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Clothing The New Textile Thread (or What to Wear and How to make it when TSHTF)
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  1. #761
    Enjoying reading this thread very much! I've only knitted the mini-gansey from the Beth Brown Retsel book, with my high school students, but we perservered and got them done. Most ended up on teddy bears

    Melodi, I am a weaver/spinner/dyer too, and you have a good point about not going at it 10 hours a day, maybe shoulder issues go with the territory. Last night I was thinking of linen, then Viking/Norse (?) sails, and the huge amount of cloth they must have required. Then realizing all the magnitude of the work involved, to raise, pull, rett, dry, break, scotch, hackle and finally spin the linen.....on a drop spindle! THEN to weaving, and am I correct that they'd have used warp-weighted looms? Boggles the mind, those sails would be more valuable than gold for all the time they took. I am in awe of our foremothers!

  2. #762
    Quote Originally Posted by rosepath View Post
    Enjoying reading this thread very much! I've only knitted the mini-gansey from the Beth Brown Retsel book, with my high school students, but we perservered and got them done. Most ended up on teddy bears

    Melodi, I am a weaver/spinner/dyer too, and you have a good point about not going at it 10 hours a day, maybe shoulder issues go with the territory. Last night I was thinking of linen, then Viking/Norse (?) sails, and the huge amount of cloth they must have required. Then realizing all the magnitude of the work involved, to raise, pull, rett, dry, break, scotch, hackle and finally spin the linen.....on a drop spindle! THEN to weaving, and am I correct that they'd have used warp-weighted looms? Boggles the mind, those sails would be more valuable than gold for all the time they took. I am in awe of our foremothers!
    Yep, they used warp-weighted looms, I know how to use those but have never done so except for demos because of the shoulder issues.

    It is highly likely that men did some of the spinnings and weaving for sails and cordage but that isn't certain, we just know other sea-going peoples tended to divide the labor that way; with men at least spinning the cordage (ropes, etc) I suspect it is also likely that like their counterparts until the early 1970s in the British Navy the Norse men probably also nailbinded their own sock, hats, and scarves when on long voyages (or at least knew how to repair them).

    When I do demos with either my wheels or my drop spindles I tell children how EVERYTHING in "the old days" was made this way, if it wasn't leather or fur, that means from the pillowcases to the floormat as well as all the clothing. Their eyes tend to get really wide, with little kids I sometimes ask them to touch objects that had to be spun like their jeans, the yarn in front of me, the blankets, etc - it is a real wonder seeing them suddenly comprehend this.

    Sometimes when I meet pastors I'll mention "Paul the Tentmaker" most of them have never really thought about what that would mean, much less what goes into making one sail for a Viking ship!

    There's a reason it was the WOMEN of Iceland who brought in almost all the actual silver/money economy there was on the Island (and gave them a very high social status in return) they were the ones that did all the famous textile work (including shaggy clokes that were famous and worn by European Kings but we have existing examples of).

    Men bought in some limited money by trading furs, leather, and live animals but the textiles and long-staple Icelandic sheep were the real backbones of the economy for centuries, and even the Greenlanders managed to wear wool and keep some of their sheep alive until the colonies folded around the 1400s.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  3. #763
    I forgot to mention but I think this needs its own post anyway: EVERY professional weaver I have ever known personally that has done commercial weaving for a few years has shoulder problems.

    My hunch is that in traditional times people either had ways of compensating for this or they just kept working until their arms wouldn't obey them anymore (probably early middle age to us) by which point they hopefully had apprentices or children to do the bulk of the heavy work and semi-retired into designing and running their businesses (with some limited weaving on special tapestries or orders).
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  4. #764
    The "shoulder issue" is why I have a motor on my Passap knitting machine. Although, thankfully, my "bad" shoulder (total separation which required 2 reconstructive surgeries in the early 1980s) is my non-dominant left, and even more blessedly, is one of the few "old injuries" which never bothers me. And the rhythmic motion required to use the machibe is actually excellent exercise... but not for 8-10 hours at a time!

    It might be worth contacting Colonel Holman here and asking if he has any suggestions for exercises that might help prevent chronic problems. Quite often, problems occur when certain muscle groups get stronger than their opposites, and the imbalance causes pain, which then leads to awkward use ofbthe body part, and then results in actual damage.. .which turns into a vicious cycle.

