Why I Always Put on Extra Warp

I always put on more warp than I need for a project. That end of the warp is where I play, experiment, and try out crazy ideas, not to mention try to use up the thread from as many quills as possible. Or, for rag rugs, I try to use up as much of the weft fabric strips as I can. I have containers for those odd pieces (remnants). That is where I look when I want to make something.

Rag rug “scrap” became a seat cushion last year for me to use in the car.
Two cut-to-fit kneeling pads go in the cushion cover. I added handwoven bands for ties. The ties don’t stay tied, and they aren’t really needed. I let them hang as if they are chunky fringe.

The seat cushion I made for myself last year works great. Now I want to make a seat cushion for me to use in the other car. Time to get out that container of “scraps.”

I find four potential “scraps” to use for another cushion cover. The rag rug pieces aren’t quite big enough, but would work if I added some fabric to them. The colorful magenta and stripes piece would work as a top, with some other fabric for the bottom.
Blue striped eight-shaft twill in 8/2 cotton is just right! This is fabric I wove a few years ago for chair covers for my mother-in-law. It has a good weight to it, with quite a bit of give. And the blues are very pretty!
I am folding the piece in half lengthwise. This fabric has a pretty strong bias pull, so it makes sense to pin the seam before sewing.
Walking foot on my sewing machine makes all the difference, especially with this bias-strong fabric. The walking foot helps keep the two layers of fabric together, instead of the top layer stretching ahead of the bottom layer.
Two simple seams, and I’m finished with sewing! I am leaving the end open so it is super easy to add or subtract the fillers for the cushion. No ties this time.
Press the seams open.
Press the seams from the right side. Nothing matches at the seams because this long piece was made with intentionally irregular stripes.
Two kneeling pads are cut to fit. They will go inside the cushion cover. This gives me a good firm cushion to elevate my sitting position in the car. There is enough room in the cusion cover that I can add a little more height, or I can remove one of the kneeling pads for a lower sitting position.
Two kneeling pads go in.
Ready to Go!

Less than thirty minutes for this project, from selecting the fabric to inserting the pads. That’s exactly why I always put on extra warp! You never know when you will need an odd piece of handwoven something…

Happy Weaving, Karen

Two Pictorial Tapestries Finished

The Glimåkra Standard is where I am most comfortable, even though the reach of the full width is stretching me. The curtains for the bathroom are progressing. No new news, just continuation of adding cloth to the cloth beam.

Still weaving this M’s and O’s curtain yardage. Looking forward to the day the curtains will hang in our remodeled bathroom.
Fabric is adding up on the cloth beam.

The Glimåkra Ideal is patiently waiting for a new tapestry warp. I have a bit more design work to do on the cartoon, and then I’ll be winding the warp with the 16/2 linen I have set aside just for this project. I’m eager to show the new tapestry idea to you! Soon!!

I am finishing up the next critter napkin design for the drawloom. This one is a roadrunner, and it is just…about…ready…to weave.

The Glimåkra Julia is getting filled up on the cloth beam, too. This wool goose-eye fabric is going to be fun to sew into a winter cape when it comes off the loom!

I like to check on the cloth beam to see how it is filling up. You can see there is still more warp on the warp beam.
Julia with four shafts. Ribbon pinned on the side has marks that help me keep the diamond pattern square.

And finally. Drumroll. After a year of sitting on the sidelines after having been cut from the loom, two small tapestries are now hanging on our walls. I did the finishing work of adding a slat for hanging, stitching a backing in place, including some zigzag quilting stitches for support, and stitching up the sides and the hem.

Beginning to mount the tapestry by adding a wood slat at the top.
Backing is added to the back of the tapestries. Zigzag stitching at the top helps secure the tapestry so it will not sag. One small nail will hold the tapestry to the wall.
Heaven and Earth
Intricately Created: Delicate Wing of a Monarch Butterfly.

It is good to finish, even if you do it a year later. Now I am really ready to start the next tapestry.

Happy Weaving, Karen

Everything Is Fixable

Every now and then I forget where I left off. This happens when I get interrupted when I am not quite finished with a sequence at the end of a weaving session, or when I get interrupted when I am just getting started back on the loom. Often, the interruptions are my own thoughts going in different directions. The only loss is a few dozen weft threads that get pulled out one by one, plus the time it takes to pull them out and weave the right ones back in. Everything is fixable.

Sometimes it is necessary to backtrack. I was at a pause in weaving. When I came back to it I forgot to put in the gray weft stripe. Pulled out more rows than I wish, then resumed weaving, starting with the gray stripe.
No more troubles, just attentive weaving.
Still several meters to go on these bathroom curtains! 24/2 cotton, M’s and O’s, gray stripe is 16/2 cotton

I have come to the unfortunate realization that I am probably short on blue weft yarn and green weft yarn. This project is using yarn from my excess, and the warp yarn was measured out just so. I miscalculated on the weft yarn. My solution is to space the blue and the green weft stripes further apart. If I still run out of either color I will finish with the colors I do have. I may end up liking it better that way. Everything is fixable.

