To paddle or not to paddle?

Why, I have been asked, do I not use a paddle when warping with multiple ends?

The question came as a comment to this post – and the shortest possible answer is: but I did – only the "paddle" took the form of a reed.

One longer answer is: because I often use several colours/nuances, and rarely want a 1/1 lease because that would prevent a "random" colour placement.
Examples of "random" colour threadings (and the results) are:

On the occasions I do want a "perfect" colour order and the ends are of similar value (and thus can be difficult to see when threading) I do make a 1/1 lease – but as these colour orders often do not repeat, I haven’t found a way to make the paddle work: once the ends are in the paddle, they have their set place... Also, my favourite method for making colour transitions is based on Pascal’s triangle, which means I need to change the number of ends I warp with all the time. The system is described in an article on my website – here.

Some examples:

Detail from side panel:

Another one:

Detail, approximately bottom left corner:

I have seldom had problems with bigger leases, probably because my loom(s) are quite long, and because I seldom use very fine threads. (Most of what I weave is cotton 30/2 and coarser, and my favourite wool is approx 10000 m/kg, or something over 5000 ypp.) Maybe I would find out the need for a 1/1 lease if I ever could get my hands on some real angel hair... :-)


Superstitions and and myths

Ooops – did I really write that "ignorance is bliss"?
I suppose I did.

I didn’t mean it quite like that, of course. What I mean is: words are important. (So why am I writing this blog in English – my English is by necessity a lot less exact than my Swedish is? Well – try g***le translate, and all will be clear... Or rather, don’t try ;-)

Words are important: "it is impossible to use singles linen for warp"; "it is impossible to use handspun for warp"; "if you don’t do [it] THIS way, [it] will not work"; "if your shafts sink when using a CM loom you are a failure"; "if you don’t use a 1/1 lease your warp will not be weaveable" (is that a word?)...

What about this: "it can be difficult to use singles linen for warp"; "when spinning for warp, be careful with the joins"; "this is the method I always use – YMMV"; "when having tied up your CM treadles (or: when you have tied up the treadles, regardless of which type of loom you have), test the sheds before declaring your tie-up a failure – or a success"; "before you have some experience, don’t use too many ends in your threading cross – or: try with a 4/4 lease and see how it works".

Somewhere I have a book about weaving superstitions. A few I remember are:
- if someone comes into the room while you are dressing the loom, s/he has to take a few very high steps, saying (at the same time) SO high shed, SO high shed. (Otherwise you will not get any shed at all, I think. Or?)
- if a pregnant woman sees a (can’t remember – "naked", possibly? ) loom, she will miscarry.
- when you first can see a bit of the warp beam, it is called "happy hole" – but also: you HAVE to weave the warp down in that same sitting. (Otherwise? the cloth will disintegrate?)

What I think I’m really after is: apply brain before "committing". Is it likely that a fat and fluffy woollen yarn will show a lovely lace structure? If I am trying to make a (say) winter coat, will the best choice of fabric be a see-through linen yardage from the drapery section in the fabric store? If I want to dye a light yellow, will the best yarn to start with be black?
And, for that matter: if I have this (new-to-me) threading draft labelled (say) "summer-and-winter", and want to weave plain weave, can it really be done with an odd-even tie-up?

Or, looking at a (new-to-me) tie-up – can I really use drälltrissor when both shaft 1 and 10 go down at the same time?


I have accomplished the impossible!

And not only that – I did it (first time) more than 25 years ago.

And I have done it several times... no doubt because I didn’t know it was impossible.

The other day, when surfing the 'net, I came onto a site that states that it is impossible to weave lace (that is, to have the lace structure show after wet finishing) with wool, unless the wool is either superwash or "non-fulling" for other reasons – worsted-spun with lots of spinning twist, for instance.

Below is a potholder made from the "ultimate vadmal" woven of this same yarn (albeit green). The cloth was first treated in a hammer mill, then abused in the washing machine until it would not shrink more. (This took 10 cycles in cold water – read more here – the statistics are towards the end or the article).
(Maybe I should add: the scarves above were not treated the same, they have got just an ordinary wet finishing in the machine set at the "wool" program)

The potholder has been in constant use for the last 8-or-so years, has been washed many times (but not recently, as you can see...) – and the structure had no floats longer thas 3. It is actually woven of two different greens, as in the draft.

Conclusion: what you don’t know, you don’t have to worry about!

(My second warp ever was half-bleached linen 16/1, for overshot with handspun linen for the pattern weft. As nobody had told me it is "impossible" to use linen singles for warp, that, too, worked. And has worked again.)


Looks like any old memory stick, doesn't it?

And it is. It is my "to go" stick, the one that lives in my pocket (how much more convenient isn't the modern sneaker net, compared to the old floppies?). Like does the key ring, some loose change - well, you know.

Then, one day, the jeans needed a wash. And (you guessed it) I forgot about the memory stick. And the key ring.

When I took the laundry out of the machine, I found the keys. Didn't look further, and popped in the next load.

The above memory stick has survived not one, but two machine washes, the second one on 90 C. And: it works! (Perhaps I should be glad it fell out of the pocket - would it have survived the dryer?)


Wider warp

After some thinking, I decided to weave a slightly wider tiger for the "best" lambskin.