    At the least, taking a break every hour and doing some stretches and getting up and walking around is important.

    Summerthyme

  5. #765
    Quote Originally Posted by rosepath View Post
    Enjoying reading this thread very much! I've only knitted the mini-gansey from the Beth Brown Retsel book, with my high school students, but we perservered and got them done. Most ended up on teddy bears
    BBR packs a lot of advanced techniques into those little sweaters. She was interviewed on Fruity Knitting recently, and had a tiny Fana sweater too. I've been on her website, and can't find the thing - I'd buy the pattern for practice if I could. I'd like to knit a stripey Fana, but cardigans (not to mention steeks) intimidate me. I also bought her pattern for a full size Danish Natroje (spell? shaped night shirt). That too, could use a mini size version for a few things. Come to think of it, I think it would be nice if many more full size knitting sweater patterns had the mini version so the knitter could practice first, and proceed with confidence. I'm big on swatching, but that isn't always sufficient when one gets to the shoulder area, and there is a patterned saddle to knit out, or when the neck band requires gussets. Those things aren't all that hard, but I always have trouble envisioning them beforehand.

    Tin Can Knits has a cute "grand-pa" cabled cardigan sized from toddler to grown men. I've been having some trouble understanding what to do reading through the pattern, however. I've wanted to make a kid size for BF's grand daughter ever since finishing her second gansey. Given that I'll be trying to figure it out in the mid-size range (she is VERY tall for her age), I might just make the smallest size first, and she can put that one on a doll.

  6. #766
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    44,526
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    The "shoulder issue" is why I have a motor on my Passap knitting machine. Although, thankfully, my "bad" shoulder (total separation which required 2 reconstructive surgeries in the early 1980s) is my non-dominant left, and even more blessedly, is one of the few "old injuries" which never bothers me. And the rhythmic motion required to use the machibe is actually excellent exercise... but not for 8-10 hours at a time!

    It might be worth contacting Colonel Holman here and asking if he has any suggestions for exercises that might help prevent chronic problems. Quite often, problems occur when certain muscle groups get stronger than their opposites, and the imbalance causes pain, which then leads to awkward use ofbthe body part, and then results in actual damage.. .which turns into a vicious cycle.

    At the least, taking a break every hour and doing some stretches and getting up and walking around is important.

    Summerthyme
    I thought the Colonel was a woman? Either way there are exercises you can do and their the same one's that long arm quilters and people who sit in front of a sewing machine all day use. There are videos on youtube for those exercises, it's crucial to get up and stretch every so often to prevent problems in the long run.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  7. #767
    I have one more payment on the motor for my Passup I am hoping to finally get to use it this Winter, I found pushing it to be just a bit too much.

    I agree on the exercises though I did my best, I also think that being a Data Entry operator back in the old days didn't help - not even full computer keyboards but endless typing of numbers using just the right arm.

    I have actually seen "documentaries" that try to claim the whole Data Entry/Carpal Tunnel syndrome was a "hoax" or mass hysteria - it wasn't, what did happen is when courts started ordering payouts and workplace changes for Data Entry people (like no more than 4 hours a day, with other duties as assigned) the big companies just started to send all the work overseas where workers were easier to dispose of (and laws were laxer).

    I suspect that professional weavers and spinners of the past had similar issues, among the Norse mostly younger women were weavers and you can see why when you see the size of some of the older looms (both the warp-weighted and the later giant floor looms).

    The 14th-century technology I use (I have a Baby Wolf Jack loom it is similar but not identical to a 14th-century string heddle is loom) is less strain than a warp-weighted loom, but in the period I'd probably be bossing my daughters in law who were working the looms (or nieces if I was childless) sitting happily spinning in the corner rather than lifting heavy loom weights.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  8. #768
    Found while trying to locate just one small shuttle for housemate:

    Carding combs

    Kniddy-Noddy

    About 10 drop Spindles

    About 8 boat shuttles for the floor loom

    Four small looms (not needed at the moment)

    Drum Carder

    Entire boxes of missing floor loom supplies

    Masses of lost knitting needles

    Several boxes of weaving fibers

    Numerous boxes of sock yarns and other stashes (where did it all come from?)

    Small Shuttles? Now ordered from the UK, maybe they will get here before the event next weekend...*sigh*
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  9. #769
    Always good to find stuff.

    Knitting is finished. Fit is perfect, and looks great. I'm actually hesitant to block it - don't want to alter the size.

