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crackle two

rjf | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Okay, now if I could remember which one I just posted, I could post the second properly.  I think that’s right.  rjf


  1. Tish | | #1

    rjf, did you say you warp it as point twill?  It looks as though you've woven it as tabby. 

    If you ever come up with a use for the loom waste, let me know.  I hate to throw it away and keep a jar in the craft room.  I try to remember it when ever I need a "bit of string".  The wool yarns can be felted, for those who need something to do with their "spare time," but the cottons and blends are a problem.  Maybe I should do mufflers with all four sides fringed.

    1. SisterT | | #2

      I don't weave.  How long are your pieces of "loom waste"?


      1. Tish | | #4

        Let's see... "loom waste" is the extra thread that you have to work with, but which doesn't wind up as a part of the fabric.  The long threads, the warp, are tied to warp beams at the front and back of the loom.  As the cloth is woven, it is wound forward onto the front warp beam called the cloth beam.  There is loom waste in the ends of the warp that are tied to the cloth beam.  They come off my loom about 9 to 12 inches.  If I fringe the end of the fabric, the waste is shortened by the length of the fringe.  When everything is woven and the warp is wound as far forward as it will go, the warp ends are long enough to go from the last woven line, back through the heddles (these allow the threads to be raised and lowered to make the weave) to the cloth beam where they are tied.  These ends are usually uneven because if there is any unevenness when I measure the warp it is all taken to the back beam when I first dress the loom.  These ends may be as short as 12 inches or as long as 18 inches.  If they're longer then that, then I've made an expensive mistake when I calculated my yarn yardage.  Again, the ends are shorter if I make a fringe.

        There are other forms of waste too, in the yarn leftovers.  If I need 540 yards of a particular yarn for a project and that yarn is sold in 100 yard skeins, then I've got an extra 60 yards of that yarn.  For me, those bits are not too wasteful.  We've got a group of ladies at church who sit together knitting hats and mittens for an hour after service twice a month.  I give them my worsted yarns.  Some yarns that are too small for a pair of mittens are plenty long enough for a few lines of contrast in the cuff.  The loom ends are too cut-up for the mitten project.  The yarns that are not mitten-worthy I save and someday I'll toss'em all together and make something wierdly plaid or maybe plaidly wierd.  Again, the loom ends are too short to be woven. 

        1. SisterT | | #6

          Thanks for the description!  Someone in our area weaves, and what is left on the skein is often donated to us.  It is a great day when I open a bag and see wool!

          Every now and then we get scraps of beautiful paper that are left from some project or another.  Our local art center is happy for them.  Maybe an art center would be happy for the small bits of thread? 

          A lot of sisters support themselves by making and selling things.  A convent with elderly sisters might be interested too.


    2. rjf | | #3

      The warp goes 3 2 1 2 3 2 1 2 -3 -4 3 2 3 4 3 2 3 -4 -1 4 3 4 1 4 3 4 -1 2 1 4 1 2 1 4 1 2 1 4 ( sort of) and the first version was 2 shuttles, one weaving tabby while the other did 3,4; 1,4; 1,2; 2,3.  The one you see in Photo Gallery is another version using three shuttles and treadling A: 1,4; 1,2; 2,3; 1,2; and ending with 1,4.  The dark main color does 1,2; a lighter secondary color does 1,4 and the other lighter secondary does 2,3.  There are corresponding B,C and D blocks.  It sounds much more complicated than it is.  My weaving looks more "blocky" than I intended because the color blocks and threading blocks coincided too closely in size and position.  If  I had changed colors in the middle of threading block, the effect would be more random.  Next time.

      Loom waste......I've heard there are companies that will shred and respin loom waste so it can be used again  but you must have an awful lot of waste to make that worth while.  If you have an inkle loom, you could make fringed belts.  Knot the pieces and weave with stick shuttles.  Well, I'm getting silly now so I'll try again tomorrow.       rjf

      1. Tish | | #5

        I'm going to print out the pattern.  I could try this with my project leftovers.  Have you tried it with varying textures?

        1. rjf | | #7

          Ooh-ooh!  Please don't use my last message verbatim....it was just an example.  What you could use is : http://allfiberarts.com/library/aa99/aa072999b.htm.  This is the tabby version of crackle.  I found the other version in Harriet Tiball's "THe Weavers' Book".  I think there are only 4 blocks possible, given the constraints that only 3 of {1, 2, 3, 4} be used and that odds and evens must alternate.  There are 4 ways to treadle, if you think tromp-as-writ.  So we should have 16 different blocks...but I haven't actually counted them.   Maybe odd and even make same blocks the same.

          You must beam from back to front?  My uneven ends are at the front of the loom and the loom waste at the end is pretty even.  I think I can get down to 14 or 15 inches but when I think of the scraps from sewing, it's not much worse.     rjf

          1. Tish | | #8

            I've dressed my loom back to front and front to back.  I took several descriptive shortcuts in my last post.  I just wanted to give a basic picture of what loom waste is and why there is no getting around having some waste.

