Weaving Wednesday

Sampling is good. Had I been too lazy to sample the wedding stole would have been a disaster. Even though the two samples looked great on the loom the lurking problem would not have been manifest until thrown into the washer and dryer. Which is one reason a weaving should be washed or go through some form of what’s known as Wet Finishing.Ā  A woven piece isn’t truly fabric (of course there are always those exceptions) until it’s been wet finished – the method used (washed or gently dampened or…) depending on the end use.

Aurora wants to be able to use the stole and wear it whenever she’d like. I prefer to give items that can be tossed in the washing machine without worries about shrinkage or felting.

I wasn’t sure which treadling pattern or color(s) I wanted to use with the weft so played around with different sequences in the two samples.

I used the five colors in the sample warp and played around with using both a white tencel, my white handspun singles (shown in the bottom part of the picture) and the green tencel. One suggestion for this pattern was to place a tabby shot between each pattern shot to help stablize the cloth so in the first sample I used green tencel for the pattern and used handspun white, tencel white, and green in various tabby sections to see which looked best overall. Some sections I worked just the pattern without the tabby shots between.

All warp is individually threaded through heddles which are divided between (and held in place by) four shafts on my loom. The four shafts are attached (tied to) treadles which will raise the shaft when that treadle is stepped on. I tied my treadles so that each of the six treadles are tied to two shafts will gives me the ability to raise six different combinations of pairs. (sh 1&2, 1&3, 1&4, 2&3, 2&4, 3&4)

Tabby is also known as Plain weave: Two treadles are used with every warp thread attached to one or the other of the two. I have every other warp thread on shafts 1 & 3 which are tied up to treadle #1, the other half on shafts 2 & 4 which are tied up to treadle #2. When #1 treadle is stepped on every other warp is raised and I throw the shuttle taking the weft yarn through that shed, then I pull the beater forward and very gently push the yarn in place. Then #2treadle is stepped on and the other group of every other is raised. It becomes a walking rhythm. All the pattern is worked by stepping on a treadle that will raise two adjoining warp threads at a time.

Using two shuttle sticks to separate the two samples I then reversed the colors using white tencel for the pattern shots and green or white as tabby, and no tabby in some sections.

See the middle section of the variegated yarn? It’s the one that had quite a bit of sparkle shown in the previous post. It was a tencel/wool/rayon blend that had a bit of stretchiness to it. Well, it shrank – considerably. Horribly. Not good. It caused a vertical pluckering that wasn’t nice to behold. The white handspun also shrunk. The horizontal pullin was reminiscent of smocking. Makes me suspect that someone at sometime has intentionally used the method for a fake smock effect. Sorry, no pictures of the finished samples.

The sheen of the tencel is wonderful and the hand of the finished fabric is light and soft. I decided to go with primarily green for the warp, with only 2 inch sections of the other colors. Only an inch of the apricot since it’s soysilk and doesn’t have the luster of the tencel but I still wanted to use some since it’s one of Aurora’s wedding colors. I was able to get the warp on this past weekend but only managed to finish tying it onto the cloth beam and weave the first 3 inches this evening. Our business has continued to bring in orders at a steady clip and I’m not getting to the loom during the day as I’d intended. Monday evening was a fun bridal shower for Aurora and last evening she’d scheduled me for an hour long facial.Ā  umm, nice!Ā  My skin now feels quite soft. šŸ™‚

Returning home last night we were treated to a sunset full of her wedding colors. The days are too swiftly counting downwards to the 23rd. The calendar is filling with appointments, scheduled “must have ____ done by” dates and life is feeling rather stressful! I’d love to shut down business for a week – ignore phone calls, emails and items to be packaged and just weave! Poor Ed keeps getting further and further behind with all the orders, a good deal are store orders some which are huge, and almost all have some type of deadline to meet. We’ll get through the next three weeks!

Driving home from an appointment the other day. Springtime in Oregon! Taken about 3 miles from our small village which is towards the left middle of the picture, at the base of the closest ridge.

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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

8 thoughts on “Weaving Wednesday”

  1. Ahhh, just think… in a few weeks? It will all be said and done and it will have been wonderful. and worth it :^)
    In the meantime I send all manner of supportive thoughts and prayers, with more than a fair share of peaceful moments along the way.
    That facial (an hour long!) sounds oh so sweet!
    Looking forward to seeing the ‘wet finished’ samples.
    XOXOXOXOX

  2. Wanda, I love reading about your weaving – it’s so fascinating to me, and so beautiful to look at.

    Hang in there – all the stress will be over with soon, and you can dial it down a bit for the summer (I hope!). šŸ™‚

  3. Well, after the 23rd, life will be strangely silent. It will be a welcome lull, won’t it?

    Hurray for more orders! I really must get mine in!

    Have a happy week!

  4. Absolutely beautiful colors on the stole and the landscape! But the most beautiful thing is the face of your granddaughter in the previous post! Way fun!
    Hang in there!
    Grannie Linda

  5. Wow, it does sound like life is speeding up right now — that’s a lot to get done in a short time! It’s all such good stuff, though — a wedding, successful business — it just seems to all come at once! The stole is absolutely stunning, I truly love that green. Aurora will love wearing it on her wedding day šŸ™‚

  6. I am so glad to hear that your business is doing so well (yet it does present challenges of keeping up….) and this is a lovely testimony to the fact that quality workmanship continues to be sought after – even in these tough economic times. yay!

    Weaving samples. wow. I never imagined, yet I understand. What an enormous bit of work to make a woven “sample.” People don’t realize it, but indeed, tencel shrinks up in the first wash. Is there anyway you can machine wash the yarn before you weave with it (and thus pre-shrink it before weaving?) Because normally, it only shrinks that one time… (just a thought, not scientific proof..it might still shrink after..)
    Good luck with all the wedding excitment

  7. The wedding and the stole will both be lovely on the 23rd, and so will your daughter. Will we see some pictures afterward? The clouds in your picture are spectacular, but hopefully, they won’t be hanging around threatening rain on the 23rd. I hope you have a beautiful clear sunny day. I agree with Tayani, it is good to hear that your business keeps going strong, even in the current economy.

  8. Love the weaving I’m a new weaver with a very new loom. So I love all the information! Sound like things are a little crazy for you and I’m just going to make it worse. I just need to decide which wood I want my spindle out of!

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