Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Take it apart just to put it together

I am happy to announce that I have officially taken apart and re-spun enough green acrylic yarn to fill one bobbin on my spinning wheel!  Now I just need to do this amount for the mauve, and about half of this for the cream.  Then it's onward to the navy!  I have no idea how much yarn I will need to dissect and re-assemble, but maybe there will be extra to make a 2nd scarf...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The curtains were hung in the windows with care...

We hung the curtains up! Brian and I both agree that they could have been just a bit more ruffled, but I do like them a lot, and if I remember right, I didn’t want too many ruffles anyway!  If my loom had been cooperating just a little bit better, they would have been a little bit longer.  But I still like them!

In other news, we ordered some close up lenses from for our camera.  They were really inexpensive, and they do a really good job!  There will be lots of close-ups of my weaving in the near future... 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Short people on stilts

The curtains are now washed, cut to size, and all the ends are sewn.  I decided to do it just like the crackle blanket I completed with the serged edge and then sewn down with one turn.  It makes it so much more flexible than 2 turns!  (I think I might consider this method for future hand towels.)  Lastly, I turned the top over 1.25" so that we can fit a curtain rod in there.  I made the curtains just a little bit bigger than the window in the door so there won't be too many ruffles.  I like ruffles... but not too many!

I can't wait to get them up!  We need to purchase a curtain rod so Brian can install it, and then we will be good to go... and the crazy tall people (or short people on stilts...) won't be able to spy on us anymore! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


 These curtains have a lot of neat textures!

 They look so loose when they are on the loom, but when you take it off and wash it, it really closes up and becomes so soft!

(I almost want a blanket out of these curtains!)

I really like the design... I like how the lace looks woven!

And the light comes through just fine...

without letting people see in!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creepers Weft Behind

 Weaving that looks like it's been woven... 

  Now there's a concept that's hard to pin a name on!

It's quite the phenomenon.

It's just weaving, that looks like weaving!

 Almost like "Weaving Squared"... or W2 ...

Which is just WAY cool, if you ask me!  
But I am one of those math nerds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Curtains to limit creepy tall people

I have made 2 sets of curtains in the past.  

In November 2010, I made this set for the window in our bedroom:  

 I remember being such a new weaver, and we had just bought the house, so I wanted to combine the two things!  

It is just a valance, but it perks up the room quite a bit!


 And it looks so pretty when the light comes through!

 It was made on the 4-shaft loom out of crochet thread:

I used the Bronson Lace pattern on page 182 (at the top) from Ann Dixon's book The Handweaver's Pattern Directory.  Because I was such a new weaver, I still remember having hardly a clue as to what I was doing, and doubtful it would work out!  I think they ended up really great!

The other set was woven later in December and for the kitchen.  They are also valances, and this time the pattern was from the M&O's pattern on page 64 of  Marguerite Davison's book A Handweaver's Pattern Book.

The light also looks very pretty coming through this curtain... on the loom...

... and off the loom!

I have one curtain in the window in the dining room and a matching curtain is over the sink window in the kitchen.  I like that they match!


All these years later, I still need to make a valance for the living room... but first I want to address the windows in our front and back doors.  I actually dislike the fact that a creepy tall person could peep into the window anytime they wanted and watch us run around like oblivious hamsters in a cage!  My biggest concern was installing a curtain rod into the doors, but Brian assured me not to worry... "That will be the easy part."  He said... so I will do my part and we will see how easy his part ends up being!

So now the biggest choice is getting the right pattern.  I've noticed that with the curtains bunched up, you do miss a lot of the pattern.  So I don't want something too patterned, or too plain.  I found a few neat 8-shaft patterns on page 185 of Carol Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-shaft Patterns, #613.  The patterns are written very oddly... I swear, I really hate how condensed some of these patterns are in these books!  Why can't they use just a little bit more paper and write it out normal?!

After some studying, this is the draft I came up with:

I like how the lace looks woven!  It's a really neat effect!  However, the curtain will be out of one color, and I'm not sure if you can get the same effect... I guess I will just have to try it and see!

Here is one pattern repeat:

Not too hard once you decipher the whole thing!

