Thinking In/Out of the Box – Creativity

The rep towels are coming along, slowly.

Onto a different color way. The rep edge makes weaving a little slower as there is a floating selvedge and the shed has to be switched and beaten twice to clear the rep threads.

I realized I have been in a creative bubble, or void. I decided to indulge in a subscription to Sketchbox to get my creative flow back. Each box has a theme and comes with a variety of tools from ink, pastels, pencils, watercolors and more. It seems like a manageable way of trying different media without being too overwhelmed.

I’ve been a little more adventurous in my activities lately. I tried gravel biking which felt pretty extreme on a road bike. I was told that the course was fairly aggressive for a first timer.

Today I rode my mountain bike on a trail that wasn’t too technical but had some big berms and switchbacks. I was fairly conservative but it was fun!

I’m planning a dyed warp for the Drawloom so I can get a variety of projects done.

The boys are optimistically planning college apartment and dorm supply shopping. I suppose we will all have to just take a wait and see approach.

Year 7 of the year 2020 – day?

Really? So I have been exhausted, I have been having some cognitive issues and things have just not been tick ticking along smoothly. Today I noticed my very full bottle of thyroid meds was due to expire. I called the pharmacy and we did some date figuring and it turns out I have been taking thyroid meds that have probably lost potency. Yeah, I’m a regular Nancy Drew who feels like she could power nap on the steering wheel of her car.

After my “Eureka moment” I told my coach I was on it and back on track when I get a call from hubby that he’s been hit by a car on his bike.

“EMS checked me out and I declined going to the hospital” – I picked him up, he looks ok but post shower I see it will be a pretty uncomfortable few days for him. His back wheel looks like how I feel, his bike will get replacement parts and we will ride out 2020. I am afraid to walk up to my loom and do any work right now, I’m thinking a few nights good sleep and some power naps may be in order before any weaving work takes place.

Business Up Front, Party In The Back

After much tinkering and changing, the simple twill towels with rep edge are progressing. I am not quite happy with the rep edge but after changing the sett and adding and subtracting ends, it will suffice.

Final sett for rep edge is double thread in the heddle and set at 10 per dent in a 12 dent reed
A lot of activity in the back!

Glimakra Drawloom

The Glimakra Drawloom has an additional overhead beam for a Drawcord Warp which allows you to select units for single unit weaving. It also allows for ties to be placed in the Drawcord Warp to save pattern draws which can replicate the work of a shaft draw system. Only four pattern shafts are required and the shafts are threaded in a straight draw.

I chose to replace the existing. Drawcord Warp with 12/6 seine twine instead of the 12/9 that it came with.

I also built new side braces to allow easy access within the loom. They are fairly short and in the event I use a linen warp, I can put the longer pieces back on. The first picture shows the short braces and the second, the original braces in the short position which block access inside the loom.

The Drawcord Warp is 4 1/2 yards in length and 500 ends. So for example, if I choose to weave a 6 end satin (not a true satin) at 60 epi, I can weave a maximum width of 50 inches, or many other combinations up to the full width of the loom.

Drawloom weaving has a lengthy initial set up and is slow weaving. Today I plan to prepare the Drawcord Warp and set up a counterbalance beam with drall pulleys for the first warp. The loom is 10 shaft countermarch but I find the drall pulleys a little easier/faster to set up.

Take a Breath and Plug Away

I’ve been dealing with some fatigue the last few months so from a running/training perspective my coach has me re-evaluating nutrition/hydration and sleep. I may nap once a year if I’m lucky!

Fatigue or brain fog aside, the mistakes and mishaps keep rolling on. I threaded the Glimakra with 16/2 cotton sett at 32 epi, I considered 36 but thought I would wing it. I threaded the towels and even with the draft right in front of me I threaded for a petite pointed twill. It wasn’t until I started weaving I realized my error. I could have settled with it, but decided to re-thread.

Then I decided 36 epi was going to be a much nicer fabric, so again, I re-sleyed 3 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed. I noticed 6 ends in one dent and fixed that, then I noticed the identical error just 6 dents away (both were pretty much in the middle).

Next I was not happy with the rep weave edge, if it was too tightly dented it was hard to get a clean selvedge. I didn’t care for the look of the looser sett so I re-sleyd the rep edges at 6 ends per dent.

The picture on the beam is sleyed at 5 ends per dent, the larger photo is 6. In order to get a cleaner shed at the area of rep weave, I hung more weight on the floating selvedges and used the AVL end feed shuttle and tightened the tension for the thread coming off the pirn. With each pick I beat with the shed open, switch to the next treadle and beat again which helps to clean the shed. It is not particularly speedy weaving but I have for the most part eliminated having to fuss with the selvedge. On the next towel I may put 2 threads per heddle and reduce the number of working ends in the rep weave so it looks a little more square or have the rep with 4 picks per block instead of 2.

2020 year/month6

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Today I put the 16/2 cotton with rep weave edges on the loom. One of the rep chains had rotated and was somehow tangled. Maybe one of the dogs tugged at it. It took 30 mins of untangling. I then managed to slam my fingers in the beater when warping (pre-sleying a reed and using the beater for tension). This my friends is 2020, month…..

I went out for a run and got .6 miles. Normal mileage for a Saturday is anywhere from 15 to 24.  My body is tired, my brain is tired. I have resigned myself to just slowly working through whatever this is.

