Sunday, March 1, 2015

linen project

I have been back from another trip to Peru for a while and the writing bug in me had been a little slack and tired to say the least. However over the past couple of weeks I have been working on something exciting and inspiring.

Standing close to Viktoria, my very big Askov Lervad Loom

In late January (2015) I got a call from Patricia Bishop at Taproot Farms to inquire if I might be interested in weaving up a sample piece with some linen yarn - home grown by hardworking farmers at Taproot Farms in Port Williams and hand spun by fibre explorer/artist Jennifer Green.
Patricia  delivered the little ‘bundle of joy’ and I thought - ooops what have I gotten myself into.

The fact is I had gotten myself into a whole lot of thinking and considering of which way to approach this skein of 156 yards of handspun linen singles.

swift with skein, so 'small' it is hardly visible in the business around it.
I had several ideas as to how to weave up the yarn, on a table loom because it is smaller or a little square peg/nail frame because then I could needle weave it all - then I thought about where my little weaving frames were, and had no success in locating a particular one which was right at the top of the list of my ‘must use’ items. And it wasn’t that the store didn’t carry it, it was that it has disappeared somewhere underneath all my weaving and creating stash.

Through uneasy inner examinations of this possibility and the other possibility I ended up looking at my little swedish Glimåkra loom. An excellent 26” wide loom with hanging beater and, most importantly, soft cotton heddles - as opposed to metal heddles which the other looms had - and then I set about to calculate the possible length of the warp.
warping board with 60 cm of warp
156 yards is very little when you have to dress a loom - the final thought and solution which took me to the starting point was deciding that the warp I would make would be about 8.5” wide and 60 cm long (the reeds I use for my looms are set in inches and so width when I weave is always in inches and length in meters/cm - brains are such funny instruments, they don’t mind whatever you do so long as you do it consistently)
The little skein was placed on my swift (see photo above left) and I wound the yarn onto two spools and then proceeded to build the warp on a warping board. Having first carefully measured which peg to start and where to end to get 60 cm of warp out of the skein. All of the usual precautions had to be taken, like securing the cross in the warp, which keeps the yarn ends in order two by two so the threading process is easier to handle and some good firm choke ties at either end to make sure that there was not a lot of slipping about happening as I was moving the warp from the warping board to the leash sticks at the front of the loom.
scarf warp ready to tie a close knot with the linen warp!
To start with I beamed a scarf warp on the loom which would use the same threading and tie-up and number of threads as the linen pieces -136 ends of yarn to be set at 15epi (ends per inch) this I hoped might leave me with a nice open but solid fabric - taking into account that the linen yarn was a single not necessarily as strong as a two ply yarn - and taking into account that the dents in a 15dpi (dents per inch) reed are pretty narrow I instead opted to use the 8dpi reed but sleyed the yarn two ends pr dent for 16 epi.

half of 136 knots done.
Then it was time to tie the little linen warp to the pre-excisting scarf warp. I had 136 little ends to tie with overhand knots, trying to make the tie lenght of the knot end as close to equally long as possible. Slowly and methodically I went from the right side of the warp to the left, two threads at a time all held in sequence by the leash sticks and the carefully placed choke tie around the cross.
Once the knots were tied I gently pulled each and every one of them towards the back of the loom, through the reed and back through the individual heddles to have the length of the warp stretched out between the back and the front breast beam.

looped bundles of warp with nylon lashing
At this point a soft nylon rope was leashed around the front tie on bar and through little bunches of the warp looms, allowing me to apply even tension across the warp. 
Then the weaving began. The pieces are done in plain weave, that is, over and under one thread repeatedly and with the threading of the heddles that I had chosen it was an easy weave in that I could alternate two treadles and so it was a straight forward part of the process once the weaving got going.

Hemstitched last part, and all those knots showing.
The warp was divided into two pieces, one which would be left ‘raw’ ie not washed or treated in any way, the other piece was destined to be soaked and rinsed and then mangled or ironed. Each piece was hemstitched on the loom to prevent unraveling. Thank you Laura Fry

soaking and doing its wet fibre water dance

The pieces were cut off the loom and one piece was put in water with a bit of detergent to soak  and afterwards the piece soaked in several bowls of clean tepid water.
Finally the wet finished piece was left out on a tea towel overnight to await its final treatment.
I chose to cold mangle the piece as best I could - traditionally in Scandinavia the linen has been cold mangled - that is rolled over either by hand or by machine with a very hard roller which flattens and brightens the fibres in the fabric.

Two pieces from one pod/warp
I don’t have a mangle pr se but I do have a some arm power and I also have a most excellent marble rolling pin and our kitchen table is quite hard. The piece was given a good rolling back and forth on both sides. The untreated piece still has its delicious dark woody colour and is very stiff
The washed and mangled piece is a bit lighter in colour and has a slightly softer hand. After many washes and manglings it will eventually turn quite pliable and soft. 


  1. You are speaking a foreign language to me!

  2. Yes, that is what is so exciting about all the different layers in life, Catherine. Whether we build car engines, houses, airplanes or weave fabric to put clothes on our backs there is specific language. I am not even sure I always have it right, but I know my looms and I enjoy the process, the steps that have to be followed and examined in order to end up with a good product in the end. I hope you had a little fun reading the 'foreign language' piece though - when I look at some of all those layers that need contemplation I am even a little baffled myself!

