Friday, August 15, 2014

Scarlet and Old Gold Silk Scarf

The dye colours that were used with this warp are Scarlet and Old Gold Procion MX Dye.  The scarlet dye comes out more pink than red but on the cotton ties that I used to hold the warp threads in place, it is redder.  I don’t know if you can see the difference in this photo.
This silk warp was made up from the last bits from the 4 skeins that we used to make the warps from last summer’s dye day so it was a little short of the number of ends needed for a scarf.  So I made another warp and added about 40 orange Tencel threads to be interspersed with the silk.
To add the Tencel warp I tied on a second rod to the warp beam apron and then layered a second set of lease sticks on top of the lease sticks that held the silk warp.  In the raddle on top of the castle I placed the threads in the order I wanted so they could be pulled onto the warp beam correctly.
The orange Tencel really blends well with both of the silk warp colours, you can't even notice them!  What these threads did do however is blend everything together. The subtly painted silk warp looks like a single colour Salmon when viewed from a distance.  The scarlet and old gold of the silk warp are very similar in tone and when I painted it I did it fairly closely so there isn’t a lot of separation between the colours, maybe two or three inches at most.  Can't wait to see how the scarf turns out!
Pretty picture to end the post is a dragonfly that hung out on the bedroom screen for a couple of hours.  She was big about the size of my hand.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Turquoise Silk Scarf ~ 8 Shaft Networked Twill

Mum and I have started to work on the painted silk warps that we did last summer.  The dyeing idea for this warp was to do an ombrĂ© effect, which means moving from dark to light shades of one colour.  So when I was dying this warp I kept adding water to dilute to dye every three to four inches.  Well it didn’t work but I got a nice even turquoise colour warp so that OK!
For the weft I went with white silk.  There was a choice of two, which never happens around here!  The one on the cone is a little bluer and the one in the ball a little creamier.
I did a test run of the weft choices and the blue/white silk on the cone won (the bottom of the picture).  I was afraid that the creamier silk would look dirty against the clear turquoise. 
The colour of the warp reminds me of the summer sky so I went with that inspiration and found a pattern that looks like clouds.  It is networked twill that I am really partial to, and have used several times before; a real fav!
I have been taking new pictures of the scarves for WovenBeauty our Etsy store to update everything.  The scarf is shown in its 'natural habitat' ~ around the neck of a jean jacket and it looks great!  For Sale.
Garden shot to end the post is Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Sun' commonly called a Blanket Flower.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cream Wedding Shawls Part 2

I have finished weaving the natural Tencel/Cotton shawls.  They came out really well, but they are identical because I even though I tried changing wefts I wasn't able to find another weft that looked radically different.  So, the new plan is for one shawl to stay the natural creamy colour.  And the other one is going to be dyed, I think.  Right now it is sitting in a pile waiting for me.  I have an idea for it but we will see!

To finish the cream shawl I beaded the fringe.  It is something that I do for all the shawls.  I like to see what the finished beadwork is going to look like before I bead so I place the beads on quilting pins and place them within the fringe.
I also use the quilting pins to make up both sides of the fringe so that I am sure that there are enough beads and that they have big enough holes to fit on the beading needle, oh yeah....I've been caught out!
The shawl is done and I think that it's a real beauty.  Simple, elegant and versatile, what more could you ask?
Every time that I pick up the shawl I am surprised at how light and airy it is.  The Tencel/Cotton is so fine and delicate.  It is also incredibly soft and is For Sale in my Etsy Shop.
The garden picture to end the post is a cryptomeria japonica ‘Rasen’ with its little pine cone that looks like a dragon breathing fire.  The needles wrap around the branches to form spirals.

Friday, July 18, 2014

8 Shaft Advancing Networked Twill Scarf

This was such a great silk scarf to weave!  I used some of my own hand spun silk that I dyed medium blue with purple and red patches. 
The silk is about the same thickness as 2/6 cotton, so the sett was 20 epi; so needless to say with a sett like that it wove up very quickly.
As usual for me, I had to try several wefts before I was sure that navy 2/8 tencel was the right one.  This makes the scarf essentially warp faced, but with hand painted silk, that’s a good thing.  I just noticed that my shoe in the picture matches the warp!
The pattern is on that I’ve woven before and loved….8 shaft 10 treadle, advancing networked twill.   This pattern is treadled very similarly to summer and winter or overshot because you treadle a tabby pick between each of the pattern picks.  This gives the fabric really lovely structure.
This is ‘freeform weaving’ in that as long as you make sure to put in the tabby and to run the sequences in order ~ advancing or declining~ you can treadle it however you like.  I love to have the ability to make each scarf completely unique.  I have enough shafts that I could turn the draft to make treadling easier, but then I wouldn't have the ability to free weave as easily ~ a conundrum to say the least.
My Tour de France socks are progressing nicely and I will probably finish them tonight on Stage 13….the first thing in my Christmas Present stash!
I bought a 100 gram skein of sock yarn and split it into 2x50 gram balls and before I started to knit I lined up the sequence so my socks would match. I'm trying something new for me ~ I knit the instep of the socks in ribbing to help keep them in place and not bunch up in's hoping it works!