I'm off to calculate and warp the loom!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Cousin's Hat-matching Scarf update

Remember the woven hat with the hounds tooth that I'm trying to match for my cousin and weave her a scarf?  She picked out some much better colors AND dropped them off when she visited last month!  So, I decided to do a sample and it's looking really good...  Now, keep in mind this is the project where I have to dissect the yarn into individual plies, spin it a little bit, and then put it all back together again!  :-)  And it's working!!

I noticed in the hat that the warp will need to be one of the combinations and the weft will be the other one. As for the navy blue yarn, I'm not sure how I want to work it.  I can't leave it as 4-ply, but should I mix it's size, also?  Maybe some 3-ply going one way and some 2-ply going the other?  Maybe make the amount of plies opposite of the colorful ones to balance it better?  Or make it all 2 or 3-ply yarn, throughout the whole thing?  I think the idea I like the best is to make it the same size as the warp, and then a different size that is the same size as the weft.  For example, if I use 2-ply pink and green in the warp, I will use 2-ply navy also in the warp.  And then that means the 3-ply pink, green, and cream will be the weft, so I use 3-ply navy for the weft.

I'm not sure yet...  it's all one really huge experiment!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Same colors, different name

What do these three weaves have in common?

Zen Towels from Oct 2011


Trellis runner From Feb 2012

Crackle Weave Study from Dec 2012-Jan 2013 

Believe it or not, all these weaves have the exact same colors in common, except the last one has an additional color of green added.  It just blows me away how different they all appear to be, and yet it must be just the arrangement of colors that makes such a difference!

I love color!  But I especially love weaving!!

My friend Dawn on Ravelry and the author of this blog wanted me to write a review about the crackle weave book been I have been using for my experiments.  I thought I would share my thoughts here, also!  Enjoy!
Like all texts, there are pros and cons to the Weave Classic Crackle & More book by Susan Wilson.  My overall impression is very high and I am very impressed with the knowledge gathering that Ms. Wilson has done.  She is obviously very qualified to write the book because she has been weaving crackle since 1969 AND she has achieved quite the honor by receiving the Master level Certificate in Handweaving back in 1990.  I mention this because Susan’s book and the other crackle book I used in my personal crackle adventures this last month (called A Crackle Weave Companion by Lucy M. Brusic*) have conflicting information in them for what certain crackle weaves are called.  As a crackle-newbie, it was confusing until I threw the official names out the window and just concentrated on the weave structures.  However, taking into consideration Susan’s numerous publications along with what I feel is a respectable amount of professional weaving certification, I trust that her nomenclatures are the correct ones.

Crackle weave is already a very complex structure and is not for the faint of heart!  It has some characteristics that are like no other weave, yet you can weave it like overshot, summer and winter, Bronson lace, etc.  A weaver who is new to crackle would definitely benefit from a source such as this.  However, the book Weave Classic Crackle and More is not for the weaver looking for patterns to weave.  It does not tell you exactly how to set up your loom or how much material to use.  The book does, however, cover from the very basics of crackle and builds to the very complex weaving structures, all the way from 4-shaft to 8-shafts. 

Chapter 1 starts with some history and chapter 2 covers the characteristics of crackle, for example it explains how crackle is made up of block weaves and describes each block, including the incidental thread for each one.  The crackle pattern that was written out in a structural draft on page 19 was particularly useful since I was just beginning to learn about it.  This draft gave me a chance to really study what the threads were doing.  The crackle draft is very unique, and can be pretty confusing at times without the right references.  Chapter 2 also has some profile draft explanations and design ideas.  Page 25 was my inspiration for my latest colorful crackle project.  I found her description intriguing enough to try it with six colors and loved it!

Chapter 3 covers many different treadling variations that you can use in crackle, like you can weave crackle as other weave structures: overshot, summer and winter, Bronson lace, honeycomb, and other structures that I’ve never even heard of before, but they are very pretty.  (To be honest, I have personally made it to the summer and winter point so far, but I hope to continue with more studying soon!)

Chapter 4 has some good descriptions on how to design crackle weave.  But first it starts with polychrome, and also goes into weaving crackle in Italian manner, and oddly classic crackle actually fits into this chapter, although the other weave structures in chapter 3 were fun to do, as un-classic as they are!  This chapter also includes information on boundweave and other weft-faced samples.  Later there is a section to help you through designing traditional polychrome crackle, and the reason why it’s more difficult to work with is because of all the independent color combinations going on here.  Even though it is more difficult to work with than classic crackle, it offers more versatility and exquisite design options!  Susan does a really good job explaining the difficulties of this weave.  In this chapter, she also goes into a thorough explanation of hue and value of colors in crackle weave and the design process as a whole, which is extremely useful considering the non-independence of each block in crackle.  Susan includes wonderful pictures to graphically explain this little quirk that makes crackle so much fun!

