Tablecloth for x-mas?

It has been a long time - I have tried to get this blog going again, but haven't had anything interesting to share... because I have buried myself in something entirely different (but maybe equally nerdy), namely how industrial glass etching was done at the turn of the last century. (Everything about that adventure at another blog, which is only in Swedish. And, because of many specialized words, I don't dare put a translator on it...)

Anyway. Remember this? I visited the same place today, and saw a tablecloth:

(warp runs right-to-left in the above picture)

I took some pictures, which unfortunately did not come out quite focussed. (Have a new camera, too - it likes to do things on its own, and I haven't been able to tame it yet.)
Here is one not too blurry closeup of the actual cloth (warp top-to-bottom):

Cotton in white and red, turned satin (more than 5-end, I think), and too many blocks (at least five, maybe 6).

This is not quite right, proportions are somewhat off, border very much cropped. I used a light yellow for the white weft, and an orangey red for the red weft.
Here is the five-block version:

Revised to make four blocks only:

With four blocks and changing the satin to 4-end twill, it can be woven on 16 shafts. (How to do that? One way is described in an article on my website, here - for Swedish, here.

(Of course this profile can be made into something completely different... daldräll, some lace... )



It turned out I had beginner's luck with the first band... but now (after some picking-out, new try, more picking-out) all the bands are in place. Also, all the facings are in place.
(Are they still called "facings" if they go all the way around the neck?)



(No, this is not the total "decor")


Wheels from the same family?

When first I moved down here (which is by now more than 18 years ago - how time flies!) I didn't want any more spinning wheels. I had two antiques, they are both good to spin on, and besides, I was weaving more than I was spinning.

Then we started to frequent the local auction house. I didn't actively bid on any spinning wheels, but they started to come my way all the same: "this one didn't sell, can't you take it?"
At some point, I started noticing all these wheels that obviously came from the same maker/workshop - they have a distinctive shape to the screw handle, the treadle is of a shape I've not seen on any other wheel, and they have a "waist" on the table, with a little punched ornament right at the narrowest part. I started to ask around - did anybody perhaps know where they came from? (They do not have a "normal" maker's mark - the ornament could be seen as a mark, I suppose, but I have seen at least 3 different.) No answers for the longest time - .
Some years later, it happens I now own two of them. The two are of very different sizes, with different ornaments, but obviously from the same workshop:

(I do have the flyers, and the bottom of the distaff for the pink one too) And even though they are quite different in sizes, they are unmistakeably from the same workshop - .

And then, quite by mistake, I found that the world-famous maker of wood floors, Kährs in Nybro, like to tell a little story: the founder started out as a maker of spinning wheels (branched out into furniture... "and the rest is history").
So I contacted them, wondering if it was perhaps their wheels I had (and was seeing all around). Disappointment: they do not have an "archived" one, they have no records of the number manufactured etc etc. But they did have a photo, often used in their marketing. (The photo is the top one in this post)
Disappointment again - nothing at all like my waisted ladies.
(The same museum that houses the abovementioned wheel, also has a black waisted wheel with the right screw shape, ornament, maidens...)

UNTIL: the other local museum in Nybro (yes, two historical societies, in a town with about 12 000 inhabitants) has opened an industrial exhibition: industry in Nybro from "then" (end of the 1700s) to now. And they have a waisted spinning wheel, ornaments, maidens... purportedly from Kährs. The museum guide, when asked, said their wheel is "the fancy model". Does he really know? - I don't know how to get further with this research, but the waisted wheels really are quite common hereabouts.

First an overview of the black lady:

Some comparisons of details:

(the inset is of the black maidens, both broken at the tops)

My two and the black one have the arched double uprights (braced to the back leg); the one in Qvarnaslät (of which I don't have a good pic) has a single upright, braced to the back leg. As has this (picture ganked from a for sale ad)

All of them have the same finials, the same treadle shape...
But where are they from? Are they, as the museum guide said, the "fancy" model from Kährs?

...and I have seen at least 4 more of this waisted model, but can't remember if they had single or double uprights. But I do remember that I have seen my "flower" ornament on other wheels.


Too many hats

Where has summer gone? And what have I been doing?

I have had too many hats, and only one head, that's what.

We are trying to organize a fibre-optic net locally (this is what living in the boondocks means - having to "fix" whatever we want ourselves... sometimes it is ok, sometimes less so);
we (a slightly different "we") are trying to organize a small museum for glass, not exactly technology, but showing old-ish machines, such as a manual press, a pantograph and... (read more here, only in Swedish);
I have been working on a couple of web sites - and I have had big problems with my web access (up/downloads of files bigger than a couple of k tended to die).

I have also washed my old kilim rug. To do this I had to invent a drying rack, as this (like all rugs) get very heavy when wet. My contraption may not work for wider rugs, but here it is, anyway:

take two ladders and some string, tie them together along the long edges (short strings on top, longer at the bottom), add one or more pieces of gutter upside down:

Next will be a stint of sewing, and, perhaps, more blogging.


Help with comparing?

Dear all hawk-eyes out there, can you help?

The original of this picture is very small - this is as big as it can be without losing all definition...(click to biggify):

Is it the same (model) as this (pics not too great; there was not much space):

Both have the split table; there is a brace from the wheel upright to the back of the table; the maiden turnings are at least similar, as are the spokes. The treadle shape is not very distinctive, but they do look similar. Or?

- This is one example of an adjustable front maiden: an oblong hole, and a (missing) nut under the MOA cross-piece. To me this suggests there were two flyers of different size delivered from the beginning.



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.


"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:



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?)


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.