Weaving

weaving1

So, here we are at the weaving part.¬† ūüôā ¬† At the bottom of the piece is the base line, it is done with a different yarn than the rest .¬† It’s used to set up a solid place for the weaving to begin and to set the correct spacing of the warp (ends per inch, in this case 12 e.p.i.).¬† As you can see, this base line does not do a great job of either one.¬† ¬† Not that bad for the first project!

weaving2

This view shows the pattern created by using a plain weave and two yarn colors, blue and cream.  There are twelve warp threads of each color and the weft is eight rows of each.   I intended each of the squares to be the same size but the tension wavered throughout the weaving.  This caused some squares to be larger or smaller, wider  or thinner, and a little wavy.

I like the checkerboard pattern because it gives a country feeling. Different patterns can be created using the plain weave and changes in yarn color.  This link is a PDF with  further explanation of plain weave and some examples.

weaving3a

These close-ups show some of the errors that can happen when tension of the warp threads is loose. ¬†Loose warps can cause loose weft. ¬†Inconsistent tension of the edge will cause slanting of weft at the edge, ¬†As I’ve said in previous posts, the tension of the warp is vital.

woven piece

As weaving continued, my work became consistent.  The width of the columns, although not equal in size across the width of the piece, were consistently equal along the length.

weaving5a

When the weaving is done, it’s time to remove the piece from the loom, and I chose to remove the piece all at once. ¬†I cut the warp threads long enough so that I could have fringe on the ends and gathered four warp ends together at a time and tied a double half hitch knot. ¬†I then trimmed them to even lengths. ¬†You can cut the fringe to any length you like. ¬†I like long fringe.

finished woven table runner

finished woven piece

Finished project!

The weaving process itself went along rather quickly.¬† Most of the time was spent on preparing the loom.¬† In the image you can see minor imperfections here and there.¬† The glaring problem with this piece is that as the weaving went along, the piece got thinner and thinner. ¬† ¬†I love it because it’s the first piece I have created.

That’s¬†all for this project. ¬†If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop a line.

The next project I do will be from Tapestry Weaving by Kristen Glasbrook.  It is a small tapestry made with basic techniques.  Be talking with you!

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Heddles

some more definitions:

Heddles:   wires or strings through which warp threads pass.

Shed:  opening through which the weft is passed.  created by raising or lowering warp threads.

Shuttle:  various types are used to pass the weft through the shed.

Stick shuttle:  a flat shuttle used to pass the thread through the shed.

Heddles can be a complicated subject because there are different ones depending on the type of loom.  Looms like my loom use heddle bars with string heddles or a continuous string heddle.  Other types looms use rigid heddles or wire heddles connected to a harness system.  I found descriptions of different types of looms and the kind of heddles that are used in The Art of Weaving by Else Regensteiner.

Each warp thread is passed through a heddle.  The heddles are attached to a bar that uses the heddle to lift the warp thread.  This is set depending on the pattern of the weft that you are going to create.  For example;  A plain weave  is created by passing the weft over and under alternating warp threads.  Using my loom in this example, odd number warp  threads would be attached to heddles on bar 1 and even number warp threads would be attached to bar 2.  When the first bar is lifted  a shed will be created and the weft is passed through this shed.  Then, the first bar is lowered and the second bar is lifted creating a different shed.  The weft is passed back through this shed.  This back and forth creates the plain weave pattern.  This information can be found Learning to Weave as listed in a previous post.

heddles and heddle barsMy first experience with heddles was totally messed up for a couple of reasons.  First, I should have paid attention to the part that said the warp needs to be tight and that certain yarns tend to stretch once on loom.  When I tied up the heddles, my warp was loose so I could not create a shed that my stick shuttle would pass through.  Second, when I tried to rectify this I did two things at once to correct it.  Big NO-NO!   When trying to fix things never try more than one thing at a time.   I shortened the heddles and tightened the tension.  the shortened heddles pulled on the warps even before the bar was raised.  That fix did not work!  By then I really was thinking of quitting but I persevered.

Continuous Heddle and barsI used 4 bars for both those tries and realized I was doing more than was necessary, I only needed two.  So then I tried the continuous heddle using only two bars.   The continuous heddle is a string that runs from one side of the warp to the opposite side.  It is wrapped around one warp then the bar and then the next warp.  This pattern continues across the width of the piece.  This solution was not great but at least it worked for me.

So much for Heddles!  The use of heddles in one form or another is used in weaving in order to create the shed for the weft.  The weft usually runs from salvage to salvage using a shuttle.  This is can be different in Tapestry Weaving.  The weft can be discontinuous, not running across the width of the project.  There are other ways to work with the weft in tapestry.  I will talk more about that in the following projects.  Hope this gave you some information and look forward to talking about the weaving process starting in the next post.

Lessons Not Yet Learned

A couple more definitions:

Warp Ends Рone entire warp thread not just the end.  On a continuous warp it is one complete revolution around the loom.

e.p.i.   Рends per inch, the number of warp threads or wraps in an inch of the loom.

Sett – the number of e.p.i. per inch used for the project.

Project one was a table runner.

I used a plain weave and cotton yarn.  I did not understand the information about the spacing of the warp ends, lesson not yet learned.

loom with warp

I did not get that the warp ends needed to be spaced far enough apart for the weft to fit.  As you can see, the warps are practically on top of each other.  Later I will show you what kind of havoc this brings down on the project. The warp ends are in stripes so that the weave will create a checkerboard effect.  The weft will be completed with the same striping effect.

Plain weave is where the weft goes over and under alternate warp ends. I think the set I used was 10 e.p.i. ¬†I say think because I can’t remember. ¬†That is a good reason to write down all the information about a project. ¬†Not long after you finish project it kind of leaks out of the brain. lesson not yet learned.

Continuous warping was very difficult for me. ¬†Warping on my loom requires one to wrap the yarn in a particular formation. ¬†I won’t explain it just because all looms are different. ¬†I wrapped it with the tension bar half way up its space like the directions for the loom said. In tapestry, tension is so very important! lesson not yet learn. ¬†Later on in the project you will see how the wrong tension in the warp will create problems. ¬†Tension is important with all weaving, but in tapestry it needs to be very tight.

That is about all on my warp for now.  Next I will explain how I set up the heddles, and what they are!

See you later!