Book Review – The Big Book of Weaving

Big Book of Weaving

The Big Book of Weaving – Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials by Laila Lundell has been my reading selection for the past few weeks. There are books that you speed through and they give you great ideas. This is a book that is perfectly suited for winter months when you can take time to digest a section before moving on to the next.

As an experienced weaver, I was not sure that this book would have many surprises for me. I was wrong. In each section I was able to pick up a new tip or trick that I had not yet tried.

The book is a wealth of information for weavers making use of Swedish style floor looms, there is an excellent write up of dressing a floor loom using the front to back method in which the weaver pre-sleys a reed instead of using a raddle.

Laila also describes in detail the hanging of counter balance horses, as well as detailing the set up of lamms and tying them up.

There is also a great explanation of how to adjust the shed on a countermarche loom.

This book has often been used as a textbook for new weavers wanting to know how to get started with their first floor loom. The project sequence starts from the very beginning using plain weave and moves through pattern weaving. The author presents both 4 and 8 shaft projects for each type of weaving.

Projects that I found quite interesting – “Kitchen Towels with Small Blocks” that can be woven with 16/2 cotton. In this project Ms. Lundell also offers a complete project plan for weaving the bands needed for hanging towels. A great mystery solved!

I found her explanation of reading and writing warp sequences helpful for planning striped warps. She also explains how to adjust these sequences to meet the needs of your loom width and your particular project.

If making a drawdown from your draft is difficult there is also a easy to understand section in the book that describes in detail how this process is completed.

The most stellar explanation for me as an experienced weaver was the section on warp spacing where she explains how you can use multiple ends in warping at one time and how they are to be pre-sleyed into the reed so that you do not need to cut ends or use a raddle to spread the warp.

The author also discusses Rag Rug making and planning and loom set up in detail. If making a rag rug for the first time you will want to review this section before setting up your next project.

There is a section on Warp printed fabric, in which she discusses materials for the dye, and the process of applying the color to the warp in detail. This is a planned future project for me.

I was fascinated by the Inlay weaving technique descriptions:
• H-V Technique
• Russia
• Dukagang
• Small and Large Dots
• Loop Technique
• Kilim
• Crabba
• Half Crabba

There are also detailed instructions on how to make use of a cartoon on a floor loom.

The author explains the use of a temple and the problems that it can solve for you.
The book contains detailed instructions on how to construct measuring templates for pattern repeats and for plaids.

This is a book that I expect weavers will consult often.

Best Quotes:
“Weaving truly is a big journey of discovery!”

“Choosing the right materials for a weaving takes a lot of knowledge. It’s a good idea to train your eyes and fingertips to become familiar with various materials and to learn about their special qualities”

“Producing and comparing a variety of swatches, some good an some not-so-good, will help you tremendously when you plan a new project”

Project Summary:
Kitchen Towels with Small Blocks
Striped Kitchen Hand Towels
Twill Rag Rug
Striped Pillows
Color-Effect Mohair Throw
A Small Alpaca Throw
Small Reverse-Treadled Rag Rug
Cord-Striped Bags
Checked Fabric
Long Table Runner in Rep Weave
Large Checked Rep Rug
Rosepath Band
Cotton Summer Curtains
Bags with Bead Panels
Large Alpaca Shawl
Decorative Rosepath Weaving
Boa with Rya Knots
Slit Rya for a Bench
Dice-Weave Pillow
Double Width Throw
Decorative Weaving with Paper Yarn
Paper Yarn Screen
Warp-Printed Fabric
Half-Linen Mats
Inlay Rag Rug
Old-Fashioned Weaving
Rag Rug x 2
Bathroom Mats
Alpaca Scarf
Four Decorative Sample Strips
Transparent Interior Furnishing Fabric
Furnishing Fabrics x 2
Room Divider
Cotton Baby Blankets
Linen Table Runners and Hand Towels
Coordinated Furnishing Fabrics
Colorful Pillows
Picnic Blanket
Woolen Baby Blanket

Link to The Big Book of Weaving on the weaving resources page:
https://historicweaving.com/wordpress/weaving_resources/the-big-book-of-weaving

Book Review – Next steps in weaving

Today, I completed my reading of “Next steps in weaving” by Pattie Graver. I am glad that I picked up this book at my local library because I found it to be filled with a logical step by step process of learning about structures using a 4 shaft table loom.  The Book covers Twill, Color-and-Weave, Overshot including Mok’s Belt, Summer and Winter, Lace – both Atwater Bronson and Huck.

