I just realized how very long it’s been since I’ve been here. Life is full.
The room renovation is almost complete – crown moulding needs to go up and to do that I need to learn to cope. Fortunately there are only really the four corners to worry about. We’ll see how that goes. The room is so much better. The bad juju has all but disappeared. Funny what a lot of paint will do.
My latest krokbragd is off of the loom, I’m currently doing a woven edge. It’s slow going – more so because there are so many other things that need attention. First a couple of comments on this project. I used rug wool from Brassard in Canada for the weft in this. It worked up quickly but didn’t pack as well as the last krokbragd I wove using Harrisville Shetland. The heathered yarn in this is beautiful though. I thought I planned this project well as far as color was concerned. I had everything lined up and numbered, bobbins wound, I was proud of myself because I’m such a wing it kind of person. Well, none of it really went according to plan. The time came to change over to the next color and I would just pick something different. I’ve decided that these mats/rugs are to be woven in a more organic way. They evolve while on the loom. I planned on 8 colors, bought 11 colors from Brassard, then a third of the way into it picked up some rug yarn elsewhere to work in. Because of the weight of the yarn this is definitely something I can see on the floor. All in all it’s quite lovely – I can live with it. All of you creatives out there know what I’m talking about, that’s really high praise.
My tomatoes, cucumbers and squash plants are at the end of their hardening off period. I will probably till the garden for the second time tomorrow (around the rows of potatoes) and plant the beginning of next week. The weather here has been kind of crazy. Hot, no rain save a torrential downpour a couple of days ago. I hate to plant things and have to water them everyday. Other years it’s so wet and cold I’ve planted things multiple times. It’s never perfect. How dull life would be if it was.
To date this project took me the longest to complete. I started it the first week in August and took it off of the loom last week. It’s stunning and the photographs do not do it justice, you have to feel it. Wool, there’s nothing quite like it.
Initially I did twisted fringe for a finish and HATED it. So I took it all out and got out my Weaver’s Companion – almost on the last page they had directions for a woven edge and I knew this was it. Very easy to do and it’s clean. I thought the geometry of the piece called for a clean edge and it also tightened everything up at the beginning and end.
As I probably have posted this color combination came as somewhat of a surprise. I was using yarn that I had. When I got to the center I found two other colors in the weave studio I thought would work and kept weaving on.
I love that moment when you cut your warp threads at the end of a project and release the breast beam – the project rolls off and you get your first look at the project as a whole. I was so please with this.
It’s finished dimension is 24″x 36″. From every angle it looks wonderful. I have to tell you that I don’t think this will be spending any time on the floor. I’ll keep moving it around until it finds its home. This is one project that won’t be given away.
Today I hit the halfway point in my little weaving project. A friend’s comment,”Simple to warp, forever to weave” was right on target with this one.
To make my life a little easier I numbered the three shuttles that I am using to correspond with the treadles I use while weaving. Krokbragd, done on three shafts, is threaded 3,2,1,2,3. The tie ups are 1-2, 2-3, 1-3. One pick really consists of throwing all three of the shuttles in sequence – you just treadle 1-2-3 over and over again. This allows each of the warp threads to be covered by the weft. It is very densely packed, requires a heavy beat and takes forever to do quite honestly.
I’m using Harrisville Shetland for the weft of this mat and have to go through the treadling sequence 32 times to make the 1 1/2 inches for each color sequence. Next time I will use a heavier wool but this has woven up beautifully. I thought I’d be crazy with boredom going from overshot to this but I have to tell you this whole process is fascinating and ripe with possibilities. As usual I’m planning out the next project while weaving this one.
Handwoven magazine has a number of issues over the years with krokbragd projects. This mat is one of them. I like to have good instructions when I learn a new structure. Usually by the time I’m finished with it I have enough of an understanding to begin to run with it. Sampling always seems to come second with me.
A YouTube video called Talking Threads 17 Krokbragd explains the whole process really well for those of you who are really interested in this structure. I found it really helpful.
The problem with learning a new structure is my unbridled enthusiasm. It’s a problem because I just jump in and figure things out as I go. This can be good but at times it’s not so good.
The mat that I’m weaving comes from an older weaving magazine. Although I had spent a couple of weeks reading up on the process I neglected to actually read the instructions of the project I was weaving. I had yarn, in various colors, I figured I was good. I figured I’d just wing it, decide as I was going along. Uhm, yeah. That worked until I realized – four colors in – that some of them repeated and I was going to have to make it all work when I got to the center and worked my way back through the color scheme. I thought there were 9 colors in the pattern but it turns out there are only 6. What I had with me for yarn was not going to work.
I spent some time during my last session going through the yarn available. I’m fortunate that the last two colors don’t really require a lot of yardage so I picked two skeins from Pam’s stash.
I’m pretty excited about how I envision it looking at this point. It also showed me how much planning has to go into the weaving of these Scandinavian treasures. I didn’t plan at all and now realize that maybe I should have. I guess that’s what class is all about for me, learning what the important things are for each particular structure and dreaming about the possibilities.
I started weaving camp last week. This is a short course for the month of August on a technique of my choice (although it was really with the help of my instructor Pam that the decision was made). We decided to do a rug technique since it is something new to me. This will be a 24″x 36″mat done in Krokbragd, a Norwegian rug weaving techniques known for its color and design.
I don’t know what my problem was the past week but getting this project warped has been an exercise in frustration. It’s 4 doubled epi, so it should have been quick. Between threading mistakes and a heck of a time sleying the reed (missed all kinds of threads, did it over TWICE) it took me about 8 hours to get to the point of throwing a shuttle. 8 hours – to wind and warp – there must be something wrong with my brain that doesn’t allow projects to happen in August.
Finally, towards the end of class yesterday I began to weave. I’m using Harrisville Shetland yard so it doesn’t work up as fast as it would with a thicker yarn but oh, is it beautiful. I chose Shetland because of the colors that were available to me (and I had a lot of it). I have to say I’m very excited about the possibilities in color and pattern for this.
Another woman in my class woven a runner over the summer and brought it in last week for me to photograph. It is stunning.
She started out with a couple of muted tones and then took off with color. It’s so much fun to look at and so exciting to think this is something I can do that isn’t terribly complicated.
I love it when I’m learning a new structure. The drive home from class is always filled with thoughts of how to use this new-found technique. I’m thinking of color combinations and patterns the whole way. I can’t wait to get back into the studio with a serious block of time devoted to weaving. Let the magic begin.