Fibonacci Striped Runner

When I took the last warp off the loom, I said to myself – “I am not going to make any rag runners for a time” – but here I am, weaving more. We have a wedding coming up and I do think this bride will appreciate a hand-made gift (as well as a gift card!). When I was asking her mother what colors the bride might like, I asked her, (she is a dear friend), if I could make a runner for her October birthday, and she happily agreed. Weaving something I’ve done a lot of in the last few years seemed a good idea because I wanted to try some of the tricks and techniques that I learned at the Vavstuga workshop. I fiddled a good bit while I was warping the loom and I am happy to say that it is a great warp! Nice and tight; nice and even!

The bride wanted blues, and my tendency is to use navy and white, because I have so much Asian china. When I scrounged around in the closet where I keep the carpet warp, I found a navy and a bright blue, so I used them in the warp. Then I debated whether to do a random stripe, which is what I generally do, but then I remembered the Fibonacci sequence, which I was discussing recently with a friend, and decided to try that out. For reasons that I won’t bore you with, I have cut off the bride’s runner/mat.

 

It is always hard to photograph runners, but if you look closely, you can see 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-8-5-3-2-1-1 sequence in different blue color stories. You can also see that the bright blue warp only shows up in the hem. I thought that might be the case but I didn’t feel like ordering more carpet warp. I’m glad that I cut this off because now I can use it as a reference for how the fabrics look when squished and woven. The bride’s mother wants blues and greens and I am fairly sure that she will not be as happy with dark values. I will use the lighter blues and those with white backgrounds and see what green fabrics I can add.

This is quite different from my usual runner/mats, but I do think it will look nice when in use. The wedding is in Vermont in a few weeks and I hope to have some fun things to share with you….

 

The Last Runner/Mat…

… was annoying to weave! I carefully calculated the length of the warp allowing plenty of room to make three mats. I decided to knot the fringe after weaving, which was where things went wrong. I feel as though I allowed too much space for the fringe and ate up too much of the warp. By the time I got to the third runner, I knew it was not going to be long enough for the kitchen table. It is not fun to keep weaving, and advancing the warp, and weaving and wondering how long the &%^%^# thing is going to be!

Here you can see the cardboard I put between the mats and how much space is left for knotting. {It was too much!} I should have done hemstitching on the loom, which I much prefer to do, or perhaps I should have hemmed them, as Karen at Warped for Good did.

Fringe for the mats

It is barely long enough to be usable on the diningroom table, but it does work.

Navy rag runner/mats

Ah well. On to the next project!

The First Runner/Mat Design

Did you notice that I am weaving again???

Peter took the loom apart more than usual for the move and so I needed his help to get her together again. While gathering her pieces, he decided that she needed to be oiled and cleaned. Wasn’t that nice of him? Doesn’t every girl like to be fussed over? While he was working on her over several days, I got cold feet about what I might weave on her first. What did I want to weave and would I remember how to do everything? I feel this way after every move. So of course I decided to start simply and making my usual rag runner/mats seemed safe. My first idea came from a quilt on a Modern Quilt website that I thought it was a bit dull for a quilt, but seemed like it might make an interesting rag runner/mat. I found some leftover muslin fabric from Santa making for the center section and I have lots of  bits of hand dyed cotton samples which I stripped into 2″ pieces to add at either end. It was a bit fussy to weave, but I am very pleased with the result.

Fussy striped woven runner/mats

I meant to measure the runners before washing them, but I was too excited! Shrinkage after washing is a fact of weaving and it annoys me when weavers sell pieces (which will eventually need to be washed) and don’t wash them! When it looks entirely different after washing, the customer thinks something is wrong or that it was poorly constructed…

These mats are much “messier” than I usually weave with rags. Adding colored strips on either selvedge is a bit tricky and then the spliced overlap of the natural and colored fabrics really shows. After working on it for awhile, I decided not to fret. I like the nubbly texture and the selvedges are pretty darn even given what I was weaving. I don’t usually do anything special where the center of the runner/mat will be. That area usually has candles, or a bowl of fruit or things like salt and pepper or pickles or jam!