In each chapter Pattie explains the new structure in detail and presents both a sampler project and a functional project for the weaver to complete. The samples are going to weave up in an afternoon or evening, the projects will take a bit longer. The goal of the book is to have the weaver get used to making samples that are completed separate from a project warp, and are used to explore the inner workings of pattern design possibilities using only changes in structure.

Best quotes:

I became a “weaver”; that is, before I was able to progress from “knowing how” to “knowing why”.

My desire to get weaving was far stronger than any longing to understand weave structures.

You’ll gain experience much faster by working on smaller piece and you’ll have fewer surprises when you do move to full projects.

 

Projects:

Scarf of Lucky Colors

Hydrangea Bouquet Scarf

Contemporary Overshot Towels

Summer and Winter Placemats

An Atwater-Bronson Lace Table Runner

 

The project that I will be completing from this book are the samplers. I have been weaving on 8 shafts or more for a while I have yet to explore all of these structures on a 4 shaft loom.

My favorite project to try will be the shadow weave. In this book Pattie Graver provide a very thorough explanation  of how Shadow weaves can be created from twill drafts. I have not seen this type of explanation before.

Link to Next steps in weaving on the weaving resources page: https://historicweaving.com/wordpress/weaving_resources/next-steps-in-weaving-what-you-never-knew-you-needed-to-know

Book Review – Spin to Weave by Sara Lamb

Spin to Weave - Cover

I have a need to learn more about hand spinning for a planned handwoven project.  I went to my local library and found this book to use as a reference. Things I like about the book,

There many tips and hints on handspinning fiber for weaving – there are a number of projects with details on how to spin the yarn and how to set up the loom, and further how to assemble the project which include patterns, and sewing instructions.

The book also contains plans for a PVC yarn blocker made from 3/4″ PVC pipe.

Noteable projects, I would like to try:

  • Tibetan Jacket
  • Hooded Scarf
  • Kimono
  • Half Damascus Edging

 

Favorite quotes from the book:

“Spinning yarn for weaving is no more difficult than any other spinning. Take the time to spin & weave as often as your schedule and interest allows and make samples with your yarns.

There will be times when your yarn doesn’t function as well as you would like or doesn’t look the way you imagined, but the more projects you spin and weave, the more successes you will have. Make lots of samples.

Make lots of things. Look critically at your work. Make more. And, as if by magic, one day you will realize that you know just what yarn you want to make, how to make it, & how to weave it into the perfect cloth.”

 

“There is no substitute for doing the work.

No talking about it.

No wishing or thinking about it.

No reading about it.

No journaling about it.

No daydreaming about it.

No repeating truisms will teach you what the fibers have to say,

Nothing beats doing it!”

 

Thank you Sara Lamb

 

 

Here is a link to the Weaving Resource page for the book, you can find it in your local library or via a ecommerce retailer like Amazon.

https://historicweaving.com/wordpress/weaving_resources/spin-to-weave

 

 

 

 

The Historic Reticule Project

Historic Reticule Project

The Historic Reticule Project began with a trip to a museum just prior to the pandemic of 2020. It was the last trip I would be able to take to a public venue for the entire year. Little did I know at the time it was the beginning of a time of intense research from my home studio. Follow a researcher’s progress from concept to cloth. The entire process occupied my loom for the better part of 6 months. I was not in a hurry as there was no place to go.  I share with you my candid process videos, the draft files from profile to final draft, *.wif files that you can load into your computer processing software. Experience the designer’s process starting from a historic object and moving to a final contemporary piece of Overshot weaving.

The learning begins with photographic textile analysis, moves to drafting and sampling to verify that the theory is correct before committing to the final warp. The entire package includes 19 drafts, and 9 woven samples. During the process I took time to video my weaving critiques of the work and the learning I had along the way. This a rare insight into what goes on behind the scenes in my weaving life.

To purchase the Historic Reticule Project Package: Click Here

Your purchase of a project or package from this website, helps to fund my historic weaving research. Thank you for your support.

Polychrome Tile Project

Polychrome Tile Pattern

At the beginning of the Pandemic, I found myself spending more time researching digital archives of some of the best Internet sites. I came across pictures of buildings that lead me to believe the architects where inspired by weaving drafts. I set about figuring out what type of draft the designers were looking at and developed a project to recreate it.

The project is for a table runner. The project can be woven on an 8 shaft table or floor loom. The project includes both WIF files and PDF copies of the draft for those that are not using weaving software.

