Sunday, November 2, 2008

All back together again

It took one and a half hours and it was all back together again. Thanks to Kaz's meticulous packing, labelling and photos, and the original assembly instruction, Bruce put it back together so quickly I could barely keep up with the photographing.

There were these numbers marked at the junction where pieces should go.

My loom......(it is such a beautiful thing)

When we got to this point, Bruce said that it was all up to me. It just looked too complicated to him..........He had a quick lesson on weaving terminology to follow the instructions and mentioned that he would like to build one of these things from scratch one day. Mmmm, food for thought!

I spent a bit of time admiring it and then thought that I better have a look at all the literature I have collected over the last feel months, on how to do the tie-up for a countermarche loom. I had no idea what to do next.

As I mentioned that I was going to do Janet's sample blanket, I looked at the universal tie-up instructions. I don't understand. It doesn't seem to go with what all the other articles were saying about countermarche tie-ups. Then I remembered seeing the sample blanket on someone's blog. The question was whose was it?

I tried to look up the blog list but there were so many. Then I found it on Dorothy's blog. She explained it so well and it all made sense.

I will order the yarn tomorrow. When I have the warp on, I will be able to see if I have done it correctly.

I also spoke to a weaving friend of mine, telling her the joy of seeing the loom put together again. she will be moving house soon and is in the process of dismantling her loom...

So I guess, at any one time, a loom is being taken apart and put back together again somewhere.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

At last

I am part of couple of 'stitching' groups. We meet approx. every 6 weeks to sit around and get on with our 'long term' projects, or things that we have started but never have time to finish...... It is also an opportunity to express ideas or to get help with things when we get stuck.

Both groups have expressed interest in seeing the loom in action when it is in working order. One friend suggested a tea party to celebrate....

The loom is scheduled to be assembled this coming weekend.
The camera battery is charging, so that I can have a record of the loom coming together.
The shopping list is out for the yarn required for the first project.

Can't wait!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Exciting news

And now the most exciting news of all:
New loom. I have bought Kaz's old loom and it is sitting in my living room.

She had done the most fabulous job with the packaging, finding a carrier, the disc of photos so that it should be straight forward to put it all back together again, etc. I am forever grateful.

I have already planned the first project: the sample blanket from Janet's book. I want to increase the size of the sample squares to maybe 10cm squares and break the blanket up into smaller sections so that I can sew them up as cushions or put them into a folder with the drafts/notes printed out next to them for easy reference.

The loom will take a couple of weeks before it can be set up. Bruce will be helping me with it but first, I need to make progress on his scarf.

On a roll

Now that I am on a roll with blog posts:

The Royal Melbourne show was on last month.
A group of us encouraged each other and we all entered something into the show. It was the first time for all of us and we all came away with something.

Kim's woven kimono jacket:

Michelle's glass brooch:

Stephen's glass earrings:

My black cotton piece on the right:

Michelle's red scarf on the left and:

Carole's felted bag:

Totally coloured in

The other things that had progressed:
from this:

to this:

So now I have made both 'Old fashioned windows I and II'. This whole experience of not knowing how much yarn to get was a bit stressful. When I got extra, the dyelot was different. It showed up on the big red block a little bit, at a certain angle and lighting. I am not too fussed/disturbed by that. However, I would have to say that I have had enough of needlepoint. The bottom line, it takes too long........but I know better to never say never!? The next step is to finish them as cushions and that is another story.

Aloo Too

While not much actual weaving has been done, and not any blog posts had been written, I have been busy reading. I really appreciated Peg's weekly updates of what is interesting and the vast array of topics that have been posted by everyone.

When I saw Taueret's title, I thought it sounded familiar. I looked into my treasure box of unusual fabric and found the pieces that a very dear friend gave to me. She got these while in Nepal doing some voluntary teaching.

This first piece is knitted in a delicate lace pattern. However, due to the nature of the yarn, it is quite scratchy. It is a scarf that I have worn on the outside of the coat rather than close to the neck.

The second piece is a cut length of woven fabric, about 76cm wide (30 inches) and 108cm (3.6ft) long. It has a mid-blue warp and the weft is of natural aloo (nettle) yarn.

Depending on the lighting, the aloo natural colour or the blue woollen warp yarn is more dominant. I wonder what sort of loom it was woven on and how long it took. I wonder what the cloth was intended for.

When the piece of cloth is laid out, it is easy to see the irregularities but it just adds another layer to the character of the cloth.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blink of the eye

I can not believe how fast time has flown......It was barely the end of August for the last post and now it is a third of the way through October.

It feels like a lot of things had happened and other things had remained stagnant.
On the weaving front, I had not woven as much as I would like to. There is little progress on Bruce's scarf apart from the initial start after the samples. However, I have acquired a few new pieces of equipment.