The Egyptian cotton 16/2 is very soft. I am looking forward to seeing this weave up.

 

 

 

Back on my Axis

Today my favorite podcast loaded to my running watch the first time. Run was ok, I’m still feeling pretty tired but the sun and comedy podcast was a pleasure.

Apparently, a number of people were having a bad day yesterday. I know “bad” is subjective so let’s say, not a smooth day. My yarn debacle ended with a funny conversation with the vendor who offered to replace/refund etc.

My veggie garden seems on a delay, I’m just waiting, picking one tiny ripe tomato every few days.

Today I will try to dress the Glimakra with the rep edge towels. That will keep me busy until the replacement drawcord yarn arrives. I keep thinking it is July, maybe wishing we could just jump forward a little. This should be a great opportunity to work on some weaving projects but each seems filled with irritating mishaps and bumps.

I promised myself I would take 2 naps this week. Thus far none. I am a terrible self care scheduler/napper. So my goal for next week is to slow everything down, to try and enjoy the simple process of preparing a new project, to read before bed and to take at least 1 nap.

 

Hanging by a Thread (Full Moon Vibes)

2020 just seems filled with Gremlins. Today I spent hours tying lingoes to spring clips with some dubious 12/6 yarn. I had ordered 12/6 twine in unbleached and black to make a new Drawcord Warp for the overhead draw system. I have always used 12/6 twine and this time I bought Bockens and they have an excellent product.

Upon receiving the yarn I noticed it was considerably thinner. Had less twist and just felt different. I contacted the vendor and they said it would feel a little different but is fine. This is where I remind myself I have a degree in industrial textile design, print, weave and dyeing. It shouldn’t be THAT different! Yes, black and red dyes tend to be harsh on fibers, but should still tolerate the tensile strength test or even snap test (apologies for the hairy leg shot).

IMG_4257.JPGI decided to dye the natural 12/6, I proceeded to start the Drawcord Warp when the Leclerc heavy duty winder decided to just completely fall apart. So, $70 of yarn later, a winder and a lot of frustration, it all went in the trash. There seems to be a pattern here lately. I asked my daughter if today was a full moon.

I contacted the vendor who said they don’t like to take back partial cones but would. It seemed a little too reluctant to me so I sent them a video of me making multiple easy snaps of “12/6 seine twine” as a thank you.  I will stick to my usual vendors – Vavstuga, Woolgatherers, Yarn Barn of Kansas, Webs, Woolery, Lunatic Fringe who are all wonderful, I may have missed one or two but will remember who to avoid, at least till my frustration level has subsided!

So now I have to re-order more seine twine. I thought I would shake out my frustrations with a good run listening to my favorite podcast. My running watch loaded EVERY podcast I have looked at but not the “only” one I wanted. I gave up, I’m making salmon for dinner and there will be wine involved and I hope the smoke detectors don’t go off…..

Books & DVD’s

Although I graduated from college with a textile degree, specializing in industrial print/weave (30 years and some), I still love to learn and review books on weaving. A fellow weaver has been posting her favorite books and her collection is one to envy.

I love the pictoral effect of the Drawloom so I will cover my collection of Drawloom info.

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I purchased this book many years ago for a very reasonable price, with the popularity of Drawloom weaving, this out of print book is now very expensive. It is the book I used to create and build my own overhead draw system with pattern saving lashes.

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This book is not instructional on method but has some lovely patterns.

When a Single Harness Simply Isn’t Enough

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By the time this book was released, I knew my way around the block regarding draw looms, however it did give good information and covered the specific Oxaback system I had.

A book I have recently ordered – Damaskev

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I will add a review upon receiving and reading.

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I am a very visual learner. I love Ikea’s pictoral instructions. This dvd is so well done and covers all aspects of Drawloom weaving and loom set ups. Highly recommended!

 

 

You say goodbye and I say hello, hello hello!

I struggled with the decision to sell the Oxaback with 2 Drawloom attachments. This loom is the “vroom, vroom” or the “Mercedes” of countermarch looms.

Beautifully made, very accurate and very hard to find. Bear in mind, although many looms do the same thing, they feel different to each weaver. This loom feels snappy, heavy and precise.

It is currently on its way to it’s new owner. Breaking it down and compiling all the components was work, but it feels good to have had everything organized and ready to go.

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Why did I sell? Good question, I felt I needed to condense my equipment and planned to replace with a much smaller loom. When discussing the sale, I found a weaver I have worked with previously, was selling her Glimakra Drawloom with the overhead beam and Drawcord Warp. For those who have followed me for some time, this is the loom I started with, although I built it myself on a Toika loom. It felt very intuitive even though it is described as a more complex Drawloom set up. I like to be fluid in my set ups, I like to change my regular loom between countermarch, counterbalance, triangles and double harness from project to project.

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This loom is a basic Standard with the addition of an overhead draw system where the single unit drawcords are mounted on a beam above the weavers head. The double warp beam gives the ability to do “shaft switching” for rugs, single unit and broader pattern repeats. I can use counterbalance, the 3 shaft triangles and other interchangeable parts from my other Glimakra.

I will miss the density of the Oxaback, it’s accuracy and just the quality of the build. The pros of the Glimakra are the interchangeable parts shared with the other loom, being able to store a hundred or so picks of pattern for repeats and a double warp beam.

It will take some time to set this loom up. As with all draw looms, there are a lot of parts. It takes some finessing and patience.