Included in the package is a basic warp calculation for the materials needed to complete the project if you set it up as I did.

Click Here to purchase the downloadable package for The Polychrome Tile Project

Polychrome Tile Project

100 Horizontal Stripes Project – using stripes to create handwoven Christmas ornaments

100 Horizontal Sripes Cover Shot

Need to make something unique for your weaving friends and family this year? I have new project plan just for you. Using horizontal stripe patterns you can create a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with one of a kind handwoven ornaments that you design and personalize.

Over 100 patterns and drafts to launch your imagination, with no upper limit to the designs you can create on your own. There are no loom size or shaft restrictions to to hold you back, every pattern can be woven on every loom, by any weaver regardless of skill and experience.

Package includes instructions, 100 drafts in .WIF format, and a new painless pickup format that uses Microsoft Excel. No worry about having drafts that are too small to read, with Excel you can enlarge them easily without a loss of resolution.

With more than 100 drafts you will also get a digital catalogue PDF of the draft files and photos of each draft as it was woven to use as an index to the draft collection.

Tree Project ExampleMoose ExampleClick to purchase your copy of 100 Horizontal Stripes Project:

Just Getting Started Weaving?

Are you a new weaver?

Are you confused as to how to get started?

There are now four online instruction modules available from Historic Weaving designed to ease you into the weaving world.

I use these modules when I teach in person with my mobile weaving studio.  The looms I use for my instruction in my mobile studio are Ashford “Katie” table looms. While the looms are small in scale and quite portable, the methods that I present are the same ones used by professional weavers weaving on large looms. I present new tools with the methods to save time and effort and provide excellent results.

Clicking the links below will take you to the shop pages for the individual products:

Illustrated Weaving Glossary

Warp Calculator

Getting Warped

Drafting Solutions

New online instruction – Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Do you struggle with warping your table loom? Would you like to reduce the time it takes to warp your next project  while reducing threading errors and tension issues?

Learning to warp front to back can make your weaving look better and be less stressful. Spend more time designing and weaving than you do dressing the loom.

This method of warping works for both table looms and floor looms.

The illustrated guide contains many photos fully document the process and tools.

Instruction includes an example project to ensure you have the chance to practice your new weaving skills.

The concept of project planning is included and you can see how a warp calculated project worksheet is used to build a warp.

Click here to purchase – Getting Warped

Openings for Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Local weavers, I have found there are 2 spots open in the next running of Getting Warped (April 12/13) and in the Historical Horizontal Stripes (April 26/27) Adult Continuing Education classes running through Bozeman Adult Education.

 

What will you learn:

Getting Warped: Beginning Warp Calculations (planning the warp). Using a Vertical Warping Mill, and Front to Back Warping on a table loom using the reed. You will plan, warp a loom and weave a project in 4 hours of class time

 

Historic Horizontal Stripes: How they were used and where to find them using Art pieces on display in museums, and online research. Discover how they were created using standard looms, not just tablet weaving or drawlooms. Learn about the earliest weaving books and what they have to offer to weavers today. Learn new weaving techniques using loom control and pickup without pain. You will also weave horizontal stripes of your own during 4 hours of class time.

 

Time and Location Mon/Tue 6pm to 8 pm, at the Willson School on the second floor. (Accessible as there is an elevator if needed).

 

Cost of workshop is $47. Looms and materials and handouts are provided.

 

To Register: look on the list on the left side of the page. It’s about half way down. https://bsd7.revtrak.net/Registrations/

Weave with me – Adult Continuing Education – 2021 Spring Classes

Weave with Me - Historic Weaving

I am once again teaching through the Bozeman Adult Community Education Program- Spring Semester

Three courses are being offered, there is limited availability (4 students per course). This allows for social distancing and one on one instruction. Instructor is vaccinated!

The courses are very affordable for students – $47, this include 4 hours of lesson and studio time, rental loom and all weaving materials, and handouts.

Students bring home their completed weaving at the end of the second session.

The course is non refundable once you are enrolled, but that is because I spend the money up front to equip the looms and prepare the studio for your arrival.

Location of the course will be in the Willson School on Main Street in Bozeman. There is good access and parking, and an elevator if needed.

Course Names and Dates & Times

Apr 5 & 6  6pm – 8 pm  – Let’s Get Started Weaving  – The beginner’s course, if you have not woven before start here. Learn how to weave on a table loom.

