18/05/2015

Deconstruction


This is a very old lampshade, it must be at least 30 years old. The construction of the shade itself is very easy: because of the pattern of this fabric, it was made as a cylinder with a channel for a drawstring at each end. The cylinder is slightly bigger than the wire construction, and sewed with attention to the pattern.



The fabric was bought.

The warp is a thin cotton. I think the warp yarn is the same all over, but it is hard to tell. The weft is the same, except for the closer bands: that yarn might be a thin singles linen.



Here is the drawdown:



I gave the presumed linen a different colour, to make reading the construction easier. (The detail picture does obviously not contain a whole repeat - fill it in yourselves)
The crammed warp stripes has 24 ends each; for more open parts I did not even try to count the number...
Also, I did not check the sett, but my guess is that the crammed stripes has double the number of ends per unit (this is the reason I left every other "heddle" empty).

The same goes for the weft: the crammed bands have 12 picks, the two first end the two last in each band go in the same shed. I guess that the linen weft is double the thickness of the other yarn (and I think the other weft is the same as the warp).

Each square is roughly 2 cm - maybe 1/2 cm for the crammed stripe/band, maybe 1 1/2 cm for the open square.

09/05/2015

"Händer som skapar"


(Hands that create) - the exhibition to commemorate the 100-year jubilee of the local Hemslöjden branch opened today.

The idea, when first announced, was to find 500 "creators" in the county, and let them choose one of two options: either a box 40 x 40 x 20 cm, or a "stick".
I first thought to use the box, but when I understood that everything in the box had to be glued down so that it (the box) could be handled any whichway and still look "good", I changed my mind - it had to be the stick. One could make anything suitable to hang from a stick, with max measurements of 80 x 160 cm.

This exhibition is what I made "The first daffodil" for.

The local paper (which I read hours before the opening) was disappointed that nobody had "dared" go "outside the box". (Somebody might have told it that the makers were warned anything "sticking out" would be rejected...)

Well. I arrived at the opening, there were talks, a performance (wood-turning on lathe and piano music), and then the doors were opened.

My disappointment was the "airiness": I had anticipated a "massive attack", box-upon-box-upon-box-upon-box, sticks, more-boxes... (A rumour said there were "only" 300 participants, all done - which might explain the, um, sparseness.)


The public was there, though - not only the chosen 300; my guess would be double, at least. (This explains the odd photo-angles, but I hope it shows that all kinds of "making" was represented.)

I could probably have found a water spout nearer to the action, but after seeing so much people I got homesick. But on our afternoon walk we got our fill of running water - we "jumped the gate" and investigated the new walking trail that will be inaugurated tomorrow:

08/05/2015

02/05/2015

The Falkirk tartan


or: what excessive googling can lead to...

Someone asked me about "the Falkirk tartan", could I help explain?

I had to admit that "the Falkirk tartan" wasn't in my cache memory, so I would have to get back later.

There were a gazillion hits on "Falkirk tartan". Here is a picture, snagged from the National Museum of Scotland enlarged to double size (click to maximize):


Some manipulating later, I decided this was as "improved" I could get it:


So, obviously, this is a straightforward 2/2 broken-reversed twill, treadled straight. (Well, who knows which direction is which, and it probably was neither "threaded" nor "treadled" as we understand the words nowadays, but the structure looks like this)

(edited to show the correct picture here)

However, several hits used this same sentence to describe it:
" Although small, it is of a type known as weft-woven (or dog-tooth) check in woollen fabric. It has a simple check design of natural light and dark wool."

Er, yes. Of course it is a weft-woven check (I mean, all cloth is woven with a weft, yes?). But just how often do we come across the combination weft (hyphen) woven? By then, my google-fu had deserted me, I just could not convince it to search for "weft-woven" (as in weft-hyphen-woven). Tried some other search engines, with the same result.

So: is there anybody out there who can tell me what exactly "a type known as weft-woven (or dog-tooth) check" means???

Giving up on that one, I went on to "dog-tooth". Maybe I shouldn't have done that... as usual, "trade" has its own definitions, sometimes not agreeing with "handweaver" defs.

