Hot off the Loom

This photo shows the texture of the fabric.

I finished the huck lace yardage Thursday and this morning Phil took some photos.  Now the yardage is in the washer and I am winding a warp for the Bronson lace to be combined with the huck and basketweave in a blouse.  I’m in suspense since I have read that lace weaves change quite a bit with wet finishing.

In this one you can see how lacy the fabric is, with light coming through.

Slow weaving

I have been making slow progress on the huck lace – a few pattern repeats a day – mainly because of being busy with other activities.  I was beginning to get a bit bored with it, possibly because it was progressing slowly or maybe because I was working on a section with blue warp and blue weft – not very exciting until I’m done and can see how it changes with washing.

I took an enforced break from weaving to wind more quills for weft – a bit of a project because the new kitchen counter doesn’t have a place to attach the quill winder, so I had to find another place and move quite a few books to use it.

Eventually I decided to spice things up by adding more colors – two shades of peach are what I have on hand in the same type and size of yarn.  I also varied the pattern by interspersing areas of blue plain weave with contrasting lace areas.  Just another yard to go, I think, and then I’ll wind a warp for bronson lace.

My yarn will be in a Museum!

For the past two years the Champaign Urbana Spinners and Weavers Guild has been working on an exhibit with the Spurlock Museum  in Urbana.  I chose an artifact from the museum collection – an auger shell scraper from the island of  Yap –  to inspire three skeins of yarn.  It was important to me that there be yarn on display – I knew other guild members would weave, knit, or felt.  I also collaborated with another member of the guild and spun yarn that she used for weft in a pair of shawls.

Above I'm wearing the shawl Pat and I made together for the exhibit.

At yesterday’s guild meeting, we showed our work to other members.  We also had individual interviews which the museum staff filmed to use in a video which will accompany the exhibit.

We will be delivering our artworks in late June so the museum staff will have about a year to design the layout, build cases, make labels, and do the publicity before the exhibit opens.  It has been an interesting experience to design yarn in this way and to learn about what is involved in putting together a museum exhibit.

Blending Colors

Huck Weaving Progress

I have woven a yard or so of my huck lace, so I took a few pictures.  According to what I have read, it will look quite different once it is off the loom and washed.  I like how it looks at this stage and am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.  Next I will do a section with a blue weft to match the warp.  I’m not sure how the texture will show up in photographs.

I work with a feline assistant.  She mainly helps me keep to a schedule.  She reminds me to take walks and let her nap in peace and makes sure that once I have a warp on the loom I keep weaving until it is done, before she turns the warp into a cat’s cradle.

Still a Zen weaver after all these years

I’ve been weaving for about fourteen years, I think, but am still a beginner.  Today I am thinking of the title Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and feeling good about staying a beginner.  It means I’m always learning something new.

It has been about a year since I have woven anything, and yesterday I got the pieces of my eight-shaft table loom from various parts of the house and put it back together, then beamed a warp of 16/2 cotton.  When I thought I was ready to start threading the heddles, I had an epiphany – I suddenly realized why people design projects before winding the warp and threading the loom.  I had done as much design work as usual – I had chosen to make my first try at huck yardage, which I will combine with basketweave yardage

Basketweave yardage
I wove last year and Bronson lace that I plan to weave next.  I used the same width and sett as the basketweave.  I had read the chapter on huck in my book on woven lace but had not chosen which draft of in the chapter to use.

So with the warp beamed, I looked through the drafts and found that I had to decide between three-thread or five-thread huck, huck spots or huck lace, and decide how many blocks, whether to include plain weave blocks, and how wide to make the blocks.  None of the available choices seemed to fit exactly into the number of threads in my warp.  I fiddled with various combinations and came up with a pattern of two huck and one plainweave blocks that fits with a little extra plain weave at each edge, one thread more at one edge than the other.  I will remember this next time I wind a warp – not necessarily plan better, but at least give it some thought.

I do like the element of surprise so I wouldn’t want things too well planned!  Hold on to your beginner’s mind!