Apr 12 & 13 6pm – 8 pm – Getting Warped – Learn how to use a warping mill and how to warp a table loom from front to back. Will also address warp calculation, learning how to estimate the materials you need to complete a project. You need to have woven before taking this class. (This is the second course in series)

Apr 26 & 27  6pm – 8 pm – Historic Horizontal Stripes – Learn about early weavers worked with stripes and bands. All can be woven on a simple table loom. This is a technique course, you will be learning easy ways to do pick-up weaving. You need to have completed the first course – Let’s Get Started Weaving prior to taking this class, or have some prior weaving experience.

If you are new weaver – you can get up to 12 hours of instruction and loom time for under $150 with a weaving instructor with more than 25 years of weaving experience, a bargain!

If these dates do not work for you and you want instruction this summer, I am offering opportunities to learn outdoors on my deck at the studio so that you do not have concerns about COVID transmission. Contact me via email  or message me for details.

Where to register for the April classes: https://bsd7.revtrak.net/Registrations/

 

 

 

 

Weaving a Ribbon Heart

Weaving a Ribbon Heart Project - By Historic Weaving

Weaving a Ribbon HeartHistory shows that complex images can be woven on simple looms.

Follow the Historic Weaver on her journey through time to create a striking heart image on a table loom that rivals any produced on a drawloom.

  • Discover early pattern books for needlework that contain weaving drafts
  • Learn how to set up a table loom for complex block unit weaving
  • Explore techniques for successfully positioning an image in the warp
  • Combine loom control structure techniques and pick up block weaving

The Weaving a Ribbon Heart project can be woven by an experienced weaver using a simple table loom (4 or 8 shafts), or a drawloom that has 20 or more draw shafts.

There is no fancy equipment to buy, this project made use of knitting needles, and E-Z Bob embroidery floss holders.

There are step by step instructions (27 page book) with detailed pictures to guide you through all the techniques used in the project. The package includes 11 pattern drafts, and a template for creating custom pickup drafts.

Click here to purchase the downloadable project instructions.  Weaving a Ribbon Heart

I have been busy since Covid hit, while I have not been on the road teaching, I have been hard at work in the studio, researching, weaving and developing new tools to make your weaving experience easier. Weaving a Ribbon heart is a project that I completed for Valentine’s Day this year, and I thought it would serve as an excellent way for you to learn about what I have been up to while being isolated at home waiting for the vaccine to come.

This design is suitable for a card, a picture frame, or a table cloth.

 

 

 

What is so different about the Weaving with Excel Warp Calculator?

A totally new approach to design and warp planning – beginning with allowing the weaver to select the item they want to weave and the system providing standard dimensions for the item which the weaver can adjust manually.

Weavers are able to select the fibers they want to use for the project warp and weft, and the system will computes a range of setts to select from based on previous projects. Weavers make the final selection of sett to use.

Weavers are given a listing of reeds that can generate the sett they are looking for, and the weaver inputs reed size they want to use.

The calculator generates the sley order for the reed selected.

There are two types of warp calculation worksheets – a simple warp, supporting quick estimates of warps with up to four types of fibers and a detailed warp calculator that supports sectional warping, multiple threads in dents, support for borders, motif and selveges, hemming, fringes, and utilization of sampling results for shrinkage and draw-in.

Both Metric and English system of units are supported.

Both Warp Calculators also help weavers price their goods for sale.  All weavers have overhead costs, but often overlook using them in a pricing model because they might be complex, using the Weaver’s Overhead Calculator worksheet gets rid of the hard work and helps a weaver to know their hourly cost of overhead.

The best part of this new type of warp calculator, there are a number of customizable tables that the weaver can personalize to support their individual studio practices, standard sizing, warp material references, material pairings, and material costs. The warp calculator also includes a Reed Substitution Table for both English and Metric Reeds making finding the correct sleying order easy.

How can this system be used by a professional weaver? It is a fast way to estimate the profitability of an item even before sampling.

All of this functionality for $5. It will pay for itself on your first warp.

Click here to purchase the Warp Calculator

Updates to Warp Calculator

I have completed the metric version of the Warp Calculator and included it in the original product download.  This version includes a metric reed substitution chart that works like the American chart and Standard Item Sizes listed in metric lengths and widths.

The only conversion outstanding at the end of the calculation is one in which the user would convert from USD to local currency at the current exchange rate.

