Monday, 27 April 2009

accidental tartan

Well, it's been a little while.

this is only a narrow warp really. have to do sums to figure out how many ends there are.

damn, i've forgotten long multiplication.

16 x 24 = 384 ends

i am a slave to the calculator on my phone. in much the same way i am a slave to my lighter. through intellectual and physical laziness

i'm using some of the stuff i got from those folks down south. i just thought to make stripes of blue and green seperated by fine lines of yellow, and i got this when i wove with even picks-to-ends

pretty chuffed i reckon. this is a good long warp though, and i really have very little of the blue left. maybe not even enough to make one full scarf length in this style. i'm not really sure if i have that much green either to be honest. the only of those colours i have a lot of is the yellow and using yellow as a dominant weft in this fabric would be a bloody awful idea i reckon. i probably have some other yarns that are "close enough" so never mind. this was never going to be a product-line development warp anyway. i'm just making stuff to sell at festivals, it doesn't need to be repeatable.

anyhow, i'll measure the ppi and epi properly when it's off the loom and fulled, but i reckon i might've accidentaly hit the right sett. with unrepeatable yarn i'll never see again. hey ho

Thursday, 23 April 2009

varied sett

i'm having a bit of fun, making samples for curtains. i figure it's nice for the sun to shine through, as these aren't insulation curtains, but decorative curtains.

the sett here is 8, 16 and 32 epi. the weave looks most even in the 16 epi sections, with the 32 epi sections having quite a steep diagonal twill line. the thing is, na dmany of you will no doubt have come across this, that if one gives it a firm beat, it tends to beat the whole weft right down to the fell, causing a waving fell, with the close-sett sections pushing themselves forward. quite a hideous effect in my opinion. so one needs to keep a very light beat, that only press the weft down the fell on the close sett without putting any pressure on the loose-sett sections. it's not easy is it? the changing of beat isn't particularly noticeable in 32 and 16 epi stripes, but in the middle it's very noticeable. with groups of weft threads bunching together, giving quite a variation. i don't think it's an unpleasant effect though, and combining slightly chaotic central sections with a consistent boundary fabric could be nice in the end. it's more interesting to look at. anyhow, i'll finish this square off, cut it off the loom and try a third setting. might get a fourth out of it, but i'm not sure. you can't really tell how this has come out till you hold it up to the window.

Monday, 20 April 2009


before i start . .

i've got internet at home! yay!

i finally bit the bullet and paid BT £122 to connect my line.

anyway, back to the point

this is related to the 100-scarf a week project.

yes! that's right! i have not given up! i am just slow as all funk!

so, yeaah. here's the thing. say each scarf is 1.25 metres long. then if i want to weave 100 scarves at 2 wide i need to make a warp, say 70 metres long. a little bit more maybe to be on the safe side.

as you can see, if i weave at 2 wide, then i can't really reasonably expect to make 100 scarves in a week. cos weaving the count of yarn i like to use at 1 metre an hour is reaonably hard work. and 70 hours reasonably hard work in a week quickly becomes extremely hard hard work.

so i need to weave 3 wide, which would leave me at about 40 metres or so. i need to do more sums. but that's about right. and that's doable. i reckon. but i don't have enough heddles. yet

anyway, that's another story.

the main thrust of this post is how i intend to make a long warp. this is how:


there's no other way really. my house is too little to sectionally warp in, and there's no way i'm spending any more money on warping equipment. so i have to do it outside. the great problem with doing this outside is that it's windy as anything up here and doing anything remotely delicate is a near impossiblity unless you have shelter, of which there is little as trees this far north are the exclusive preserve of toffs and plantation-farmers.

anyway, i live by the sea. which is nice, cos i like to swim. and i was walking on the beach, which is made of rocks, the other week, thinking away about how i was gonna warp outside using the natural environment as my warping frame, when i ran across an unusually shaped hunk of wood. having been so far bereft of inspiration i arbitrarily decided that this was a Sign (despite having been a confirmed Atheist since the age of 14, i am unable to rid myself of superstition) that i should sit about on the rocks and have a think.

And there i saw it: a sea barrier!

see, up here there's sea barriers in bits along the coast, which are basically wire boxes filled with rocks, which are all slabs up here, thing being the way they are. and these ones were arranged in three steps, each almost the height of a man. so i decided to have a look at these, and it occured to me that if i were to jame sticks in between the rocks, they'd stick out at 90 degrees and make a warping frame. and blow me down, there right on a rock right there was a small collection of sticks, of the kind they use to seperate planks at the builder's yard. you know, the kind that's really easy to break and nice and rectangular.

so i jammed them in, and lo and behold, a warping frame! made out of sticks shoved into a storm barrier.

so, just so you know and for my own self-motivation, i'm going to make a 30 metre warp (for experiment sake) 2 scarves wide (that's 900 ends) anbd weave it up and see how it comes out.

if i haven't posted the results within two weeks i whole-heartedly encourage you to pull me up about it, with the aid of capital letters, which as we all know is the internet equivalent of SHOUTING!

thanks for listening


Saturday, 18 April 2009

disruption, tidyness, and JC Rennies

so, i've suffered a great deal of disruption this month, what with fate snatching me away from my cosy bed and taking me to bolton via inverness, lanark and edinburgh. so i haven't actually got very much done in terms of physical productivity or sampling.

i did do a day lesson for joan the other saturday, which was nice, and she's now got the table loom i've been using for the last three years. it's a community loom like i say, so it's there for people to use. and i'm arranging for castletown heritage centre, which is trying to develop itself as a traditional crafts place, to take on my smaller (Dryad) floor loom. i have also arranged for me to be doing a knotted pile weaving class there in july. which isn't that far away, really. and no doubt the idle (with any luck) summer will just speed on by like a fast thing, say a train. or a car on the motorway.

anyway, i have spent the week tidying the house. i spent about half a day doing the dishes and the recycling, another day doing the front room and hallway, and i finally got the loom room sparkling last night, for the first time in months. the thing is i can't make and beam a warp properly when my brain's battered, and my brain's always battered when the house is a mess. which isn't a problem when i want to sit on my arse playing Monkey Island 2 (classic) and drinking beer. but, like i say, i can't do anything complicated while my brain's battered.

so anyhow, i spent the last of last night drinking crap cider and making a new warp. this be an experimental warp. see, my mum wan'ts curtains for the kitchen, and they have to be so wide, and i can't make them so wide with the normal way i'm used to doing, co i only have so many heddles, see, which i have moaned abouit before. so i'm doing this thing where i have bands of 32epi seperating larger spacings of 16 epi. this on a 8 dent reed. so with any luck this should make nice sorta gauzy effect for the sun to shine through. we'll see. the shame is that i can't create a truly checked pattern, because of the way it is, which i can't explain properly, but it makes sense in my head. anyway, this just a sample to see how it goes. and i'm running out of clean clothes cos i don't want to go to the laundrette till i've got some weaving to wash, and at this rate i'll need to do two loads.

ho hum

and i got shade cards from JC Rennies. but silly me i forgot to specify shade cards for weaving yarn (like, singles) so i got a bunch of knitting swatches. still, the colours are the same, so i'm going to go ahead and get some samples of their yarns and make up some sample scarves. i'm not sure if they do cotton, but if they do i might do some tea towels as well.

we'll see.

anyway,l that's that. i'm stranded in reay just now, supervising my brother to make sure he doesn't go on accidental hunger strike while my parents are on holiday, so i have every good reason for doing bugger all