Saturday, June 29, 2024

Evolving Pumpkin Heads With Heavier Yarn: Weaving

Well, well, well. After my disappointing first samples in 10/2 yarn, I started a second set of samples using the same draft with a heavier, fingering weight knitting yarn. Just to see what would happen. I fully expected to see the pumpkin heads appear. But look at this . . .

I see the chain of hearts! Flattened hearts, to be sure, but it's exciting to use the same pattern with different yarns and have different results. 

Next, to see if I can elongate them a bit.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Evolving Pumpkin Heads With Heavier Yarn: Planning

"Evolving Pumpkin Heads." Sounds like the name of a rock band, doesn't it? Anyway, in the comments of my Following Ideas post, we discussed some of the things that can effect how a draft weaves up: loom, tension, weaver, yarn, etc. So before I removed the warp thrums of my last set of samples, I wanted to experiment with a different, heavier yarn. Just to see what would happen. 

I dug around in my sock yarn tote and came up with these . . .

Fingering weight knitting yarns

They are all odds and ends that I've picked up over the years. I think they'll do for an experiment. I'm pretty sure they're all synthetics. Because they had no labels, I needed to figure out about sett. Wraps per inched turned out to be 18-20, which classifies them as fingering weight yarns. From my WPI, I calculated 80% (for twill) to be 14 - 16. I chose the sett that matched one of my reeds

Planning particulars
  • Original yarns and sett: 10/2 cotton at 30 e.p.i.
  • Yarn for this set of samples: project remnants of synthetic fingering weight knitting yarns
  • Sett: 16 e.p.i. 
  • Drafts (and original samples on loom) are here.
  • Weft will also be fingering weight navy, but from a different skein (as I don't think I have enough left on the ball after measuring the warp.)
This should go more quickly since the larger size yarn requires fewer ends for the same size sample. I'll have to change the reed and re-sley, but tying on will save me from threading the heddles again.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Progress on the Dornik Herringbone Throw Rug

I haven't mentioned much about this weaving project because it looks pretty much the same as it did before. It's getting longer, but the pattern doesn't change, so it always looks the same.

Dornik herringbone throw rug on the loom.

The progress can be seen on the cloth beam.

I'm definitely no speed weaver, but I've developed a nice rhythm, so progress is being made. I'm aiming for a woven on-loom length of about 72 inches. In the above photo, I've woven 54 inches. It's a few inches longer as I go to publish this post.

Until I get better lighting set up, I can only weave on this loom during the day. That's when I get good light from the windows. June is a very busy month, so weaving is just half an hour here and there. But it makes for a wonderful break and it's enough to make progress.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Samples Finished

The samples are off the table loom, hand washed, line dried, and pressed.

  • Yarn: 10/2 cotton
  • Sett: 30 e.p.i.
  • Width in reed: 5 and 1/2 inches
  • Width off loom: 4 and 7/8 inches
  • Width after washing and pressing: 4 and 3/4
  • Drafts and on-loom samples in this post, Following Ideas
I tried four ideas, and so have four samples.

Originally "Chain of Hearts," which quickly became "Pumpkin Heads"

Pumpkin Head Plaid

The next two used a different treadling.

"Circle and Cross?" Or "Xs?" My eye wants to focus on the Xs.

That one seemed to work better as a plaid because my eye is clearly drawn to the circles and crosses. The only difference between this one and the one above is the color stripes in the weft.

Circle and Cross Plaid

What was curious about this last sample, is that after washing and drying, I discovered that the fabric puckered.

Before pressing

Some sort of differential shrinkage, but this was the only sample to do this. I think the pattern has potential, but I don't think it would be considered "easy care." Or maybe it's a design feature (???)

For now, I'm just keeping them within viewing range, to see if further inspiration strikes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Following Ideas

I'm guessing this process is a common one. When I weave up a sample, I find myself with a constant mental flow of "what if I . . ." Sound familiar? When my chain of hearts ended up looking more like pumpkin heads . . .

