Saturday, February 28, 2009

Visit to Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam

So far I have no more weaving to show but yesterday I went to Amsterdam for a visit with my Weaving Guild to Tassenmuseum Hendrikje. This is a very interesting museum. It was started by Hendrikje Ivo finding an antique bag more than 20 years ago. That was the start of this collection. She was hooked after buying that first bag. The collection grew and was first shown in her own house in Amstelveen for about 10 years but it became to big a collection to continue there. A very generous sponsor has bought this fantastic house on the Herengracht in Amsterdam, so the museum was able to move about 18 months ago. I can highly recommend this museum for a visit if you ever happen to be in Amsterdam as it gives a good impression of the development of the bag from the 16th century to present day. The building is renovated to a very high standard and the collection presented in a very tasteful way. The collection is spread out over several floors (good access with lift too) and one room is reserved for temporary exhibitions. We found the tail end of "Evening Bags" (today the last day). We had a guided tour and that is well worth it to learn not only the interesting history of the collection but history in general through the bags. We finished the visit with a lunch which is also highly recommend.

I also made a visit to Shirdak with some of the group, which is another interesting place to visit in Amsterdam.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last of the Double Weave course

Tomorrow is my last workshop day and I have finished the 16/2 cotton warp that was on my loom.
I wanted to make the panama sample so I made some extra warp threads for the top layer and put them on the 2nd warp beam.

I re-threaded the warp completely from 1:2:1:8 to 1:1:1:4. In the photo on the left you can see where these extra threads have gone.

Here is the third swatch of this warp, a panama sample. In this sample the weft yarn is like the warp. I had thought that I would weave another sequence on this threading but this did not look good at all so I abandoned that idea. Instead I wove the fourth sample the same sequence but adding another weft colour in the top layer. This one is more blue.
I had a small warp left to weave a fifth sample. Here I used cottolin for the top layer and in the bottom layer I used the 16/2 cotton but changed the colour halfway as you can see clearly in the right photo.

The binding of these panama samples is done between the panama threads keeping these threads well in place. I can see that if you used a fancy yarn for the top layer it could make an interesting cloth.

I will continue with experimenting with double weaving as there are so many possibilities in bindings, yarns and colours. I feel I have only touched the subject but I'm enjoying the journey.

This workshop has been a way for me to get weaving again after a difficult period. This blog is adding to this, making me really think about the weaving. Not "just" weaving.
Tomorrow is my last workshop day of this double weave course. I may take on another course to continue with my process of really getting back into weaving.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Double Weave Warp

Here is my 4th warp that I'm weaving for the Double Weave course.
This time I'm using stash yarn 16/2 cotton weaving 10 threads/cm.
This first swatch is woven proportionately as threaded giving square blocks in the top layer. The binding is done by warp threads from top layer into the bottom layer just before and after weaving a weft thread in the top layer. When you look at the right photo you can hardly see the binding.The second swatch is woven like the first one, but I have altered the sequence of the top layer, not getting the blocks like in the first swatch. Also switching the colours from top to bottom and reverse again. You hardly see the colour difference in the top layer in the photo, the back shows the changes where they have become stripes.
This would be a good binding for a special yarn in the top layer. May be a way of using handspun yarns for something special.

I have now rethreaded again, this time weaving panama in the top layer. Enough warp left for 1 or 2 swatches. I quite like these short warps for this course.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Other swatches of my red and white warp

My red and white warp is finished. It was only 1,5 meter long. Advantage of a short warp is that I can experiment with different yarns in a short period. With this binding both sides make interesting cloth, I will definitely come back to this using other yarns.Here is my second swatch of this warp. The difference with the first swatch is in the binding. Here the red weft yarns are binding with the under layer. You can see that there is a mistake in the white weaving, something you do not see until it comes from the loom.
In this 3rd swatch the weft top yarn is yellow (same type yarn as the red, just a different colour). Here the binding is from both warp and weft yarn from the top layer into the bottom layer. With the yellow as weft yarn in the top layer, you are able to see the difference in the binding.I only made a warp for 3 swatches but was able to add an extra using another yarn completely in the top layer, again binding the warp and weft yarn from the top layer into the bottom layer like in the 3rd swatch.
I will now make another warp with different proportions and panama in the top layer for the double weave course, as I will have my last lesson next week.

Monday, February 09, 2009

New warp: red and white

I have finished the first swatch of my next warp. This time I'm using a white cotton and a red fancy yarn. So much better to weave with another warp!
The warp is 4:1 proportional on 4 shafts.The photo does not do justice to the red crepe type yarn. The binding here is every 4th white weft binding with red warp threads from the top layer. Both sides make an interesting cloth. (left side is topside again)

I'm now re threading on 6 shafts so that I can make a few more combinations of binding the 2 layers.
It really is fun to go on this double weave journey.

I'm also exited as I have discovered that my big Glimakra loom can be converted to a 16 shaft dobby loom with a Toika unit. I will have to learn more about this option before going ahead with it. But for the moment it is an exiting idea just to think about it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More Double Weaving

Hurray! The warp is finished.
I rethreaded for the 3rd time. We were shown a way to either use an extra shaft or using no shaft at all for some threads. I opted for the last option. I had to use all my 8 shafts because of the number of heddles on this loom. (I will have to add some more heddles if I'm to make full use of this loom, a Leclerc Minerva.)
My threading was 4231 and 8675 and some of the threads on shaft 4 and 8 were not threaded through the shaft.
The 7 threads that were without a shaft I threaded through a cord, see photo. This was done between the reed and the shafts. Now you can weave as normal (just making sure how you go over or under these loose threads) but you can also make use of these thread as an extra binding by either going over or under these loose warp threads differently.

Here are my last 2 samples. Again the left photo is the top side of the sample. 12. You can see the 7 binding points clearly in the brown and orange rows.
In the brown row you see as binder thread one of the loose threads = a warp thread from the bottom layer in the top layer.
In the orange row the binding thread is a weft thread from the bottom layer in the top layer.
I had threaded different blocks again. When I was weaving the blocks I was also playing with these loose threads. But this does not add any value to having the extra binding threads as the blocks are binding the layers together anyway.
13. This sample I have gone back to weaving rows but using different colours (I have a boxes with yarns on bobbins from previous weaving sorted by type of yarn, wool or cotton/linen, they came in handy!) and filling up the space with fleece before changing to the next row. The idea of filling up came after finishing the first row. Here I had kept the selvedges loose from one and other so I was unable to fill up the 2 side blocks in the first red row. This you cannot really see in the photo.
I like this last sample a lot. It would make a nice padded cloth for a jacket or so. The filling went much easier than in sample 5. But I would like to try the option of threading through a different shaft. If I had enough heddles I would thread 4231 and some of the threads of shaft 4 threaded on shaft 5.

This warp was woven on my 8 shaft Leclerc Minerva. It was easy to weave but I had to change the tie-up to the treadles quite a bit.

The first warp for this double weave course was woven on my 16 shaft Thumm loom (using 8 shafts). As this has push leavers for each shaft (almost like a piano), it was easy to weave all the different samples.

I might go back to that loom for my next warp but the Leclerc is in the lounge and at the moment a nicer (warmer) place to weave than upstairs where the Thumm loom is standing. The loom is at an awkward hight, I found a solution by using an ironing stool to sit on.

My next job is to get a new warp made, this time I will be using different yarn sizes.

Today I have also added text to the different sample photos in my previous post.