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Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas trees

It is snowing this morning here in Bolton! Grown up children due home this weekend...must be nearly Christmas!
Many thanks to Isobel for the lovely Christmas trees- this is my Official WeaveBlog Xmas card!!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas in the Weave Shed!

On Thursday during our weekly weaving session, Crazy Fiona sneaked these decorations in whilst I was out on a comfort break! The cheeky minx and her family had been making paper chain garlands and don't they look festive!

Thanks, you Crazy Catanachs!

Ramsbottom Xmas Market

I will be at the above market at the Civic Hall, Ramsbottom, next Sunday 18th December 10.30-4 so please come and say "hello" if you can! Live reindeer, including a baby, are coming to Ramsbottom on the day too! Ramsbottom is a delightful small town in which to spend a day, with good cafes, shops and galleries and, of course, the Xmas Market in the Civic Hall!

Spectrum scarves!

Er yes, they are very bright! But very pleasing-soft, warm and snuggly for on a dull, wintry day like today.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Warping Up

The cotton warp ends of the crinkle scarves, shown being wound onto one of the back beams, and dappled in sunlight on a very cold morning. The wool ends have been wound and beamed separately. This is a 16 shaft design in which blocks of wool in plain weave alternate with blocks of fine cotton in 2/2 twill. In finishing, the wool will shrink and pull the twill cotton areas and the area of both fibres into relief, creating interesting three-dimensional shapes. I hope!

Monday, 7 November 2011

New Ventures

I have now set up my mini site at Made By Hands of Britain (see Links) where a small selection of my current collection of scarves may be found, and where I intend to add some table linens for sale in the spring.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Atticus blanket off the loom!

The first blanket is off the loom, washed and shrunken within an inch of its life and I am delighted with the result!
I like both sides equally, and of course, being reversible it is very practical for a baby....in case you are wondering, the baby's name is Atticus-the literate amongst you will of course know this is the name of the lawyer in To Kill a Mocking Bird!

Draft for Latest Weaving Project

So here it is in detail if anyone wants to have a go at weaving it. I have decided it is not a true deflected double weave, as besides the woven areas of all cotton and all wool, there are also some mixed areas where the wool and cotton combine. It will be interesting to see what happens when the blanket is washed. I have altered the draft for the second blanket to eliminate this mixing and it remains to be seen what will happen as a result.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Deflected Double Weave Blanket

This is being woven in 2/16 and 2/8 combed cotton and 2/28 cashmere and wool, on 12 shafts. As a first project on a new loom it is a bit ambitious as it is almost the full width of the loom and using both beams, but the electronic dobby is working well. I am hoping that on washing the wool will shrink quite a lot and create a soft, bobbly surface in the cotton areas, ideal for a blanket.

New Loom in situ!

Finally, after months of waiting, the new Megado electronic 16 shaft loom is installed in The Shed and up and running!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Yet More from The Wool Gathering

The scarf and pegloom rug are made from fleece, roving and yarn from Lancashire breeds. We managed a lot in one day but there is still a way to go, and all those ends to sew in......

Friday, 9 September 2011

More Woolly Stuff from the Wool Gathering

Fleece was also donated by Amanda Bingley from her small flock of Shetlands in Yealand Redmayne. This was incorporated into the peg loom rug together with other British (mainly Lancsashire) fleece, rovings and yarn and spindle spun into yarn to add to the scarf. The felt picture is one I made a couple of years ago but here it is acting as a backdrop to hide some of the mess in my shed!

Wool Gathering

Yesterday, nine of us gathered in my weaving shed for a fun day of knitting, pegloom weaving, pompom making, eating and general woolly merrymaking. Despite the awful weather we had a great day in celebration of British Wool Week. We used Lancashire Farm Wool from Kate Schofield in our Knit a Scarf Knitathon, our pegloom rug and our contribution towards Eden Arts Join the Flock Project.

 An eccentric bunch, our Lancashire sheep!
More sheep yet to be added once completed, plus photos of the scarf and pegloom rug.
We tasted sheep's milk cheese and home made sheep's yogurt ice cream and biscuits decorated by Pete:
Proceeds made up from yarn sales and donations will go to help Kate purchase more fleece next year from farms in support of the Lancashire Farm Wool project.
So that is our bit for this year's Campaign for Wool!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Far from Plain Weave on the Knitter's Loom

It may be a simple rigid heddle loom, but I am finding the possibilities are far beyond plain weave. Krokbragd is usually woven on 3 or more shafts, but with one rigid heddle and 2 pick-up sticks it can easily be woven to create a stunning efffect which looks much more complex than it actually is.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Weft-faced Bag Woven on knitter's loom

A funny little creation but this is what I made using weft-faced weaving on the Ashford Knitter's loom. It started as a sample but ended up being a bag. All the patterns are being created using shuttles, with no pick-up sticks and no finger manipulation.
The next part of the warp is being woven in krokbragd, then I will be experimenting using tapestry techniques and a second heddle kit, but hopefully my 16 shaft Megado should not be too long now!
I am planning a 16 shaft stitched double weave and then lots and lots of sampling, experimenting and designing!!

