Saturday, 26 January 2013

Chain Warping

I made a mistake in this rug warp. I only warped half as many ends as I meant to.


Nevertheless, the principle is the same. I need to take this off the stakes and keep it in good order while I transport it home and put it on my own loom at home. In addition, I shan't be stretching this warp, but instead beaming it through a raddle, so I need to keep it in good order also while it's being beamed.

For this reason I have tied the warp in six places to keep it nice and tight. Then take the whole thing off and it's quite happy to be thrown into a bag and taken home.

Damn shame there's half as many ends as needed. Never mind, I'll have to finish off on Monday

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Warping Gala Style

I feel like I should do a funny dance.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the method of stake warping that is traditionally popular in industry and the college here in Scotland is far from universal, though I think it's probably the best and simplest. I hear lots of talks in various lists and forums about warping up one or two threads at a time, or warping up without having a 1/1 cross throughout, or warping up using a paddle with holes drilled through it and all sorts of odd stuff like that.

We don't do any of that. We use a 1/1 cross all the way through the warp as otherwise we feel there's no way of making sure that every thread is exactly where it's supposed to be. And we don't use paddles or anything like that, and we can warp up with as many threads as the yarn stand can take.

So, we have the yarn coming from the yarn stand on two levels. Every even end goes on the bottom and every odd end goes on top.

You make the cross to go onto the cross sticks by picking up with your hand. You get all the threads and tie them in a knot then put this knot over the first stake. The ends should be reasonably taught by now. Then put your right hand between the two levels of yarns, then using your thumb pick up from the top, then the bottom and then repeat until you have all the ends in a cross going over the joint of your thumb. Then move your hand up towards the cross sticks with your palm facing upwards and your thumb to the left. Put the left hand side of the cross on the left most stick, then the right hand side on the right. Go down to the bottom and back up and repeat when you get back up to the top, but back to front. Difficult to explain.

Here is a wee video. I should also point out that I am making this warp in three sections as it's too big to put on all at once.

Is this helpful? Could it do with being higher resolution and having a better view of my hands? Any and all comments are greatly appreciated. Would you like me to do more of these videos?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bouncing Cloth


There's the whole thing, which I was talking about the other day. It's amazing how cooperative the 2/60's cotton was.

I only had one broken end in the whole warp aside from the right hand selvedge threads, which are always doing that, because that's what right-hand selvedge threads do, isn't it?

Like I say, I was checking to look at how different spacings and distributions of the elastic yarn.

So, this is a view of the same wee sample bit, to give you an idea of the effect of this yarn. The yarn doesn't come into it's own until it hits water. What do you think? I like it. I believe there's a video her somewhere as well. I uploaded it to youtube, maybe I can link to it from here, let's see

There you go. Interesting isn't it? And if you listen carefully you can hear my dog getting told how lovely she is in the background. That's what happens when your boiler is broken so you have to go to a friend's flat to use her hot water.

Big up to Roz and Vicky for letting me use their hot water as it goes. Whoop Whoop

Friday, 18 January 2013

Normal Service To Resume Shortly

Happy New Year Y'all!

So I've been back at college for, oooooh, what, two weeks now, and things are going just fine.

I have been doing lots of visual research and development and I have also in dribs and drabs been dressing the loom with an 1800 end warp of cotton, worsted and wool/lycra mix.

The wool/lycra mix is the star of the show. This is a core spun lycra wrapped with 97%worsted wool. The brilliant thing about this stuff, in contrast to other elastic yarns I've used is that at the lycra is held at extension in the normal tension of the worsted yarn. This means it's reasonably easy to weave with, as it basically behaves like a normal worsted yarn when it's under tension, which is FANTASTIC.

The really interesting thing as well of course, is that the lycra doesn't properly relax until it's been washed in a relaxed state, at which point it obeys it's true desires and pulls itself right in all scrunchy like.

The idea is I'm making cloth with a bit of boing in it. I have a number of complicated ideas (well, one) but at the moment I'm simply making a single cloth in 2/2 twill, with 4 warps and 6 wefts, to make 24 samples in all, which I will then finish to varying degrees to observe the effect.

One of the big ideas I'm thinking about is weaving a double cloth with centre stitching, where I use the elastic yarn as the centre stitching and then whatever I please as the front and back faces. I can have interchanging as I desire to create colour pattern, and then I can use centre stitching in certain areas to create textural pattern effects. I also have the option of using elastic in the weft as well as the warp, or just one or the other. It's all rather interesting.

I've never made a centre-stitched double cloth before and I'm kinda looking forward to it. I really hope I can get some of this stuff woven on Jacquard because I'd really love to do all big patterning and that, but we'll see, it might not be possible.

Also, I shall be Making My Own Yarns. Not from scratch, but from other yarns, I want to try using big chunky textured and irregular yarns, so I'm getting a postgrad student (big up Stephanie!) to walk me through the yarn-twisting machines. She's already shown me how to use the straight (Boyd) twister, and I'm hoping next month we'll be able to figure out the fancy twister which is capable of creating all sorts of interesting and creative effects by twisting different yarns together at different rates.

It's all very exciting, and I promise to blog everything I do, complete with full-recipes and pictures of funky yarn and so on.

Go 2013!