88) F is for…



The Rampton Bag gave me fits as I was finishing it up.  I went through all kinds of phases: I loved it, I hated it, I thought it was awesome, I thought it sucked so badly…  I thought the weaving had let the spinning down; I thought the spinning was badly suited to the woven cloth; I thought the making up was letting the weaving down!

I hadn't really thought too hard about how I was going to sew the seams up, and I certainly didn't make the fabric wider at the edges to allow for a regular seam allowance (duh!!).  I ended up making an overcast edge, sewn up by hand with the very yarn used to weave the fabric:


Originally, I intended to have the overcast edges turned to the inside, but the stitches looked too visible 'in the ditch', even in the same colour as the warp, so I decided to keep the ridges on the outside.  Then, I decided it would be fun to have each seam stitched up in a different colour:


The jury's still out on this idea.  I think all the same, low-contrast colour would have been good, or possibly, all different, high-contrast colours.  Given that the first seam was supposed to blend in, having the others be contrast-y probably didn't give it an ideal balance!I will admit to some concern that if I ever wash this bag, the sewing thread will be very keen to full and the seams will pucker.

The silk lining was sewn up in the same way, and the two layers are held together by more overcasting all the way round the strap:


I'd learned my lesson by this time, and used the warp colour for the overcasting along each edge!

The lining was cut just a little shorter than the main fabric, so that the edge of the lining could be enclosed in a folded over edge of the body fabric:


I originally meant to fold the edge twice, but I decided that this would be too bulky in the end, so I'm just hoping the wool fabric is fulled well enough that it won't fray too badly.

I thought about adding a button and loop closure to help the bag stay closed, but it doesn't really hang right for that, so I didn't!

Knowing how this bag would be constructed, as a single strip folded back and forth, I wanted the horizontal colour bands to match up at the seams so they would run right round the bag without interruptions.  To do this, I figured out where the strip would be folded, and reversed the order of the weft colours at those points:


I wove each colour band to have the same number of picks (weft throws), and tried really, really hard to keep the beat the same throughout.  It worked!!


I am *very* smug that this aspect of my fabric design worked as well as
it did.  I didn't dare mention this whilst I was weaving it, for fear I'd jinx it, but it all worked out fine in the end.

And after finishing and pressing, I can happily say I *love* this little bag!

I actually have quite a lot of the yarn left, so I will be knitting some happy, stranded fingerless gloves or something.  The weaving might have worked out fine in the end, but I think this yarn will work really well for a knitted fabric, too.

81) Off the loom!

Another real 'quickie' today; I cut the bag fabric off the loom this morning!


I brought it to work today, and will be knotting the warp ends at lunchtime so I can safely wet-finish it tonight, and start sewing up the bag at the weekend.

I would have finished a day earlier, but due to my own stinginess I ran into two problems….  Firstly, I tried to use the dodgy bit of yarn at the end of the ball for one of the warp stripes, and it gave out when I had about 10cm left to weave.  And secondly, I didn't *quite* put enough warp on the loom to give me the fabric length I wanted.  I got there in the end, but was reduced to needle-weaving for the last few rows, because my shuttle wouldn't fit through the remaining shed any more!


And finally: an apology.  I have been unbelievably remiss in replying to comments and keeping in touch generally, recently.  I no longer have regular access to my personal email at work (though sometimes I sneak a peek), and combined with the recent Typepad comment-weirdness, a new job, the fact that the last thing I want to do after sitting in front of a computer all day is boot up my laptop when I get home, and just Life In General, I have been pants.  I am just about managing to work, walk the dogs, feed myself and J, and occasionally play with wool in my minimal downtime.  Sometimes I go for a run, or brew beer.  I have about 300 posts to read in Google Reader.  I owe so many people blog comments, emails and/or phonecalls, it's just not true.  I'm sorry.  All I can say is, "Be glad you're not coming to stay with me any time soon", because the astute will have noticed that 'housework' did not feature anywhere on that little list.

And I *will*, at some point, get back to you.

80) Eye candy Sunday

I'm actually visiting my folks this weekend, but since I'm so behind on blogging, I thought I'd do a little post-ahead…

The weaving on my Rampton project is about 75% done, and it should take no more than another evening to get it off the loom completely.

Copy of DSC04280

This photo totally doesn't do it justice, though I have to say that, in some ways, I loved the warp more!  I did have plans to weave a lining for this bag, but I don't know that I'll have time, realistically.  Maybe it can be retro-fitted to the 'finished' bag once I'm done – we'll see!

78) Warped!


After realising on Wednesday night that my planned warp would make a bag wide enough for me to sit in…


…I hastily re-did all the maths and made a more sensible plan.


I left the calculations to 'mature' for 24 hours before I triple-checked them…


…then got to winding my warp, with only one interruption for a dodgy bit of spinning, right at the beginning.


2 hours later, the warp is wound, sleyed, beamed, tied on andr eady to go!


Rigid heddle looms are so quick to set up!  And can you tell I love this warp??