Recently in Sampling Category

Sample In Blue

Sampling is a good thing.  Sure, you have to go through the hassle and fuss of warping the loom (although I find that this gets easier and easier every time I do it), but even with some of the nice programs out there that help you draft a weaving pattern, there's still no substitute for actually seeing your ideas represented in the actual thread that you plan to bring them to life in. 

This sample actually represents my efforts to look at 3 different color variations in more or less the same weave structure, waffle weave.  However, by the time I got my loom warped and taken care of, I really only had time to adequately explore the first of them, which is represented on the right side of the sample -- the seven bands of solid colored warp sections.   I repeated the same color pattern in the weft (i.e. bands of color in the same order as in the warp) to create the color squares that you see in the first 9 "rows" of squares.  I had hoped that the sold squares would be more dominant and the diagonal bands of solid squares would be a prominent visual, but both to my eye and to the camera lens, those solid squares seem to fade into the background.

At my next class, I'm going to do more with the middle and left sections of the warp (which are either bordered by dark and go to light in the center (middle), or are bordered by light and go to dark in the center (left)).  I know it's a bit fuzzy, but I really like the effect of the dark bordered squares.  I'm looking forward to seeing a few variations as well as the inverse before making a decision about my pillow bolster cover. 

P.S. I'm sorry to anyone who has been having problems with my comments lately. I had noticed some double commenting, but didn't realize that it was symptomatic of my blog software behaving strangely.  At this point, I'm not completely sure how to fix it, but I do appreciate everyone who is persistent about it.  If you do have a problem and have the time to drop me an email and let me know what browser you are using, I'd appreciate it -- given that there seems to be some involvement of javascript, I'm suspicious that it could be a browser version issue.

Double Weave Sampler

What, might you ask, is that strange looking thing in my picture?  It's a sample that I made to play with double weave and waffle weave in preparation for a bigger project to make a bolster cover. 

If you're thinking that it is an item looks like it has been beaten with an ugly stick, well, I'd agree with you.  It's a solid white warp with whatever random colors of the right "gauge" were available in the workshop where I weave.  But the point of this project wasn't to be pretty -- it was to try some things out and see how they worked and to find out how much shrinkage I would get after I washed the cover so that I could make sure that I had the right dimensions for the bolster.

If you learn more when you make mistakes, then you could say that I learned a lot on this project -- definitely making it a good use of my time. 

First of all, I didn't quite thread my heddles correctly -- but I did thread them in the same pattern throughout, so at least I was consistent.  And depending on the colors for the warp and weft that I end up going with, it might have been a fortuitous mistake. 

Next, it took me a few tries to get my treadling worked out correctly.  First I did one half of the treadling but forgot to do the other half.  Then I had to rechart when I remembered that if I wanted the waffle pattern facing out, I had to make sure that it was facing up on the top cloth and down on the bottom cloth.  And I reversed it yet again, not to correct a mistake, but to see how it would look if the right side of the cloth was on the inside instead of the outside.

After that, there was the moment of realization when I realized that while I had threaded my loom at 28 ep, for double weave, I really need it to be 56 epi -- or 28 epi for each fabric.  But that was partially corrected by using 5/2 cotton in my weft instead of the 10/2 cotton that I started with in the warp. 

By the time I got to the red, blue and green stripes of waffle weave I had pretty much made my way through all my learning experiences and was on my way to playing with color and working on finding the right beat. 

20080609_DoubleWeaveSamClos.jpgAnd, of course, it was at this point that I realized that I wasn't sure I wanted to do my original colors scheme for the pattern any more and that I wanted to set up another small sampler (no double weave this time, just a couple of inches of a different options in my warp).   So I'm going to set up a second sample for my next project using the actual colors I purchased to use in the bolster before I get started on the main project.  I have discovered that I really do like working with the 8 harness table loom that I am on -- a Woolhouse 8 Shaft Carolyn table loom.

Even though this is still just a sample, I found myself much more motivated to work on this project than on my original sampler.  I guess I'm not only a product knitter, but a product weaver as well -- I like having an end goal in mind.  It helps me focus my thoughts better and helps direct my experimentation.  I can hardly wait to sit down and warp the loom again to play with my color sample.  One of the things I like best of all about weaving is that the color play is so different than it is with knitting, spinning or quilting.  And I love learning a whole new way to think about color!