Just a pretty garden shot to finish up ~ this is Masterwort (Astrantia major ), don't you love the little native bee!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cream Wedding Shawls

So that New Year’s Resolution to do micro blogging hasn’t really worked out for me! But here’s a post . . .

I put on a warp for two white shawls in 2/20 natural creamy Tencel/Cotton blend (50/50) and rayon knop.  The warp is really fine and delicate, although I had to use a large dent reed because the knops are too large to fit in a smaller reed.
I am using the same 2/20 Tencel/Cotton as the weft.  The pattern is a modified basket weave that weaves up beautifully!  For the second shawl I was going to use another weft, a silk bamboo, but it didn’t look any different from the Tencel/Cotton and it would have made the price go up. 
I love how the little knops pop up giving the shawl a lovely texture.
The fabric was drawing in a little so I used a simple homemade temple to help.  The temple is made from a film canister with pennies inside to weight it down and a long piece of cord and a paperclip.  The paperclip hooks into the web and the weight of the canister gently holds the web open; you need one for each side.  Just like a regular temple you move it every inch that you weave.  It works really well for delicate webs and is really easy to use.
I had pulled the warp with two threads missing so I had to add them in later and to keep the two threads separate hanging from the back of the loom.  I used a piece of cardboard with two holes cut into it and a slit to the edge and added the threads.  I worked really well to keep to fine threads separate.
A pretty garden shot to end the post – can’t be bad!
Oh before I forget here are Mom's Tour de France socks!  She works on them in the evening as we watch the Boys in Spandex ride.  These are up to Stage 4...

Friday, July 4, 2014

10 Shaft Undulating Twill in Silk

I’m working steadily through the silk warps that I painted last summer!  Such a fun afternoon!
This warp was dyed with ProcionMX in gold and yellow and although it the colours looked really different when it was painted, they mellowed out quite a bit after washing so now it is a bit more subtle.
I chose to embrace the sunshiny yellow colour and I gravitated toward orange for the weft ~ I know, it’s a bold move, but someone’s gotta make it!
The pattern I’m weaving is 10 shaft undulating twill.  I modified the pattern by making the threading really weird so that I could weave it with a straight 1-10 treadling.  That is such a bonus because you really can’t get lost in the pattern.
The scarf wove up in no time, but once it was off the loom I could see some real texture forming.
I even got the fringe twisted in record time!  I decided the twist 3 bouts of ends together for a cord fringe. (I can really recommend these books to any foodies out there!)
The scarf has two distinct sides; this is the hand painted silk warp dominant side.
And this is the weft dominant side.
Nothing is prettier than a good close up, right?

Amazing what a good pressing does!  Surprisingly I was looking at a few of the blogs I follow this morning and Cindy at Eweniquely Ewe has woven a very similar scarf this week….great minds think alike… that’s my opinion!
I’ve already got the next silk scarf on the loom….it is handspun silk about 2/6 in grist in dark blue and purple from the same dye day ~ can’t wait to see what it looks like woven!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Clearing the Handspun Decks

Weaving hasn’t been consuming all of my time lately ~ I’ve reconnected with my Lendrum Spinning wheel and I’m truly enjoying it!

Before I could spin the Louet silk that I dyed a few weeks ago, I had to empty up some bobbins that had been languishing for yonks.
I believe that this single on the bobbin is spun from a colourway called Teddy Bear and frankly I can’t remember if Susan gave it to me or if I bought it at a spinning day….either way it was just taking up a bobbin and looking very stripey.Teddybear merino wool is spot dyed brown and pink with cream and a bit of yellow and when I spun it I got a nice long marl moving from cream to brown to pink in every possible permutation.

I didn’t want to lose that beautiful transition and if I plied it with itself I would tone the whole thing down and blah it out I think.
I chose to ply it with this super fine cashmina which is a wool and cashmere blend.
Because the cashmina is very, very fine compared to the handspun merino wool, I got a really great spiral yarn.
I’m really happy with the result!
After freeing up my spinning wheel; I now have all of the silk spun and plied with itself.
The effect is an all over pale pink.
But when you look closely you can see a bit of orange and cream.  I think I’ll use it as weft for a scarf.
After all that spinning I was really stoked about weaving with silk and so a few days ago I warped up this hand painted silk.  The silk was painted with ProcionMX in Old Gold and Yellow so it is very sunshiny and I'm ready to weave!