Monday, December 21, 2009

Still at It

I've started on the second towel and am using the M and W variations threading for 2/2/ twill from The Handweavers Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon. The first towel is goofy. I didn't treadle the correct repeats, but even worse, I forgot to change the tie-up. Oh well. And I misread the treadling on this second towel, so it's still not "right" but it sure is pretty.

And this is the pattern I'm following for the third towel. It is correct. Good for me - finally. I am in love with M and W and am already thinking about my next set of towels. Rude awakening. I thought I'd just weave for 3-4 hours a day and just pop these off the loom. It didn't occur to me that I don't have the back muscles to support my good intentions. I'm good for two hours and then have to quit - for now. This will be a good way to develop those muscles to support good back health. I'm thinking money spent on yarn to weave with will be money not spent in an orthopedist's office. I have to get these done so Goldie can be stashed away before Christmas Eve. No pressure.
I've been using film cannisters with screws and nuts in them to weight my floating selvedges, but both of them have broken a couple of times on this project. I'm wondering now if the lid clamping on the yarn caused it to weaken. I'm looking for suitable substitutes.

Meanwhile, the new storm has just come in and has started to gift us with rain, but as the temps fall - well, I'm just glad to not be on the road tonight because - I'm retired!

For those of you who know Mim, I thought you would want to know that her mother passed away this morning. Mim says it was a sweet death, but this is such a hard time of year to lose your mom.


Life Looms Large said...

I'm sad for Mim, even though I don't know her.

Your towels are beautiful!!! I just had a similar "weak back" experience at Vavstuga. We had the idea we could weave all day. When at home I weave for an hour or two at most. No amount of Swedish cookies could keep me at my loom all day.

Have you tried the floating selvedge trick where you wrap the yarn around an empty cone and then put it through another empty cone and thread it through the reed? I think that's easier than film canisters. It also seems like it would be gentler on the yarn.

Good luck finishing your weaving before Christmas!!! Very ambitious!


Margreet said...

Lovely towels! And it might not have been the pattern you were aiming for, it looks beautiful as it is. Your own designs!
Hope you will get over your back problems soon though.

I too use old film canisters (and bigger vitamin canisters) but I have marbles in them. Depending on the yarn I have less or more marbles in them. May be the weight of the screws in the canister is to heavy for this yarn?

Well, you have a few more weaving days before Christmas. I hope you succeed finishing the towels :-)

Leigh said...

Well, isn't one of the pleasures of weaving the unexpected? As long as they are still functional no one will be the wiser :) I really like the colors you chose. I don't have Anne Dixon's book though I hear so much about it. I'm sure your muscles will soon be up to your expectations. You may be weaving those 3 - 4 hours a day in no time!

Laura said...

I love your towels. Next year, beginning in February (I have other things to finish in January), I will be weaving towels for everyone I know.

Since I haven't woven in years, I will have to re-learn the correct position to save my back. I noticed in the picture from your previous blog that you seem to be "looming" (pun intended) over your loom. If you lower your bench so that your arms are less extended, you won't be bending over so much - lessening the strain on your back. Also, set your timer for 15 minutes. Get up, walk up and down the stairs, get coffee, whatever, and then set it again and weave for another 15 minutes. Repetitive strain injuries are insidious - "just one more row" or "just one more inch" could be enough to put you out of business. Take care of your newly retired body!!

I use pennies in my film cans. I've also heard of people using washers on rings that the warp is then tied to (so it can be moved).

I'm looking forward to seeing your finished towels - I still like the purple and green one best...

bspinner said...

Love the colors and pattern of your towels. Sitting at a loom for 3 to 4 hours. Something I've never been able to pull off.

If you don't get the towels finished in time just decorate the loom put some presents under it and call it your new Christmas center piece.

beadlizard said...

The towel fabric is beautiful. Really.

I second Laura's suggestions about break times and posture. I've found a bit of stretching helps, too. Weaving is very athletic!

vlb5757 said...

Love, love, love the colors! My favorite color is green so those are just fabulous. Can't weave but can admire!