The last few chapter in the book discuss crackle on 8-shafts, turning the crackle draft, and color-and-weave effects.  It even has a section how to make 8 blocks on only 4-shafts!  And I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful the pictures throughout the book are.  In fact, they are some of the best I have seen in a while, and they are so numerous!  They didn’t skimp in this department!

There is definitely a lot of info in this book and it can keep a weaver busy for a good long time.  One of my complaints though is coming from the point of view of a brand-new crackle weaver: I wanted more structure in my studies because I didn’t have a clue what to do and having something so open was rather scary.  I was afraid I was doing the weave wrong, and I had to study really hard to make sure I wasn’t.  I feel that this book would benefit from a section for the new crackle weaver that said something to the effect of thread your loom like this, now try this, this, and this crackle weave structure and walk the new weaver through step-by-step.  I mean, I didn’t even know what sett to use because it’s a twill based structure but is it sett at twill?  (The answer is no, it has a tabby sett!)  It would have been nice to have that a little bit clearer description and starting point.    However, once I decided to not be afraid and just throw an experimental warp onto my loom, it was so much fun!  I just used the threading from page 19 and went through the weave structures like traditional crackle, crackle woven as overshot and woven as summer and winter.  Like I said before, I have only made it to page 39 in my personal studies, but I have enjoyed the experience!  I hope to be able to continue my studies using this text very shortly!

*A side note: In comparing this book to the other one mentioned (called A Crackle Weave Companion by Lucy M. Brusic), I like it so much better because the other book seems like a collection of a lot of obscure references that are hard to get a hold of these days.  Also, it is written like an essay and the pictures aren't quite as good.  The ways the examples are written out are hard to follow and understand. I didn't reference it as much as Susan's book.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Slurpy towels (and blanket)

 The crackle weave has been cut and sewn!

I cut the entire warp into two sections, one section was cut into thirds and became 3 towels, and the other section was cut into 2 more section and then joined into a small baby blanket.

 For the blanket, I joined two sections together.  It was kind of an experimental seam.  I have one edge on each side, and then I sewed it twice.  It's not too thick, and it is pretty flexible.  And having one edge on each side makes it somewhat reversible.  It's not the most glamorous seam, but it sure will be strong!!

I turned the edges of the hand towels down and sewed it, but it just seemed so stiff.  So for the blanket, I serged the raw edges and folded it over once.  This was after I sewed the two panels together so I could make sure that the edges would be the same throughout.

 I tucked in the corners so the surged edges will last.

The blanket is so busy that you can hardly see the seam or the edges!

So the colorful crackle warp is done... 

And the towel has so much color and energy!

Also, Brian and I both noted that it has some distinct texture on it... I can't quite describe it, but it's not a "soft" surface like a 2/2 twill, it has raised ridges that just slurp the water right off your hands.  I have never felt a towel quite like it... it's a grand experience!
I'm going to send one to my sister in Utah as a very late Christmas gift, because her other gift never got there. :(   There is one towel in my kitchen.  And the last one?  I'm not sure yet!

 It just spreads joy wherever it goes!  Look how it adds so much color to my kitchen!

Oh, and the baby blanket?

 Don't worry, Zip and Scout are the only babies around here for now!  But this little colorful beauty will be put away for another day, when there is a little one running around here!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Finished Crackle

This fabric washed up so beautifully!  
The softness became accentuated!
 The gaps have all filled in with the puffing and shrinking of the cotton fibers!
  The crackles have cracked!
 And it has come together so wonderfully!
But I'm still unsure what exactly I want to use it for!
Originally, I made it for dishtowels.
But once I started seeing the fabric come to life, I wanted a blanket from it!
Hopefully I can decide soon as to what it should be...

PS.  Lookie who got a hair cut!!  He's so cute!!

Less fur balls, less hair in the house, a clean smelling kitty... it's wonderful!!!

We gave him an adorable little lion tail that is poofy on the end!