Sunday, May 26, 2019

Those people, who came before and were weavers, they were clever.

The weavers who came before me, they were clever. They worked out ways to do things that work. Some times, those of us who come later, who come late to doing things, the next generation or the later generations think we understand - but usually then find that the ways of the 'old people' work better than we expect. Today I have an update on weaving - still not weaving, and on knitting, which is actually knitting.
 First up is the knitting, I have reached that moment in bottom up knitting where the sleeves are introduced to the body. Knitting in the round has lots of benefits, like being able to try it as it is  knit, no seams to sew, and for some patterns being able to mindlessly knit around and around instead of working back wards and forwards.
There are also some awkward moments with knitting in the round. Just after adding the sleeves to the body - there is a weird awkward stage where the top of the sleeves are constrained by the shortness of the underarm section - it really takes knitting for 2-3 cm's  with a variation of magic loop before true knitting in the round can be done. The fun part of this is about to start - working a full yoke in colour work. Unfortunately I have another project that needs attention, so this will proceed slowly almost as a treat for working on the 'things that have a deadline'.
 And the weaving, well I warped front to back,  so sleyed the reed/beater first. The instructions generally are to 'rough sley' - in an approximation of the final distribution across the reed. Usually in a pattern of paired yarns - and then thread the heddles, then re-slay the reed with the final distribution. I say distributions as there is seldom one thread in each slot of the reed - usually there is a distribution pattern like 2/2/3 threads in the reed slots.  This sleying twice eemed like an unnecessary step so I sleyed with the final distribution - in my case 2/3 in a 12 dent reed for a final sett of 30 epi.
I transferred the cross to behind the reed and threaded the heddles. Then tied the warp to the back beam and wound it on. Then I tied the warp to the front beam. And tested the treddles - and found several - well more than several threads were twisted at the reed. It happens, well with 600 threads and several operations it is likely that  some might jump over their neighbors as the threading is worked. I spent a good 10-15 minutes sorting the threads in the first inch of the warp - before deciding that those weavers who came before me - the ones who resleyed the reed - they actually had a point. So I untied the warp from the front beam - and pulled the bouts of warp out of the reed - securing each inch bout in a slip knot.
 Then working from the right to the left I re-sleyed the reed. All the time i thought how clever those weavers were - the ones who had not only worked out how to do this complicated thing - installing 600+ warp threads on a loom in pattern - but had shared their working method of how to do it. This took a little over an hour - but was much quicker than finding and fixing all the odd twisted errors. By this time it was too dark to see in daylight - even though it was only 5pm - I needed the extra punch of the desk lamp to help me.
 Then I had a magic moment, I settled myself on the floor with my draft diagram all ready to retie up the treddles for the new pattern. What I discovered was the lift for this draft was identical to the lift for the previous project - so I was all set to go. I was a bit lazy and wove the header inch using the 8/2 cotton from the last project that was already on the shuttle (this project is thinner 12/2 cotton).

Finally I checked the shed - and with no twisted threads and with no change to the tie up of the treddles it was clear. The end threads are my pair of floating selvedges so will sit in the middle of the open shed. Once I wind the cloth over the cloth beam I think i will get a better shed - that is something I might play a little with. Adjusting the treddle tie up to see if the shed can be larger. This is the second project with Texsolve - and it does make me more inclined to play.
I think I need to check the threading - there might be a few places where it isn't quite right. That will have to wait until the weekend I think.  A bit disappointing but something I suspected. I hope it is a straightforward fix - but if not most redos are quick as the how has already been worked out.

na Stella

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hello again

I have been knitting and setting up the next weaving project. My Afterparty sweater/jersey/jumper* is coming along nicely, I am into the third sleeve. Yes three - the first sleeve didn't quite follow the rate of increases, I had worked the increases every 5 instead of every 6 rounds. So I frogged back to the beginning of the increases and worked it again. This morning I joined up with James, and J - all three of us gathered at James house to watch the final of Eurovision Song Quest. I rediscovered it last year - and decided to make a point of watching again - just like we did as kids when it was televised. Of course New Zealand isn't European and has no way to enter (unlike Australia!). That little jaunt made for nearly four hours of straight knitting time on a Sunday morning - which is nearly 1/3 of a sleeve. And the winner - lets just say it wasn't my pick - but I'm not officially European (so don't get a vote) and the final show as pretty light spectacular fantastic!

The loom is part-way dressed, I successfully moved the cross from in front of the reed to behind it - a little bit of magic that completely confused Bear who was helping.  This link provided really clear instructions, and it was kind of magic, turn lease stick,  pull warpk insert new lease stick and voila! Transferred.


Saturday I threaded 1/3 of the heddles, and Sunday afternoon managed to get the rest threaded. There are 600 in total - and the pattern repeats over 20 threads - between working in sets of four and checking - it was slow going. This time I am using iWeaveIt, the weaving app for iPad. This has a neat feature that lets you work through threading block by block. I spent the time turning the loom so the best light from the window was over my shoulder - and eventually added a desk lamp so I could work beyond sun set (it is May so dusk falls around 5pm now).
As I began to wind it onto the back beam - I realized that I had missed tying on 4 threads - and now I have to pause and unwind and attach it with the others to the back beam. I cant believe I missed it - and there is nothing to do but fix it and continue carefully. I know that it will be fiddly to fix - as there are also two broken threads to fix and re-thread through the heddles. There is something a little odd about some one like me working on something that requires so much careful managing - I really prefer things that flow craftwise - but once the prep is done - weaving flows.
 Here is the progress shot of the sleeves, at this rate these will be done soon - which means the yoke is next. The yoke on this sweater is colour work - so lots of fun to look forward to.
I liked the proportions of this sweater, a slightly wider boxy body and longer sleeves - and I am hoping this darker burnt orange will fit into my wardrobe of blue and blue grey and black easily.

* sweater/jersey/jumper, I grew up in New Zealand speaking of these garments as jumpers, and perhaps jerseys, but with the leap into online knitting communities the word sweater has joined my vocab. This leaves me a little confused as to what word to use when talking online so I use all three.

Na Stella