Monday, October 31, 2011

Finishing lessons and retail therapy....

IMO a project isn't finished until I sit down and write myself a note about the lessons learned from the project.  I do it for just about everything that I do.  In cooking, I write and date notes in the cookbook or on the recipe.  In entertaining, I keep my menu and write notes about what worked and what didn't.  At this stage of life, I'd prefer not to keep making the same mistakes over and over.  Any chances at "do overs" should have successful outcomes. 
Perhaps you might be interested in a peek at my lessons learned from this latest weaving project:

  • I'm still not wild about warping front to back, but it does offer the distinct advantage of designing in the reed especially with painted warps.  When I do it again, there will definitely be a thread by thread cross in the warp chain and a choke tie firmly tied behind the cross.  I still like having the reed horizontal when sleying...maybe it's because of my progressive lenses?
  • I'm pretty happy with the beat on this project.  It's firm and even (the Mountain Loom is pretty incredible for that as a table loom.).  There was one spot where the beat was a little light in the middle of the web when I took it off the loom.  I can't find it now that the fabric is washed and pressed.
  • However, there still is a little bit of a ripple in the fabric when it's laid flat.  An ongoing problem of mine.  Waddup with that?  (any body have some suggestions?)
  • Selvedges:  aren't the best on this project.  The one that looked the best on the loom looks the worst in the finished fabric.  I think I'm going to try sleying the 4 end warps on each side a little closer on my next cotton fabric.  
  • Maybe a temple would help with the above two problems?  Maybe I'll put a temple on my Christmas wishlist.
  • Color:  I'm pretty happy with the color choices in this piece.  Sara was a help in picking out the pearl cotton contrast stripes and I like them.  
  • I do wish that the yellow hadn't come up in the dead center of the I guess that's something to pay attention to in future painted warps.

  • It's surprising to me how much the yellow and turquoise together read as green in the fabric.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I used a dark turquoise 10/2 cotton as weft in this warp dominant fabric.  It would have been interesting to see how another color weft might have pushed the colors through that section of the warp.  Must remind myself to pay attention to that and sample with it in the future.
  • The width of the fabric on the loom was 14".  Off the loom it was 13.13", and after washing the width is 12.33".  That's almost 12% shrinkage in width.
  • I didn't measure the length of the cloth while I was weaving.  The length of the of the cloth off the loom was 42", not counting fringe.  After washing it is 39.5".  That's only 6% loss in length.
Am I missing anything?
I would be remiss if I didn't admit to a little retail therapy after wrestling with this warp in the workshop:
A Japanese stitch pattern knitting book and a Houndesign support spindle.

The stitch patterns in this book are so unusual.  My fingers are twitching to just cast on and start sampling.  Lovely stuff.  And a little closer look at the spindle:
It's a little 24gr. sweetie made of purple heart and birch.  That's cashmere I've been spinning on it.  Doesn't it make your fingers just twitch to give it a spin?

There was a little more retail therapy at Beth's that weekend, but this is all I'm fessing up to right now.


  1. Anonymous8:03 PM

    OMG it's beautiful!!!


  2. Beautiful colours! And your finishing thoughts are such a good idea. It really does bring the project to completion. I will start to do that. It would be great if everyone did that, it would really help others learn.

  3. I love it so much! I do like the yellow in the middle.

  4. I've warped both directions, but I think you might as well go home if you warp from the front and don't have a death-grip cinch tie on the other side of the cross. Also, I'm starting to get Deb Menz's point that a little yellow goes a long way. At least I hope I finally get it, or are just about to. BTW, I think your results are beautiful. I'm not sure what more you were expecting.

  5. Nice job! It's a lovely piece even with the yellow dead center. I do like the way it fingers through on the one side though.
    I love my temples and use them all the time. Sounds like some more retail therapy is in order.;)

  6. Anonymous1:15 PM

    My brain immediately turned it horizontal which makes it appear almost 3 dimensional. Follow the fading sunlight reflecting on the lake and walk through the dark horizon into a wondrous world.

    Great thoughts and observations! A temple would definitely help. I don't enjoy the slow down of constantly needing to move one but it helps with keeping the edges neat.

  7. Check out the Woolgathers website
    for instructions for making little homemade temples. They
    are great and cost nothing to make.
    I haven't used my solid wood ones
    in ages. You might find them helpful.


tie in the loose ends...