Playing with waffles

The guild’s library has a copy of The Weaving Book by Helene Bress so I brought it home to see what the fuss was all about.  This book was expensive when it was new and in print, and if you try to buy it now, you’ll pay a pretty penny for it.  It is rumored that it will be printed again in the future and when it does, I’d love to have it.  It’s the same concept as a couple of books that are in print and available now, A Handweavers Book of Patterns, The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory, and A Weaver’s Book of 8 Shaft Patterns.  You get a threading, then different  treadlings for those threadings.  But it’s also different.  There were 4 threadings, A, B, C, and D.  In the next eleventy billion pages, there are hundreds of treadlings that go with those 4 threadings.  Make sense?  Probably not, unless you see the book.  Regardless, I’d been wanting to try waffle weave so I picked 3 different treadlings.

This is towel number 1.  The threading is B, the treadling is #172 on page 65.

Towel 2, #168B on page 65

And towel 3, #165B on page 64

It’s hard to tell a difference at first glance.  If you click each of the pictures, you’ll get bigger pictures and it’s easier to see (if you can see through the blur, ugh).  These have not been wet finished.  I finished the weaving on August 26 and took them off the loom but I haven’t decided if I want to cut them apart and hem them before throwing them in the washer, or if I want to wash them while they are all still together.  I’m anxious to see how these look after the finishing, if the 3 will look more alike or if I’ll still be able to tell a difference so I need to get that decision made.

The yarn was some unknown cotton from Newton’s that I paid $3 for a huge hank.  I warped the loom at 20 threads per inch, with a total of 405 threads, and wove for 27″ for each towel.  Off the loom, they are 17 1/2 inches wide, and are 24″, 24 1/2″, and 25″ long.  I still have yarn left from the hank.  I think it had 32 wpi.

Well hello!

Well looky there.  I’d forgotten I’d started a weaving blog until I started cleaning out some old folders and files on a computer.  (Seeing as I haven’t touched this blog since 2007,  it tells me that I go way too long between file cleaning! )  Instead of having 2 WP accounts, I’m consolidating it into one account  and bringing the old posts over.  I’m also going to kill the other blog and will consolidate a few posts into this one so it’s going to look like I’m a big fat liar when I said I hadn’t touched it since 2007.

It was kind of funny to read the posts that I had here.  And it was a small trip down memory lane seeing my first attempts at weaving.  I still have them.   Somewhere.  My weaving has improved greatly since I first began, largely due to having the correct tools.  As much as I find flaws in my work, I at least know that I am improving and learning from any mistakes I make.

A little history of the looms I currently own or have owned in the past

  • Harrisville 4S/4T 22″ – I sold this and wish I had it back to use as a workshop loom. Plus, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for it, simply because it was my first loom
  • Leclerc Nilus 4S/6T 45″ – I never got around to using it and sold it after a year
  • Gilmore Little Gem II 8S/10T 22″ – bought new Jan ’09
  • Macomber Ad-A-Harness 12S/17T 40″ – bought used in June ’09, has sectional and plain beam

Today I came home with a used AVL Warping Wheel, which also included the crossmaker, so now I can use the sectional beam on the Mac.  I’m still not confident in my warping tension and I’m hoping this works out.  I’ve read some people have problems with the tension, and most admit it’s likely user error.  Others say they have perfectly tensioned warps and wouldn’t part with their WW for anything.

On the Gilmore is some pink cotton for waffle weave towels.  The yarn is some unlabeled cotton that I got at Newtons for $3 a hank.  This is one of those times that a yarn balance would come in handy as I have no idea how much yardage I have.  I’ve just started the towels, not even 2 inches in, but I hope to have them done by the end of the week.