Monday, April 6, 2020

Deflected Doubleweave Rosepath Scarf

I must admit that I found it hard to sit at the loom and weave this scarf, not because of the weave structure, but because of the colour.  I just don’t care for the colour of natural raw silk ~ a bit too bone coloured for me.

I was not really pleased with the selvedges on my first scarf, so I was ready to try anything other than re-threading.  With 40 epi that was a not going to happen.
I decided to try the simplest of my options and I cut out the brown thread block on the left hand side.  This left the pattern not quite centred, but it was not really noticeable.
After cutting the warp out, I replaced the brown floating selvedge with a doubled up natural thread.  I used it doubled because it is just a tad finer and more prone to breakage.
The cut out warp was bundled up into a weighted film canister and hung off the back beam.
I had hoped to replace the natural coloured weft with another colour in this scarf and I chose a lovely soft dark peach soy silk yarn that is about 2/30.  As you can see it completely muddies the pattern.
I accepted that I had to use the natural coloured silk for weft and with the new selvedges it worked really well.  On the first scarf I started both of my shuttles on the same side, but on this scarf I started my brown weft on the right hand side and my natural weft on the left.  This matched the hanging selvedges.  When I threw the weft I started out going over the hanging selvedge and coming out under the the opposite hanging selvedge.  The edges were much better.

On the first scarf I wove (link), I used a very firm double beat, I beat once on the open shed and once on the closed shed to get as close to a balanced weave as possible.  This made the scarf motif quite round.
On this scarf I chose to throw the idea of a balanced weave out the window and to beat it only once on the open shed.  The idea was to make a very drapey and open fabric.  I also chose to treadle the pattern in a more elongated form by repeating one of the sequences an extra set.
Here it is off the loom in it’s natural form and boy is it ever loose!
It was at this point that I decided to just get rid of the natural colour.  I soaked the scarf in soda ash and I was amazed at what came out.....yuk.....that is extra dye and sericin.  This is last rinse out of five!
I then made a light dye bath with turquoise Procion MX, salt and urea and popped the wet scarf into it overnight.
Whew, much better.  I got some lovely soft colour and the web of the fabric has come together nicely.  This scarf is very malleable and soft.
 I’m even pleased with the edges!
I am rarely one to stray off the weaving topic, but the past few days have shaken the world view of so many of us in Canada.  We feel very lucky to live on Vancouver Island, where our local pulp and paper mill is doubling production of medical grade paper for all customers.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Deflected Double Weave Scarf

Deflected Double Weave is a two shuttle weave; in this case I have one pirn filled with 2/8 plum Orlec and the other pirn filled with 2/10 cotton.  Before starting to weave the scarf it is important to make sure that each end feed shuttle has the correct tension for the different yarns.  I had to increase the tension for the 2/10 cotton, always remember to tighten BOTH sides of the tension plates in the end feed shuttle!
The Deflected Double Weave draft that I’m using has an advancing twill order to the blocks, which creates the strong diagonal look to the scarf.  In Deflected Double Weave the edges can be messy so I added some straight twill to the sides of the scarf.  It adds extra interest to the scarf and tidies up the edge.
In a close up of the weave, you can see the layering effect between the two colours.  It is also interesting how the pink cotton is holding its square shape but the plum Orlec is filling in.  I think when the scarf is finished the final look is going to be interesting.
I am actually quite surprised how fast the scarf is weaving up.  I thought that the switching up between the two shuttles would be annoying but there is a nice rhythm to it.  It also helps that the scarf is pretty and the back is just as lovely!
I’m not sure what the scarf is going to look like after washing, but here is a before photo of the scarf just off the loom.  I know that the cotton and Orlec will shrink differently so I lightly braided the fringe before washing it.  I will unbraid the fringe while it is drying so it doesn’t wrinkle and after the scarf dries I’ll twist the fringe.
This is a pretty and cheerful scarf.  Forgive me, I have not yet twist the fringe nor given the scarf its final pressing in the photo below, but I have washed it.
There is just a little bit of differential shrinkage between the two fibres of cotton and Orlec.  It has created a slight puffiness to the Orlec which I think is charming.  You can also see the edge treatment, I used a pink floating selvage on the left side and just skipped the four plum picks, and it is a fairly neat edge.  The other side was the plum side and you can’t see anything.
Overall I enjoyed weaving this scarf and I’m not sure what I’ll be weaving next but I do know that it is going to be something using this fascinating weave, Deflected Double Weave.

