Thursday, September 13, 2012

I got a Liebster Blog award!!!

Wow, being recognized by fellow costumers is really special. Idle Hands is now officially Liebster Blog recipient!

Yesterday, Angela of The Merry Dressmaker extended this lovely honor to this blog. Read about her other honorees, and visit her fantastic blog!

What is the Liebster Blog Award? It's a way for bloggers to recognize the talent, effort, craftsmanship, writing, photography, and all-around coolness of fellow bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. "Liebster" means "favorite" in German, so it's a "favorite blog award."

Part of the Liebster Blog Award is to pass it on. So, very soon, as soon as I can carve out some time, I will announce my list of Liebster Blog Award recipients!

Thank a bunch, Angela, and stay tuned for more mis-use of power tools. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Learning Card Weaving, Part 2

Ok, I'm back, with another quick post about my card weaving project.

When I left off, I had gotten my warp wrapped around my improvised warp beam, and had strung up the cards. I just had to secure the warps to my "cloth beam" and then I could get started weaving.

The "cloth beam" is just another clamp. I rather
lazily secured the warps with a medium Gem clip.
They weren't super secure, but good enough for
me to get started.
For this project I'm using size 10 cotton crochet thread (probably Aunt Lydia's brand; I don't have the labels anymore), because I have a lot of it laying around (it's my favorite thread for lucet work). I'm using the same thread for the weft, in red to match the selvedge edges.

When I started weaving, scroll frame arms tended
to pivot and cause slack in the warps. I flipped
the clamp around, which helped but didn't
eliminate the pivoting.
I had several objectives with this project:

1. Could I get the warps properly rolled onto a warp bar?

The warps here are 80 inches long, which makes them only slightly longer than the 72 inch warps for my pink stocking garters. The stocking garters have 37 warps, though, whereas this project has 64! Anyway, with the exception of the pivoting problem, I got a very satisfactory wrap round my improvised warp bar.

2. Can I really work a pattern where the cards rotate only one way?

I don't think so, but I must be missing something. After I had woven about a foot, the warps behind the cards had turned into ropes.

By turning the cards only one way, the warps
got twisted to the point where I couldn't move
the cards back any more.
Candace Crockett, in her book Card Weaving (I have a copy, and it's quite excellent) suggests untwisting the warps. I'm thinking, after all the time it took me to roll up the warps (and it really did take a while), do I really want to unroll them? My conclusion was, what's the worst that could happen, and I went ahead and unrolled the warps. Well, the worst didn't happen, but pretty near: I ended up with a twisted, snarly mess that I was not going to be able to get back onto the bar (I have no photo evidence of's too embarrassing). I soldiered on and just wrestled with the twisty mess, replace the scroll frame with the clamp by itself and clipping the warps to the clamp's bar. Needless to say, I had an issue with keeping even tension.

Also: I decided I should just turn the cards in the reverse direction.

Two turnaround points, where I reversed the turning
direction of the cards.

There's probably something I'm not understanding yet, but so far I'm not sure you can work a pattern where the cards only turn one direction. At least not with a piece that's this long.

Anyway, my third goal was to get a better understanding of how card weaving works.

My fourth goal is to find a solution for Laura's weaving problem, which she talks about partway through this post. I don't think I have an answer yet.

In the meantime, the piece is done!
The back side looks nice, too!

The color combination makes me think of traffic signs, but I'm still quite fond of it. I hereby dub this piece: "The Road Goes This Way!"

I got the pattern from eqos at Deviantart (she calls this one "Korba"). Check her out, she generously gives these patterns away.

I was aiming for 60 inches and ended up just one inch short. The weave is tight but not totally consistent; I think that once I can keep the warp evenly tensioned, I can achieve better consistency.

But I must find a solution to Laura's problem....