Friday, December 14, 2007

Macomber loom tool shelf or....

cat perch?

This is Luke. He's my shadow. Where ever I go, he follows. And now, if I'm working at the loom, he's up in the tool shelf. It used to be that he'd jump into the tool shelf, sit for a few minutes, and then move to the back of the nearby couch. Given that it's a bit colder these days, I wondered if putting a pillow in there would encourage him to stay and keep me company. It worked!

The painted warp is coming along nicely. I really like the sage green weft in there. The pattern is a 3/1 twill and lifting 3 shafts at a time. Lifting 3 Macomber shafts isn't so bad. Although, I can see how lifting 8 (once I put more shafts in) might result in a true workout. Frankly, I'd rather workout on my loom than some gym's common-use stairmaster or treadmill. Not that I work out, but if I did....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Humor

As many of you do, I also read quite a few other blogs. I use Technorati to keep track of my favorites. For the most part, it sorts them by most recently posted.

Today I found this very funny rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas by way of Sara Lamb's blog. It's done by Bonnie Tarsus, a well-known weaver in Seattle.

I could *so* relate.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Painted Warp

I bought this painted warp from Margaret at Heritage Yarns. The colorway is called Tallahatchee Bridge in 80%/20% rayon silk. I've mixed in stripes of unmercerized cotton in beige and sage green. Under tension, the rayon is a thinner yarn than the cotton but hopefully it will fill back out after wet finishing. I've used another of these painted warps for a shawl and the yarn did do that afterwards. For the warp, I used two turns of the skein starting with the pink. I wish now the ends were either the grey or the olive green as I really like the pink and it's going to end up being thrums. This yardage is going to be part of a jacket for me.

painted warp sampling

But before I can get started, I have to sample the weft colors. The first (closest to the bottom but not the white - that's toilet paper to spread the warp) is the sage green cotton I used in the warp stripes. It's plain weave. The next is the beige cotton from the stripes in a 3/1 twill. It's okay but I think the colors in the painted warp get lost. Next is the sage green cotton again but in the same twill. I do like that. The last one is a thin white bamboo. I don't recall the size but it's 4000 ypp (yes, quite thin). And again, I think the painted warp gets lost. I could dye the bamboo but that takes time and I really would like to get this going. Besides, the bamboo would make a thinner fabric than the cotton so I'm sticking with the sage green cotton.

You may have noticed the weft isn't perfectly straight from left to right. That's because the tension in the painted rayon/silk is ever-so-slightly different from the tension in the cotton. The rayon/silk stretches more than the cotton. When I beamed it, I tensioned the rayon/silk on it's own weight in hopes it would stretch to its own maximum. This warp may have been a candidate for double-beaming but I don't have a second beam on this loom. Frankly, even if I did, I doubt that I would have been able to get the two tensions any closer than this - they really do feel very much the same. I'm crossing fingers that the wonkiness will disappear in the wet finishing. And since the weft won't be striped, the waves should disappear into the cloth.