Final Garden Photo is pretty little tree called Red Bells (Enkianthus 'campanulatus').  The leaves are going to pop up any day now and behind the tree you can see the red haze of new leaves on the neighbours’ maple tree.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Beginnings of a Deflected Double Weave Scarf

After doing a scarf is Double Weave (blog post here), it is now time for me to explore Deflected Double Weave.  I had a little bit of trouble picking out the colours for the warp and weft, but I decided to go with colours that made me happy.  I am using 2/8 Orlec in Plum and 2/10 Cotton in Pink.  Pretty and cheerful.
Yesterday I pulled the warp, pulled it onto the back beam, threaded, sleyed the reed, tied on and tied up the treadles.  Not bad for a mornings work!   Now it's waiting for me to start weaving.
In these interesting times I’m finding that I’m enjoying going outside and working in the garden.  We are doing some spring tidying up, here we cut down the lavender and now you can see the daffodils popping open.  We planted daffodils in the front garden last fall to add spring colour and because the deer don’t eat them.  Well, the deer must use our front garden as a nursery because they are trying to eat them and spitting out the daffodil flower heads!
In the back we are doing a massive garden reno, we are digging up almost everything in a garden bed, splitting plants, moving plants and increasing the size of the bed then moving onto the next section.
We are also moving the pathways through the garden; the old pathway was behind the rosemary between the two grasses.  Now we have moved to the corner of the patio beside a sprinkler.  We have also increased the size of the garden beds.  It is going to be a big job; we have only tackled the small gardens by the patio, and we still have the vast beds running along the entire fence line!  I’m excited to see what the gardens are going to look like in the summer.
Final Garden Shot is Russian Snowdrops (Puschkinia Libanotica), I planted a whole bunch of spring bulbs under a little tree and they are opening up in succession.  First was the crocuses, now the Puschkinia and I’m not sure what the next bunch is going to be but you can just see them peeking out behind the Russian Snowdrops.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Eight Shaft Deflected Double Weave Scarf

After plodding along at what felt like a snails pace for the past week I have my ‘Deflected Double Weave Blocks in Rosepath Order’ (whew, what a mouthful) scarf off the loom.
I not only learned what my pattern is called, but I learned so much about this double weave method.

The first problem with this weave began right away with my yarn choice ~ because I have 40 ends per inch and because those ends were lumpy and bumpy yarn ~ I could not pull the weft through the bouts to hemstitch, nope, didn’t want to slide through at all!  Lesson learned: be very careful of yarn choices.
To make hemstitching possible I introduced a smooth 2/16 cotton yarn for my first few picks and then used that yarn as my hemstitching yarn.  The end result is not really very noticeable.  Lesson learned; you can use supplemental yarn for hemstitching.
As I started the scarf I was doing my weft changes as I would have done for any other sequential weft change; I captured the latent weft each time the dominant weft passed it by.
 The selvedge created was not very pleasing due to the slubby nature of my weft yarns.  The constant weft change and the randomness of where the slubs would appear made it really heavy.  Lesson learned: don’t fuss with the selvedges when you are learning a new technique.
I abandoned this type of yarn twining after a couple of pattern repeats and allowed the latent weft to just pull up over the four picks of dominant weft without twining.  This is only noticeable on one selvedge and although not a thing of beauty it sped up the weaving and stopped me angsting over the selvedges.  Lesson learned: what works on one weave structure doesn’t always transfer to another weave structure.

The pattern itself was relatively simple to treadle, but it was a slow weave due to changing wefts every four picks..... and the stickiness of the yarn did make me slow down to ensure there wasn’t any loops at the selvedges.  Lesson learned: I like one shuttle weaves!
When the scarf came off the loom it was as stiff as a board, but washing took most of the silk sericin out  and now it is lovely and supple.
I am not a fan of the ‘candy cane’ effect that can happen when fringe twists include yarns with very strong contrasts, so each layer of the double weave structure was twisted separately.

I wove this scarf at 8 inches in the reed and the finished width is 6 7/8 inches, so quite a lot of shrinkage in the silk width-wise.  I wove the scarf to 68 inches on the loom and after finishing it is 61 inches, so a whopping 7 inches of shrinkage!  The scarf weight just over 5 ounces, so nice light weight.  Lesson learned: this silk shrinks like crazy!
Ah, but the result is really lovely.

There is time to enjoy a bit of baking right now.. I used an apple pie filling I froze last September with a Kolacky dough I made last week, et voila....yum!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Double Weave Scarf

