Found Paper Weaving

Today I was trying to clean some things up and sort. Among my pile that has grown over the last 5 months, I found a lost experiment.

I was trying some new idea of weaving with pages from books and only managed one that was half decent and it still has its own troubles. But all the same I do have a bit of a liking for it.

Pooh and Piglet out for a walk.

Pooh and Piglet out for a walk.

I took a picture from a small child’s book of Winnie the Pooh and then wove into it a page of the written word. I found a page that had both Pooh and Piglet’s names on it and so did not weave that in and also kept them whole as well. I rather like it and especially since Piglet’s name came up right beside him. Alas the poor piece has more than a couple of troubles so it isn’t a masterpiece but a poor piece that I still like.

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I Gave Up!

I gave up. I don’t often give up. But this time I gave up. I really can’t believe it as I don’t like giving up and wasting things. But….

Yes I am talking about my last inkle band that was a Monk’s Belt pattern. Really the biggest problem that kept me from finishing it was that the pattern warp threads weren’t all evenly tensioned. After doing so many here lately, I blew it on this one’s tension. It was really getting frustrating to get the threads in the right place

But then another problem is that I just didn’t like the pattern. Now it was a very easy pattern. It was easy to memorize. But alas and alack I still didn’t like it. So finally the scissors came out and snip – it was all over.

The very short band

The very short band

Well, there it is in all its semi-glory. If you look closely you will see a mistake in there. And I’m not talking about the spaced area between the beginning and the main body of it.

One thing I will say for a pattern like this is that both sides can be the front. You really have about the same pattern going on both sides. When I went to take the picture, I had a bit of a time deciding which was the front till I noticed my space between the two sections. On the other side that spot has some long floats.

But where do I really want to cry in this?

Look at all that wasted warp

Look at all that wasted warp

I really hate waste and like to use up warps as far as I can possibly get them to go. So yes, I can cry looking at that warp sitting there that is too short to use on the inkle now. But never fear, it won’t end up in the trash. I will save it and once we get moved, it will be added to my thrums jar. Alas that jar is overfull. I think I need to find a thrums project that will use some up.

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A Diversion

So I have this Monk’s Belt on the inkle loom. I am hating it. I don’t enjoy weaving it. I am trying to make myself just take it off and start over. Hasn’t happened yet. I so hate wasting yarn. It is bad enough to add loom waste to my big jar, but to just cut off so much which will be totally useless is hard to do. I am trying to at least use up the weft on the shuttle and then say I will cut it of. But as much as I’m not touching it, I probably should just chuck it.

But a diversion today. we finally took our anniversary trip a month late. First date we could get tickets for the train ride from Georgetown to Burnet with the Austin Steam Train Association. Actually, I think it was good that we had to wait this long as the bluebonnets have pretty much faded away and so it is not so crowded and they don’t need so many cars for all the people.

Waiting in Georgetown to board

Waiting in Georgetown to board

We got tickets for the adults only Rippling Stream. It was the last car of the train and you could only be in it if you had a ticket for that car. So no through traffic. We of course could walk through the others and up to the concession car near the front. Though with our tickets came some treats and drinks in our car.

A view of our car in Burnet

A view of our car in Burnet

The third window above was where our wonderfully comfortable seats and table were. It was for three people but only us two were at it. Mark got to stretch out. We could even stand off the back as we traveled which was a lot of fun.

On the back of our car, Rippling Stream, watching the track go away from us.

On the back of our car, Rippling Stream, watching the track pass away into the distance.

But the fibery part of our trip was a surprise. By the courthouse was what they called History Square. It had a town clock in the middle and a maze around the bottom. It laid out the history of Burnet County. You followed the trail and could read the history points and end up at the center by the clock.

HIstory Plaza

History Plaza

I of course had to run the maze reading as I went. I told Mark that it was fun. His comment while also watching the other kids was that it looked like kids did enjoy it. I of course said “Of course we do.” Now I did find two interesting blocks in the history.

Bertram wool and mohair production 1918

Bertram wool and mohair production 1918

Bertram cotton production 1928

Bertram cotton production 1928

These two blocks show what once was out on the pastures and in the fields around these parts. Wool, mohair, and cotton once reigned in Burnet County.

Had a great day and trip. Would love to do it again.

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Trying Something New

Ok I warped the Inkle Loom again.

New warp for Monk's Belt

New warp for Monk’s Belt

This time I strayed from the Baltic pages of the Inkle Pattern Directory and wandered over to the Monk’s Belt pages. Alas and alack, I started learning a bit from the get go. Though it looks like a pick up pattern again the warping of the loom was very different from anything I have done yet.

Do you see the difference?

Do you see the difference?