            Thanks for the link.  I'm *still* working on the floor cloths I warped in January.  I'm down to the last few rows of weft now.  I haven't been weaving much this summer and I don't know why.  I know I've been busy.  Did I tell you that I wrote and presented a church service about Orthodox Jewish immigrants who took up homesteads in North Dakota?  That took more time than I thought it would.  I go back to school next week for my last semester.  Part time only, so I hope to make a batch of scarves for Christmas gifts.  Scarves are a fun way to play with colors and weaves.  Would crackle make nice scarves?

          2. rjf | | #10

            "about Orthodox Jewish immigrants who took up homesteads in North Dakota"  When would that have been?  How did you discover that topic?  They must have been successful or you wouldn't have written about them.  Congratulations on "last" semester.  Do you have that "I can't believe I did it" feeling?

            I think crackle would make great scarves.  One warp with many different weft colors and treadling orders would provide lots of variation and the difference between the 2-shuttle tabby method and the 3-shuttle method makes it even more variable.

            How about loom waste stitched between two layers of sheer fabric?  dissolvable interfacing?  clear contact paper?      rjf

          3. Tish | | #11

            About the "Kosher House on the Prairie"project-- this is soooo off topic-- it got started two years ago when I read a memoir of a woman who came to North Dakota as a picture bride from Russia in the mid 1890s.  Her son translated it from Yiddish.  As I was reading it (it is an amazing book) I kept writing names in the back cover of the people I was going to insist read it.  One of them is my friend Louise, the granddaughter of Russian Jews.  So she read it and when she gave it back she said, "These people are my people.  When my grandparents came from Russia, the German Jews who were already here were embarassed by them and made them move out west where noone would see them!"  A couple of months later I had to do a research project on an American religious topic, so I got permission to research the topic of Russian Jews who took up farming and whether the charities that supported them where "embarrassed" by them.  The answer to that question is, "Yes, sort of, but it's only a tiny part of the story."  Charities tried to move immigrants out of the ports of entry to reduce tenement crowding, ease the burdens on the overloaded charities, and get families to areas where the job market was a little better.  Some folks believed that farming "made a man"- think of Jefferson!- and encouraged the Russian immigrants to take up farming.  Some of the Reform Jews really wanted to break up the social patterns of the Shtetles which they saw as dysfunctional in American society, so they tried to get Jews on farms distant from one another and didn't encourage farming communities. Researching the primary documents I fell in love with the voices of the farmers, so I asked Louise if she'd like to take the material and turn it into a sort of "living history" presentation where I would discuss specific issues, and then others would read the primary voices telling about their experiences.

            The time period was 1880 to 1920.  Were they sucessful?  Many farmers disappeared off of the land rolls, which means that they failed as farmers and just left.  North Dakota is a hard place to farm and that happened to lots of homesteaders.  Many proved up and sold the farms and used the money to start businesses in towns and cities.  There is no "community" of Jewish farmers left in North Dakota- only a few farming families have any Jewish ancestry at all now.  Orthodoxy requires a community for all kinds of things-- prayer services of all kinds, education, Kosher meat, and especially for spouses for the next generation.  Jewish farmers sent their kids off the farms to cities and then followed them there.

            It took more time than I thought it would because I thought, "hey I've already written it, I only have to edit it!"  I was wrong.  To change from a research paper to a presentation of the voices of the farmers was a total re-write.

            By the way, the term "Russian Jews" was used as a catch-all for Orthodox Jews from all over Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire.

          4. rjf | | #12

            It's taken me a long time to get to you about your research project but I've been thinking about it ever since.  I can see how you would get caught up with the story.  I was trying to remember a spot I heard on NPR about a similar project in northern New York or Vermont (not sure which now) for African-Americans who were offered homesteads for farming and suffered a similar fate.   Some succeeded with the farming but eventually gave up  because they couldn't develop a sense of community.  Maybe we can't expect "community by decree" but it seems like a sensible idea.  I wonder what the founders of the project would need to do to make it a success. 

            I just finished a set (sort of) of 3 towels with a huck lace pattern.  I was doing the the hemstitching on the second end of the second towel when I discovered a threading error!  Arrgh!  So I decided if I hadn't seen it until then, no one else would either.  Now they're off the loom and I'm in that interesting mode of trying to decide "What next?"  Maybe something on 6 or 8 harnesses.......pushing the envelope a little.                rjf

    3. JeanetteR | | #9

      Hello, I read of a lovely way that an Australian machine embroidery artist called Annameike Mein uses her waste threads, she leaves them for wild birds to make nests with. She is a a great artisan, who does extensive prelude studies in paintings from observation, so I guess knows where such birds may look for such nesting materials. Her work is truly amazing, and a Google would give you some wonderful images.

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