  10. #770
    Faroe, congrats! Pictures to inspire us?
    Melodi and Summerthyme, for years I wove on jack looms at home (Leclerc, etc) and barn-frame looms at work (living history museums) or at re-enactments of 18th century era. I found out as I am getting on in years that the counterbalance looms, with overhead beater, are perfect for me. Much less lifting and pulling, the loom does most of the work. So I just sold my jack looms and am keeping a couple of Glimakra looms of different sizes, and a treasure from this summer's journey to Michigan, an antique (possibly Finnish) root loom. Massive, beautiful, once blue but the guy I got it from had REFINISHED IT
    Anywho, these old looms are so much easier to weave on for me, and being a chicken when it comes to countermarch on the Swedish looms, I just never change the tie-up.
    Your mileage may vary, just food for thought, there are tons of looms out there advertised for sale, be aware they tend to multiply until room for other pursuits becomes scarce. My shoulder complains a lot less these days.

  11. #771
    Thank you! I'll try to get a pic when I have it blocked. Not happening today...sick as a dog. I'm still trying to get morning chores done, but just want to curl up in a miserable ball, and sip ginger water to keep nausea down. Breakfast - I know what I ate, and won't eat it again.

    I used to have a smaller Glimakra loom, that was sold to me inexpensively second-hand. I struggled to use it, and finally gave up. (pre-Internet). Have regretted letting it go, ever since. Have done a bit with a home-made backstrap. Those fascinate me. I also really like my Inkle, but an not particularly accomplished on it.

  12. #772
    I tried weaving on the Swedish looms when in Sweden and found them confusing but I will keep the string heddle looms in mind for the future, I eventually would really like an 8 shaft loom but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

    There are lots of used looms in the US but these days hardly any in Ireland, that was when we moved here 25 years ago when the home weaving industry was shutting down (so was the home knitting machine industry) - I did actually get a loom for about 50 dollars but a few years later when I went to try and set it up it was "gone."

    My hunch is someone who no longer lives here burned it by accident thinking it was old firewood (sad but these things happen).

    Faroe congratulations on the sweater and if it fits there is no law you have to block it, you can just wash it and let it dry and see if it still fits.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  13. #773
    Finally got around to blocking the sweater. It's out on the porch, T-pinned to interlocking foam boards, and covered. A ratty cage on wheels was pressed into service for the *table.* No complaints yet from the inhabitants. Looked good fresh off the needles, looks GREAT pinned out on the board (if I do say so myself...thank you, Beth Brown Reinsel, and Gladys Thompson).

    Merino yarn from John Arbon (Knit by Numbers) came in today. Classified as DK weight, but looks more like fingering wt to me. I was expecting to knit a cowl for BF with this, and it IS beautiful yarn, but I'm not sure now that it will be suitable. I knit a small wrist warmer size sample in a sport wt yarn (Blacker Classic) earlier on size US 2, and figured size 1 would probably be the best for a firm fabric in DK. This Merino feels even lighter than the gansey wt. Frangipani. US 00 needles are due to arrive in the mail, but I don't want the project to take that long with micro stitches, and I don't want to have to buy two more skeins of this wool, either.

    Gahh...I'll just have to start swatching, and see what happens.

  14. #774
    So, Takumi bamboo DPN's size 1..No.
    Hiya's in size 2..No, just no.
    Likkee in "driftwood," size 1...almost, but the circle turned out too big.
    Chiao's in size 0...too big too, but not too slippery, points not too splitty, and good at picking up for the twists.

    Just in time, the Chiao 00's came in. 2 in 16" and 3 in 24". They make the 16" with a 4" stalk. I liked the single circle for this project, but stubby little stalks were cramping my hands. So, it's the three in the 24" length (as if with DPN's). What the knitting world really NEEDS is a circ in 20" - THAT would be perfect.

    This beautiful soft yarn is slinkeyier (spell?) than I was expecting. Even at this ridiculously small size, I can't get the firm fabric that I was planning on. Not sure it will stand up on it's own, from chin to shoulder. Well, it will at least be soft to the skin, and I can make a larger outer one in a sturdier, heavier worsted wool.

  15. #775
    How to hypnotize a Norse child and start em young lol! - A photo of my teaching a guy to tablet weave will come later when little moppet's Mom sends it to me.


    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

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