Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Twill Gamps

I recently took a class on twills offered online by the Michigan League of Handweavers. Before the pandemic they only offered classes in June at their annual conference, but starting last year they have begun offering online classes as well, which has been awesome. This is the first one I've taken, though I have also attended some of their evening lectures.

I'm basically obsessed with weaving, so I'm fairly happy to attend everything. But even if you don't weave, they have classes for other fiber arts as well.

For this gamp, I used some of the suggested twill patterns, and a few from the Jane Stafford School of Weaving's twill exercises, and one from a magazine. The threading started out easy, but as I worked down the draft, I found myself inserting more and more repair heddles to fix errors.

Fixing the last threading error.

I was using 8/2 mill end yarn I got from Peter Patchis, but as I was winding my warp, it seemed a bit finer than the 8/2 I normally use, so I set it at 24 epi, instead of the intended 22. The contrast yarn is 8/2 cotton from a previous project that was left near the warping reel. It gave the white warp a jaunty, nautical feel.

Checking thread counts.

The first two gamps were woven trompe as writ, the first with the more usual 2:2 tie up, and the second with the 3:1 tie up. The last was back to 2:2 but I messed around with yarn. I used 10/2 cotton in the weft, trying to use up bobbins (and it certainly emptied a lot of bobbins!). I didn't wind bobbins for this project until the third gamp, when I needed new sizes of yarn to experiment with.

2:2 tie up, 10/2 weft.

I did finish these gamps last week (or earlier?) because the loom is already warped with the next project. But yesterday I wet finished (hot water with gentle detergent for 20 minutes, then rinsed in cool water, then rinsed in the washing machine on a quick cycle to spin out the water, and air dried overnight. I press with steam, I press everything with steam now. (For a long time I was a hot dry iron purist, but a class with Maria Shell won me over to the clouds of steam side.)

Experiments with different sized weft yarns

Some experiments with color

3:1 tie up weft faced side, 10/2 weft.

3:1 tie up warp faced side, 10/2 weft.

As you can see, I attached labels to explain what yarns I used, and even after at most two weeks, my memory was pretty hazy, so I need to process things more quickly! (Or take notes at the loom? but that seems even less likely...)

Based on the designs I liked here, and some we talked about in the class, and something I saw on the School of SweetGeorgia I'm designing a towel combining three twill designs I've called the twilliest towel. The loom, as I mentioned, is warped, but I haven't started weaving on it yet. I will, however, only be weaving simple patterns, I'm not doing this one trompe as writ, I don't feel confident with long non-repeating sequences yet. I'm letting the complex threading do the work for me.

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