If you look closely at the above picture, you will that there are three heddled warps together with one unheddled after. The burgundy here are a basic plain weave threading. each are every other one heddled and unheddled. But… and this is a big but. The green warps are all heddled. So this all means that three are heddled together. Hmmm… this was enough different to give me some antziness over how this was going to go.

So here we go.

First try at Monk's Belt

First try at Monk’s Belt

Yikes! not going well at all. just have to remind myself that when I started with Baltic those didn’t go well at first either. But all the same. This isn’t looking good at all. There is plain weave between parts that are suppose to be a flower. Hmmm… No flowers at all here. So what is wrong? Decided that the tension was a bit wonky so if we did something with that maybe there could be help. So I unwarped what you see and then cut sections and retied them on tighter and more even. So lets try this again.

Second try at Monk's Belt

Second try at Monk’s Belt

So with our new better tension and deciding to go with something simpler than the flower, we went to the first sample and started working. Ok I can see the pattern this time. I still don’t like it though. It does recommend that the pattern threads be quite a bit larger than the plain weave threads. Not sure that would really help. At least with my liking it.

So the question is now will I finish this band? Not sure. I think I may just try different patterns down it and see how they look. Not as homogenous as all the previous bands but will not be wasting this warp. I had already discussed (with myself) throwing this warp away. Alas I love the colors. I hate wasting it all. So hence it still resides on the loom.

I see a Baltic pattern in these colors in the very near future.

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The Baltic Journey Continues

I have now finished another of the Baltic patterns in the Weaver’s Pattern Directory. And this time the book let me know it was indeed from Interweave Press. I find it so hard to understand in our day and time how a book can go to press with mistakes in it. It seems that with all the paraphernalia that goes along with the business that between people and machine that a book could make it to press without mistakes. At least I would be so incredibly embarrassed to work on a book and send it out to the big wide world with problems.

Enough of the side trip, back to the band. I really liked what happened with this one. First I picked out some colors from my meager bag that I have with me. A thinner thread and a thicker pattern thread.

Some of my favorite colors

Some of my favorite colors

I love these colors and probably why I have so much in this realm of the color wheel. So on went another Baltic pattern that has 13 pattern picks. Being that there were thirteen again, this band took much longer than the last one. One reason is because there are more threads to pick up and drop down but also it was a more detailed pattern. I did not memorize it so always needed the book at hand for each new row. But diligence paid off, and I made it to the end – and I even think it has pretty wonderful selvedges.

The finished band before taking off the loom.

The finished band before taking off the loom.

The front and back sides of this pattern are both very detailed and interesting. Though I must say I like the front best but who could really pick one over the other. In the picture the bottom row is the back up and the 3rd row is the front facing up and so forth to the second and first rows here.

Alas back to my disappointment with the book.

The pattern in the book.

The pattern in the book.

You can see on my first pass through the pattern I immediately found a problem with the X. I must admit that I was rather proud of myself in that I figured there was a problem in the draft before I even wove this pick. So figured out the two missed pick ups. Alas I didn’t mark it at that time. So next round I am merrily going along and wove right past it and then had to take it out and do it again. I then quickly found a pen and got the book marked properly.

Alas that wasn’t the end of it. Right near the end of the weaving, I suddenly realized that the draft and the pictured band have one pick up different. If you see the middle of the diamonds there are small lines. In the draft the area is checker boarded completely with them and the sample leaves the center one empty. Hmmm… Upon studying the result on my band with it full compared to the sample band, I think I like it as the draft has it better. Now one reason may be that my band is not so compact as the sample is. The sample may loose itself to looking just like another diamond if it had that one pick in it where mine gets the checker board effect nicely.

So I am happy with the band and do think that as I have progressed through these I have improved my weaving greatly. It probably helps that it is the only loom I have so I am not weaving one every once in a great while but can practice and improve as I move along without forgetting what I’m learning.

And per the errata of the book? I did go look for one as I have two other books from them with extensive errata that I marked through them. I found one and there were only three pages with errata on them. And guess what? This page wasn’t one of the three. They didn’t even get the errata right. Sometimes somethings just have to make one wonder about our modern world and whether or not all our mechanization and technology really is so wonderful.

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Baltic 5: Thin and Fast

I have now done another inkle band and it was also a Baltic pattern. Now this time around I did figure out what the number stands for. It is the number of pattern threads in the warp. Seems simple enough but took me quite awhile to sort that on my own, and it did make this ole brain befuddled for a short bit.

Beginning my second Baltic pattern

Beginning my second Baltic pattern

But back at the ranch, I looked through the patterns and picked a simpler one than the last one and picked black and green threads. I really like the pattern and the colors. One great thing here is that the pattern was easy to see what one was to do next, so I didn’t need to keep the book out and could just work away at it. There was only one line that I tended to mess up, but it didn’t take but one more row to catch it. So easy to go back and fix.

