Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Jessy!

And Happy Baby Jenn! Lots to celebrate around Woven Art this week. A new baby, Ezra Hughes born to Scott and Jenn Hughes May 16. The 31st anniversary of my marriage to Gary - come see the 31 long stem red roses that are all over the shop!
And, today, Friday, is Jessy's birthday. For her birthday surprise, I am spilling the beans on the present I promised to make her in a blog post awhile back.

This will be, someday, a runner for Jessy's table.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Experiments in Collapse



One of my (many) current goals is to learn more about weaving fabric that has dimension through controlled shrinkage in one or more direction ( warp, weft or both). Pictured above is a collapse weave using a monk's belt pattern with a high twist wool crepe yarn weft and a silk warp. Both yarns from Habu Textiles. The ending is "picked up and knit" with the same yarn as the warp.

In my latest experiment I attempted to add a warp wise collapse. That's not what happened.
What did happen is pretty cool:





I used 10/2 bamboo (Xie from Southwest Trading Company) in three colors, and a cobweb weight merino wool hand dyed in orange. My guess was that the bamboo wouldn't shrink, and the merino wool would shrink a lot. While winding on, the wool was held at a tighter tension, while the bamboo was allowed to beam on naturally. Each stripe was 20 threads wide, and 20 ends per inch.
The total width in the reed was 24 inches. I alternated the wool stripes with the bamboo stripes.

The threading was 1-2-3-4 for the wool stripes, and 5-6-7-8 for the bamboo stripes.
Tie up:
treadle 1: 1-5-6-7
treadle 2: 2-6-7-8
treadle 3: 3-5-7-8
treadle 4: 4-5-6-8
treadle 5: 1-2-3-8
treadle 6: 1-2-4-7
treadle 7: 1-3-4-6
treadle 8: 2-3-4-5

Scarf number one was woven with high twist wool crepe from Habu Textiles as weft.
Treadling pattern:
1-2-3-4 for 14"
5-6-7-8 for 1"
1-2-3-4 for 10"
5-6-7-8 for 1 "
*1-2-3-4 for 5"
5-6-7-8 for 1" *
repeat from * to * 3 times more
1-2-3-4 for 10"
5-6-7-8 for 1 "
1-2-3-4 for 14"

This created stripes of 3/1 and 1/3 twill, interrupted by opposing squares of 1/3 and 3/1 twill in one inch sections. You can see these in the photo above - little squares of color poking through. The finished dimenions of the scarf before washing were 19" wide by 73" long. The finished dimensions after collapsing in water are 7" by 70"


I wove a second shawl on the same warp, using Harmony from Jojoland for weft. This yarn is a cobweb weight merino wool in a very long, subtle gradation of color.
Keeping the tie up the same, my treadling pattern was
1-2-3-4, for the entire length of the shawl.
This one didn't collapse at all. I was very surprised! Before washing the shawl measured 18.5 inches by 85.5. After washing the dimensions are 16" by 79". The drape became a bit softer, but the shawl itself is still pretty flat. There is a slight color difference from one side to the other - but not nearly as dramatic as the first scarf.

Just for fun- here is a picture of the fabric wrapped around model Kelly. Picture is taken before cutting the fabric into two peices, and before washing. Kelly is also wearing a sampler headband that was woven in Jane Patrick's workshop on Rigid Heddle weaving. I would take better pictures of it - but she refuses to take it off.