Oops, I made denim!

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In the beginning, my intention was to try a waffle weave fabric. However, after visiting my guild and borrowing the book, “The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory” by Anne Dixon, my plans changed. I had already wound an 8/2 cotton warp but had not yet dressed the loom. I mentioned my waffle plan to a guild member, she mentioned that it had a lot of shrinkage after taking it off the loom. Because I’m terrified of running out of thread, I had only warped for a 16″ wide fabric, what would it be if it shrank after taking it off the loom?  I decided to thread a simple twill and try some new techniques, specifically beating on an open shed, changing the shed then beating again, improving my selvedges and trying out the Anne Dixon selvage method. I also played with different weights of thread and treading.

When I realized I was weaving denim fabric, I decided to put in a few lines of gold stitching. Below are the results, please forgive the wrinkles.

This fabric is destined to be zippy pouches as it’s only 13″ wide, I lost 3″ from pull-in. The next cotton or tencel warp needs to be at least 20″ wide.

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The Results of Neglect

Yesterday I received an antique loom from my friend, Mo. She got it from a weaving teacher who had still be using it.  It’s a little 24″ Leclerc Mira, which isn’t manufactured anymore. She is in very bad shape, the wood is dry and cracking in places and all the metal parts are covered in rust.

Mo mentioned several times that you can remove rust with vinegar, I had no idea, I thought CLR was the only thing you could use. However, you can’t use CLR on galvanized steel.

Yesterday I took all the shafts apart, removed the break and most of the screws, all of which were rusted, and placed them in the sink with Alan’s extra strong cleaning vinegar. This morning I started scrubbing with steel wool. The results are amazing!

For the wood, I mixed equal parts mayonnaise, lemon oil and olive oil and massaged that in, getting it into all the cracks.

I’m not going to sand out the marks and dents, I like the character and they don’t affect the way the loom works. I may clean everything with Murphy’s oil soap then use Tung oil, which will keep this old girl working for many more years.

On my Leclerc Fanny, I’m working on a deflected double weave piece. The grey threads are on one layer and the white threads are on a separate layer. The thread floats are what hold the piece together once off the loom. This is my prequel to double weave, double wide.

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The magic to deflected double weave is supposed to come when taken off the loom, the squares become circles. We’ll see!

Trying New Things

I’ve been trying new weaving patterns and experiments lately. There are an infinite number of patterns to try and the list just keeps growing and growing.

The first was a spaced and crammed point twill pattern using hand spun yarn, a light turquoise warp and orange/yellow/red weft.

 

 

I think I’ll make it into a cowl, it’s very soft.

The next technique I tried was spacing the warp out. I used a fine commercial tartan yarn at 30 threads per inch, then a 1″ gap and another 30 threads, etc… I was really pleased with the results.

Lastly, I tried Huck lace for a table runner in 8/2 cotton at 16 threads per inch. My test was in grey then the final in gold, for a client.

I’m currently warping another 16/2, 30 threads per inch project, this time deflected double weave where you have 2 or more separate layers (depending on the number of shafts on your loom) intertwined.

Weaving has an infinite number of possibilities and never gets boring!

Chanel Update and a lot More Weaving

After ogling all the gorgeous Chanel fabrics (from Maison Lesage) on Pinterest, I thoughtfully created my warp and chose beads, buttons, silk ribbons, cotton lace and hand spun wool yarn for the weft, it took me almost a week to weave this mixed media scarf (modeled by my good friend, SewTara).  I have another warp waiting it’s turn.

Swinging in the completely opposite direction, I chose to weave a classic pattern, herringbone, with hits of contrasting colour.

This is a lighter, spring scarf from 100% cotton.

Needing some vibrancy, I warped the loom yet again with bright gem tone hand spun wool yarns.

Bright Multi FullBright Multi

I barely got it off the loom and it sold immediately when posted on Facebook!

Currently on my loom is more herringbone. The yarn was spun from Canadian Shetland (black), Est de Laine & Polypay (white). My plan is to  felt the fabric and make a bag, I have 3 yards warped so lots of fabric for straps as well.

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Chanel Tweed

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I grabbed a bunch of hand spun yarns, warped the loom and just wove. The result was this scarf which is reminiscent of Chanel’s 1950’s era wool woven suits.

I absolutely love the seemingly randomness of the weaving though I’m sure it was carefully planned out.

 

Chanel Suite CU

The above suit is from the 90’s, the one below left is from the 50’s and the one on the right is from 2015.

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What kind of weaver am I?

They say there are three kinds of weavers; pattern, colour and both.

I think I’m a colour weaver. I recently planned another place mat project in natural white and blue cotton threads. I planned it, warped it then started weaving. I had two threading errors so lost a lot of warp fixing it.

I quickly grew bored of the same colours and pattern and lost my place in treadling. I’ve discovered that I’m much more excited by colour, and lots of it! I mean I guess I already knew that but it really hit me with this project. I derive so much joy from weaving my hand dyed, hand spun, multi-coloured scarves. I love taking them off the loom and giving them a big squishy hug!

My next weaving project may be a throw using whatever handspun I have in my stash regardless of colour or texture and just plain weave, which I also love.