The birds tweeting and singing. The cool breeze gently flowing through the open patio doors. Lovely! All you need to make it perfect is your neighbour thinking before 10 am is the perfect time to be using a circular saw and hammering, and another neighbour deciding he’d better get the a trimmer out and cut away those tall weeds.
Do these people not know that Saturday is for lie-ins and relaxation.
I shall try and zen my way through it to write this post.
Cushion Covers Complete
The fabric for the cushions was completed and early last week I took to cutting into it to make the cushion covers. It’s always a bit nerve wracking to cut something you have spent time weaving and hoping it stays together.
I had a couple of challenges with the fabric, where the warp threads had lost tension and resulted in the fabric going slightly off kilter.
But I got there in the end and now have two covers with envelope backs. I’ve not got to dealing with zips yet 🙂
I’ve been keen to try working with some finer yarn and double weaving on the loom. So, I took the plunge to add to my heddle kit with another 7.5 dent and two 12.5 dent heddles. This means I can double weave on thicker yarns such as Aran and Worsted weight, but also with cotton and linen at 8/2 and 22/2 respectively. Or even lace weight, if the yarn is strong enough to be a warp.
Double weave means I could weave a 48in blanket on a 24in wide heddle through doubling the warp and weaving the top layer, then the bottom layer. This leaves one side open and joins the other side, so when you remove it rom the loom, you can open it up at the fold and Ta dah! A double width.
I would love to try some deflected weaving where you bring the bottom layer through to the top and vice versa, to form interesting patterns.
The higher count heddle will allow me to weave finer cloth for linens, napkins and towels or explore fine woollen fabric for items of clothing.
I am planning to do a test on the double weave first and see how I get on with weaving a small sample. Watch out for updates.
I have had some Lily’s Sugar & Cream white cotton in my stash for a while now, and I finally got around to weaving with it. The plan had been some face cloths using a loop pile effect. This is where you pick up the weft yarn around a knitting needle to creat loops. These are held in place by the following picks of weft and once washed are more secure.
It is interesting if time consuming. Not something I would do across a whole fabric, but fine for some detailing. It is also a killer on the back from leaning over the loom to focus.
The plan was for about five of these, but I balked at doing that many (the pattern called for about 8in of loops for each face cloth). 😬
So, I changed plan and decided I would creat some samples of different warp and weft techniques. I hadn’t done any pickup sticks for a while, so it would be good practice.
And, seven samples later I had completed the warp and snipped it from the loom.
Some of that probably means not a lot to those that don’t weave, but it shows you what can be achieved in weaving on a rigid heddle loom.
Once these had been washed and dried, they did shrink an bit, but softened up lovely. The open weave you see above (where you can see between the warp and weft threads) closes up in the wash, and where there are floats, the warp and weft move about to final positions. They deflect from a straight line. You can see that in the picture below. The top is the front and the bottom is the back. Note how the warp (vertical) is no longer straight but deflects to the sides.
The final seven all hemmed. And because I wasn’t really measuring, I ended up with different sizes. Some also drew in at the sides more than others. I’m not unhappy given these are samples, but they are still useable as face cloths.
And the reverse of the samples.
My favourite is the Soumak. It is only used on this type of weaving as decorative detail. It is created by wrapping the blue and green yarn around alternate warp threads. It looks almost knitted.
I ordered some cotton and Cottolin yarn from MyFineWeavingYarn . They were very prompt. Ordered on 15th and it arrived the 16th. That’s what I call service.
I also rummaged through my stash and found some more cottons that I’ll try and use up.
Wishing you all a great week ahead.