I was planning to use this runner on the kitchen table, but decided I would prefer it in the diningroom. I put the runners across the table, so we can use them as placemats, hence the term runner/mat. I bought these multi colored plates many years ago at Tang’s Department store in Singapore. I have always loved them and I think they look very special on this runner/mat.

It feels good to have finally woven something!

{Should you need tips on Macomber looms:  http://macomberloomsandme.blogspot.com }

 

 

 

 

The Color Block Runners are Completed

And my Schacht Spindle loom is gone….

I can’t quite remember when I bought this loom but I bet I’ve had it for 30 years. It’s a great loom but really, I don’t need two. I always thought that I should keep the Schacht Spindle loom, because it’s smaller, but Peter always thought that I should keep the big Macomber, which you can see in the back. He’s right; the Macomber was my dream loom – it has 12 harnesses and is so heavy that I can weave anything on it. When we settle in our next house I’d like to get back to weaving complex weaves. But back to selling the Schacht Spindle; I couldn’t be happier. I listed it on a local weaver’s guild’s site and got two e-mails within a week. The first one turned out to be a young lady about to graduate from The Art Institute School and she adores weaving! She brought a friend with her whose  love is beading and stitchery and has been accepted into the graduate school there. To say that I was talking to two “of my own kind” was putting it mildly! The young lady was so excited that she said she wasn’t able to sleep the night before. Wow. Perhaps it didn’t matter who bought my loom, but I’m still smiling about the delight on her face. I remember being her….

Farewell loom!

You may remember that I put  on a long warp on for color block rag runners and luckily had been weaving a bit each day, so the warp was almost done. Before I cut them apart and washed them, I spread the runners on the studio floor to admire.

A lot of runners

I wove two runners in a check pattern, working on the color block idea. It seems like it would be quite easy to do, but it’s not. When you weave, the warp is wound very tightly on the loom, so the warp is stretched out. Then the rags take up some space. To guesstimate whether you’ve actually woven a square, you need to loosen the warp and measure and make sure that the check is actually more of a rectangle. When the runner is washed, it shrinks a bit as well. I did fairly well on this runner.

Color block runner

It’s always fun to just weave randomly without all the measuring need for checks. All in all, I’m happy with the runners. I’m not sure if they will be on display when the house is listed, but they will definitely get lots of use next Fall, wherever we may be.

Random rag runner

Color Block Woven Runners

I know it seems crazy for me to be starting a lot of projects, but there’s a method to my madness. The looms are always a bit of a problem when the house is on the market. They do collapse a bit, but they are large and are not something that we will take to the storage place. The best idea is to warp them and have something pretty to look at – they are great pieces of furniture. An then they are warped, I can pack up a lot of the weaving supplies.

This is a rag runner that I made several years ago. Sitting on it is our Dansk wedding china. Even after all these years, I still love it and am so happy to get it out every winter. I like this runner and thought I would make more runners or some placemats. I like to use runners around the house in the Fall and Winter .

Dansk china

Here are the colors I used for the last warp, in the order that I used them. They were nice, but nothing exciting. I have a box of cotton rug warp and I dug through it to see what I might have with more contrast.

Previous warp

And these are the choices. I dreamed up some interesting weaving/color plans and then on the day I started to wind the warp I thought “keep it simple”. {This should be my mantra for the forseeable future!} And honestly, there really is not much sense in threading a complicated pattern and then weaving a variety of busy fabrics through it. The pattern won’t end up showing much.

All the choices

This is called a warping reel with part of the warp on it. It’s a great tool but takes up a lot of space.

Warping reel

Here is the warp ready to put on the loom. I decided to use almost all of the possibilities in a color block sort of design. I can weave randomly, or in stripes or I can try for checks.

Color block runner warp

Ta da – – -Now that I am finished making warps, the warping reel comes apart for easy storage, moving and transport.

Collapsed warping reel

This little Schacht Spindle loom is for sale, so a rag runner warp will be a good thing for prospective buyer to test drive the loom. I’m weaving away on the runners so I won’t mind cutting the warp off at a moment’s notice.

Schacht Spindle loom warped