Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Problem Solving

I messed with the knot a little longer yesterday before deciding that it was impossible. So I cut it off. Intense.
Then I tied on new warp threads to the 24 ends I had cut.
Surprisingly successful!
And now I'm sampling.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hatred of Knots

We had a good friend as a house guest for the past week, so I have had no time with my loom. But Gus got a job (woo hoo! we plan to party tonight!) and now I have the house to myself, so I decided to spend a relaxing day putting last week's warp onto the loom!
I designed my own version of a "crammed and spaced" scarf for this warp. It involved a lot of math and a ton of graph paper because I wanted to make the most of my limited tencel. I ran out of green tencel as I was measuring the warp, so I decided to add a taupe border. This meant measuring one of the border edges separately as a second warp chain. Here are the two warp chains hanging out on the floor in front of my loom:
Now, I've made several warp chains in my time. And I never worry about knots, because they have never been a problem. I got the warp all sleyed and threaded and then started to comb it out and wind it on. It did not take long to realize that something had gone terribly wrong with that second warp chain. After winding about half the warp it was in such a knot that I couldn't continue. This has never happened to me before! No matter how badly it tangles, it always combs out without too much fuss. But I can't get this straightened out, and I pride myself on being able to undo almost any knot. What could I possibly have done this wrong?
I'm attempting not to get frustrated, but I did spend a lot of time planning this project and I don't think I have enough yarn to redo this border. It's time to walk away.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jars!

Yesterday morning Gus and I drove down to my folks' place and proceeded to spend 2 full days preserving food. My mother has a bizarrely abundant garden that is overflowing with strawberries, green beans, squash, beets, and much much more.

We started with a trip to Fairsing Vineyard where we picked the most blackberries that I have ever seen in one place. After several hours my father actually had to count to three and say "everyone, put your last berry in your bucket, we're done." I was also attacked by a yellow jacket who stung me in an indecent location.

Blackberries becoming jam:
We then proceeded to pickle lots of roasted beets. These are the "refrigerator" version which are meant to be eaten within a couple of months. We also made a different recipe for long term storage. So curious, it is very possible that they will taste horribly.
The final count:
12 jars of blackberry jam (various sizes)
6 jars of dilly beans
6 quart jars of pickled beets (2 different recipes)
My mom also sent us home with a bowl of strawberries, 3 squash, frozen carrots, frozen roasted beets, and frozen green beans.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finished Thing!

Ha HA! I have finished it. Finished length: 92 inches after washing and drying.
Here it is hanging to dry:
And on display on my kitchen table:
After much playing around with various fringe decoration - including my first foray into twisted fringe (I like it, but it was too complicated for the look of this runner, not to mention time consuming) - I decided just to knot the fringe and let them hang only 4 inches long.

Dramatic!

note: this table runner was adapted from one in Rep Weave and Beyond, by Joanne Tallarovic

Monday, August 10, 2009

Half Way!

Check out the ridiculous weight system hanging off the back of my loom. Problem Solving has been the most time consuming part of this project. Which is frustrating and fun because it means that I am learning. Adding this white border after I dressed the loom worked, but I don't really want to attempt it again in the future.

And yes, I do use christmas-theme corrugated paper as a spacer on the back beam.
A view from underneath as the fabric is wound onto the cloth storage beam:


note: this table runner was adapted from one in Rep Weave and Beyond, by Joanne Tallarovic

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Weaving Day At Last!

Yesterday was my last day at work, which means that today was the first day of a lot of free time. And I spent the entire day weaving! Many thanks to Gus for helping me problem solve my way out of what was, up until today, a frustrating project. I spent my morning undoing what I had already woven, pulling the warp back through the reed and re-sleying the reed at 30 epi rather than 20 epi (I put 3 threads through each gap, where before I had only put 2 through each gap). And then I added a thick white border to add some width. I'm very happy with how it turned out. This runner is designed for a dark table, so I think the white border will really make it stand out.

Here is how I left the warp this afternoon after I finished doing some sampling, added tissue as a spacer for fringes, twined the edge, and wove a few picks of plain weave. It's all ready to begin:
And then this evening I sat down and actually started to weave: