22 May 2013

The music begins

I did some test weaving on the Ode to Joy warp yesterday evening, and settled on a draft called ducape, which creates a vaguely ridged fabric with interesting little rounded oval designs when you look closely at the contrast between warp and weft threads.

Non-weavers, just skip this next bit … it’s not in plain English.

The draft was found on the not2squareweavers blog, many thanks to the guild for sharing their favourite weaving drafts! Threading is a simple 6 thread repeat: 2-1-2, 3-4-3 and the tie up is 3, 2, 1&3, 2&4. You can (obviously) weave plain weave with treadles 3 and 4 alternately (for hems, for example) and then the body of the pattern is treadled 4, 1, 3, 1 and repeated – you never use treadle 2.  You end up with these neat little rounded blocks separated by a ridge, it’s a lovely fabric and very easy to weave and treadle, and it’s really easy to see if you’ve made a treadling mistake too. I’ve threaded this at 20 epi, using the Louet Organic Cotton. I am using floating selvedges as the weave gives you wobbly edges without them.

I’m not attempting to pattern the weft, just weaving in the same set of colours as the warp at random intervals and for random widths. I did notice that the black is particularly striking … I may try doing one whole length just with black weft, and see what that looks like, I think it could be very interesting.

Photo 2013-05-22 9 34 40 PM

The fabric is a little wider than I had originally anticipated, partly because I forgot to thread the last (well, first) section yesterday, I found it today and cut off the sample I’d done, threaded that last bit, and started fresh. I like how it’s shaping up.

Photo 2013-05-22 9 33 48 PM

Yes, that’s bubble wrap you see – when the fabric gets long enough that the beam it’s rolling onto has come all the way around, the knots that are used to tie the warp onto the front bar end up pressing on the fabric. This creates uneven lumps of tension which muck up the weaving, so padding is needed. Most weavers use a piece of cardboard, but I happened to have a big roll of thick bubble wrap right there, so I used that. It pads things out  nicely and keeps the tension smooth.

More weaving is on the schedule for tomorrow, as well as a custom blending project that I need to prepare: I am going away for a few days over the weekend, as The Reluctant Farmer has a conference to attend and I get to go with him (!) so I need some spinning to take with me. I have a Top Secret Commission to work on that involves some custom blending, custom spinning, and then some knitting – so I have to get all my gear together before I head out on the weekend. I mean, the most important thing to pack (after the bathing suit for the hotel pool) is the fibre projects, right? :)

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