  3. I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelings through your blog!
    PPC Expert


  4. Society, always have a hostile hostility to the people, do not believe that any person, any more different situation of a person. Cheeseparer grudges, or psychopathic on a secondary phenomenon. On the contrary, there is a person who has a sense of the degree of difficulty, but he grew up in a difficult and difficult, but also more compassionate and generous minded embrace. Because he knows life, know the joys of life.
    Runescape players attention! RsgoldFast have the cheapest gold! They can give you the best service, the fastest delivery speed!

    Quick purchase Address:
    Runescape Gold Here:

  5. wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. custom website design service

  6. I really had a great time assignment writing with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written! essay writing service reviews


  8. This is very much a work essay writing service
    in progress whenever I find out about one who is more beautiful than any of these I will add her and kick out number ten Thanks for sharing the informative post. essay paper


  10. Thank s for sharing your views. This post was very nice & sweet. I'd like to see more post like this. Thanks again.

    10 Best Hammer Drills of 2017

    Best Guide to Choose Hammer Drill

  11. Nice blog. It inspires me a lot. Thanks for publishing such useful information. For more information visit buy spice online


  12. If you care about the machine, you will find Louis Vuitton Handbag and Swiss Movement Rolex as much as possible for an object completely virtuosity perfectionist,Valentino handbags is a luxury, the object itself.once you get Datejust Replica Watch in your hands and on your wrists, from just a simple giant chunks of gold, really in what appears to be a block of luxury tension, what is as a piece of precision?Rolex Replica Watch mean, let me think it would be fun.

  13. Your blog was so nice and very attractive to see. Thank you so much for sharing these nice articles online shopping

  14. loves to leave the station with clients you can appreciate taking her to places like Murree, Muzaffarabad, Thandiani and so forth. In the event that you take her for the long visit, she can give you a consul girl companion encounter Escorts in Lahore. All in all, refined men what are you sitting tight for? Get your telephones and book this tight girl escorts in Islamabad now!

  15. يسعدنا و أن نقدم لكم شركة الحورس لتركيب طارد الحمام والطيور بالرياض نحن شركة ممتازة جداً و ذات خبرات و عناية فائقة فى اعمال مكافحة الطيور و الحمام و القيام بعمل و تنفيذ تلك الطوارد المعدنية على أمثل وجه فهى تعمل على طرد الطيور و هروبها و ليس نعمل من اجل قتلها لان معظمها هذه الطيور قد تكون للزينة و التربية فتواصلوا معانا لكى نخلصك عملينا الكريم من جميع الروائح و الفضلات التى تتركها تلك الطيور والحمام عند تواجودها على المبنى فوداعاً لتواجد الطيور على النوافذ والاسوار الخارجية للمبنى.
    طارد الحمام

  16. awesome.
    have a great day.

  17. تنظيف المسابح مهم حدا فى حياتنا لما لها من اهميه كبيره جدا فى حياتنا فقط كل ما عليكم الاتصال والتواصل مع شركه زين للتخلص من اى شوائف ومن اى مخالفات فى المسبح تمتلك شركتنا افضل واعلى وسائل التنظيف وافضل العماله المدربه على اعلى مستوى كما ان الشركه تعرص خصومات هائله لعملائنا الكرم
    تنظيف مسابح
    نظافة مسابح
    شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف المسبح

  18. Thank you to tell us so much useful information. I’m glad to read it. For more information visit

  19. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject.
    Actually Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.kindly visit us.



  20. Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by chance, and
    I am stunned why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.have a wonderful day


  21. Aiman Online Quran Learning Academy is an impressive online academy for teaching the Quran.
    This leading online Quran academy from
    Pakistan provides you an excellent chance to have one
    online Quran classes for kids with tajweed and learn
    the basic teachings of Islam.

  22. I also have a site that shares similar information with you.
    While searching Google for more informative information, I found your site and wrote it like this: there are similar articles and articles with different content, so please visit our site as well.

  23. Hey Dude! these all pictures are totally good i would like to share
    Best Quotes Website
    Cool Whatsapp status

  24. What I didn't understand at the time was that I was suffering from anxiety. I thought it was normal to be worried all of the time about the end of the world, about the unknowable future, about if I lived up to what my friends supposedly thought of me, about whether I was living life "right."

  25. I was unhappily working as a freelance technology journalist and considered myself to be a complete failure. And as I spent most of my time working alone at home, it was easy to slip into unhelpful thought patterns and develop a narrative around myself that was deeply unhealthy.

  26. Yet while wild swimming in the pond, I found peace. So I started devouring books on the subject. In search of something to do beyond my work, I alighted on the idea of retracing Roger Deakin's book. It would be a way to satisfy my urge to travel with the need to deal with my anxiety.

  27. It gave me an identity beyond my work, which I had grown to hate. I started documenting my swims, writing about each dip and taking pictures. I made new friends who also loved wild swimming, which made me feel less isolated. It also gave me a connection to nature that I had struggled to feel living in one of the world's most hectic cities.

  28. Unlike walking or cycling, swimming in wild water puts you in the scene. You have, as Deakin put it, a frog's eye view. In the water I was able to swim alongside Great Crested Grebes, watch carp come to the surface for a gulp of air and look out for kingfishers darting from low branches.

  29. Nice article thanks this post share

  30. You have great ideas to share something like this.Thanks for share this info. Golden Triangle Tour Packages India

  31. Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this. Its really good. Fashion Bloggers In India