Gathering of Woolly Minds

It will only be a small, informal and low-key affair, but on Thursday 8th September I will be hosting a day of fibre fun to promote British Wool, and in particular Lancashire  breeds wool. Woolly activities, including participation in a national project, a group challenge and a variety of goodies are planned but will be kept as a surprise! My fibrey friends and contacts from around the north west are invited but if you read this, are local, and would like to come, just email me at janesflanagan@yahoo.co.uk or comment via this blog for more details.
No weaving photos as such just yet but as for rambling, I spent the weekend roaming around Monkey World in Dorset with my lovely mother-in-law Audrey, so here are a couple of photos!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Campaign for Wool

September 5-11th this year is the official UK Wool Week. Please follow the link on this blog to the website for the Campaign for Wool for more information about the UK and international campaign. The international Wool Week is in October, which has caused some confusion.
Anyway, I am planning an Event to promote British Wool on Saturday 10th September. I envisage an informal weave/spin/knit-in type get-together with drop -in activities and demonstrations of skills using British Wool.
 Nothing is finalised yet but watch this space as ideas develop into definite arrangements!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Weft-faced weaving on the Knitter's Loom

Continuing the theme of rediscovering the joys of simple forms of weaving, I warped up the knitter's loom with cotton warp yarn at 5 ends per inch and have been playing with weft-faced weaves! My intention is to weave a sampler showing many (but by no means all) of the possible designs, both with a shuttle and hand-manipulated, to be used with beginner weavers, and also to create a small shoulder bag. Here is what I have covered so far!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Hand made bag for knitter's loom!

I decided to make a bag to hold the Ashford Knitter's loom, using the cloth I have woven on it, whilst I await my 16 shaft Megado electronic dobby loom! Proud of myself?? Not half! I don't consider myself a sewing expert but I am mightily pleased with this! I even managed a lining and proper mitred corners! There are pockets on both sides, deep enough for shuttles etc, and another pocket on the inside.
I am sooooo impressed by this little loom-so well designed and sturdy. I wove three lengths, using 2 of three colours in each piece, each piece about 11" by 50" once finished, and arranged the pieces to get a patchwork effect, different on each side.
My self-imposed Empty Loom Syndrome is proving productive-I am rediscovering the joys of plain weave using lots of colour and weave techniques. Who needs 16 shafts anyway??!!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Multilayer cloth sampler

Whilst twiddling my thumbs (or twiddling my thrums morelike...) awaiting the arrival of my new loom, I have been experimenting with 8 shaft multilayer weaving on the Leclerc Voyageur folding table loom. Four layers of plain weave cloth woven directly on top of each other, with 2 shafts per layer. The cloth is sett at 4 times the usual balanced  cloth sett to make 4 balanced cloth layers. By changing the lift sequence each single colour cloth can have any position within the layers-top, top middle, bottom middle and lower layer. The layers can be woven separately, with a fold at either or both selvedges, as a single cloth 4 times the width of the loom, as a tube within a tube and so on. The cloth can also be woven as a densely warp-faced single cloth or as two slightly warp-faced layers with any combination of the 4 colours in each layer. By using pick up, warp ends from any layer can be brought to the top or lower layer to show on the surface.....and so on....
The photos show the four layers of separate cloth and the sideview shows how changing the position of different layers can create interesting three-dimensional cloths with pockets, tubes, folds etc. Great fun! When I get my 16 shaft loom, I will be able to develop this technique further by having more than one threading block in each layer, having up to 8 layers in one cloth, making a cloth 8 times the width of the loom......mind-boggling possibilities!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Empty Loom Syndrome.....

Well my Octado 8 shaft electronic dobby loom is now happily ensconced in the Dordogne, and creating beautiful pieces of weaving with the help of its new owner Mike and his wife....my 12 shaft countermarche loom will soon be relocating to Italy.....and I must wait till September for the arrival of my new 16 shaft 130cm Megado loom with electronic dobby........
I must content myself with teaching (3 students now!) doing "events" and talks and sampling on the Leclerc Voyageur 8 shaft sample loom. (This blog will only ever be of interest to weavers....)
I have warped up for a 4 layer cloth in 4 colours and will experiment with all the possible permutations- 4 separate layers in 4 colours, joined layers, interchanging colours between layers, a cloth 4 times the width of the little loom, a tube within a tube......etc etc etc.
Photos to follow. That is enough rambling for one morning, need to get ready for today's class.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Unlucky Lucky Ewe