 

Weaving with Excel – Warp Calculator

Avoiding project failures due to:

  • Not being able to warp the loom because there are not enough heddles on the loom
  • Not being able to weave the project because you are using a loom too small for the project
  • Not having enough yarn to complete the project
  • Fabric does not feel or look right for its intended use – either too loose, or too stiff
  • Quality materials can be expensive, it is important not to waste them. 

Traditional warp calculators can be intimidating. 

New weavers often feel “there is too much math” and become afraid they might make a mistake.

Using a digital warp calculator helps take the risk out of the project planning process. All major weaving math formulas and important reference tables are stored in this warp calculator as a ready reference when needed.

Avoid losing money when you price your work for sale. 

Weavers who begin to offer their work for sale often do not know how to price their work and often sell a prices lower than they should. Regularly doing this will cause their new business plan to fail.

Using a weaving calculator will help you establish fair market prices for your work improving your odds of making a living doing what you love – weaving.

 

Questions from a Weaver: about – 4 Shaft 100 Boundweave Patterns archive.

From a person who purchased from the website: (Bolding is mine  to illustrate what I think the questions are.)

” I just purchased your 4 shaft 100 boundweave patterns and think it is terrific. just what I wanted. However, you have the threading as twill and I have my threading as rosepath, would all the figures come out the same or will be they closer together and maybe a little different?

 Also, you have the tieup I think for a sinking shed, I have 2 rising shed looms so I guess my treadling  will be 34 41 12 23   should it change for rosepath?  I am planning a Xmas wall hanging in boundweave, and will use the draft patterns I purchased, however, would like to know about the placing of the figures, and if I want a little more space, can I do  44 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 44? ”

 

My response:

Q1: Will there be a difference in the figures if I use a different threading?

Yes, there will be. Let me indicate for you what will change. Starting first by comparing the two threadings.  In my document I mention that the figures have all been worked on a loom with a point threading.

 

 
Point Threading Rosepath Threading

 

I picked an image with no color on thread one to help illustrate what happens because blank spaces are easier to see. Adding the extra white thread in the middle causes the image to separate, and look a little empty.  Your next thought is that you can now fill the space, I suspect. I choose to add a center spot of yellow to the flower.

 

 

This looks like you are just expanding the flower.
You also need to add the same coloring to all threads on shaft 1
Boundweave examples

 

 

This is what the repeat will look like on your fabric.

 

Q 2: Also, you have the tieup I think for a sinking shed, I have 2 rising shed looms so I guess my treadling  will be 34 41 12 23   should it change for rosepath?

 

A note in my instructions, mentions that I set up these drafts so that the weaver can weave them face up. Normal treadling sequences would have the weaver making the pattern face down where they can not see it, because it requires less physical effort – moving one shaft versus three at a time.

 

When working with new weavers, I find that although there are more shafts to lift on each throw, they get a better feeling for how to control the weave by weaving face up. My instructions have weavers raise all shafts except for the one that they want to have the weft color appear on the top. Its easier to discover an error and repair it this way. When working on a table loom it is a matter of moving levers rather than depressing treadles and therefore the effort is not the issue. If you set up the wrong tie-up you will not see an image on the front of the cloth you will see it on the bottom. Always check both surfaces.

 

The treadling sequence will not change with Rosepath threading.  There will be the same numbers of passes with the same colors of thread.

 

Q3: if I want a little more space, can I do  44 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 44?”

 

This translates into: How do I expand boundweave patterns using only 4 shafts?

Example of a Boundweave expainsion by repeating two threads Here I have repeated the two outermost threads, 1 and 2
Example of the boundweave expansion using a pointed twill The repeat is a  point twill from threads 1 to 3

 

I have left you to wonder what does  a  44 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 44 pattern look like.

 

Here is how to find out:

 

If you have Excel or graph paper start with the pattern in the center, you can copy and paste in Excel.

To get square grids in Excel – Highlight the leftmost corner block in the spreadsheet, it will highlight all of the cells, change the width of the cell to 20, and the height to 20 as well. You can click and drag to resize or use a tool bar to set the property.

Write your proposed expanded threading, now copy the colors from those columns into your new draft.

 

My turn to ask questions:

 

One thing to think about, in all of the examples I have provided so far, are there two threads on the same shaft side by side?

What change would you expect to see in your cloth?

Does that change affect the outcome and beauty of the cloth in a good or bad way?

In the examples given so far, have there been any changes in treadling or tie-up?

 

What have you learned about, threading  and figure placement in boundweave from this little exercise?