Original homemade shuttle and new one

Original homemade shuttle and new one

I did decide during this that the original homemade shuttle needed to be retired as the points were getting torn and catching easily on the warp threads. So got another box from the trash and made a new one. It actually is thicker, but i don’t think it will last as long. Will have to see. I think the next one will be out of plastic, if I remember to save some next time some comes in here. Actually, can’t wait to have my own wood shuttles again. Lots of things I can’t wait till again, but the Lord is saying wait some more, so wait some more and making do, we are.

Finished band

Finished band

Amazing how fast this one was to do compared to the last one. Now, only dealing with 5 pattern threads does make a difference and a simpler pattern helps. It does seem so much longer than the other, but I know that has to do with how thin it is.

The two bands lying together

The two bands lying together

So here are the two bands together. I do love how it looks if I were to sew them together. I am contemplating several bands sewn together for a larger piece. If I go with this I need to do another of this one. Alas I did learn something laying them out – despite thinking my beating was consistent, it very much wasn’t. This part looks better than some. but the waves do not line up perfectly across from each other.

Always something else to work on. Does anyone ever become a total master of their craft?

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Baltic Style Inkle Finished!

Finished and still on the loom

Finished and still on the loom

Ok, I did finish the inkle weaving I wrote about last. I must first thank Barb and Diane for giving advice after my last post. It went much better, and I think I got fairly consistent with my selvedges. I actually wove more of the warp than I ever have tried on the loom. Only about 3 inches not woven.

Close up of pattern and weaving

Close up of pattern and weaving

Several things are seen in the above photo. One is that rough beginning I wrote about before. Hopefully you can tell it did get better in the lower runs. And you can see in the top right corner one problem I had near the end. Yes, one warp thread for some reason, unknown even now, came quite loose. It didn’t untie from its other end but must have come loose enough anyway. That did make that last bit of weaving a bit of a chore. I was always having to pull it straight and fiddle it to make it lay right but we did manage it just so we could get as far as we did. Sometimes I just get something in my head and so continue when really one should quite and call it good. But despite probably pushing it too far, I was quite pleased that after the rough start my pattern and the book’s looks very much alike. Yippy!

The completed band

The completed band

So here is the completed band. And though at one moment I was done with Baltic weaving – Guess what? Yes, I already want to try another one in the book and maybe weave several to sew together and make a larger piece. I do like to dream big so will see how it goes.

I must say one thing this picture does for me is show improvement and for that I am thankful. So will the next one be perfect? Hardly I doubt, but hopefully will make this look sad in comparison.

Oh and the colors here are better than the other post. These are how it really looks.

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Baltic Style Inkle

I started this awhile ago and got discouraged as it just didn’t come out right. So then I just did it straight with the spotty look but boy were my selvedges ugly. Well, tonight I got back at it finally and studied the pattern once more and the ways of Baltic Style inkle weaving and tried again. Now I have one repeat of one really nice pattern. Alas the selvedges are still a bit on the uneven side but the pattern looks good. So now to remember how it works and continue on.

One repeat without a single mistake in it

One repeat without a single mistake in it

I needed to be successful at something right now and this is feeling good. Alas it is past bedtime so I better head that way instead of continuing though I might come back to it once I get ready. Once you’re on a roll it is hard to stop.

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Ball of Yarn

Ply magazine Worsted

Ply magazine Worsted

My big accomplishment here of late is a ball of yarn. So not something big and grandiose to remind myself of later as I read this, but I did try something new and achieved an end result. I had bought some grey Jacob wool and have spun one ball of it. But then I I bought the Ply magazine on worsted spinning. Interesting and one can learn a lot in there, but the article that caught my eye for the moment was one about a plying ball when using a spindle. Hey, that I can use right now. I had done one ball by andian plying, but if there is an easier way that would help plying on the spindle? I am all for it.

So I spun two spindles of wool and read again the article on The Plying Ball and set about to create one with my wool that was desiring a better home than what it had been reduced to. This was accomplished outside. I had taken the Wildlife out to enjoy the sunny day. Yes, we are still in the condo looking for a place and so Mattie doesn’t get to spend all the time laying outside in the sun as she loves to do. So a special treat for her this afternoon.

Winding my ply ball

Winding my ply ball

This took quite a bit of time to get accomplished and Sam, who doesn’t particularly like to lay out in the sun. Quite the inside boy he is. Decided it was time to bug mom to take him inside.

Mom, it is way past time for going back inside!

Mom, it is way past time for going back inside!

Now I know that Amelia is a great spindler, but she never touched on a problem I had as I neared the end of winding. You see my two spindle fulls were not the same length. I checked but no, as far as the article is concerned they come out the same so it was up to me to decide if I was going to just cut the longer one off and let it be or go ahead and try to match them up.

