I'm Alice Schlein, a weaver and book maker in South Carolina. Occasionally I write about Photoshop, Network Drafting, bread baking, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Thanks for stopping by! Comments are welcome.
Jump Start Your Rigid Heddle Weaving
Four Wednesday sessions, 3 hours each, taught at OLLI, Furman University, June 6 through 27. Participants to supply their own rigid heddle looms. Supply list given. Contact me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop® Co-authored by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek. 362 pages, many illustrations. Now available for free download on handweaving.net. The accompanying CD with 1400 pattern presets is not included with the free download, but may be purchased separately. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
Network Drafting: An Introduction By Alice Schlein. Break away from the block. Curves for your dobby loom. Originally published in 1994, now available as print-on-demand from www.lulu.com.
Lampas for Shaft Looms Class notes from Complex Weavers Seminars 2016, newly revised and formatted, in pdf form for download. A review of methods for designing your own lampas fabrics for treadle looms, table looms, and dobbies, eight shafts and above. Over 90 color photos of actual fabrics with drafts. Includes info on pickup lampas and a lampas bibliography. View on a computer, or print out one copy for your own use. USD$21. via PayPal. Email aschlein[at]att[dot]net for ordering info.
A Crepe Is Not Just a Pancake 52 pages of text, b&w and color diagrams, and drafts for multishaft tradle & dobby looms. Many color photos of actual cloth. Methods for drafting your own crepe weaves. Annotated bibliography. Pdf available for immediate download. $21. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
Echo Weave Based on the 1996 article in Weaver's, Issue 32. With brand new diagrams and high resolution scans of original fabrics. Pdf available for immediate download. $7. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
I still wasn't totally happy with the last design, and I scrapped it mid scarf. I am of the "Life is too short" school of weaving. Here is the next scarf on my interleaved scarf warp. I am liking it much better. Trouble is, it's practically impossible to photograph so that the red warp shows to advantage. I hereby show you all my efforts. The final one is a long distance shot, enlarged past acceptable sharpness, but you get the idea.
Another new thing I was trying here is a navy blue floating selvedge, which matches the navy silk weft. It makes a nice crisp edge.
Beamed, finally! Also threaded, sleyed, and tied on. The sampling began. But I really didn't like the sett at 28 epi. So I resleyed the warp to 36 epi, 10" wide. Now the warp (cerise spooled silk interleaved with yellow 10/2 mercerized cotton) works better with a fine navy silk noil weft.
The two distinct warp colors show up differently depending on the viewing angle. I'm showing it three different ways, and then a closeup. And as always, this cloth will have a whole new personality after it's washed.
So was it worth tying 182 knots in the making of this warp? I think so. After I got into the rhythm, the motions were almost automatic.
And thanks for all the interesting suggestions on what to do with the empty spools!
Once upon a time there was a woman who loved to warp. You can read the beginning of this tale if you want to in yesterday's post.
Now I'm not so sure about the project, but I am persevering. The warp is now 2/3 wound. I have to take frequent breaks, as the standing and bending (tying knots at the beginning and ending of every other warp end) is very hard on me. I intersperse the warping with short stints at the rigid heddle loom, brief walks, and doing laundry.
The little spools of silk seem to be multiplying, Sorcerer's Apprentice style.
Here is my growing collection of empty spools. I will have to find a use for them. They are actually pretty cute.
And of course every weave room needs a supervisor, although Maggie thinks this silk project is distinctly misbegotten. You can see the lack of enthusiasm in her demeanor.
I'm currently reading Lucy Morgan's fascinating memoir, Gift From the Hills, recounting the early history of The Penland School, and was particularly struck by the story of Leila Woody and her coverlet. Ms. Woody, a thrifty weaver, had been given a bag of loopers, a waste product of the hosiery industry. She unravelled a few loopers and found that each one yielded at least 18 yards of cotton yarn. She proceeded to unravel ten at a time and (presumably with a paddle) wound a warp of 1,080 ends, ten ends at a time, you guessed it, 18 yards long. For weft she used the same yarn, singles and plied both, and wove a coverlet in honeycomb structure. Additional ravelings provided the fringe.
Fast forward to twenty years ago, when a friend who was transitioning from weaver to painter gave me a stash of silk buttonhole thread—an enormous stash (thank you, Nancy). I've been storing this thread in my studio for all these years, and never know quite what to do with it. Here is a small part of the stash:
Each box contains 12 wooden spools of silk buttonhole thread, 10 yards per spool. Most of the thread is from one dye lot of cerise. But occasionally a purple will show up unexpectedly.
And there are a few boxes of acid yellow, and a few odd spools of gray.
A light bulb went on today. There is more than enough silk here for a warp for my new project, scarves with an interleaved warp of cerise silk and yellow mercerized cotton. I am making it 9 1/2 yards long, so that I have enough to tie knots from one spool to the next.
It's a bit fiddly to tie on a new spool at every beginning and ending peg on the warping board, but I'm soldiering on.
It's time to get my rigid heddle looms fired up. I'm teaching a winter class and my skills will have to be fine-tuned again. This time I'm concentrating on indirect warping with a randomly striped warp. Here's the small Cricket with a commercially spun wool warp and handspun weft:
And another mixed warp underway for a bigger RH loom, this one in various neutral cottons, linen/cotton, and hemp:
Here it is on the loom, with a plain unmercerized weft, for a very airy open plain weave.
The four new deflected doubleweave samples were cut off, finished, and washed. Amazingly, the symmetrical design was not my favorite. The one that really caught my eye was this oddball design, because after washing, a reindeer emerged!
I liked this fellow so much that I posted him on Instagram (I'm aschlein over there if you want to follow me). Forgive me for the duplication.
With what's left on the warp I thought a scarf would be nice. But I'm starting to have shredding problems with the beige cotton/linen from Gist. It's a gorgeous yarn but tends to shred and needs extra care as warp. Out came the temples. They help a lot.
The red thread is a measuring aid.
And now a digression. There is an old car circulating through my family, with many treasured memories attached. It's in very good shape, except for the sun visors, which are functional but deteriorated on the surfaces. Willy suggested going through my handwoven stash and finding some fabric for slipcovers. Voilà. My upholstery skills would not pass close inspection, but overall the effect is rakish. Check that one off the to-do list.
This is the fourth of a series of samples, which tell me they want to be place mats (so be it). The previous three featured a random sort of pattern arrangement, even though the warp is threaded in a mirror symmetry. But this one turned out to have symmetry in the weft as well.
I plan to cut off all four mats and wash them before I continue with this warp.