Wednesday, December 06, 2017


If you've been folowing the status of the current warp on the dobby loom, you may remember that my objectives were (1.) Use up stash; (2.) Weave several featherweight, sheer wool shawls, with a warp of randomly mixed, fine blue wool yarns and a weft of fine blue, wool + mylon boucle.

Well, I think I nailed it! The warp is sett at 30 epi (3 per dent in a 10-dent reed. The warp yarns are almost all 32/2 or finer (there is one ~ 28/2). The target ppi is 16, which after a few loom adjustments was achieved.

Not only are the tabs of the apron clearly visible through the woven cloth, but also the quite detailed shadow of the shuttle. Of course, the cloth will be a little more dense after wet finishing, but at this point I'm quite happy with it.

The weave for this first of four shawls on the warp is plain weave; I may try a 2x2 twill or a crepe weave on one or more of the others. Because the threading is straight draw on 20 shafts, there are lots of possible choices from my well-thumbed copy of Oelsner that have no floats longer than 2 threads. The longer the floats, of course, the more distortion in the finished cloth because of the boucle weft, so I will try to limit the floats to 2 (or maybe 3) threads.

My thanks to my friend Pat Stewart, whose experience with this fine boucle I used as a baseline for decisions about epi and ppi.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Life Goes On

There's been a flurry of non-weaving activity in the studio, to make 2 gifts for a sister and a sister-in-law.

This zip bag will become host to a SIL's knitting tools. The original jacquard image is based on some lilypads at the lake in Montana (where, by coincidence, the SIL's parents live). I had to rotate the fabric 90 degrees from the original orientation to make a big-enough bag. Here are the front and back:

And for my sister, the iPhoneographer, a mobile phone pouch, shown front and back. One end of the strap is not yet sewn in place, so she can adjust the length as desired.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rest in Peace

That is my sincere wish for my father-in-law, who has wanted nothing for the past several years but to join his dear departed wife in heaven. Now he has his wish, and the clan will pay our respects and celebrate his generous spirit on Saturday, 12/2, in the area of Los Angeles where he had lived for 60+ years.

This photo was taken about 18 months ago, when DH and Paul took a cruise from Amsterdam to Norway's north cape and back. Norway is the country of origin for the paternal line of the clan; there are still relatives in and around  Drammen, not far from Oslo.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ready to Weave!

The mixed fine wool warp is now threaded, sleyed, and lashed onto the cloth apron. All ready to start weaving...

Ready, that is, if it weren't for a flurry of orders for zip bags (birthday gift for a sister-in-law who is a knitter, and wants a knitting tool bag) and mobile phone pouches (Christmas gift for my sister who is a serious iPhoneographer, and wants her iPhone to be quickly reachable at all times in case a photographic opportunity presents itself).

In addition to the fiber-related distractions, we have a trip to Los Angeles area coming up. My wonderful father-in-law passed away a few weeks ago, and events associated with his passing, plus Thanksgiving at one of DH's brothers' homes, have already necessitated a couple of trips south. On Saturday, the official religious service and a celebration of life will be held in San Pedro, and that's another 3 days away from the studio. However, he was the best in-law anybody could hope for, almost the father I never had, so the time away is not regretted in any way.

Tomorrow I will post my favorite photo of my father-in-law, taken last year by DH when the two of them went on a cruise of coastal Norway. And photos of the gifts I've been working on.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Threading; Sales Blog

I've completed threading the blue wool warp; and begun sleying the reed. Sorry, no photos. Once the sleying is done, and the warp tied onto the apron, I'll post some pics.

In other news, I have started to post a few items on the sales blog. More will appear tomorrow.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Threading - Halfway There

As of dinnertime today, this was my progress threading the mixed blue wool warp: 12 of 22 sections, each 30 threads. Not progress to boast about, but wool is much stickier than silk or tencel, and loves to cling to its neighbors just when I want them to separate.

Thirty epi over 20 shafts; not a big challenge compared to some of the really complex threadings I've tackled. I was hoping to finish in another few days, but we will have visitors, so completion may not come as soon as I wished.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Up Next on the Dobby Loom

The stash closet contains lots of bins of fine wool in various color ranges. I also found a cone of fine wool + nylon boucle (once upon a time, available from Textura Trading under the name of Mousse.)

I chose all the cones of blue, various shades from medium to navy, and subdivided them into 18 separate cones. As I wound a warp for wraps, for each section I picked at random 2 groups of 3 cones. Some sections are darker (more navy) some are lighter (no navy), but I hope the colors will blend well in the cloth. The yarns are mostly in the 34/2 range, so well over 9000 yards per pound. The sett will be 30 epi, and with the boucle as weft, should make an open, somewhat sheer cloth.

Here in California, wool is a hard sell. The weather is "too warm," even though we have a hard freeze almost every winter... So to sell a wool shawl means weaving a featherweight cloth.

At the point I took the photo, I still had 2 sections to beam, so that's why the section guides are still in place.

In other news, over the next few days, I'll be posting items on my sales blog that didn't sell at the Central Coast Weavers event.