Monday, May 05, 2008

More MTW Samples

I've had a lot of ideas about multiple tabby weave and so I've been experimenting. To run through some of my ideas, I put a sample warp on my loom, a little over a yard long and about six inches wide.

For this warp I chose all the various yellow and gold 8/2 yarns that I have; mostly cotton, but on a whim, I added some yellow rayon chenille. I measured and tied them on to my last MTW warp, changing the various yellows in Fibonacci stripes of 5, 8, 13, and 21 ends each. Then I experimented with the weft.

First I tried the same green sportweight cotton knitting yarn that I used for the experiment with the brown striped warp.

I changed treadling in the same Fib sequence too. What I immediately didn't like was the chenille stripes. Up close and personal they are too dominant. However, with almost a yard of this warp still on the loom, I kept on experimenting.

Next I tried the same weft yarn in a different color, purple.

On this one, besides not liking the chenille stripes, I didn't think that this particular purple looked all that well with the yellows.

Next I tried to incorporate the chenille into the weft sequence. The treadling is still in the same 5, 8, 13, 21 treadling sequence. First with green...

Mmmm. Nah. Well, how about that with the purple weft?

Better, but even with narrower chenille weft stripes it is still a no. Next I tried one of the yellow 8/2s for the weft, but still added the chenille stripes.

Boring. Add that to the no list too.

By this time I had used up that warp, so I tied on more. This time I decided to use the chenille only for each of the narrowest warp stripes. The others are still the same yellows and golds as before. For the weft I used the same 8/2 yarns, changing them randomly except for the narrow chenille stripe.

Michele asked about the loose weft ends. Since these are just samples, I left them hanging. After washing and drying I cut them shorter, but didn't worry about them otherwise. If this were for a sewing project, I'd leave them too. I only worry about loose weft ends for something where the selvedges will show, like a scarf or dishtowel.

The following are two samples from that second sample warp.

These were a little more interesting than the first batch, but by this time I was sick of yellow and gold, which are not my favorite colors anyway.

Even though I wouldn't use any of these for a larger piece, I learned a lot from them. For one thing, I learned that I really like the heavier weft for MTW, even though the particular colors of green and purple weren't perfect choices.

While I think the chenille used this way has some possibilities, I found that there was some differential shrinkage after washing and drying. Because the squares were so large, I really didn't like the look of that, so I pressed it out as best I could.

Also, the very nature of multiple tabby weave caused the chenille to create wavy weft stripes rather than straight ones. Again, this has possibilities.

I'm sure every spinner and weaver out there has heard "sample, sample, sample," and for knitters it's "SWATCH!" All I can say to this is, "how true, how true."

Related Posts:
Multiple Tabby Weaves
MTW With Heavier Weft

MTW tent copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it's been stolen.


Dorothy said...

Oh you've been having fun, there's nothing like playing with things to stretch you beyond your normal envelope...

My experience with weaving samples is that sometimes by the time I take the piece off the loom, I'm sick of the sight of it - after all that hard work, and things not turning out how I expect - and I have to put it away for a few days before I can view it with detachment and really learn from it.

I don't think I like the chenille against the other yarns, but focusing on the rest of your samples here, I like the more subtle textures from using different yarns. I think it could be useful to have a sampler using different types of yarn combinations to see how the feel and behave after finishing. Here I go again, more ideas I don't have the time to execute...

Also, I think from my chenille experiement that an all cotton chenille weft with a mercerised cotton warp, sett looser than I used, could work nicely.

Jackie said...

Wow! You really are pushing the envelope! Thanks for sharing.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Wonderful stuff here, Leigh. You are really beginning to free up and things are beginning to happen. I think all the samples are absolutely wonderful. This is no time to make judgments. Just keep playing. And, as Dorothy suggests, just put them all away and when you have no more play left in you, then look at them all again. And then start getting analytical, whereupon you will probably be thinking in terms of a piece which will need some sampling particularized for it. (Yes, I am wordsmithing here.........VBG!).


I like the uniqueness of the chenille in the piece because of the fact that it misbehaved LOL.. Since I used the cotton chenille warp and weft for the exhibition piece I found it sticky but the finished scarf is wonderful. I have to wash it still and see what happen after that. But play is good for the imagination and soul.

Anonymous said...

Actually, my first reaction to seeing the purple weft sample was, "NEAT!" Different strokes.

How close do you have the chenille in the reed? I was wondering if you have experienced any worming with it.

bspinner said...

Each color and yarn combination is unique. The chenille gives the samples depth. Personally I like the gold and plum but that's only me.
Over the years I've woven a box of samples and still like to look through them for ideas and inspiration.

Kathy said...

I like the chenille in the samples. I also like the purple and yellow as I would never be brave enough to try that combo. It works for Easter so why not here?
As I viewed the samples, something is/was nagging at me and I can't figure out what it is. It may just be that I'm in a "Sparkle" mood and the chenille is hard to see via the computer. Hmm...what would you use this weaving for? Pillows (oooo...soft!)?
You are encouraging me to try color combinations I don't normally use and I thank you for that, Leigh.
Now, thoughts of getting a very small hand-held loom like those old looper kids looms have popped in my mind to do samples small enough to test for shrinkage of unknown yarns. Chenilles can be either non-shrinking or they shrink like crazy. I've always found them to be one way or the other, darn it!
Great experimentation! I like the way you think! :)

Leigh said...

I forgot to mention that the sett was 20 epi across the warp. The chenille was 1300 ypp, so I would have though the sett was sufficient. But yes, I did have worming. I ignored it because I was just sampling, but next time I would try a closer sett for it.

I would like to try the chenille as smaller stripes with smaller cotton sections in between, and then see what it looks like after shrinking. Like I said, Lots of interesting possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leigh! Love dropping in and seeing what you are up to. Your experiments with the MTWs rock!

Now that life has finally slowed down, I've started a new blog -- I had deactivated my old one, and then it was hijacked and turned into some weird advertising thing.

I put my new one up on my personal website so I can have total control.

Have had a great, but very busy year. I have lurked your blog, though, and am just so delighted with all you have been doing. You're a great shot in the arm, kiddo.

Can't wait to see what you will be up to next. And I hear you on the sampling -- I used to hate it, now I do it religiously.

Cheers, and happy weaving!

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Leigh,
Great samples! If you look at a painters' colour wheel you'll find that yellow and purple are opposite each other on the wheel. Where they meet (at the centre) you'll find they turn gray.
When I painted some silk scarf warps, I found that if I inserted another colour between them, say green, then the purple and yellow/ gold tones made it come to life. Literally where the purple dye and yellow dyes ran together turned a muddy gray.

It's fun playing with the yarns, textures and colour though isn't it!?

Cheerio, Susan H.
Duncan, BC