wove some test inches:

It was far too open and stringy looking. I checked the cone I took the warp from and it's Earth Guild 8/2 cotton, 3200 yd/ lb. There's the problem right there! Canadian 2/8 cotton ( we switch the numbers around but it means the same) is visibly thicker. So I had to resley the entire warp again but this time I used a 12 dent reed. Two ends per dent for the flowers and the required 3 and empty dent for the mock leno. It tightened everything up a bit. But not too much as this is meant to be a light and lacey piece.

Now I always try to brighten up pictures I post here so they are very clear, but this means the 'flower' floats are not really visible. Here's a darker image so you can make them out. (sure hope this works!)

The back of the cloth is a perfect reverse of the front. The flowers are actually more obvious on the back, but you' won't see that side of them when until the warp comes off the loom.

The plan for this warp is two runners at roughly 48 inches long including hems, plus one smaller side table cloth at 27 inches including hems. There is also some allowance for samples for sharing. I have woven 2.5 inches in plain weave for the first hem, then hemstitched. Placed a thick spacer and then hemstitched the opposite side and now weaving alternate bands of leno and then flowers. I'm using a temple to minimize draw in and it's coming along nicely.

But in the mean time I have to go ride my other vehicle. There's a overgrown lawn here somewhere with my name on it. Notice: the tractor gets the carport and the mini van doesn't.


Anonymous said...

Your lace is lovely. It feels like the thing to weave in summer.

What you say about the yarn interesting to me as I have been looking at the Earth Guild cotton and thinking of getting some. Would you say it is thinner because it is "harder" than regular 8/2? Or are they actually fudging on the weight?

Susan said...

It actually looked like 2/10 to me and the label inside says 2/8 and 3200 yd/lb. I guess I should get my McMorran balance out and double check it. (2/10 has 4200 yd/lb) I would say that this isn't as tighly twisted as Canadian spun 2/8 but is serving well as warp.
Perhaps it's something to do with the mercerization process?

I must agree with you that lace is a real summer time weave. I have the doors and windows open and there is the sound of song birds outside (and my neighbour's annoying dog :) )

Louisa said...

I've had the same trouble with these types of cotton yarns as you have. There is quite a difference in the twist which affects the sett and beat. None of these yarns are mercerized. In the tea towels that I recently wove, the warp was the tightly twisted kind and the natural and multi-coloured wefts were the softly twisted ones. The burgundy and yellow towels had the usual firmly twisted cotton that is available here in Canada. Of course I have no labels on these refugees from my stash to tell what manufacturers they come from!

Susan, do share the source of your lovely lace weaving pattern!

bspinner said...

Your lace pattern is beautiful. Yarns: Differnt manufacture - differnt country still puzzles me.

Susan said...

I have this pattern as a rough drawing, via a friend in the Shuswap. She was weaving it up on a demo loom at the IPE (big country fall fair). I wove it for a spell and fell in love with it. In my mind I already was changing things: yarns,& sett etc. I drew it out on some scrap paper and tucked it away. Now that it's on my loom and being woven (finally after many years of aging in the 'to-do' pile) I have discovered from another friend that it's actually in an old Handwoven but not an issue that I personally own. I have made changes so it's been modified... plus the runners and small side table cloth will stay in my home.
Hubby is tired of everything I make being sold!

:) Susan

Louisa said...

Well, it's lovely, Susan! I think you should submit it to Handwoven when an appropriate theme comes up. Doesn't matter if they've had something similar before. Do you happen to know which issue it was because I'm betting I have it!


Very beautiful, I love the open work.

Anonymous said...


I just arrived home from a two week vacation in a very hot and muggy state! Your lace looks so crisp and cool -- ahhhhh *sigh*. Lovely! Makes me want to sit with an iced glass of tea or mint julep.

Your re-sett version is much better for sure. It's always worth it, I agree, to take the time to fix something rather than weaving up something with which you're not going to be satisfied.