the things you can learn from the 'net...

It started with my looking at the statistics for this blog. It went on with my testing some of the search words used.
Soon I had come to a very muddled (only IMO, of course ;-) article about Swedish weaving. There I could learn that "a young Swedish man, in 1832, created Sweden's first loom".
Hmmm - "first loom" in 1832??? What on earth??? So I followed the reference link, and found that J T Munktell (who was apparently much into steam as a power source) possibly constructed Sweden's first power loom (a fact that most sources don't mention), but also constructed the first locomotive, the first threshing machine and, and... and also is (almost) the Founding Father of Volvo.

So, what have I learned today?
1. do not believe everything you read on the Internet (we may live in the back-of-beyond, but we sure had "looms" before 1832. They may all have been "foot-powered", but...)
2. Toyota is not the only modern car company that started with a loom - here you can read about J T Munktell (right column, .pdf file)
3. I will look at my old Volvo BM tractor with new eyes from now on...
(the glamour shot is copied from here  - mine is a lot less, er, polished? It is from the same year (1956), possibly hasn't been washed since then... I'll spare you the "true" pic - but it looks more like the one here. Perhaps I should mention that they did renovate theirs.)

Variations on a theme

Bilder till Siv - ganska lika, men inte riktigt: den andra är trampad-som-solvad, den första har en kortare trampning av varje parti. (Klicka på bilderna så blir de större)

Almost ths same, but not quite: the bottom one is treadled exactly as drawn in, while the top one has a shorter treadling repeat.



I wanted to have the two shawls ready by Saturday, as there was a market in, er, "town".

As I did spend most of Thursday traipsing around Glimåkra for the "weave days" (where I bought this

- what on earth was I thinking... Will I ever even try to weave with a wire that size? It looked thicker when I didn't have a sewing thread to compare with...)

Well. After "wasting" a day on that little purchase, I had Friday to complete the first two shawls. I had woven one meter, but what with the shrinkage they have to be around 2,5 meters on loom. And... with two parallell warps this means 5 meters total.

So, here they are, in the almost-sunshine of the Saturday morning:

When fringed, wet finished, pressed and brought out into daylight, they were a lot more subdued that I had thought...

I also wet finished the weft samples:

I like the pink for the red-orange (bottom), and maybe the reddish brown (fourth from top) for the blue-purple.
But first, the next two: blue-purple crossed with a dark purple (slightly darker that the second-from-top), red-orange crossed with a (nearly) blinding orange (more intense than the second-from-top).

I had more visitors than I usually have on the "market days". Unfortunately no sales, but also not much weaving.


An efficiency experiment

As shawls are too narrow to use the fly-shuttle on, I thought I would try putting two warps side-by-side. Maybe it would prove to be as efficient as doing them one-after-the-other?

Not being sure if the two-warp idea was a good one, I only warped for 3 shawls per warp. As they are to be a "winter" version of these, which depend on shrinkage, this means about 9 meters of warp.

A bad photo, but an overview of the arrangement:

First, I sampled different wefts

One plus with the two-warp arrangement is that I could see all combinations at the same time - some wefts can work in both warps. Weaving the samples was ok, I did not feel very slowed down by the constant shuttle-changing. (Two picks in right warp, two in the left)

So I decided on some silk noil weft(s), and started weaving.
1500 picks later, I know that 1. my beat is acceptable (7,5 picks per cm instead of 8) and 2. it is slower (or, at least, more tiring - which comes down to the same thing).

Oh well - only six-and-a-half meter left!

- the colours look all wrong, it is so dark these days that I have to use all possible lighting, and use the flash... anyway, you might be able to guess that one set will be called "lighten up the winter dark" and the other something like "match the weather" :-)



As everybody but us Swedes from the back-of-beyond probably knows, there is a verb: to corduroy.