Hanging in over sticky beam and beater to thread is not my favourite occupation, but it was only 40 (working) ends - one extra inch at each side. This is what it looks like at the back of the loom now:

This tiger will have a light yellow (tabby) weft - and the first one will get on the back of another, slightly smaller, lambskin.


Tiger update

I am so glad that "my" day in Glimåkra was yesterday, as we got the first snow in the evening... and I haven't changed to winter tyres yet. I hope today's booth-tenders got there safe!

So today I made a pattern for the tiger skin. (I do miss the old broadsheets, now all papers are tabloid - it took 4 sheets and a lot of sticky tape to get a big enough paper)

It was a tight fit, but I think (hope!) the width is enough. But... maybe I should plan the next piece "better", so that the stripes all fall inside the body?

I found this tiger skin photo somewhere on the 'net:

What do you think?
(I will not have the whole assembly done before Halloweave is over, anyway - )



is another day... today, here is a sneak peek at what I will be doing:

My guild will represent thge nat'l guild at Glimåkradagarna. Today we were there to set up the booth - watch this space for more pictures!

After all these years, dare I say that I am getting a tiny bit tired with the low interest from the, hm, other involved parties in providing links (or maybe I mean links to the, hm, event in question - ? "Internet is just a passing... thing"?)


First tiger fabric

The first tiger fabric is woven and cut off. Here it is, in the fading daylight, beside it's intended backing, being inspected by the residential Black Panther:

It is now in the washing machine. With some luck I will have time to mangle it tomorrow.

If it shrinks too much, I have enough warp for another-and-a-half - maybe two...


Another "animal skin"

I had hoped to wind the tiger warp before I went away for a couple of days, but I did not quite reach the goal:

I think it looks promising...

But, while in Stockholm, I saw another "animal skin" pile rug:

I don't know what animal it is supposed to be, but it might be an antelope of some sort? At least I think it has horns...
(Picture taken through the store window - I didn't dare go in and ask)


On adding borders

There was a question over at Weavolution about
adding plain weave borders to a waffle weave.

As the asker had 4 empty shafts on her loom, I started doodling about other possible borders.

To take it form the beginning – here is one possible 4-shaft waffle draft:

It uses five treadles, according to most(?) books/practices – which, had the loom been a "standard Swedish", would leave three treadles unused.

Adding 8 ends at each edge, we can easily get plain weave:

This only works because waffle with five treadles is treadled to a point - with straight treadling we would get two picks in the same shed every time we go from treadle 5 to treadle 1:

But... the reason I added the ends to all four empty shafts is that plain weave is not the best companion to waffle weave , because of the difference in draw-in/shrinkage.
So what about adding a twill border instead?

As usual, when treadling to a point, the outermost ends will not get caught when treadling in one direction, but the edge floats will not be very long , so in my opinion this will work in most instances.

So... could I find a nice "hem" (or, rather, "border" – at least in Swedish, a border (bård) goes crosswise, while something that goes along the warp is a "stripe" ("rand"))

This requires four more treadles, which would be a problem for the "standard Swdish" loom. As I understand it, US looms always (?) have two extra treadles.

Note that I changed threading direction at the left edge, to make the twill line match (actually "oppose") the line at the right corner.

As usual, all pictures get bigger when clicked.


Chicken! Chicken! what a sight...

Yesterday we had to do a "utility outing". As it was sunny (for the first time in ... ages) we extended it with a small pleasure trip. We went to Huseby to see the chicken exhibition, and saw these:

(a golden sebright)

(a silver wyandotte)

Later, at the café, I found a couple of chairs:


As I don't have more than 16 shafts, I have to settle for less details

(OK, so this only takes 13, but it was just a quick doodle. A chicken can never be an alternative to a tiger...)


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright...

Over at Weavolution, the annual Halloweave is just starting.

(Last year I was in the rebozo group, weaving the seesucker shawl/sample at the very latest moment.)

This year I decided to finally make that tiger skin I have been thinking of for some years, now.
I bought a lovely light grey sheepskin, to make into a ... well, "object". The general inspiration is the traditional fälltäcke (museum pictures here), but I'm using just one skin, and will not cut it.

The fabric will have to be sturdy, I think, therefore I'm aiming for summer&winter - which also has the advantage to give me all of 14 blocks...

So now I'm trying to get a nice tiger-patterned profile draft - this is where I am right now:

So why a tiger? It seemed the perfect combination...

(Both pictures stolen from Wikipedia, Tyger and Lamb.)

Which team I'm in? Frightful fibres, of course!


A silk tie

I found it, and a couple others, at my nearest charity shop, and they cost me all of SEK 15 each... The true colours are maroon background with red and gold spots – the lining is a lovely purple. Both fabrics have black weft.

A scan, enlarged:

I tried to analyze it, but it was too difficult. I wish I had a magnifier that could be attached to the computer... Anyway, the idea is this:

The transition areas (between spots) is wrong, but no matter how I squint I can’t see. There are at least 60 ends per cm.

The lining is easier:

It has been transformed to another "transmitter transporter" (thanks again, Carla!)
As ties are all about bias, I had to make a separate pouch for the transmitter, placed inside the purple lining. It probably will distort the tie if actually used, but I thought it could be a nice addition to the “glam” page ;-)
Here it is, with a fake transmitter: