Posts Tagged ‘loom’

100 sq ft… check!

last night, i finished weaving the square footage needed for the mini golf hole! it was more exciting and relieving than i could have predicted, even though we still have a lot of work to do making hazards and pulling the whole piece together. nevertheless, i poured myself a nice, cold, new belgium mothership wit at the end, sat down to a super delicious dinner of chicken marsala (thank you, lisa!) and basked in the glory for at least an hour afterwards. Continue reading

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weaving the bedrock+ water hazard

i’m using a diamond twill for the bedrock:

here it is wrapping up on the front beam:

the warp has four colors:

i’m using an extended herringbone twill + random warp for the water hazard. the orange cord you see below is used for the first few shots to spread out the warp (when you tie it on the front beam, the ends extend in a narrow manner that needs to become regular before weaving). next, i throw a number of shots to get the fabric going, then stop to hemstitch the ends so the fabric doesn’t unravel when i take it off the loom.

mental note: i really need to take the time stamp off the new camera.

how to warp an earthy loom from front to back, abridged

1. tie the bouts you’ve measured to the front beam.

2. sley the reed.

3. thread your heddles:

4. as you’re threading your heddles, tie every ten ends with a knot:

5. tie your knotted ends to the back apron rod.

6. beam your warp (wind it up on the back beam). make sure you pull it tight every few turns, and separate the threads with stiff paper or sticks:

7. tie eight ends at a time to the front apron rod with surgeon’s knots:

6. tighten and re-tighten all your knots to give an even tension over the warp:

7. throw a couple shots of thicker or doubled-up yarn to spread the warp out. these shots will be pulled out in the end:

8. ok: now weave! yalla, indeed!

oh no — a broken warp!

if you weave, it’s bound to happen: a warp thread breaks. here is one of mine doing exactly that:

this one didn’t totally snap, but a few of its plies seemed to have broken, and as a result it became much, much looser than the neighboring ends.

to fix it, i pinned a new warp end to the fabric, threaded it through the correct heddle, and tied it to the good part of the broken end closer to the back beam:

then back to weaving, hemstitch it up, and i’m done with grass no.2.

the herringbone grass

my second strip of grass is going to be woven in a herringbone twill with a color-graduated warp. here’s the first bout (first 150 ends of the 300 ends i need) measured out on the warping board:

the high-tech little method below is what i use to keep track of the count. for every 10 ends, you wrap the yarn. i need 150, so 15 wraps will do me. the yellow thread at the very bottom is my guide for wrapping on the warping board… for instance, if i need 3.2 yards, i measure a guide thread to that length, figure out the path between pegs that works perfectly, then follow that path for my measuring.

next is a photo i took with a cool little iphone app named hipstamatic that my sister turned me on to. yeah, its fun, but i quickly realized it doesn’t serve the purpose of clear documentation very well. in any case, this is the second bout measured out, and you can see i’m beginning to tie it up with all the various knots that help keep it from tangling up after its taken off the warping board.

below is the first shot of green, and you can see the herringbone pattern and graduated colors of the warp. to get this pattern, i had to switch up the threading of the heddles from 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 (straight) to 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 (point). the new threading took me quite a while to get used to, and i spent a fair amount of time double- and triple-checking my work, making it go pretty slow.

then, to make matters worse, i hadn’t foreseen that, compared to a straight threading, double the amount of heddles would be needed on shafts 2 and 3, and about half as many on shafts 1 and 4. i noticed this when i was about 3/4 done threading the first bout, but waited til i had used up all the heddles on shafts 2 and 3 before moving some over from shafts 1 and 4. can you say HUGE pain the ass? it is WAY easier to move heddles when you don’t have over half of them threaded. blah.

this is my weavie helper, mahana, making sure the weft yarn on my shuttle doesn’t get out of hand.

the end of grass no.1

i’m almost done with grassy strip no.1. the whole thing is woven in 2/2 twill with the randomly striped warp and lots of weft striping.

here it is wound up on the front beam:

below is the back apron rod. you can tell i’m pretty much done because this is the end of the warp, and it’s getting super close to the heddles.

you can also see my “fix” for a mistake in threading at the beginning of this strip. twills really benefit from a “floating selvedge,” a weft end on each side of the fabric that is not threaded through a heddle (so it doesn’t move up and down with the shafts). you wrap the weft around the floating selvedge on each shot in order to avoid long pieces of selvedge that aren’t incorporated into the fabric due to twill’s pattern. it’s a little hard to describe, but becomes readily apparent while weaving if you forget.

so, if you need to add a weft end in after you’ve already warped the loom, you can use a weight to hang the end over the back beam, giving it the same tension as the other ends. the weight i’m using is a thick block of kiln-formed glass i made in a class taught by my friend, glass artist sarinda jones (props to my mom, cindy, for the class!). i wrapped the yarn around the center of the block and held it in place with a rubber band. worked like a charm!

the fabric is hemstitched in yellow and cut off the loom:

all done and ready to be pulled off:

random stripes and tapestry moves

for the first strip of “grass,” i decided to randomly stripe the warp. i pulled simultaneously from about 7 spools of my 8/4 cotton carpet yarn and wrapped them on the warping board. then, when i was holding the cross and sleying the reed, i randomly picked a color to sley. this process gives a sense of continuity to the random stripe since the same colors occur within every 7 warps, but allows enough variation to keep it from looking overly planned. i LOVE the result, but have to say that beaming the warp (wrapping the warp on the back beam) was a pretty tangled process.

about halfway in to my 8′ length on this warp, i decided to play around with some tapestry moves to create a little “flower patch.” to begin with, i pulled two colors of yarn in, one from each side, and wrapped them around each other before beating. then i open the next shed and take each yarn back out to their respective edges:

i also tinkered with three colors:

i really like the process, but because of the deadline i have for this project, i don’t think i’ll be doing much more of it. it takes much more time. pretty cool, though!