Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Winter has been busy! I've begun a new weaving project which will end up being yardage for a garment to be entered in this garment contest at Handwoven magazine. Whew... I'm worn out just writing about it. Considering I started working on this before Thanksgiving, it's taking longer than usual, although Christmas kind of got in the way of working on it.

I wanted to share some of the things I'm doing differently with this project to help it go more smoothly than the tartan did. First of all I got myself a lamp to clip on the loom, as you can see in the picture. Don't underestimate the importance of lighting!

This is a shot of the main cloth, it's one of the treadling patterns from a German Bird's Eye (in Marguerite Davison's book). The warp is this bold royal blue (the closest thing I could find to what I wanted--still not happy) in 8/2 tencel. The weft is a medium cardboard brown--the only brown tencel I could find anywhere! My original color ideas were completely different and I'm still not completely satisfied with this combination... but I didn't want to bore you with my 3 month thought process on colors. Do you ever have difficulty picking color combinations? Do you have trouble finding the color, that elusive perfect shade that does not exist? I do.

One thing that I learned from weaving the tartan cloth was making sturdy selvedges to prevent warp threads from breaking. Here you can see this green 5/2 perle cotton on my selvedge. I put a good 1/2 inch of it doubled up so there is no chance of the tencel being rubbed and snapped. With a 30 inch wide warp, this is essential since it will be drawing in to around 27 inches.

The other plan for this project is that I will be able to tie on to the warp threads again after I cut off the fabric. Basically that means I won't have to take each thread and put it through the reed and the heddles again, I'll just have to tie a new thread on to the old ones. Another reason why I chose the German Bird's Eye pattern--it has 5 different treadling patterns. In the picture above you can see what you get when you do the plain weave treadling. It's sort of a plain weave with a group of 3 every 1/2 inch or so.
More on this soon!


Anonymous said...

Thought I'd check back and here you are! I have never thought about the edge of fabric being that important, just thought of it as something to cut off. Your projects are always fascinating!

Ellen said...

I love the pattern of the weave with the colours. And yes, I can spend a lot of time choosing colours that are just right. Weaving large pieces of cloth is a big commitment, you should pick colours and materials you love. I think three months to choose is perfectly reasonable!