Blue weft at the front edge makes a lovely contrast with the poppy and the pumpkin warp colors.
Cart by the loom holds shuttles and yarn. You can see that I am using a 120 cm reed in a 70 cm loom. I can get away with it by having the loom in the corner of the room.
Winter wool indoors and spring blooms outdoors. Brage wool for an autumn/winter cape. Goose-eye twill on four shafts.

I did not imagine that one of the single-unit draw cords on the drawloom could snap in two while I am putting it on the hook bar. But it happened! Now what? I’m able to finish the 6-thread unit by tying a knot and maneuvering threads this way and that way. This is not acceptable for weaving the rest of the warp, however, nor even for the rest of this napkin. I just so happen to have a fancy clip that Steve brought to me a couple weeks ago, saying, “I thought you might be able to use this somewhere.” It is the perfect temporary fix for this shortened draw cord. I will replace the broken draw cord before starting the next critter napkin (roadrunner). Everything is fixable.

Wild turkey is running with his head cut off for a few days. The single-unit draw cord that raises the threads at the turkey’s chin snapped when I put it on the hook bar. I finished the 6-thread unit for that chin by tying a knot in the end of the draw cord. I need to make a permanent fix, though, because the knot makes the draw cord just a little too short.
As a temporary fix, I found a double caribiner clip that is just the right size to hold the draw cord. Before I start weaving the next critter, I will try to replace this broken draw cord with a new one.
Wild Turkey – finished!
Chart beside the loom shows my row-by-row plan for the image being woven.

Yesterday we enjoyed Easter, the day of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are lost without Him, suffering from our own errors, miscalculations, and brokenness. The Heavenly Father raised Jesus from the dead to prove to us that Jesus is Lord. Everything is fixable in Him.

May you find the solution you need.

Your weaving friend, Karen

Wild Turkey and More

Three looms are active right now. The drawloom has the napkin project, with a wild turkey on this one.

Wild turkey feet and legs weave up quickly. There are only a few single unit draw cords to pull at a time, plus one pattern shaft draw handle for the side borders.
Wild turkey feathers require many more single unit draw cords. Even the borders at this place in the pattern are done with single units. The cast shadow on the loom from the bell that hangs in the window makes a funny face at this time of day. Could be a silly turkey face? 🙂

The Julia has the wool goose-eye twill fabric that I plan to use for making myself a simple winter cape. Next winter should be here soon enough.

Wool cape fabric in goose-eye twill.

Last but not the least at all is the Glimåkra Standard with curtains for our remodeled bathroom. This is a big project and I will be weaving on this for a while. M’s and O’s is enjoyable to weave. I like the counting for the squares and stripes, and the trading off of feet that this project gives me.

Curtain fabric in M’s and O’s is winding up on the cloth beam.

Happy Weaving,

Karen

How Much Further Can I Weave With a Longer Quill?

How much more thread will a 13cm quill hold than an 11cm quill? In other words, how much further can I weave with the longer quill? I decided to do a simple test to find out. Which size quill should I use for the rest of this project?

Red threads give me precise start and stop points for measuring how far I could weave with one quill. I will pull the red threads out when I cut the fabric from the loom.

First, I mark the beginning of the 11cm quill with a short red thread woven through a few ends on the same row as the first row of weft from that quill. I weave off the thread from that quill and weave in another short red thread on the final row of the quill, putting the second red thread directly above the first red thread. Now, I can measure the distance that the quill’s weft covered the warp, minus the gray weft stripe. I repeat the test with another quill so I can average the difference, if any. I find that both quills cover exactly 6 cm of warp. How’s that for consistency in winding my quills?

I started with 11cm quills because that is the size that fits the shuttle I wanted to use.

Time to test the 13cm quill. I do this exactly the same way, including the repeat test. The result? The 13cm quill covers 7.2 cm of warp. So there is 1.2 cm difference between the shorter quill and the longer quill.

Each quill measured twice. This view is from below the breast beam since I forgot to take a photo before I advanced the warp. This perspective also gives a view of more of the M’s and O’s cloth and the potential for specially-made curtains.

I have a total of 8.6 meters to weave on this curtain fabric (about 1.5 meters already woven). That means winding about 143 quills (11cm), or 119 quills (13cm). Not much difference, really. Still, I’m in favor of winding 24 fewer quills of 24/2 cotton. Aren’t you?

May the math work in your favor.

Happy Weaving, Karen