Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lace Workshop - Part 4

For the three day lace weaving workshop I ended up with five samples to take home. The largest was my own which took me all of the first day to weave. The other 4 shaft pattern was the Window Pane or dented lace I talked about in my past posting. The Basket Weave on 6 shafts was another rather simple, straight forward pattern. I rather like it as it was done here in 3/2 cotton Astra Uki Supreme in a natural shade. I could see the pattern done in a plain table runner or set of placemats.

In the 8 shaft patterns that I got a chance to weave was a variation of the Diamond Huck, the Heart Huck. Some participants had time to weave both huck patterns and you can see the similarity in the designs from the photos. The example of the Heart Huck that I wove was 10/2 deep rose cotton warp at 24 epi using a 12 dent reed at 2 per dent. The effect was quite delicate looking.

The other 8 shaft pattern was a bit of a challenge, but fun to do, the Bronson Lace Alphabet. In this pattern the letters of the alphabet were based on squares 6 high by whatever number wide you decided was a good proportionally looking letter, and the letters were spaced with a block of tabby. I’m much happier if I can plan ahead. So the night before I was hoping to weave the Bronson Alphabet I got a piece of graph paper and did some doodling as if I was cross stitching my initials. The sketching on the graph paper did help when it came to the actual weaving.

At the start of the weaving it was confusing until “the light bulb went on” and then it was easy enough to weave along and correct mistakes fast enough. Except when I forgot the bar for the letter A and didn’t realize the lapse until I was almost done and had to do some reweaving. The technique would be fun to make a banner for the holidays. I wonder if the warp floats could be used to thread a contrasting ribbon so that the letters would show up more from a distance?

As I mentioned in an earlier post Suzie Liles passed along a quicker, simpler hem stitch technique that I intend to start using. It certainly was quicker and just as secure as the one I had been using. I’m just going to have to come up with a good graphic of it to replace the ones I’ve got attached to my looms. I put the starting hem stitch on the front of a business card and the ending hem stitch on the back, laminated it, hole punched it, and hung if from my rigid heddle looms and put it in my weaving bags. A new project for 2009...

Here is the hem stitch directions, as I remember them from my workshop notes.
Use a #18 tapestry needle, start on the right side of the weaving leaving a warp length of 3 times the width of the fabric. The warp length is left dangling at the beginning, weave 5 to 10 rows of the beginning of the hem or fabric. Stop weaving to do the hem stitch to secure the beginning threads, then continue weaving. (If ending a piece of weaving, stop on the right edge, allow 3 times the width of the fabric in weft thread length, cut the weft. Thread a tapestry needle and proceed with the hem stitch.)

A). Wrap the warp around the first group of threads, about 4 warps depending on the thickness of the warp, twice, right to left, because the bundle is the first and it’s on the edge.

1). With the needle on the top of the fabric go up 2 rows of weaving between the two groups of warps, the wrapped warps and the unwrapped warps. Take a stitch with the needle angling down and out beneath the edge of the fabric under the next 4 warp threads. [Therefore the hem stitch pattern for this fabric would be up 2 rows and over 4 warps. The two numbers in the hem stitch vary depending on the thickness of the warp and the effect you want to achieve. The numbers are not etched in stone.]

2). Pull the needle through and put the needle point back to the space along the fell, where the warp threads are unwoven, where the first bundle was separated from the warps and insert it. The needle will be pointed in a right-to-left direction going under the second group of warp threads. When the point comes out *this is the important part* the point of the needle should be within the loop of the hem stitch so that when the thread is pulled through, a half hitch knot is formed on the bundle of warps.

3). Push the knot up to the fabric fell and pull the knot tight. Now you’re in position to start the next stitch.
1). Go up in the space between wrapped and unwrapped warps two rows and insert the needle diagonally down toward the edge of the fabric under four warps.
…Continue onto step #2 and so on…

The workshop was over, the warps were unwound, and the samples cut off and distributed. Suzie Lilies evaluated our efforts and encourage us to weave with linen and not be afraid of it. She was very encouraging and convincing, the caution was use quality linen and you’ll be fine. Here is a photo of our entire group for one last time. A pretty happy group from all the smiles on our faces.


Peg in South Carolina said...

I don't know how you were hemstitching before, but this is the only way I have ever done hemstitching. Good photos of the process. I have enjoyed following the lace workshop that you have been taking. Thank you for being so generous with the photos. Workshops are so much fun!

mjsmg said...

I hope that this works. I have enjoyed following your blog and seeing the projects that you have been working on. Truely creative and very beautiful. I could visualize the one as a table runner. I look forward to seeing more of your work. It is still snowing here and we have picked up an inch or so since I talked to you earlier tonight. Now to see if this goes....Mary Jo

LV weaver said...

Peg, Thanks for following along. I really did enjoy my first 3 day workshop. The hemstitch that I did before was shown in the May/June issue 2000 of Handwoven p.14 I'll actually send you a scan of my little cards--that are now redundant! Barbara

LV weaver said...

Mary Jo, I'm impressed! You got the comments to work! Doesn't it make you feel good when we "older" ones do something electronically that works. Can you see, or should I say hear, that I finally got the music added? Now I have to work on the background paper...I miss the snow BUT only to look at, not to shovel or slip and slide in. I'll leave that for Cedar City. Glad you finally "cracked the ice". Barbara