Poor Kate Schofield (the unluckiest Lucky Ewe) was unable to attend the Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail due to a back injury-all her hard work over the year to promote the Lancashire Farm Wool came to nothing...but she is now aiming to promote the wools at Greenlands Farm, Tewitfields and during Wool Week as part of the Campaign for Wool. There seems to be both a UK Wool Week (5-11th September) and an International Wool Week (3-10th October or thereabouts) which is a little confusing for us mere mortals. I will investigate further and report back.
Anyway, above is the photo I promised of the finished, washed, fulled and pressed throws I wove for Kate in the Lancashire Farm wool.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More pictures from Follow the Thread

Great to see so many people of all ages and backgrounds having a go at all the different traditional textile crafts!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Follow the Thread Event-Helmshore Textile Museum!

A hectic and eventful first day at the mill event, with lots of visitors and enthusiasts of all ages having a go on the inkle loom, peg loom, rigid heddle loom and 8 shaft table loom!
My youngest ever weaver, at the age of 20 months, is pictured below-amazing child, weaving properly with great dexterity. (Photo with parent's permission)

The range of crafts on display is impressive at this event-lacemaking, tatting, felt making, embroidery, quilting, braiding to name but a few. Today, the second day, I hope to have a proper look at some of the other stalls and have a go at one or two things.
More photos to follow!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hand Woven Throw

The first two throws woven in the Lancashire Hill Breeds wool are now off the loom and waiting to be washed! I did not intend to remove them before all the warp was woven, but the woven fabric is so thick that it was beginning to fill the beam and I did not want to risk overdoing it and put pressure on the front shaft!
I am really pleased with them. The wool has a beautiful lustre which I am sure will only be enhanced by washing and pressing.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Forthcoming Textile Event

Helmshore Textile Museum in Rossendale, Lancashire are holding a weekend of creative textiles  on June 18th-19th. http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/acs/sites/museums/venues/helmshore/index.asp?siteid=3783&pageid=13002&e=e
There will be demonstrations of spinning, weaving, tapestry weaving and a host of other textile crafts together with stalls selling a wide range of quality textile artefacts, wooden textile tools etc.

I will be there on both days demonstrating on an eight-shaft table loom, inkle looms, peg looms and whatever else I can put together.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Lancashire Hill Breeds Woven Throws in Rupert Bear Check

The photographs show the progress in reverse order from winding the warps (all 3 of them) through beaming and threading to where I am now-weaving the first throw!

Weaving in progress
Just starting to weave
Beaming on 12 metres of warp, 50" wide
3 warp chains on the loom and ready for raddling
The three enormous chains of warp waiting to be wound onto the loom.

The wool is a thick double knitting weight wool from sheep from the Silverdale and Arnside areas of Lancashire, to be displayed (and hopefully sold!) by Kate Schofield at the Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail, to be held from 24-6th June 2011.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Finished Bedford Cord samples

This photo shows 2 finished Bedford Cord samples side by side. The picture on the left has a mixture of aqua and pink, aqua and red and aqua and purple weft pairings, whilst that on the right has a mixture of lime green and orange, lime green and red and all red wefts.
The picture above, whilst not very sharply in focus, shows how altering the treadling sequence and colour sequence affects the appearance of the finished cloth. The sample is turned 90 degrees, and the section to the left uses the traditional Bedford Cord treadling which weaves two picks of the odd numbered cords with one weft colour, followed by 2 picks of the even numbered cords (or alternate ones if there is an odd number of cords overall!) with a second weft colour. Where tiny red triangles can be seen at either side of each cord rib, (top and bottom of the ribs in this photo) this is where the red wefts and green wefts intersect in the grooves as plain weave. In the picture to the right, one pick of one colour alternates with the next pick in the second weft colour with a treadling which weaves one pick each of adjacent cord ribs alternately. Here, the intersections in the grooves are slightly different as a result-they are no longer a true plain weave and the ribs do not appear quite as pronounced-personally I prefer the appearance of the version on the left, although the second version is easier to beat evenly.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bedford cord sampler

Now here is a weave structure I have never even considered before, and what a joy it is! This sample warp is in 8 colours, paired as warm/cool throughout, on 6 shafts, with a narrow selvedge...I have an idea to design a fabric suitable for a narrow origami-style jacket....so I am playing with colour. The first sample is now off the loom, and I have already seen how altering the colours and sequence of colours in the weft can dramatically alter the finished cloth by emphasizing or playing down the colours of the warp ribs created. Very exciting! More samples to follow!
Here is the first, unfinished sample straight from the loom, face side up.
And here is the equally stunning reverse side. Photos of the finished samples will be posted shortly.