Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Unwanted Fibers

I like to periodically remind my customers that I have cats.  I do store my yarn in bins in a closet that they don't get to go in.  But, as any cat owner knows, the hair gets everywhere.

This is my cat Eli.  He can be super insistent about lap time.  This can make weaving difficult.  But it's okay.  He's a fickle one and generally only stays cozy for 10 minutes then decides the floor would be a better napping spot.

This is Tess.  She loves to be in the photo shoots.  I moved from this apartment a few months ago, so she probably won't be joining me for pictures anymore.

But she will still take control of the yarn whenever she can.

Here the two of them came together beautifully to create a terrific album cover.  Now I just need to learn to play music and start a band!

I kid, and love to show off my furry babies but if you really have a severe allergy to cats, I might not be the weaver for you.  For everyone else, I do my best to pick off all the hair prior to shipping, but I would guess some gets through.  Please forgive my fuzzy friends and their unwanted fiber additions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Loose Weaving

I've often seen in art booths or craft fairs woven scarves with sections that are more loosely packed.  I think the loose sections help give better drape and texture making the cloth more suitable to be a scarf.  But how is it done?  I'm not sure if it normally requires a rigid heddle or more than 2 sheds or what.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

available here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/byMichaelRodd
(don't know who this person is, but I figured they'd appreciate the link in exchange for me using their photo)

I decided to have a go at it even though I still don't know how it's supposed to be done.  I chose a thick, single ply wool for warp and weft.  I then did a normal plain weave on my inkle loom for some sections.  For other sections I inserted my cards that I normally just use at the beginning to get the band started.  

^This is what I mean by the cards at the beginning.

I also inserted a row of weft with each card.  I continued in this way throughout the band, alternating normal with carded sections.  Once I had completed a normal section I could pull the cards from the previous card section.  This allowed me to reuse the same cards.

I'm not sure the results are what I was looking for, but it did turn out rather well just the same.  It certainly made the weaving go faster!  Maybe that's the real reason those scarf makers do that, lol.

As you can see the width was a bit more difficult to control.  That was partly due to the plushness of the yarn.  It was very easy to over pull in the regular sections.  Being single ply I found I couldn't back the weft out very easily without damaging the yarn.

On my second attempt the width was a bit more consistent.

I combined several different yarns for this second band.  I don't like it as much as some of my other abstract patterns.  Also, it was a pain to weave.  Several of the yarns were sticky and uncooperative.

I'll probably try this again with more normal yarns.  Maybe a cotton?  If you try this technique, please share your results.  I'd love to hear about it.  Happy weaving!