Where is my soul?

80041377_3133293756686321_470962688927727616_n

Spent Monday & Tuesday dyeing a new tencel warp to replace the rayon warp for the “Appalachian” project. The colors came out nicely. Spent Mon, Tues & Wed prepping the cotton Opphamta warp. I dressed the 12 yard warp on the sectional live weight beam on the Glimakra. The cotton was very dry and cuffed a lot. The entire warp was problematic. After beaming, I noticed the warp was stacked higher to one side of each segment. This meant that the tension would be off on the entire warp.

I had to unwind the entire warp (with lots of tangles) and re-wind onto the plain beam. It was an extremely annoying process and a few times I almost cut it off.

The last few projects have not faired well. Partly due to inattention and too much time between each process. It is difficult to take a breath, step away and resume with calm patience.

The warp finally was dressed on the plain beam. Now to set up the remaining parts of the shaft draw system.

Put the Saw Down!

It is the week before my marathon and once again, I am risking injury. Last year my French Press exploded a few days before my race and I found myself dealing with 2nd degree burns on my stomach which made pants “questionable”.

I started building an extension on the Glimakra so I can add the shaft draw system and add a second live tension warp beam.

The extension moves the back beam back approximately 10 inches. The sectional beam with drum & weight tension is mounted above the original warp beam, the back beam is steel pipe. The tension arm uses a heavy weight, cord and a spring for tension.

I also added a beater weight by supporting a steel bar which is mounted to the rear of the beater using plumbing strap. It makes a wonderful difference and will help with future wool rugs.

IMG_1507

I had to use threaded rods to attach the existing warp beam mount and new extension to the original frame. The rods need to be cut down or cut with bolt cutters. I did start to try to cut them down and realized one slip and my many months of marathon training could be at risk! They will have to wait till after Thanksgiving.

 

 

No Two Are Alike

The gorgeous tonal drawloom warp (ferns) was problematic and kept breaking. I decided to cut my losses and make a new warp using 20/2 tencel.

A number of newer weavers ask about preparing a warp. As long as you are maintaining a good cross, there is no need to worry about overlapping threads when winding. The cross will maintain the integrity of the warp.

IMG_8368

Once the warp is tied (cross, bouts, ends etc) it is ready for dyeing. Remember, bouts can be very tight but when preparing a warp chain for dyeing, the ties need to be loose to allow the dye to penetrate the warp.

IMG_7948

This warp is not as pretty as the prior rayon warp, but the heavier colors will be diluted by the weft.

 

Breathe…..

My gorgeous drawloom warp, hand dyed, multi color in Rayon is toast. The sett and weave is beautiful but there is just too much breakage. I think the Rayon will need to be weft.

As it took a while to set up (2 sets of harnesses) I will tie on a new warp to the existing. The single unit design takes so long (leaves & ferns) that having to repair broken ends is just adding to the problem.

I will probably replace the warp with a similarly hand dyed tencel warp.

Samples and Planning

Cross Country season is over which leaves me with a little more time to get back to weaving.

I currently have the single unit drawloom warp waiting and I set up the  Glimakra Sovereign (not the newer rug loom but an older Standard style with metal beams) with a simple rag rug warp.

IMG_1762This loom is set up with 4 shaft counterbalance with horses. I had no issues getting it balanced and it weaves well.

Once this is complete, I plan to sample some 3 end block weaves and then develop a shaft switching method for this loom.

 

Rugs & Inspiration

IMG_4160

I have wanted this book for sometime and finally found it for a reasonable price on Amazon. Although many of the drafts are fairly simple, there are many techniques and tips that I look forward to trying. I like the durability and colorful designs of these rag rugs, many woven on 4 shafts.

When Things Get Hairy

I recently acquired a volume of mohair and want to make a throw. Knowing that mohair can be a little sticky, I chose to make a sample. My initial thought was to use the AVL but I had a feeling I may spend more time combing the warp and unsticking sheds.

IMG_0737

I am using the Louet Jane which is perfect for sampling. The warp is sett at 10 epi and threaded in a 4 shaft straight draw. As I proceeded to weave, I realized the benefit of lifting one shaft at a time. For example, to make a plain weave I would lift shaft 1 and then shaft 3 so the warp separated one shaft at a time giving a clean shed. As you can below, if shafts 1 & 3 are lifted together, the shed is sticky. Lifting one shaft at a time allows the shed too clear.

Another trick is to leave the lease sticks separated, that way the warp and lease cross can be easily un-stuck.

IMG_9518

I am currently sampling plain, 2/2 twill and more sett at 10 epi. I will wash and brush a sample then re-sley to 8 epi and compare. It may be better to use the Glimakra with a direct tie-up for this wider project.

IMG_4304

Single Unit Drawloom

IMG_4325

I finally began my Mountain Trail scarves.  The warp is 20/2 rayon, hand dyed. The weft is 20/2 rayon and a very fine cashmere.  The theme is ferns and leaves of the trail so the motifs are quite pixelated, requiring careful single unit pulls.  The first few inches of weaving was very slow. It is a little tricky to capture the laciness of the ferns.

Initially the design did not appear to be pleasing, however upon completing the first leaf, I have to say it looks quite nice.

IMG_2569

Glimakra Counterbalance Pulleys/Horses

Glimakra Activ (older) with damask pulleys & horses

The Glimakra is warped with seine twine, sett at 6 epi (2 ends per heddle). I am experimenting adding some heft to Swedish rugs, using double seine twine and double 1.5 cm rags.

This loom has counterbalance – damask pulleys (up to 10 shafts – balanced) and double pulleys for more than 4.

heddle horses and elastics

As when using damask pulleys, I decided to use elastics to assist in keeping the shafts neutral. I have some buttonhole elastic which will work a little better than the hair elastics.

As you can see, the shed is excellent!

img_5611

I used threaded eye bolts and treadle rods for easier tie up.  The treadle ties have a ring which the treadle rod goes through.

img_7918

More Drawloom Prep

Now that the warp is threaded through both sets of shafts and tied onto the front beam, it is time to set up the vertical countermarch and the single draw unit.

The original coupers, when used with the draw device, need to be turned. The long portion gets reversed, which on my draw device, inhibits the path of the drawcords. I purchased shorter coupers which are usually used with the floating lamms. I am told this will make treadling a little heavier.

Below is an inside shot of the coupers which require 2 Texsolv cords per top and bottom (going to shafts, long lamms and weights). The second photo shows the weights attached to keep the shafts balanced.

The single unit uses colored drawcords which are also Texsolv. These are placed in groups of 10 white/brown for easy selection. At the front the cords go through a bar (the loop portion to hook to the hook bar), a reed and a pair of lease sticks. At the back I add a second pair of lease to keep the cords neat and tidy. Each cord gets a small clip which I attach to a single unit.

Below you can see the lease stick at the rear of the draw frame which keeps the drawcords neat and tidy.

It takes some time to set up. I have approximately 90 units to attach before I can check the shaft height and draw height and be ready to weave.