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Sunday, March 9, 2014

How My 1st Weaving II Project Went Successfully Awry

I know…I've essentially skipped blogging about the entire Fall Semester. I keep dashing from project to paper to the next project. I'll get back to the Fall Semester eventually. 

In the Spring 2014 semester, I'm enrolled in Weaving II and an Independent Study of Weaving. Neither class has a set structure beyond the techniques/projects I indicated I would pursue in the Independent Study contract. (i.e. the possibilities are endless and a little overwhelming. Well, only endless to the point approved by the instructor. {wry grin})

Not surprisingly, I had contracted to weave fabric to create a Fulled Woven Bag. {Yes, the bag-lady in me is alive and well!}

In support of this project, I investigated Double Weave - a method where one set of warp threads are used for two pieces of fabric - joined on one side. Double Weave has a whole range of nifty things that it can do and I'm hoping to explore several aspects of this technique.
This time I played with the Tube version of Double Weave where the two fabrics being woven are joined at both edges and open at the top and bottom.
(As always, please click on the photos to enlarge.)
Using this technique you can create multiple openings, pockets, puffs or mini-pillows as part of the woven fabric.

Yes, the warp is divided into 3 separate sections and I
stuffed them with leftover yarn before
weaving them closed. 
I planned to use the Tube Double Weave technique to weave a tube of felt-able wool, closing off the bottom and top and then full (felt) the hollow rectangle into a denser fabric. I would then cut the fulled (now non-ravelling) fabric to make the bag with a strap and extra fabric for a flap over the bag opening and a pocket for the inside.
Well, that was the plan.

I pulled wool from the stash - a lovely solid blue for the warp and Noro Kureyon for the weft.

I found that I needed a few more yards of warp, then found my stash wanting {shocking, I know!}, and broke down to shop for warp. I couldn't match the blue yarn so I settled on using black on the bag sides and put together my warp.

I was pointedly delighted with how the Noro colors laid out and reveled in how easy it was to maneuver around the knots in the yarn that interrupted the famous Noro Color progression.

And I decided it was fun to take pictures from inside my warp!
Ta-da! A picture of me I actually like!
{There's a pun here relating to the lines on my face
being more prominent.} {grin}
A view of the warp as it progressed - from the inside:

And the view of the warp as it progressed - from the outside:

The instructor had noted that the blue warp enhanced the colors whilst the black warp would be more noticeable/prominent. What do you think?
I think she was correct.

The weaving went quickly and I used up every possible inch of the warp - even lifting the loom harness by hand to allow for a few more weft throws.

I cut the closed tube off the loom and fulled it the following weekend.
Yep, I secured the ends before I tossed it into the wash.
Tossed it into the wash with a variety of things to
help the fulling process. 
{I'll try to do a blog post on how I full stuff in a front-loading washer, but for now I'd like to caution folks don't just toss items to be fulled/felted into the washer. I place them inside a zippered pillow case (or 2) to minimize the amount of fuzz transferred into my washing machine. Yep, think about it…pipes or an expensive machine coming to a screeching halt, clogged with wool fibre…shudder.}

And it fulled beautifully! I am particularly smitten with how the warp pops through to create a nubbly, textured effect on the fabric.

However…it was a bit small for the bag I had planned.

Yes, I had planned for shrinkage, but not that much shrinkage. I showed the fulled, hollow rectangle to the instructor and admitted it would be a smaller bag than I had planned. She suggested it become a pillow.

A pillow??
!!A Pillow!!
With the current group of knead-happy, goat-cats in my home I had despaired at ever being able to weave pillows for my home. But if I fulled the pillows…!! Woot! They wouldn't be kitty-proof, but they'd be kitty-resistant!

I had a new plan!
I carefully cut open the hollow rectangle,

stuffed it with recycled fiberfill,

and carefully sewed it back up.

I've got the next Fulled Pillow Warp measured and I'll be putting it on the loom tomorrow. I'm planning  at least 2 more pillows before I revisit the Fulled Woven Bag Project.
Oh yes, there will be a bag too.
Although, I have to wonder where else the Fulled Woven Bag Project might lead me...