Posts Tagged With: Inkle weaving

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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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

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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A Dreary January

So I am still sitting here in the condo on a 32 degree day hating to have to walk two dogs which means out the door, down the way, down the stairs, and out to the grassy yard at the end. If all is great then they get a long walk around, if not, then it is short and back mama runs in whether they want to or not. I know all three of us will be happy when they can be just turned loose in a yard with no leashes and can stay as long as they want.

But that aside, sitting here I have some reading and fibery things to do. Alas the reading is going better than the fibery arts. Mostly.

So the colors are great but the pattern .... Hopefully by the end it will get itself worked out and look great.

So the colors are great. But the pattern …. Hopefully by the end it will get itself worked out and look great.

First I did start another inkle pattern. My eyes got big and I picked a detailed pattern from The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory. There is this beautiful pattern on page 77 called Baltic-Style 13. So I started it and it just doesn’t look well and is a devil for me to figure out each row. So it sits. I never think it looks right, though I think as it grows the previous rows will look better though the immediate ones need more around them to look ok. I did see a mistake in it though it does look ok and could be right if you didn’t know what the pattern was suppose to be. Alas and Alack. I need to get back to it.

The suppose to be easy shawl

The suppose to be easy shawl

Next I did go to Yarnorama during their end of the year sale and got some pretty yarn. So I found an easy crochet pattern and went to work. Now I really can do basic crochet. I have done lots within the whole scope of my life, but for a pattern that looks so easy I am making this very hard. I have frogged two rows and it is sitting once again at a trouble spot. No matter how careful I am I still don’t get the right number of stitches where they need to be. Can I scream?

Funny when I picked this pattern it reminded me of watching my mom and aunt back in the 70s crocheting afghans that were this basic pattern. Now if they can do it, why can’t I? This is a bit fancier with every fourth row being a puffy stitch but all the same….

Jacob wool and homemade spindle

Jacob wool and homemade spindle

So also while at Yarnorama I succumbed to a weakness and bought a bag of Jacob wool. Alas did I have a spindle in this neck of the woods with me? Of course not. They are all in storage. Why I didn’t keep one out is beyond me, but alas I hadn’t spun for awhile at home so didn’t consider it suddenly being necessary. So I had to come up with something.

I bought a dowel rod (actually a package of this length) and got some Filo clay and brought it home. Having never used the clay before, I didn’t know what I was in for but set about playing with it and boy does it take a bit to warm it up and get to mold. But I persevered and created a disk. Now was the tricky part as it just says to bake it and looking online was not much help beyond low heat and 15 minutes to an hour. How was one to know? Anyway, I made it, was happy with the results, and have a spindle.

My homemade spindle

My homemade spindle

I remembered how to do a half hitch at the top so with no more ado, it actually works. Crazy but all I have to remember is to have a bit longer leader at the top than I would on my other spindles and keep the hitch near the top and it spins nicely, and I have yarn. Hopefully I will get quite a bit plyed and then will use it in my handspun weaving project when it and I are in the same place again.

So this is where I sit at this time. I will now return to spinning and hopefully back to the other two and can report a completion of something before to many days past.

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Christmas Cards 2014

I didn’t plan for sending cards in my mad life right now. But then I realized I could use the Inkle band I wove in the hotel last week for cards. So bought some plain cards, stickers, and markers and set about it this week.

Variations on a theme

Variations on a theme

I was just going to write on them and use the stickers on the envelopes, but who was I kidding. I do not have a good hand and realized the stickers would look better than anything I could write. Alas some did get my handwriting when the stickers ran out.

So they are in the mail. Hopefully everyone will like them. Not very fancy but they will know I thought of them at this time of year. There is still a bit of band left if I discover I missed someone I shouldn’t have. Not much though. Guess I better start weaving again.

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In the Motel with an Inkle Loom

So we have officially sold our house in Spring but do not have a place in Austin yet. All my favorites during this journey have sold before ours, and we needed to wait on ours first.

Needless to say a person could be depressed if they had to find shelter with two dogs. Not easily done but we are in the motel Mark stayed at that was cheap and allows dogs. So we are a long way from the Ritz (as in not the same planet) but we are all together and making it work.

The Lord has been good teaching us and leading us to Scriptures that continue to show how great God is in the care of his children. My favorite right now is from Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. How people handle stress without Christ is beyond me.

But I have a project going in the room. I brought the inkle loom but didn’t save the shuttle before the packers got it, so a Cliff bar box to rescue and metal book mark. I love the way it is looking.

Inkle band in process

Inkle band in process

I had limited colors with me but I love how this black, pink, and maroon look together. The pattern is from the Inkle Pattern Directory page 22 and is named Adjacent Flowers.

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