I have got new boat shuttles, a manual bobbin winder and a caddy to hold my project related bits & pieces. It was Shirley's recommendations that prompted me to go to ikea and I found this simple caddy that is just right for sitting next to my loom! It has a upper tray and a lid (not shown) to keep away the dust, especially when nothing is happening......and a deeper bottom section to keep the yarn, the notes and the bobbin winder. It gives a a good sensation of being organised.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Font size

I don't understand why my font sizes are all over the place.....apologies for the inconsistency. I think that it had been so long since the last post that I have forgotten what size I used. The preview doesn't give a true indication.
Never mind, I will persevere.

Been thinking

I have been reading a lot of older entries of various weavers' blogs and been thinking about various ways of doing things. I wound this warp on a few months ago. Since then, there had been a lot of information of warping with a rigid heddle or warping paddle. If I knew about the alternative methods, I guess I would have done without all these tied ends!! It would have been far less time consuming, even if I had to wind off some yarn to form the 4 ends of each colour to go through the paddle/rigid heddle, and a much neater result.

It is interesting in preparing all the photos for this blog so far, I have come to realise that I am not a colour weaver at all! Even though I have used different yarn fibres, the items I have shown so far are all the same colours. I was reading Bonnie's blog about the 3 types of weavers. (sorry, haven't quite figured out the links function yet) I believe that I am a pattern and texture weaver.

I haven't been totally idle but it seems to be taking a long time for me to do things lately. Here are some before and after wash samples of this 'deflected' double weave.

sample 1, before wash

sample 1, after washsample 2, before wash
sample 2, after wash

I like this weave structure and think that it will make a good warm scarf. However, winter will be over this weekend..... Hopefully, I will finish this in the next month of so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Loom waste

This will be the practice piece for the box cushions. It is a sample that I wove from the last 50cm left on the loom. I like to use as much of the warp as I possibly can, usually by trying new weaves and experimenting with different tie-ups and threading.
It is an 8-shaft honeycomb woven with 2 ply bendigo wool for the base weave and a slub yarn as the outline weft. I like the way it shrinks after washing to give a lace-like effect.

I got some black denim to form the basic stucture of the cushion and I think the texture and the colour work well together. The fringe will be hidden in the hem so that I get a neat square finish.

The very last bit of loom waste: what do other weavers do with them?
I usually give mine to Michelle who will use it in her resin and glass projects, and I have been saving the ends of the needlepoint scraps for Carole to use in her felting.

Coloured in

6 weeks and 31 skeins of yarn later.


I like the textures of the different recommended stitches.

It is 15 inches square and only 1/2 inch out. I guess stitching on a frame really helped.
The blocking will follow after I have finished the second one. In the meantime, I will practice making the box cushion.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The other half

This is the other piece of cloth to go with my first post.
Both pieces were woven with 2/20 mercerised cotton from DEA yarns.

There is 5 meters of this piece, and it is 19.5 inches/49.5cm wide off the loom.
There are some mistakes in the piece - some warp floats that is not suppose to be there and I didn't catch the mistakes until too late. Too late as in I didn't want to un-weave.
This will also be the first time I will cut into a hand woven piece of cloth, I wanted to make sure that I have enough in case I make a mistake in the cutting! (and it has happened before) A sort of insurance policy.....

It is an 8-shaft twill. The warp is 2 strands per end of the black and the weft is one of black and one of the taupe/bronze colour per pick.

It creates an interesting effect - like a quilted fabric.

This will be the effect of the sewn piece with the combination of the two. The final project is still in the contemplation stage. I am actually quite scared of cutting into the cloth. The worst that can happen: need some more fabric and I do have enough yarn left to weave some more.......

This year has been one of learning new things - using a floor loom, a boat shuttle, a temple, weaving something more than 12 inches wide and using mercerised cotton. So I guess, what's one more thing?

Friday, July 25, 2008


We went to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep show last Saturday.
It was my first time but I was guided by 3 veterans who knew the place inside out and I had the best time.

First, we saw the animals.
I touched one of these (with the owner of the animal holding on, of course) and they are so soft.

My favourite kind of sheep.

Then, we went shopping at the stalls:

Some drop dead gorgeous vintage Irish linen to weave with.

And the most important of all, the craft section with all the entries.

Carole's felt bag with resin handle.

And Michelle's red woven scarf at the rear with the very interesting fringe.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

fragrance of winter

I wish that it is possible to smell through the computer.

These are my favourite smells of winter:

The intensity of citrus blossoms.

450g of nagami cumquats. Freshly picked. Spiced? Marmalade? Brandied? Candied?

The smell as they were being sliced: absolutely refreshing and uplifting.

The smell of boiling marmalade throughout the house on a sunday afternoon.

The result: 5 jars of beautiful amber colour jel to last through the season.