Sunday, November 16, 2008

This 'n That

Its been a busy weekend around here. I have worked in the studio all weekend as we plan to take Monday off and go shopping.
I got busy with threading the 10/2 tencel warp which consist of 246 ends over 12 shafts and will be sleyed 30 epi. ( 2 per dent in a 15 dent reed). I'm using a 23" shorty reed as these are to be narrow 8" scarves. Skinny dents and a black warp.... and quickly fading daylight. These old eyes simply can't be trusted! So I got out my new toy that I bought at Woolhouse Tools in September when we were in the Okanagan.

Right at this minute, I can't recall it's proper name ( or who makes it) but I'm calling it the auto reed hook. Slip it into one dent *ahead* of where you want to start and push forward till it 'clicks' then slip the yarn ends over the bottom hook and pull back through the reed. The ends simply drop off and the tool moves forward into the next dent as if by magic. Honest. I never took the hook out the entire time and every dent was filled!

Now what it doesn't do is ensure that you have two and not three ends in your hand and later when I had to unlace the warp the bouts again for the second time, it didn't help me with the crossed ends behind the reed. Geesh. I haven't done that in very long time. In my defence, it is a black warp.... and its tightly sleyed. That's my story.

The draft for this project is in the last post and I'm starting to realize how ambitious it is. 12 shafts and 12 treadles... okay. But the treadling plan is 'tromp as writ'. Take a look at that draft again. There are 83 ends to the main pattern, with an additional 39 for the centre bit. Okay, no phone calls and no talking to anyone. If someone comes in, their hair better be on fire! These are my cheat sheets for treadling. There are another two for the start and finish of the scarves as well.The pattern does runs in threes, but *backwards* and the odd one or two thrown in for added confusion. It means you are glancing at the treadles to see where to place your feet all the time. So for the first time ever owning this loom, I placed large number stickers on the treadles to increase my success rate. I normally can keep them worked out by simply placing a thick rubber band ( like you get on broccoli) on the mid point. My foot feels that and knows where it is in the scheme of things.

I must admit the pattern is stunning and the scarf is going to look wonderful. Here's a sideways shot of the early portion. Blogger has turned my picture sideways for some reason. The hemstitching is done every 4 ends and I plan to twist the fringes every eight. It will be a fine fringe and be a bit more 'lady like'. I may add beads if there are any in my bead stash that will be just right. We'll see about that later... much later.
There's a lot of shine with the tencel and I'll try to get another shot to show you.

On Lilibet, the heart pattern towels are coming along. I'm on number four now and using a muted purple. The pattern doesn't jump at you quite as much as with the bright blue but really nice just the same. I must agree with Lynnette about the cloth beam filling up quickly and it does look like ten yards will be the limit using yarns this size. Never thought to ask about a thing like that when we were buying the looms. Fortunately for me, I get bored quickly and so ten yards should be plenty.

On my other loom, I have a sectional and so not dealing with sticks or paper. Just some sticks to help ease the bumps on the cloth beam for a turn. Having paper unrolling at the back is annoying as the treadles bump and hit it. So I hit upon a solution to the rustling paper. Two mini bull dog clips from my hubby's office supplies.

I'm going back there to unroll floating selvages anyhow......

So my mind is starting to turn to what's next after the towels are done. I'd like to try some spider weave or cannelle. I'll play with some drafts and get back to you....


Lynnette said...

I do look forward to each and every post you do, always worth reading. It really makes me want to weave along with you. The auto reed hook looks like a great tool and one I just may have to add to my collection too. Can't wait to see how your new scarf project turns out, it should be spectacular.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Oh my word, Susan, that is going to be just absolutely gorgeous! Worth every drop of agony you are going through! The term for the tool is auto-denter. Between the black warp, the complex threading and using a new tool, I'm surprised that you have had as few problems as you have had! Courage! It's going to be wonderful!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I can't wait to see the new scarves and your towels look beautiful;)

Anonymous said...

That reed hook is one of my favorite tools. I have vision issues, and that hook has allowed me to get back into weaving. :) It took some time to figure it out, but now that I can, there's no stopping me.

Susan said...

Thank you for all your nice comments!
The auto denter was fun to use and I could see that I was picking up speed as I went along. It won't take too many warps and it will be all I use.

Anonymous said...

the scarf looks great!
one question about the cloth beam--can't you just cut off finished scarves (since you've hemstitched them) if you want longer warps? or is that something you can't do with a countermarche loom? (i am always running late, so i have a bad habit of cutting things off when i need them!)

Susan said...

Hi Patti,
The towel warp will *just* fit on the cloth beam so I don't have plans to cut it off. If I needed to, it is possible. Its just that you lose so much of the warp when you do that and this increases the cost of making the other ones. For example, I recently put on a warp to make 12 guest towels. I ran out of time due to a deadline and so cut off 8 and tied back on. I only got 2 more towels and some samples.
Yarn is expensive....and sometimes I use silks and other exotic blends and I wouldn't want to cut off early with those!
It's a weaver's choice :)

Thanks for writing!

skiingweaver said...

Wow, Susan, I am hugely impressed, can't wait to see the scarves! And I love that new toy/reed hook, how cool...

Bruce said...

Wow!! Susan, your blog is growing into a work of art(no pun intended, but...). You are a very talented weaver and your writing style enables readers to follow and learn from you.

Your skills with photography are a great asset in presenting your work to all of us. I get to see your work on the loom only after you've stepped away from it as even Connor, our terrier knows better than to disturb you while the beater bar is in motion, but the photos actually let me get up close and personal with it.

I'm impressed!!