Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kati Reeder Meek

Over the weekend I attended a Kati Reeder Meek weaving workshop called Lustrous Linens - Weaving Linens with Success. The workshop was hosted by The Waterford Weavers Guild. Kati is the author of two books, Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with your Loom (using Live-Weight-Tensioned Warps), and "Reflections from a Flaxen Past".

Kati Reeder Meek taught us how to use a warping trapeze along with gravity and applied vibration to beam an evenly tensioned warp and to use live-weight tension to weave without stopping and retensioning the warp. In addition, Kati shared many of her best practices. (Click on any picture to enlarge.)
Linen in various stages.
Some of Kati's woven linen samples.Warping back to front using a trapeze. You can make your own trapeze (instructions in Kati's book) or you can purchase one from Purrington Loom Company. The trapeze is temporarily attached to the loom, lease sticks protecting the cross are attached, the end loops of the warp will be attached to the warp rod, the rattle is tied to the back beam, and the weights are then tied to the warp. We are now ready to spread out the threads in the rattle.Stiff paper is inserted to separate the layers as we crank the warp on.Beaming on. During this phase the warp is spanked to vibrate the warp and even out tension.As the warp is cranked on, the weights rise to the top and need to be repositioned.Beaming on finished. The trapeze is removed.Threading the heddles. Kati believes in finding a comfortable position for seeing and reaching the heddles. This may mean your loom might need to be put up on blocks, tilted forward, or the shafts lifted. Position yourself as close to the heddles as possible. Sleying the reed with an automatic denter or reed hopper. The automatic reed hopper "walks" from dent to dent without ever leaving the reed. You can view a video clip of an auto-denter in use here. Kati uses the auto-denter a little differently but you will get the idea.Using the "click method". Kati attaches the warp threads to the cloth rod from the outside to the inside. She will advance the cloth ratchet one click every so often. The warp will be at very high tension at the end. The tension will backed off before weaving begins. Once the loom is fully dressed weights will be used in place of the braking system. Live-weight tension uses gravity to get the job done. The larger milk jug tension the warp by pulling down and the smaller water bottle provides a counterweight. The loom's brake is disengaged. As the warp is advanced the milk jug will rise until the water bottle touches the floor. Then the cord wrapped around the warp beam relaxes and the milk jug slips down until friction is restored. This is self-adjusting so there is no need to deal with the friction brake and readjusting the tension with each advance of the warp. Your warp will remain at the exact same tension.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blanket of Hope

I'm finishing up an afghan block for the Blanket of Hope project. It was organized by Rebekah for fellow knitter Sonya for her husband Kevin. I don't personally know Sonya (or Kevin) but remember Sonya participating in the FLAK (Follow the Leader Aran Knit-along) and wanted to help out. I decided to knit a block using the same cables as our FLAK sweaters knowing Sonya would recognize them.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Adoption is Final...

We picked up the new baby this afternoon. She's a solid cherry Loomcraft 8-shaft, 12-treadle loom with a 45" weaving width. She has wonderful patina. The loom is c. 1981 and the loom maker, John Post, of Littleton Colorado only makes a few looms each year with each one handcrafted. Mr. Post has been making these beautiful looms for over 35 years and now only sells through Halcyon Yarn.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just Our Yarn

On Wednesday I attended a guild meeting of the Blue Ridge Spinners & Weavers. JOY (Just Our Yarn) came and did a Trunk Show. It was lots of fun. The company was started by Diane Smith and Cathie Chung. They purchase yarn and fiber from Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont and handpaint it. Their yarn is gorgeous and each colorway is unique. Diane and Cathie brought along knitted and woven samples using their handpainted yarn.

This shawl is sold as a kit. The kit includes the Karen Joan Raz Feather Shawl pattern. It is knit with a single strand of Myne (100% cashmere). It takes 2 hanks (500 yards each) to knit this shawl.
I was fancinated by a new age fiber called Tencel. It is wood pulp cellulose. It feels like silk and drapes luxuriously.

The next 3 woven scarves are Bonnie Tarses designs made with Tencel (10/2 and 5/2). The first scarf is called Horoscope Scarf and Bonnie teaches it in a workshop. Bonnie teaches Color Horoscope Weaving where she demonstrates her fascination with color, love of symbolic textiles and interest in astrology that culminates in luscious and magical fabrics. She will be doing a workshop for our guild in April or July. Count me in!
Double weave blanket woven with Caravan (65% lambs wool and 35% camel down) at 10 epi. It was felted lightly in the washing machine.This knitted shawl was made from Indulgence (75% Merino/15% Angora/10% Silk).