Saturday, November 27, 2010

Colour & Weave in Sheffield

This morning I did battle with the snow to get from South Derbyshire to south of Sheffield to tutor a Colour and Weave Workshop for the Hallamshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

I'm so glad I did because they worked really hard and produced some really interesting plain weave (tabby) designs.  Take a look below to see the results:

Ten people signed up for the workshop and despite the weather only one person had to drop out.

The looms ranged from rigid heddle looms to a 16 shaft loom.

Looms were pre-warped with a range of simple colour and weave patterns with a contrasting colour to differentiate between each pattern.
On the loom the weave looks quite open, but after wet finishing this lovely subtle blue and green weave will look stunning.

Just before lunch I got the group to substitute some of their warp ends to add interest to the work.

Here black was used to dramatic effect.
Gold and red were used very effectively here, in a rug yarn, which shows the patterns beautifully.
This is the same warp as the one above, but with some of the gold warps substituted with a moss green.  The green really made a difference to the pattern on the bottom left.
After lunch the colour effects were explored on paper, which is a great way to test ideas when you've not got your loom with you!
The purple and red warp was very dramatic with the turquoise blue divider warps.

Some of the red warps were substituted with the blue and used in the weft in one of the patterns here.
This is a sample of a new weavers efforts.  She really worked hard and her selvages were perfect!
After repeating the same colour combinations of the warp in the weft, the group went on to try out some combinations of their own.

Sadly this image doesn't do this weavers efforts justice.  The blue grey and white warps were really lifted by the addition of a lovely lime green, which looks rather yellow in the image.
Although, not clear, a plum warp substituted some of the dark blue warps to great effect.
This dark blue and light blue colour and weave sample was also lifted by the addition of purple.

By the end of the day each weaver had a good range of colour and weave sample patterns that they could use as reference for further colour and weave projects.

Creative Spinning in York

Last Saturday I travelled up to York to give a talk in the afternoon and tutored a workshop on the following Sunday for the York and District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  There was a packed hall and below are the results of their endeavours.

Sorry for the few that are a bit blurred, but I get so excited when I see the spectacular results!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mending or Burling!

For those of you who've been to my classes or week-end courses and we've talked about "finishing", particularly manding, there is a wonderful video about linen that show's checking and mending linen fabric beautifully.  You all have all had a go at checking and mending your fabrics, but this is on a grand scale!
The video is only about 15minutes long, but is well worth watching and you will see the checking and mending about half way through.
Linen is a really beautiful fabric and is now being mixed, again, with other fibres, including cashmere.  Mm...  gorgeous!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sett - Part 2

At the beginning of last month I posted about Sett.  It's something that's really important to grasp as a new weaver and getting it right comes with practice.  At a workshop with a group of newish weavers we had a really good look at Sett and here are the results:

With a 12" rigid heddle loom (Ashford Knitters Loom) we warped with 32 ends (threads) of J. C. Rennie's lovely Supersoft Lambswool (2/6's).  Each of us had a different rigid heddle; 5 dent per inch (dpi), 7.5 dpi, 10 dpi and 12 dpi; so each warp was a different width, as you can see below:

In the 5 dpi reed, the 32 end warp was 6" wide and ensuring a balance weave - equal numbers of warp ends to weft picks - 32 picks (threads in the weft) were woven to 6" in length.  This was made fairly easy by using a colour and weave pattern in the warp and weft.

On the right the woven swatch has been "finished", that is, crabbed (using a dry cloth with steam iron or a damp cloth with a dry iron) then given a hand hot wash and hand hot rinse and allowed to dry naturally.

The very open weave swatch lost more than 1" all  round after finishing!  We could have finished more and still maintained the soft handle.

The swatch on the right, here, was woven on the 7.5dpi reed and the 32 ends were 4" wide. After finishing, as above, the resulting balance weave swatch was 3 1/2" wide, with a slightly firmer handle, suited to a masculine scarf.

The small swatch on the left was woven on the 10 dpi reed and the 32 ends were 3" wide.  After finishing, as above, the swatch was 2 3/4" all round, with a firm handle, suitable for a blanket.

The 32 ends of this little swatch, were 2.5" in the warp and after finishing like all the previous swatches was 2 3/8" all round.  To obtain the balance weave it had to be beaten very firmly and the resulting swatch would be suitable for upholstery fabric.

One outcome of this exercise was that we found it more difficult to maintain a balanced sett with the widely spaced warp than the close sett warp.  However, once crabbed and washed the resulting swatch looked fine!

I do hope this was useful, please let me know if you have had similar results.
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