Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fabric at last!
So, what do you think? This is the turned overshot warp from 2 posts ago. The ground fabric is black 10/2's cotton, the supplementary warp is #30 crochet cotton. The weave structure is from Bob Owen's article from May/June '02 Handwoven.

As an aside: Bob recently turned 91 and not only is he still weaving, but he is still teaching workshops!

When you click on the picture for bigger, you will notice that every now and then there are some horizontal spots of color. Turns out that the crochet cotton is more elastic than the 10/2's. The warp is threaded 4 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed and the crochet cotton was wrapping around the black cotton. I've since inserted a separate tensioner for the crochet cotton and it seems to be working okay for now. See:
Above was some of the last stuff woven after the added tension on the crochet cotton.

There is a story to the crochet cottons in the project:
A number of years ago, one of the women brought to knitting guild the "fiber estate" of one of her dear friends who had gone on to that great yarn shop in the sky. I wasn't so much interested in more knitting yarns but there was this ~2 gallon plastic bag full of what seemed like a gazillion little balls of #30 crochet cotton in an amazing spectrum of color. Being the magpie that I am, I toted the bag home thinking that one day I would weave something really nice to give back to Barbara as a remembrance of her friend.

First I tried cardweaving with the crochet cotton, but I just couldn't get the colors to play nice together. Then I tried rep weave.......well if you've ever tried rep weave on a jack loom, you know that didn't work. And besides, the colors still didn't play nice together. Then I tried a small format tapestry. That was okay. I could use a charcoal gray cotton yarn to get the colors to play nice with one another. But crochet cotton doesn't cover the warp so well.

Finally at the October Weaving Guild meeting Ken Allen told me about the class that Bob was going to be teaching, but he sent me to the wrong article. Bob was teaching on an article from this issue. Instead, Ken told me it was the article from this issue.

If you click on that last link and scroll down the page, you can see Bob's original fabric. When I saw that fabric, I knew that there was finally a project for that crochet cotton! These will be table runners: one for Barbara, one for me.

One of the things that interests me about this warp is that the crochet cotton is spun S and plied Z, while the 10/2's cotton is spun Z and plied S (as are most weaving yarns). I've been wanting to play around with varying twist direction using my handspun for weaving. This isn't hanspun, but it's a start in that direction.

So, here's one final cheesecake warp shot for you:

And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story.

PS: Here's what's left of the crochet cotton. (That would be the medium Longaberger Chore Basket (12" long, 8" wide, 5.5" deep.) You know.......in case I have a broken warp or two.
What do you suppose this woman was planning on doing with this much colored crochet cotton?


  1. I would have looked at that crochet cotton and just thrown up my hands - it would never have occurred to me that it could be woven, apart from card weaving and I don't want to do that. Lovely colors - I like them better than in the magazine.

  2. Anonymous10:20 PM

    What a thoughtful thing to do. Barbara will be in ahhh when you had her such a wonderful gift. Wish I could be there.
    The fabric is so beautiful and vibrant.

  3. Hey Valerie - I tagged you for a photo meme. It's kinda fun actually.

  4. I like your "cheesecake" shots of the warp. Very gratifying for those of us who weave. :-)

    I participated in a collapse weave group through Complex Weavers for several years and there are quite a few examples of overtwisted yarns creating dimension in the finished fabric.

    Are you interested in collapse weaves or do you have something else in mind?

  5. Ohhhhh - that's lovely!

    I inherited my grandmother's crochet cotton and embroirdery threads when I went off to college decades ago. I know now that sometimes the color magpie is genetic and we just want the options.

    This is a project I just bet the donor would have been thrilled to see.

  6. This is gorgeous! And what a wonderful way to use that cotton.


tie in the loose ends...