I was a little disappointed, but wasn't going to let a good sample warp go to waste. What else could I try? Something plaid-like? I already had the yellow and orange yarns on bobbins from a previous project. I also chose a bobbin with navy yarn on it that needed to be used up.

I kind of like it, although I think it would be best to repeat the colors in the warp stripes. 
I also like the circles instead of the squares for the check pattern. And I liked that they have some pattern in them. Just not one that looks like a face. 

So back to the draft. Here's the original "chain of hearts."

Here's what I got by simply playing with the treadling.

And this one, by adding weft colors.

The next step was to try it. 

I lost the pumpkin heads, but it doesn't quite look like my computer draft. Let's check the underside.

Still not seeing it. I firmed my beat for the next sample.

Better, and more interesting. Possibly usable. I'm thinking, kitchen of shirt fabric.

  • The beater on my Glimakra is heavy and I have to keep a light touch to make a balanced weave. In other words, it's easy to weave more picks (weft threads) per inch (PPI) than the warp thread count (ends per inch or EPI). The result is a more dense fabric with a squished-looking pattern.
  • The beater on my table loom is very lightweight and it takes effort on my part to get a balanced weave. It's easy to have too few PPI compared to the EPI. The result is a more open fabric with an elongated pattern.
  • Now, I'm wondering how yarn size effects how the pattern looks. Another experiment?

I'm at the end of my sample warp, so I need to get it off the loom and wet finished to see exactly how these look and behave as cloth. I'll do that today.

QUESTION: Do you design out of your head? Do you start with a ready-made draft or invent your own? Do you follow your ideas and inspirations, or work it from another angle? I'm curious!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Chain of Hearts Sample


  • Loom: 4-shaft table loom
  • Yarn: 10/2 cotton for warp and weft
  • Warp length: a little over a yard
  • Warp width in reed: 5.5 inches
  • Sett: 30 e.p.i.

  1. 1 - 3 - 4
  2. 1 - 2 - 3
  3. 2 - 3
  4. 1- 2
  5. 1 - 4
  6. 4


First impression:  They look more like little faces than hearts, lol. 

I think this is because the bottom point of the heart is embedded in the top of the heart. Without color to distinguish one from another, they lose their heart identity. 

  • Sett is good
  • I like the color scheme
  • It's fast to weave, not having to change weft colors
  • I think it could be cute kid fabric, sort of an aliens from a flying saucer theme
  • Or, do the "faces" in orange warp and the remaining warp and weft in black for a jack o'lantern look
  • I don't want to use it for the project I had in mind.

Even so, I will still experiment for as long as I have warp!

Related posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

"Things I Want To Keep Track Of"

Since returning to this blog after a number of years, I've been amazed at what I'm discovering. Because I use this blog as a journal, I find I have a lot of informative posts on things I've studied and what I've experimented with. It's information I want to refer to, but as is the way of the internet, good information gets pushed to the background by new material, until it's either lost or forgotten. For example, my crackle study series. I find myself referring to these posts every time I weave crackle. But now, I have to dig around to find them. I have to hunt through the months and years of my blog archive. Using labels helps, but sometimes it means a lot of posts to scroll through. My "Related Posts" at the end of most blog posts helps too, as long as I get them all updated (which doesn't always happen). 

I've been thinking about a way to organize information, so that I can find it again more easily. What I've come up with is to make a link list in my sidebar. To start, I'm calling it "Things I Want To Keep Track Of," and I've made a beginning. I've created some index pages for this link list which list the links to the relevant blog posts, maybe with an introduction, a photo, and a few notes. 

I'm still going through and organizing posts, so this is a work in progress. Hopefully, it will be an ongoing work in progress. I hope I'm always studying something new and adding to this list for years to come.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

That Cute Hearts Draft: The Evolution of a Project

That cute hearts draft I'm referring to is this one . . . 