According to my usual (handweaving) sources, hound's tooth is a colour-and-weave pattern, a 2/2 straight twill with 4-and-4-ends/picks. If the twill is broken/reversed, it can become a shepherd's check (but by now I have run out of stamina, and I can't remember which of the other three quadrants is what I think of as shepherd's check, and, besides, does it really matter?)

23/04/2015

Now what?


The fan fabric is done: inspected (several mistakes... some mis-sleying, some treadling mistakes, some must-have-been-a-bad-shed, one end not caught for long stretches), some repairs (only broken ends, the mistakes were too difficult); washed; mangled.
(I'm hoping I can get at least one shirt without glaring mistakes - perhaps it was A Good Thing I used such a busy/uneven pattern?)

So what have I learned? I think the most important thing is not to sley three per dent, because 1) it is very difficult to get it correct and 2) all too often the three ends did not separate when crowded.

I would have used a temple, had I but planned better: just five centimetres wider, and my biggest temple would have worked. Or: just 10 cms narrower, and one of the shorter temples would have been enough.

I also have learned to look better at the yarns when doing fairly dense setts - some of the spools had twisted-together ends, when they might have been knotted for better strength. I might have seen the knots, but the twists just separated.


Perhaps also it would have been better with fewer shafts? The more shafts, the more difficult to optimize the sheds. Here I had 8 shafts, and after too much fiddling I decided the top of the sheds were "good enough"... wrong decision, obviously.

It was "interesting" to mangle a fan fabric. As you have seen, there are small bumps in the cloth when weaving. They are not all gone when washed, and even knowing the trick of only smoothing to the sides (never along the warp) when rolling, some bumps wanted to stay.

No matter how tight one tries to make the roll, after a couple of passes it has loosened - partly because of the back-and-forth motion of the mangle, partly because the cloth flattens. Because of the persistent bumps, I re-rolled several more times than I normally do. The result is ok, though.
(But I "cheated" and pressed after mangling, also to help with the after-drying...)

Some pics:



Now to decide what kind of shirt to make, to go with the sort-of-diagonal-ish pattern.
One of the obvious choices is a not-really-shaped top, but there are five metres of fabric...
Perhaps some kind of kimono (or do I mean bat-wing?) "over-shirt", perhaps? I'm not sure about set-in sleeves with a fabric like this - thinking that probably they have to be matched in some way.

For now, the fabric sits on a roll on top of the fabric shelves.

20/04/2015

The story of the little warp that grew


This happened many years ago (maybe in the late 80-ies?).
A weaving guild I was associated with decided to do a vadmal project. I don't remember how many participants, or how many warps. But I do remember there was a lot of research done, and many discussions with spinning mills (I think we had two or three "custom" mills in Sweden at that time). It was decided we should order our yarns from Solkustens spinneri (at that time they were located outside Oskarshamn). So we ordered "warp spun" singles in white, also some ombré yarn (grey -> white -> grey).

All warps were wound 20 metres long.

The cloth from the loom I wove on came off as 22 metres. Plus thrums, and the dimensional loss we all learn to estimate at some 10%.

No, it wasn't mis-warped; the yarn had stretched. (IIRC, most cloths came out slightly longer than the warp length.)

It all ended happily: we went to a hammer mill deep in the woods, we hammered for hours (and hours), came home and made coats and other clothing.
- the ombré users noted that the white and grey portions had shrunk differently and pressed for hours, in hope to flatten their fabric.
All of us noted that the selvages were longer than the rest of the fabric. Some of us found ways to utilize the flaring edges, others tried to press them flat.

(Many years later, I did it again, with some other friends, different yarns, different mill - read about the vadmal adventure here (in Swedish here).
The flaring edges from my first experience made me fold the fabric in a different way this time, which worked: the edges came out nearly the same length as the rest, but instead we got "in-and-out" waves.)

So what has this to do with anything?

Not a lot.

But when I finally cut off this fan-reed fabric, it was a little shy of 6 metres (and I might have had maybe 50 cms more).

Considering I thought I had warped around 4 metres, the result made me remember the vadmal warp. In this case I guess I made two turns (and then some) on the warping mill instead of one turn (and then some).