Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back to the Future

It tickles my fancy that I am using an ancient technique to depict a very contemporary image, for carrying and storing a very high tech tool:
circuit board pile 002

This is the second iteration of a circuit board:
sara lamb circuit bag front bright

This is silk, larger, for a laptop, and was traded away a few years ago for a loom. So, of course, I needed a new one.

Someone else is tickled:
and fancy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

Ahem! After a few distractions, I am back to weaving some of that red silk:


This is 7 yards, about 26" wide, sett at 40, which means that there are over 1000 ends here of warp painted mixed silks: 20/2, 30/2 and some un-named unknown yarn of similar ilk. The warps were run using a paddle, ten ends at a time. This makes for quick work running the warp, which is where I got into the first bit of trouble.

I ran off too many ends. Oh well, the fabric is wider than I need it to be.

I also ran extra length, just for insurance, so hey lots! more fabric than I really need. But really, who cares? Extra is good, I could make a mistake (Horrors! No!), and one can always find good use for some silk fabric at a later date. Oh! It can be over-dyed!

Anyway. Running yarn using a paddle has some drawbacks: yes, it's quick and easy, but I don't actually feel the silk running through my fingers as I work. The problem with that? Knots get through:

redsilk knot

On the cone, there are some knots (this is commercial yarn, in case I have neglected to make that clear). I run 1000 ends, and a few knots are missed. I don't want knots in my cloth: they are weak spots, they will abrade their neighbors and/or the weft at that point: I like to correct them if I can with a replacement end for a short section, and then revert back to the original end after weaving for a while. But how do you do that with hand-dyed yarns?


Find something close in color. In this case, some 30/3 cotton. Cut the warp knot, pin a replacement end, weave for a while until the cut end can be pinned to the web, re-pin and move on. Before washing, the new and old ends will be interwoven for an inch or so, and trimmed off after the fabric is washed. No one will ever find that repair! (Well, unless they do some backlit microscope thing, but really? How likely is that?)

Sometimes, a knot gets by me:

(sorry, blurry pic)

My mind wanders, I drift off thinking, and throw, beat , switch the sheds, throw, beat and before you know it, a knot is woven in. If I catch it soon enough, I will unweave and repair. But sometimes I run my hand over the fabric and there it is: a bump. Floppy little ends sticking out. I mark the edge of the fabric where this calumny occurred, and either repair it before the fabric gets washed (needle-weave in a 5" or so replacement thread and just cut out the knot), or I leave the thread-marking and make sure this bit is not incorporated into the garment:

(thread at the selvedge indicates a flaw)

If the knot is at the edge of the fabric, I may not bother to repair it (if, as with this fabric, it will be a cut and sew garment):


If it's to be a shawl or something meant to be used whole, all repairs will be made. Or at least all repairs that I find to make. Some things I've worn for literally years before noticing an error. Most errors are "only the weaver would know" small, but if I know, I fix.

So those are my days: hunting for and fixing errors, in between throwing the shuttle, weaving the cloth. It could be much worse, and in the end, I get 6 yards of red silk I'll stop whining here, and get back to weaving! Extra fabric, extra silk fabric, no less, rolling off the loom. Oh, happy day!