My ”Halloweave”

Over at Weavolution there has been a fun event going for the month of October.

I “signed up” for a dare: to try the seersucker method that Cathie posted some time ago.

I had lots of other things to do, but, at the last moment, I managed to get it done!

On the Friday I dressed the loom.

On the Saturday I wove it (and fringed it)
(which, considering what I also did yesterday, was a bit of a feat)

and today, after wet finishing, tumbling and some press it looks like this:

As the method called for the main warp to be tight, the “seering” (or is that the “sucking” ;-) ?) warp(s) to have a lighter tension, I decided to do 3 stripes, and to tension them differently. As I got confused with the math, I ended up with approx the same tension (weight/end) for the green and the taupe stripes, less for the gold stripe.
I cranked up the tension on the brown warp as high as I could.
(All warps are cotton – the brown is 16/2 unmerc, the coloured is 20/2 merc. All are set at 12 ends per centimeter. The weft is an unmerc cotton 16/2, and the whole thing is slightly warp-emphasis - I think I had approx 8 picks/cm)

Just for the threading, I had wound the stripes on the second beam, meaning to take them all off later, to hang freely. Then it dawned on me: I could let them form loops at the back, hang the weights in the loops – it would make advancing the warp easier, too!

To begin with, I had too little weight on the stripes – after several skips I added to all three!

When weaving, the different tension did show up only when I advanced the warp. When cut off, there was just a hint of “something” in the stripes (see picture above).
So: my hope was the wet finishing would take care of the sucking... and it did. Some.

I had hoped the difference would be greater – or, I should say the visual difference. The real difference is there alright:

Try as I might, I can't get a good photo of the shawl (or "not-quite-rebozo") draped, the colours don't want to cooperate. But there are tendencies towards iridescence in both stripes and main part - maybe another day.

But there is some warp left over, maybe I should try with twill in the brown parts...


Let there be light!

For the longest time I have wondered why light reflectors aren’t incorporated into winter clothing. I have sewn on bands of reflecting material, I have embroidered with reflecting thread. I have experimented with needle weaving reflecting thread into existing garments – here I am, on a winter’s night, on the road outside my home (click to enlarge):

I have also experimented with using that “yarn” (really a narrow strip of PVC plastic, coated with reflecting material) to weave with – pictures without and with flash (pictures taken at the same time):

Before the yardage was made into coats, it was in a yardage exhibition at Convergence – it must have been ’04, I think. It was titled “nightly rainbow”. Here is a detail – top is the reverse (no flash), bottom the right side (flash), both on loom:

Basically, it is a waffle weave with the coloured and the reflecting ends placed so as to be on the reverse side most of the time.

Now, I have just completed another reflecting experiment. This time I used a reflecting thread made to use for machine embroidery. I chose that to see what hand the fabric would have if it was used throughout (together with a woolen warp and weft).
First I tried it just “doubled”, but didn’t like the result.

So... the next step doesn’t really lend itself to “production”: I tried plying it with the weft yarn. Of course (I knew it, but hoped I was wrong) the weft yarn became totally unruly... which meant I had to first unply, then re-ply the weft yarn. It worked, but for production? No...! Maybe I can talk some small spinning mill into making it for me?

However, with a coat/jacket like this, one would not have to worry about being invisible!

(Yes, it has been wet finished, and it handles quite ok. But it will take long before I will try to make a longer yardage)


Another trip

to another Big City (well – the biggest one we have, here, anyway): Stockholm.
The purpose for my trip was to discuss the changing of the by-laws for Riksföreningen för handvävning – and discuss we did! Among other things we discussed whether we (the assoc) should spread knowledge about the cultural history or just the history of weaving. Myself, I think that other aspects of the history of weaving are as important (the importance of weaving for economic purposes, for instance) as are the cultural aspects. (And I won! That is, I wasn’t alone in my opinion even from the beginning – so I’ve better write WE won.)

After the conference, we all went to see an exhibition: Royal Vintage at Livrustkammaren.
Lots of draped dresses:

The last one is not vintage - it is "inspired" by the exhibition.
(yes, it was ok to take photographs)

And... the waterspout:

There is another interesting exhibition in Stockholm now, but I missed that. (Hope to see it later.) It is at Hallwylska palatset – and here are more photos.
It would have been very interesting to see these clothes, especially as I have the rest of the (wool) yarns... my friend and I bought the left-over stock (close to 1500 kg, IIRC) many years ago, and I still have some of it. (I remember, when we came home, we counted to something like 120 different clours, or I should say nuances. Enough to sample “unlikely” colour combinations, anyway. And so many of the “unlikely” combos have turned out great!)
The yarn has figured on this blog from time to time – for instance here, but also here.
I think all of my vadmal was woven with this yarn (not all fabric in the pictures are mine – but both the brightest green and the red are), also the blankets here. And all the V-shawls, and... and, in fact, most of the wool fabric I have made since I bought the yarn!


London: some cultural observations

The view from my hotel room:

The hotel shall remain nameless, but the price was right...

This time I ventured into (by me) unchartered territory, which meant I had to occasionally consult the map. So... on which (obviously big) road was I? All the crossing (small and narrow) roads had signs - but the big did not. It appears that thoroughfares generally are signed at both ends, but not in the middle. Quite confusing, if one comes up from the underground, in the middle of the (long) road.
Common sights:

Not very common sight:

Also, there are often no numbers on the houses. Thus, I was looking for the Textile and Fashion museum. I walked, and walked, and walked... until I gave up and found a place to ask (it was Sunday). It turned out that I was about 100 numbers past. I turned around, and suddenly I was at #60 (I wanted 83). Turned again. I finally found a small(ish) door, with a small(ish) print (maybe all of 1" high) saying Textile and fashion museum... closed on Sundays (and Mondays).

Well, the weather was nice, so I went to Tate modern instead. The spoor of the (in)famous crack can still be seen:

(and to continue the tradition - here is a small water spout, Tate model:)

Later that afternoon - a sight to be seen only in London?

As it is such a good idea, they can have a link, too: pedibus.

London: fibres, fabrics and...

fancy dress (NO! But how to allitterate? F...f... fanatics? no, that's even worse... ah: 'ficionados, that will do it!)
So: London: fibres, fabrics and 'ficionados.

Fibres: for the first time, I visited Handweaver's studio, a place full of fibres

"ordinary" yarns, more unusual yarns

glitter yarns

There are also spinning tools, looms, books, magazines... However, having baggage restrictions, I didn't buy much.

Fabrics: there is a small stretch of road having more fabric shops than anywhere else I have ever seen, on Goldhawk road (between Shepherd's bush market and the common). Silks, silks, silks, worsteds, fancy fabrics, fashion fabrics... Did I mention silks? (To make it even better, there is also a pub called The stinging nettle - not quite fibres, but almost...)

As this whole block is threatened with demolition, here are many pictures:

(Should you happen to pass by in the near future, please go in and sign the petition!!!)

'ficionados: as my specific reason for going to London was the Congregation of the Burgon Society, here are a couple of pictures: