Wednesday, 20 May 2009

not quite alladins lamp

but that's what it makes me think of. the little bit at the top is supposed to be a candle flame or something, but it looks more like a little upside down cross.

it was going to be a boring experiment in circles, but then i got bored. then it was going to be a question mark containing the eye of horus. then i decided i couldn't be bothered thinking that hard. so there you go

this is 5epi, which gives me 2.5 knots per inch. the knots are slightly wider than they are tall. i think if i cram the warp a little bit more, say 8epi, then it might get close to square, which is my goal, so i can plan pictures on a square grid and work from that.

the red stuff is New Fez rug wool from texere. the brown and the white stuff are both berber rug wool from the same company. i'm interested in where it's sourced from (north africa maybe, being berber wool, bit obvious really). it's not the most consistent yarn i've ever used, but i like it nevertheless. it's rug yarn obviously, and apparently not that easy for them to get hold of.

i intend to use the axminster carpet yarn i've got leftover for my next pile project, where i'll probably be trying to get 5-10 knots per inch. i'm working towards finesse. i hope to be able to set any picture to a square grid and weave it without having to think, only referring to the graph. according to collingwood, if done this way, knotted pile can become a technicians task, rather than a full on artistic undertaking.

sourcing wool is once again proving a problem though. i need a healthy quantity of undyed medium weight yarn, but i don't know where to get it.

in other news, my friend showed me his new hammock the other day, and it's just a cotton sheet with a pole and ropes on either end. i could make those. piece of piss.

oh, and there's this. i think i deserve a prize for making those colours co-operate
that's actually a very poor representation of it. i'll take a better pic when it's off the loom and i can get it out of that darkened room it's in

anyway, knotted pile is fun, but do wear a dustmask


Anonymous said...

Your knotted pile weaving looks like fun. **Another** weaving tangent for me to investigate, sigh. Have you thought of buying raw fleece and washing and spinning it yourself for the yarn?

humblebumble said...

i've thought about it, and i know how to do it, but it's not going to happen.

i just don't have the time really. i do like to spin, but only for fun, and not very often. it doesn't make economic sense for me to handspin my wool unfortunately :(

Dorothy said...

I'm interested to know about the dust mask! I think I need a dust mask to weave cotton. It makes me sneeze and irritates my sinuses.

I've also had berber wool from Uppingham Yarns. Berber carpets are a 100% wool carpet and certainly were made in Britain. About 15 years back I worked for a software company that provided bespoke accounts systems and many of our customers were carpet weaving companies in the NW of England. I presume Texere buy up spare yarn from these same businesses. I don't know if the wool is spun in the UK.

You're weaving looks superb, but this is a long way from weaving enough scarves per week to make a profit. There are a handful of people in the UK who make a living from tapestry weaving.

I have to agree that spinning your own yarn does not make sense. Handspinning is very slow, in my experience, compared to the rate you can weave the yarn.

humblebumble said...

this is nothing to do with scarves, and nothing to do with efficiency projects.

if your cotton is making you sneeze, get a dust mask from your local hardware store. they cost almost nothing. you could probably use a bit of bedsheet as well.

i never have sneezing trouble, it's the feeling in my lungs rather. the feeling that says "you're gettin asthma boy, better stop whatever you're doing and get some fresh air"

the first time i got it there was something wrong with my hoover, i went out to the street to get some fresh air and ended up on my arse in an alley desperately struggling for breath. very unpleasant

i doubt greatly that this is english yarn. and i've never heard of anyone weaving carpets in england. it doesn't make any sense

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how any weaver makes money weaving -- it seems to me one would be lucky enough just to break even! As to washing and preparing raw fleece for spinning, it's definitely time-consuming -- if I didn't love spinning, I wouldn't do it!

Anonymous said...

Actually, not even break even -- I would be happy if I could just subsidise the fibre habit!

humblebumble said...

well, i'm not weaving the way i want to in the long term.

i'm on benefits. i'm not apologising, there's nothing wrong with it. the queen's on benefits, and she's not apologising for it.

in the long term i'll be part of a co-operative worker's association operating a number of automatic looms and a sewing room, with handlooms being used for sampling and short runs, which larger companies can't economically take on.

but that is an entire other story, and one that i'd be better off discussing with my friends in the socialist party.

as far as spinning wool goes. do it, it's fun. it feels good, on the tips of your fingers, and if it makes you happy, it's worth doing.

i have an ashford joy, and it brings me joy. but no money.

there's more to life than money. there's the sunshine, the trees and all the other humans, dogs, cats and nature. let the economy go hang. we'll be alright. there's millions of people all over the world existing daily on less than we spend on this internet thing (which we don't need), so never mind.

humblebumble said...

oh, and one other thing

time is NOT money

Trapunto said...

I love your description of your design process. It seems to do just the trick, because the weaving looks fantastic.