My guild study group is exploring ‘weaving in layers’.  I am not really interested in deflected double weave but I felt that since I’ve never woven double weave that I should take the opportunity.  One of the few types of double weave that appealed to me was woven pockets with sequins inside.  I found some pretty heart shaped confetti that would work and off I went.
For the scarf I used 2/20 cotton in coral pink set at 30 epi, which ends up being a lot of threads for a scarf.  The yarn was well behaved so it pulled on very nicely, which was a relief after the disaster of Mom's silk warp.  I unfortunately missed feeling a factory made knot as I was pulling the warp, so I had to replace the thread.
After hem stitching the ridiculously tiny bouts of thread, I wove about an inch so I could see the double weave pockets in action.  So cute!
The original pattern was 6 shafts and 7 treadles so I was able to add an extra offset pocket making the draft now 10 shafts and 12 treadles.  The original draft is in Handwoven Jan/Feb 2002.
The lacy pockets are the double weave structure; the threads are woven in two separate layers creating the pocket.  I used a needle to help push the tiny heart into the pocket; it was hard to wrangle them into the pockets.
The scarf wove up fairly quickly and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed weaving it.  The shine and sparkle from the hearts was quite exciting to see growing along with the scarf.
I was at the finish line for the scarf, with just 2 inches left and I had a thread at the right edge start to fray.  It was weird, the thread split along the ply and half of the thread frayed so a replacement was needed.
Off of the loom, the scarf is as stiff as a board but as light as air.  The stiffness seems to be from the plain weave structure not from the sequins.  The sequins are quite small but boy, do they add a lot to the scarf!  I counted and there are 534 sequins.
I used a pressing cloth to iron the scarf as I wasn’t sure how heat tolerant the plastic hearts are.
The scarf is really pretty, the hearts just gleam.  I’m really excited that this is going to be my scarf!
One thing that I am surprised about is how covered the hearts ended up.  I was a little worried that the hearts may fall out of the pockets but after the scarf was washed and fulled you can barely see the sequin or the heart shape at all.  When you run your hands over the scarf you don't feel the sequins at all, just a slight raised area, there are no bottom points of the heart poking through.
Final Garden Photo is daffodils and Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber in red and white).  We are having an unusually cold March, which is being dubbed ‘Marchuary’, but the daffodils are lending an aura of hope!

Monday, March 2, 2020

New Project and New Problems

Our Guild Study Group ‘Exploring More’ has decided on our new topic, which will be ~ Weaving Layers.
This led to much discussion about the scope of the topic and we decided to paint it in very broad strokes.  For our purposes we decided that we could explore Pique, Finnweave or Doubleweave to name a few.
I have been wanting to explore Deflected Doubleweave for some time, so the article in Handwoven January/February 2007 by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt on page 68 caught my eye as it is really graphic.

I plan to weave two scarves using two colours of silk, natural coloured 30/1 tussah silk and the other is soft chocolate 30/1 bombyx silk.  Due to the fine grist of the yarns I chose to weave at 40 epi in a 20 dent reed with 2 ends per dent, rather than what was suggested in the magazine article.

I have used both of these silks before with really lovely results.
The natural silk was woven in squares and I used leno to ensure that the square stayed in place.  I was lucky enough to have this scarf published in Handwoven May/June 2011.
This is the chocolate silk woven with heavy raw silk streaks in the warp.
I pulled the warp in two sections and the first section sat on the warping board overnight.  The next day I made the second section and immediately started warping the loom.
As I started pulling the warp, which is 4 ends of chocolate and 4 ends of natural; a snarling, bridging grabbing problem started to rear its ugly head.  I was completely taken aback because alone, neither of these yarns caused any problems when I used them previously.

The section that had just come off the warping board was horrendous!  The section that sat on the warping board overnight was much better behaved, so time to relax may have been the difference.
The warp was pulled on by inches and the whole six yards took over an excruciating hour to get onto the loom.

These yarns did not get better after they were on the loom, just sitting on the lease sticks the warp ends bridged together.
And each individual thread had to be teased out of a curling mess!  Not fun at all.
I’m halfway through pulling the warp through the reed and now I’m questioning whether I should have gone for such a fine reed, but only time will tell.  It was a conundrum, if I put 4 ends together in a 10 dent reed, the warp would have more twisting opportunities but 2 ends in a 20 dent reed mean they can stick more.

I rarely follow a weaving ‘recipe’ but this time I am while I learn the in’s and out’s of Deflected Doubleweave.  I have put on enough warp for two scarves and the second scarf will have an original treadling sequence so I can make two different scarves.  At this point its ‘fingers crossed’!
My sweater is progressing at a snail’s pace right now, each circular row takes me 30 minutes to knit and this navy is really hard to knit at night, so I'm just doing a couple of rows a day.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Tea Towels ~ Home Stretch

Finally my tea towels are off the loom, but in my haste I cut off the warp after nine tea towels instead of the ten I should have woven.  Obviously I was done, done, done with this project!
There is something so very satisfying seeing the big fat roll of tea towels and all the promise they hold.
This is just a beauty shot of the tea towels fanned out, such a happy moment!
Now that the tea towels have been washed, pressed and had the hems pinned up. I get to sit in the sun and sew them.  I prefer to sew the hems by hand as I have had mixed results with machining them.  I always seem to get them pulled out of whack.  I now have a ‘walking foot’ for my sewing machine so it may be time to try again.
I have been plodding along with my top down pullover and I’m really pleased with it.  I have amended the pattern to exclude the side split and to continue the increases in the body to make it an A line.
I am using this lovely wool in Worsted weight so I’ve had to make some adjustments there too as the pattern called for a much finer yarn.

Today in the garden the Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) is really showing a growth spurt, Spring is really beginning showing her beautiful face.