Yikes, why couldn't you have come out perfect?

Yikes, why couldn’t you have come out perfect?

Well I decided to wind the leftover around my hand and then join the two ends and continue and so I drove myself crazy and did it and managed to have one complete plying ball completed.

One finished ply ball

One finished ply ball

Now it was completed, and Sam could be happy as I packed things up (books, magazines, spindle, yarn, wool, and chair) and got us all together to go back up to the room. Mattie alas wasn’t so happy with me, but que sera we all headed inside. I then started spinning my ball. It went well at first and even practiced starting the spindle with my foot – all going well. Quite happy. But then I learned one lesson with this method. Better to spin half spindle fulls and then ply to one spindle. There was way too much yarn by the end, and I didn’t want to stop it. But this was on my homemade spindle I made since being here in the condo and having my spindles in storage in Dallas, so on we tramped. Before we do this again though, I do need to find a way to cut a notch in the shaft. A half hitch just couldn’t hold on as the spindle got quite full and heavy. I ended up finishing by pretending it was a support spindle and managing through a few mishaps to finally spin it all onto the spindle.

One very full spindle

One very full spindle

Alas Mark got home from work toward the end of this, and I hadn’t seen a clock in a few hours so had to stop at this point and get some supper on and spend some time together. Then as he took the Wildlife for a walk (Mattie is not a happy girl at night until she gets a walk with her daddy), I got back to working on my yarn. Now I wound it into a ball on my homemade nostie. Ok, so not so much homemade as home found. A toilet roll tube serves the purpose quite well and so a ball of plyed wool is completed today.

A complete plyed ball of wool

A complete plyed ball of wool

Now I am wanting to make something with this but it really needs to go into a project that … yes, … is in storage in Dallas. The theme of my life right now. So it will wait till then and join a bunch of other handspun into my Zoom Loom project that is pretty awesome in my head.

Categories: Fiber, Spinning | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Condo Shawl

Well right after the new year I went with a friend to Yarnorama in Paige to check out the new year sale. I found some yarn that I liked. It was called Silky Wool and was 45% wool, 35% silk, and 20% nylon. It was on the clearance shelf (always a plus when you find something you like) and was 20% off. So I bought four, each a different color that went together well. They were 50g each.

Ok, enough of the dry stuff. I then had a time finding a project to use it. I did get a crochet magazine for half price the same day but I just wasn’t getting with the projects in it. I actually really bought it for the article on crochet hooks and the differences in them and why. That was a big help as I have always wondered why all the differences. I did learn one bit that I like for my hooks so now if I buy more I know what I will look for.

My really good ball.

My really good ball.

Now this is the project I did mention in my last post. It did not start well at all. But in getting it going, I decided to do each group of rows in a different pattern. Now the yarn was in skeins, as it turned out. Oh the joys of making balls, not! But by the fourth one I had saved a toilet roll and rolled it up like a nostspindle and it actually went pretty well, and I was proud of it. You can see in the back the other colors and the shawl in process waiting for this lavender color to join it.

As I progressed with this “simple pattern” about half through it I figured out one of the things I wasn’t getting and also that you couldn’t just use the graph to do it as you were suppose to be going down in crochet hook size after each group. Well, I did start doing it the new way but still think if I had done it correctly, then it would have gotten too small quickly. I had made it wider than the pattern said as it just didn’t seem big enough and am glad I did do that.

The back of the shawl

The back of the shawl

One thing I learned this morning is that light makes a big difference in how the colors look. This dimmer incandescent light is how I like the colors best the dark row has a deep burgundy look. I really absolutely love the look of it above and if you look close at it, you can see in the valleys where I figured out what I was suppose to be doing though I still don’t think I did it quite the way they wanted it done but it was closer than the lower rows. You were suppose to end up with decreases in each row and a nice little neck opening by the time you got to the top. Alas and alack. I was making this so not quite there.

From the front

From the front

This is more what it looks like in sunlight. The colors all wash out and my burgundy becomes a dark purple. Now the front was to have buttons down it. Alas and alack again. I ran out of my favorite color (guess which one?) and so one placket was grey and one row of the whatever color it is. The other side is lavender on the outsides and grey inside. I did decide though that it needed a way to close to stay on so looking at the leftovers. I decided to crochet a long string with all four colors. There was just a couple scraps of the burgundy one so that determined the length of the two ties. It actually looks nice, I think, and works well.

The end of the project

The end of the project

So we made it to the end of the project and this was all the yarn leftover. Also see what the poor shawl was suppose to look somewhat like. Guess I had just way too thin of yarn to really duplicate it as the picture. I am happy with how it did turn out, just need to remember not to let people know what it was supposed to be.

Oops!

 

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