Tuesday, August 12, 2014

- It's magic: Weaving a cloth patch with four selvages

As part of my early efforts during Jude Hill's online course "Considering Weave" I created a small bit of weaving on a "cloth loom" (some even weave linen stretched in an embroidery hoop). At the time it seemed insignificant so I didn't post it, but here it is for the record:

6-strand DMC floss, green warp, gold weft needlewoven on a 35-count linen "loom"

Today while tidying up I actually toyed with the idea of tossing it, thinking, "What's the use?" As I pondered its destruction, I absentmindedly picked out the linen threads and realized I had managed, quite unintentionally, to create a tiny cloth with four selvages.

Now this was worth saving ... and reiterating. Perhaps I could even control the dimensions.

With a goal of creating a 1 1/2" patch of cloth, I gathered some recently acquired white and black size 10 cotton crochet thread (which I had planned to weave into a tapestry version of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse), a square of green linen cloth (which changed colors in the photographs as the daylight coming in the window came and went), an embroidery hoop, and a very long, very sharp needle.

The steps I followed are documented below with details in the captions:

The green linen was marked in 1/2" intervals and the initial warp was anchored with a waste knot

Spacing the warp every 2 threads of linen seemed too tight

This is the back after I began spacing the warp 3 threads apart. I changed colors using a simple square knot.

I ended up with 8 warp threads for each 1/2" section

Another picture of the back, which didn't change for the duration. Note the loose warp thread at the lower right.

After finishing the warp, I simply brought the thread up to the front (lower left corner) and began needleweaving

When I reached the end of the thread, I buried it along the selvage

Then started a new thread by needleweaving up the other side

Here I left the black weft thread loose in order to try anchoring it with subsequent passes, which worked well

After each pass, I "beat" down the weft with a tiny brush (an unused hearing aid cleaner)

As I reached the end, things got tight so I needlewove one stitch at a time

Along the way I tried knotting some of the weft threads, which didn't work as well as weaving the ends in

Then I cut the woven patch away from the linen "loom"

This was the final back view ... which looked just the same as it did in the beginning.

After picking out the linen from the ends, I had a 1 1/2" square patch with four selvages.