Monday, October 17, 2011

Where did September go??

...oops....I guess I missed September.  I think I must have blinked twice, and it was gone.  I don't know how, when you think time can't possibly fly any faster, it manages to do so.  But it does, and it has, and here we are again.

I've not made a whole lot of progress over the past month; although I did complete a silk piece on the table loom.  I've loved working with this little loom since I bought it from John Low of Woolhouse Tools a couple of years ago.  I've loved working with it so much that I've committed to purchasing a countermarche loom from him as well.  Since I've only woven with jack looms (and this table loom), it is what I consider to be my first 'real' loom.  It will also be what I consider my 'life loom'...or all that I hope it to be for the rest of my days...and it is the Gertrude, which will have 16 harnesses, double back beam and the extension and harnesses for 51 drawloom pattern shafts.  I'm hoping to have enough paid on it to have it here at about the time that my second child, my daughter, leaves for college next fall.   ...did you catch the gasping sobs that follow the thought of my daughter leaving for college next fall?  Just how else can you combat that but with the distraction of putting together a monster of a loom?  That's my plan.  I'm sticking with it....

Sometimes, I have to pinch myself and give a good think to whether I've really got this in the works.  Susan Harvey (now would be the time to learn how to insert the link to her blog!!) is not only an amazing weaver, but a very kind woman, and sent me a gazillion photos of her Gertrude (Emmatrude) to admire until that day arrives that I get to tie up my own 640 texsolve cords.  If I can produce half the quality that Susan produces on her Woolhouse, I willl be a happy girl!

So until then, I still have plenty of work to accomplish with my Baby Wolf and this fabulous table loom.  This is the first time that I've actually put all 12 of the harnesses to work.  Because I enjoyed the process of weaving an 8H gebrochene a few months ago, I picked a 12 harness version from  I actually did a lot of UNweaving, along with the weaving; but it kind of matched a funk that I've been in, so not a big deal to go backward and forward like that. 

You can see one of the errors in the photo on the left....I have to admit that on one occasion, I unwove about 4 inches to get to an error like this, only to realize that there was yet another one about 3 inches prior to that.  So unweave I did, because I can't just cut silk and throw it away.  I had to adjust my process to take more time when moving the temple and using the drawdown rather than a handwritten progression to keep the pattern more in focus as I worked through the treadling.  That made the difference and avoided additional errors.

I love weaving with the table loom because it slows everything down to a place where the structure of the weaving is allowed to sink in on a practical, hands-on level.  John developed this wonderful gadget (called a 'Which One') that allows you to have a physical guide for each 'treadling' of your progression.  The white clips correspond to which harness needs to be raised, and each column aligns with the levers for the harnesses.  I'm not sure I would enjoy weaving on a table loom as much without this aid.  Rather than move the little bars as I progress (the peg in the middle of the bar allows you to lift it out of thte opening at the bottom of the tower and slip it back in at the top), I just label each and use them as a visual guide.  In many patterns, there are reversals that make the  moving of the bars more of a hassle than a help, so I find to just have the guide in front of me works quite well.

Another advantage of the table loom is the amount of waste that can be avoided, particularly with a fiber that is especially costly and painful to waste.  At $60-ish per half pound cone, I hate to waste silk.  This silk is 20/2, which I wanted to use to get acquainted with weaving with silk.  What a treat to work with, and I now look forward to moving on to the finer gauge.  I think the biggest challenge with moving on to a smaller grist is having enough more heddles may be in order before I can move on to 60/2 and finer.

This gebrochene is # 55861 in the library.  It was sett at 28 epi with 20/2 silk, woven at 28 ppi.  At 61 ends per pattern repeat, and 7 repeats, I ended up with a stole of about 15" width, woven to  72", excluding the 5" fringes on each end.  It was hemstitched at 12 ends per section, divided into and twisted as three four-end plys.  The center section was beaded prior to twisting; and I'm quite happy with the end result.

Next up on the Baby Wolf is a run of overshot runners.  I'm trying back-to-front warping for a change, so all sorts of adventure is happening with that.  I'll share photos for a 'later in October' post....

I thank you for visiting and sharing my weaving space with me!!  Happy and healthy weaving to you all!

...until next time.....