On "gamps" – the word

The thing with being a non-native speaker is that sometimes you don’t even reflect on strange words. "Gamp" is what it is called, even if I would have tried with "colour sampler" first
It seems to me that "sampler" (or just "sample") is any sample, but a "gamp" always is about colour. Am I wrong on that? Or can a "structure sampler" (like, for instance the draft here) also be a gamp?

Somewhere I’ve heard the explanation that it comes from Sarah Gamp, the Dickens character. Now I decided to try to look it up.
Dicitonaries of course gave nothing – there is no English word spelled "gamp", just so you know...
Next try: google.
I got lots of hits. ALL of them (ok, just the first 20 or so) told me that is is British slang for umbrella, named after Sarah Gamp (see above). Unless, of course, it means Good Automated Manufacturing Practice.

On Wikipedia, I found that Sarah (or Sairey) Gamp "habitually carries with her a battered black umbrella".

So, dear readers (especially the native speakers among you) – WHY does a BLACK (and battered) umbrella lend the name to a COLOUR, er, "gamp"?

On colour gamps

From time to time the topic of colour gamps crops up.

Ages ago (before the age of digital cameras, anyway) I wove one a little different. I meant to keep it for myself, but one day someone wanted to buy it... and, what can I say: I am in this for the money (yeah right!), so of course I sold it.

Now, of course, I can’t remember exactly what/how I did. There were some old notes, but not in enough detail. (Something that never has happened to me before – I wish ;-)

I do remember it was about optic blending, and I do remember I tried to use the CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow) system, using what yarns I had on hand.

After some fiddling, this is what I think I did:
(click to make bigger – the bigger the more stripey it looks)

Here and there there are a few colour-and-weave patterns, if you look closely enough. Here is one portion:

In 2/2 twill:

which also shows some colour-and-weave patterns:


The structure of a shirt

Once again, I made a foray to the second-hand store, found a shirt.
The shirt itself is unremarkable, almost boring, but is feels VERY nice to the touch. Soft and thick, all cotton – I thought it could be seersucker. It will be very nice in the winter, I think.

When I looked closer, it wasn’t seersucker. (I should have known; it is too thick.)

This is an enlargement – this piece is about 2,5 cm (1") square.

Here is the draft (I think; even using a magnifier it is difficult to be quite sure):

The yarn looks like singles, and the sett is about 44 ends/cm.

If we were to "name" this structure, what would it be?


Success – and exhibition opening

I made another warp, and wove it off (no breaks!) – somewhere I made a mistake, 'cos it was shorter than I had meant. So I wove it as long as possible... using another (more even) wooden reed:

Cut, moistened, mangled, let dry, glued the ends (including a hanging device and something to weight the bottom).
I hung it this morning:

At two o’clock the exhibition opened:

with renaissance music:

More pictures from the exhibition can be found on my other blog.

And, even though there are oodles of water spouts in the mill, I forgot to take a picture...


”Fixing” floats, some thoughts

I got a question: about strategies to fix long floats, á propos my twill play (which also appeared as weave-of-the-month for June, 2010). (links open in new windows)

First: how long is a “long float”? I’d say it depends on several things – the yarn used (wool will adhere to itself, “felt”, if you will, during wet finishing/pressing; most cellulose yarns will not), the grist of the yarn used (the same float length in numbers will be a lot longer in measured length for a thick yarn than for a thin), the end use of the cloth (a long-ish float in a towel in constant use will probably catch more than the same float lenght in a, say, scarf, or in a tablecloth).

Looking at the 16-shaft "idea-draft" it has max floats of 5. For my green blankets, I (probably) used a sett of 6 ends per cm, which makes the 5-end float shorter than 1 cm. Then wet finished, even if not "felted", these floats get a) shorter by "just" shrinkage and b) somewhat felted, thus less "outstanding". They will probably not survive the cats – but then, nearly nothing survives an enthusiastic cat...
Using the draft for, say, napkins, I would probably choose a cotton 16/2 sett at ... say 20 ends per cm, which would make the floats 2.5 mm (or 1/10" – this one was easy even for us metrics). And I think that actual float length requires a very enthusiastic cat to get destroyed fast...

However, this doesn’t answer the generic question about strategies.
As "extra" floats occur at the points where the threading/treadling reverses, the only way to eliminate them is to eliminate the reversals.
Here we have three different threadings (marked by different warp/weft colours), treadled "as drawn in". The "true" squares are outlined in a garish green, just to make them easier to see (click to biggify).

The first two (short points and longer points – the longer I would call goose eye), with a 2/2 tieup will never give longer floats than 3. Usually this is not a problem – but if you wish to avoid that, the only 4-shaft remedy (I think) is to thread like at the far left: at the reversing point, skip one shaft and go from shaft 4 to 2; from shaft 1 to 3. (This also means there is no way of obtaining true tabby, because you are no longer following the "odd-even" rule.) Treadling in the same way, you get what I call diamond twill, which could also be called broken-reversed twill. (I think I have seen it called "crystal twill" in English, but I may be wrong.)

These breaks-reversals can be extended without problems, to get bigger diamonds – they can be treadled straight to give what I call herringbone. These threadings/treadlings never give floats longer than over 2 ends/picks.(again click to biggify)



Nice to the touch, more drape than I thought, once it had dried:

Maybe I will make another try, there is more than a week ‘til the exhibition opening...

A bonus picture, which by some mysterious happening landed in the wrong folder:

His name is Pádraig O’Neill, Paddy for short (sometimes swedified to Patrik Nilsson)


Spools, again

Well, "quills", I suppose...

Remember the discussion on paper quills? Where both I and Meg confessed we have some Very Old paper quills?

Today, I happened on to a Swedish blog - in this post, at the very bottom, she tells a story: she had been given some old quills, used them to weave upholstery fabric. The two last photos depict both sides of the old (emptied) paper quills... (Note also the differing sizes and shapes!)

Update on the paper experiment: several warps broke, I cut off the few remaining, moistened and mangled. The hand got... interesting - of course no drape, but nice to the touch - but no sticking. I meant to make a new warp today, but did not. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not.