I have a couple of bottomless mudpits in my back yard. When the autumn rains arrive, you can sink deep enough to lose a wellie. We have tried to dump stones in them (to no avail). So, today I decided to "corduroy" them. I did not do it quite as described, but instead took a big bunch of dead branches, topped that with a nice tangle ("web", perhaps...) of freshly cut raspberry bushes (nice and tough) and several tangles of vines.
When done, we could walk across it without sinking, but if the (almost) corduroying will survive the winter, nobody knows. Yet.

Maybe I should label this post "off-loom weaving"...


Lost in translation - part II

As I wrote here, odd things can happen when applying automatic translation to specialized texts.

The other day I happened to come to one of my own pages in English, with Google translator turned on. Oooops...
The translator is stupid - it just does what it is told. So, if it is told to translate from Swedish to English, it tries to do that, regardless of which laguage the text was written in.

Like this, for instance (using the same examples as in the last post): 
The Swedish text:
"Såhär gick jag tillväga för att konstruera sjalen:
Båda lagren skulle vara tuskaft. För att väva två lager tuskaft behöver man fyra skaft. Eftersom sjalen har två partier går det åt totalt åtta skaft.
Jag väljer att solva de orangea trådarna på jämna skaft (2 och 4 för det ena partiet, 6 och 8 för det andra), och solvar alltså de lila trådarna på de udda skaften. För att lättare komma åt att solva väljer jag att ha partiet med de flesta trådarna på skaften närmast mig. Där båda lagren överlappar solvar jag varannan lila, varannan orange."
becomes, when asked to be translated from (supposed) English -> Swedish:
"Sahar Gick JAG tillväga för Själen ATT konstruera:
Bada lagren skulle Vara tuskaft. För ATT Vava Två lager tuskaft behöver man Fyra skaft. Eftersom Själen HAR Två Partier gar DET Åt Totalt Åtta skaft.
JAG väljer ATT solva de orangea trådarna In jämna skaft (2 and 4 för DET ENA partiet, 6 and 8 för DET Andra), and Solvår alltså de lila trådarna in de udda skaften. För ATT lättare Komma Åt ATT solva väljer JAG ATT ha Partiet Med de flesta trådarna In skaften närmast mig. Dar bada lagren överlappar Solvår JAG varannan lila, varannan orange."
(I wonder where all the CapItaL LettERs came from? And why some, but not all, "å" become "a"? And... I know what "själ" is (soul) - but why should a sjal (in supposed English) become a själ (in Swedish)?)

The English version: (translated/written by myself):
"This is how I did it:
Both layers were to be plain weave. To weave two layers of plain weave we need four shafts. As the shawl has two blocks we need a total of eight shafts.
I choose to thread the orange ends on odd shafts (1 and 3 for one block, 5 and 7 for the other). The purple ends get threaded on the even-numbered shafts. Where both
warps/layers coincide I place the colours one-by-one."
becomes, when translated from (supposed) Swedish -> English:
"This is how I did it:
Both layers were to ask plain weave. To weave two layers of plain weave We Need four shafts. As The Shawl hock two blocks we need a total of eight shafts.
I choose to thread the orange ends on odd shafts (1 and 3 for one block, 5 and 7 for the Other). The purple goat threaded ends on the even-numbered shafts. Somewhere
bothering warps / layers coincide in place the colors one-by-one."

- we have lost the warehouses and wires (from the other post), but have instead got both goats and hocks. And gained a different syntax.
Being a non-native speaker, I can't, of course, ever claim to write perfect (not even "good") English - but I'm not so very sure that Google can do it better...

Conclusion: make sure you have control over the "auto-translator" before giving up on a strange text, that the author claims to be in a specific language!

(A bonus example, from the bottom of the same article. Original text:
"A word of warning: do not make too long warps! The fact that the web has single layers at the sides, but double in the middle, will disturb the warp tension. I had problems already after about 150 cm woven - the sides got slacker than the middle."
"A word of warning: Do Not make too long warps! The fact thats the web speed single layer at the sides, But DoubleClick in the Middle, Will disturb the warp tension. I Had problems Already after about 150 cm woven - the sides slightly slacker than option-the-middle."
I know what warp speed is, but web speed? And *where* did the double-click come from??? And what is option-the-middle?)