Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: September 2010 Page 1 of 2

Weaving Puzzle

I was at a weaving study group last week when talk turned to double weave. I had seen some lovely scarves at the CNCH Boutique that was woven as 2 separate layers with occasional blocks where the 2 layers interacted to lock together. I think I’ve figured out what I need to do to make this work.

But Gudrun posed another double weave scenario and challenged me to create a draft for it for next month’s meeting. So what’s the puzzle? It is double cloth but the weft intersects at the center. So while weaving, you will have 2 open layers of cloth on each side, but the center is enclosed. And it’s woven with a single shuttle — a continuous weft weaves through all the layers.  If you were to take a cross section of the woven piece, it will look like an “X”.

Left: Top View; Right: Bottom View

And here’s what the cross section looks like.

Not great pictures, I know, but I only wound a 1 yard warp to test out my draft. These are really really tiny samples. And yes, I screwed up with sett. I didn’t double my thread count for the double cloth, so this is a weft faced weave and obscured the warp colors. But the point is made.

In case you are curious, here’s the draft. It requires 8 shafts and 4 treadles. Sorry, no WIF file since I only have the demo version of PixeLoom. And second apology for not using the same color order as I did in my sample.

So, how does this work?

Treadle 1: You are weaving the first part of the tabby for the bottom right layer (blue) and the top left layer (green)

Treadle 2: You are now returning on the second part of the tabby of the top left layer (green) and starting the first part of the tabby for the top right layer (red)

Treadle 3: 2nd part of the top right layer (red) and 1st part of the bottom left layer (yellow)

Treadle 4: 2nd part of the bottom left layer (yellow) and 2nd part of the bottom right layer (blue) that you started on Treadle 1.

Still confused? Perhaps this diagram of the shuttle path might help.

Shuttle Path

Of course, after I finished testing out my sample, I found a Double Weave Workshop (pdf) by Winifred Tonkin over at Glenna Harris Guild website. See exercise J. She provides instructions on how to weave this on 4 shafts. it’s a bit fiddly since you weave all 4 sections separately (top right, bottom right, top left, bottom left).

Note: Pardon me if I don’t have all the terminology correct. Please let me know how do describe this more correctly. I really do want to know.

Turkish Spindles

For the most part, when it comes to drop spindles, I prefer top whorl ones. For bottom whorls, I prefer supported, not drop spindles. But for some reason, I have a weakness for Turkish Spindles.

I came across my first Turkish spindle at Sherpherd’s Extravaganza. Kurt Ocker made these spindles for his sister, Kat Dobroth.  Kurt was so passionate about his woodworking and the spindles were gorgeous. I started to collect these little babies.At each Shepherd’s Extravaganza or Black Sheep Gathering, he would seek me out and show me the latest woods he used. His enthusiasm was contagious. Next thing I know, I have a small stable of these lovelies. Unfortunately, they no longer make the rounds of the shows and their spindles are no longer available.

But then, I found Jenkin’s Turkish Spindles. They look very similar. There is just a wee bit difference in the way the notch is cut on the tops of the spindles. Otherwise, they are identical, and they both love their exotic woods. Now, my stable is a mishmash from both woodworkers.

L-R: Standard, Delight, Lark, and Kuchulu (as named by Jenkins)

Here is a picture of a representative sample of the different sizes I own. The standard sized one on the left is actually one of the first Turkish spindles I purchased, and it’s crafted by Kurt. Believe it or not, the Delight is actually much lighter than the Lark, due to the wood.

Here’s a close up of the Standard and the Lark. Would you believe that they are both Pink Ivory? The Standard, while it has not been in the sun, has aged somewhat on the mantel over the course of the past 6-8 years or so. The Lark was purchased this past August so the wood hasn’t darkened yet.

I just have to say, these are a blast to spin and are the perfect traveling companion. Why? I can just stuff these in the bag with a bit of wool and not have to worry about damaging the hook on a top whorl spindle.

Want to see one in action?

Iris spinning on the Lark while we were waiting for our meal in La Push, WA.

Edited to Add: There’s a little write up on Kat and Kurt here. It’s in the last segment.

Skip Dent Alpaca Scarves

I wove a couple more skip dent scarves last week. They are the same structure as this one. I used Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace this time (sett at 20 epi). Yum! The first one is a 10″x76″. This was my sampler to make sure that I had the sett and beat correct. The second one was 19″x76″. This was woven as a present for a friend’s daughter who turned 19 last weekend.

Look at the difference a bath makes to the fabric. Top: hot bath in the sink followed by a light tumble in the dryer, followed by a pressing. Bottom: straight off the loom. The yarn around the space moved in and the bloom of the alpaca helped make this a much more stable fabric. The yarn also had quite a bit of spinning oil in it, which came off in the wash. The resulting fabric is light and airy, just as I wanted it to be. The larger size is perfect for the Seattle chill, where Lisa goes to school.

Sorry for the out of focus shot, but I just love how the pattern appears to undulate due to the spacing.

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