Image from from my New Project For the Table Loom post.

It inspired me to enthusiasm, But when Valerie commented that it has some pretty long floats, I thought I'd better take a closer look. The floats skip five threads at regular intervals, which might be okay in some contexts, but also could mean the threads getting caught on something. This was a good reminder of two things:
  1. Just because it's on Pinterest doesn't mean it's a tried and true draft.
  2. Don't neglect sampling.

I played around with it for awhile, to see if I could make improvements, but I could not. So, I looked at a few other drafts with a similar motif. 

This one one is a free Valentine's draft from Handwoven Magazine

I wanted to better preserve the background stripes, so I played around with it in WeaveDreamer.

I like the hearts, but I didn't care for the doo-dads between them. These are what resolve the floats problem, however, so I understand why they're there. 

Then I found this one on Pinterest . . .

The hearts are threaded and treadled the same as in the Handwoven draft, but a circle-like motif is added between the hearts. This was done by adding a 1-2-1 threading between two 4-2-4s. I played around with it a bit, and ended up with this . . .

By changing the warp colors and the treadling, I got my distinct stripes, my hearts as chains of hearts, and no long floats.

I'm not sure if I'm done playing with drafts yet, but this is the one I favor at the moment. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

New Project For the Table Loom

Now that I have a project in progress on the big loom, I've started planning something for my table loom. I have a mental list of utilitarian projects for the big loom, such as rugs for my new loom room and draperies for the dining room. Being large projects, they will take more time, so the table loom will give me the opportunity to play, explore, and experiment to my heart's content on a smaller scale. 

Speaking of hearts, my inspiration for this project is a really cute draft I found the on Pinterest.

For yarn choices, I decided to work with warm colors, which are rarely a first choice for me. But I liked my cottage windows table runner so well, with it's rare-for-me color choices, that I trying it again.

The natural will be the background, the colors will be the hearts.

Being 10/2s, the hearts motifs will be small, and will make a nice hand towel with pretty stripes. 

I'm working up the measurements as we speak, and will soon be able to start measuring the warp. 

Related posts

Monday, June 03, 2024

Dornik Herringbone Throw Rug: Starting to Weave

Once the loom was dressed, I could commence weaving! This is always exciting for me, because I am wondering if what reveals itself on the loom will match the idea I have in my head.

Project Particulars
  • Project: throw rug
  • Pattern: Dornik Herringbone from Mary Meigs Atwater's Recipe Book.
  • Loom: Glimakra 8-shaft countermarch
  • Draft: I showed you screenshots from Recipe Book in my Step Three: Planning That First 8-shaft Project post, but I also created a more modern looking draft with WeaveDesign.

You can click on the image to enlarge it. Davison has the 4-shaft
version of this draft on page 25 of A Handweaver's Pattern Book.

Pretty simple, actually. Atwater states that the benefit of this particular herringbone pattern is that it doesn't produce a three-thread skip at the point of reverse.
  • Yarn: 4-ply medium weight cotton
    • Warp: Peaches & Creme in "Happy Go Lucky" (variegated)
    • Weft: Sugar 'n Cream in sage green
  • Sett: 8 e.p.i.
  • P.P.I.: 15
  • Width in reed: 43⅝ inches
  • Width on loom: 40⅝ inches
  • Projected length: 60 inches or so plus fringe
Weaving Observations
  • It's pretty slow going to start. I'm getting used to the loom again: developing a rhythm with the shuttle, experimenting with how hard to throw it and how hard to beat, best time to advance the warp, when to change beater position, plus getting used to feeling for the next treadle with my feet. 
  • The sett should have been tighter; I should have been thinking "twill." But I'm okay with the results, which I think will work for this rug.
  • Not as tweedy looking as I imagined, but that's okay too.
 So far so good. Hopefully, I'll develop a rhythm and pick up speed soon.