Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fixing a Broken Warp Thread – 12 Shaft Advancing Twill

I put on enough charcoal grey 2/8 Tencel warp to make two scarves.  I finished weaving the 12 shaft advancing twill scarf in scarlet and now I needed to audition some wefts for the second scarf.  The choices are a bright blue, red violet, straw, gold and taupe.
I went with the gold, in the picture it is the second one from the bottom.  I honestly don’t know why I thought the taupe would go with the grey.  I guess that day I saw more yellow in it and thought that it could be a substitute for gold.  I don’t know what I was thinking or seeing!
I changed the treadling for this scarf.  I lengthened the vertical lozenge of the cross for a better balance between the arms of the cross.  I also like the large table that is created under the arms.
There was some excitement while weaving this scarf.  When I was about 10 inches from finishing the scarf I heard a snap – I had broken a warp thread.  I don’t think that I have ever broken a warp thread before.  It was on the left side and the third thread in from the edge.  You can see the shredded thread in the picture.
To fix the broken warp thread I pulled the broken thread out of the reed and heddle.  I then placed a weighted film canister on the end to approximate the tension of the warp for the other half of the warp thread.  I pulled replacement charcoal thread and put it through the heddle and reed.  I pinned the replacement to the woven scarf with lots of extra thread.  The extra thread will then be needle woven in after the scarf is off the loom.
Dangling from the back of my loom were three film canisters – one a floating selvedge and the other two from the broken warp and they were going to twist.
So I made a quick separator.  I used a piece of card stock and cut a rectangle with three slots in it.
It keeps the threads separate and under control.  Sorry for the poor picture quality.
Here is the only photo I’ve got with the two scarves side by side.  I had to do some needle weaving on both of them before they could be wet finished.  I think that they are looking good!
Here are some photos of the finished project.  The gold scarf has a luscious gleam to it.  For Sale.


Final photograph was taken during a morning walk last week.  It is Steller’s Jay, which has a black head and upper body but the rest of the body is bright blue.  It is the provincial bird for British Columbia.  There was actually four in the tree!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

12 Shaft Broken Twill Scarf

A few years ago I bought a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk which is 70% silk and 30% seaweed fibre. My skein is in the colour run called ‘Corsica’ (you can look at it here) ~ very sweet and pretty.

I am really trying to reduce my stash of 'one offs' so I finally decided that it MUST be used.  I hunted for a pattern that would show the lovely colour changes and not overwhelm the colours completely; and I found a 12 shaft broken twill that I had never tried, which fit the bill perfectly.
The grist of this yarn is similar to 2/6 and the yarn is very lofty and soft.  I decided to make a scarf and since I had no idea how many ends I would get I just started to pull the 100 inch long warp.  I ended up with 147 ends and amended my pattern to fit this number.  I decided to sett the scarf at 20 ends per inch which gave me a width of about 7 inches.
As always I auditioned the weft yarns; and I tried a lovely soft blue, soft green and white all in 2/8 tencel.  I liked the white the best but ended up using 2/10 tencel for a less prominent weft.
This scarf was a real pleasure to weave and it seemed to fly off the loom because the treadling was a straight 1-12 repeat.
There are definitely two sides to the scarf with one predominantly warp dominant and the other weft dominant.
This scarf has amazing lustre and fabulous drape ~ a real winner in my books!
I loved weaving this pattern so much that I have put on another scarf warp in Tencel using up a few ends of the bobbins.

Friday, January 15, 2016

All Things Red - 12 Shaft Advancing Twill

We had somebody on Etsy buy all the red scarves that we had online in the WovenBeauty store.  So I needed to replenish the store with a new red scarf.  I like it when I have a direction to go with.
There are three reds in my Tencel bin - a Scarlet from Webs, a Cerise from Brassards, and Burgundy from Webs.  The pattern that I chose is an advancing twill and the warp is Charcoal grey.
Below is the weft auditions and the winner is the scarlet from Webs the bottom line.  The middle line is the cerise from Brassards and it looks like tomato soup, a bit orangey.  The top line is the burgundy which wasn’t red enough.
The pattern is very graphic with the large ovals and the X in the middle.  It is hard to see here but the centre panel between the ovals is quite pretty too.  I liked it so much that for the next scarf I lengthened those panels.
The weaving was exciting because the right hand floating selvedge would shred apart and the film canister would fall to the ground with a thump.  It happened at least four times.  I am not sure why it would break apart, I think that it could be a burr in the reed dent or the way that the thread was hanging off the loom was untwisting the thread allowing the thread fall apart.  But the finish project looks good.
The final garden shot is a Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) that was heavily covered in water droplets and it just sparkled in the sunlight.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Eight Shaft Crackle Weave Scarf

I’ve had this scarf off the loom for over a week and I am finally getting ready to do the finishing touches, but here is a preview before the ends have been twisted.
The warp is 2/22 silk that I dyed last summer; I used Procion MX to paint half of the warp soft teal green and the other half a mid tone fuchsia, reversing the sides half way.   These two colours are magnificent together! I use several sections of sumac knotting to hold the warps in place while I paint them, it also holds everything in place while warping.
My pattern based on an eight shaft pattern I found on Handweaving.net in Ralph Griswalds 'Crackle Weave Book'.  Of course I made a few changes to make the pattern work for me, but here is the draft I started with.  Handweaving.net is an amazing resource when you are looking for something new to try, but be prepared to be sucked in….you can look for hours and hours!
The repeat for the motif is 234 picks, so it is a challenging weave but still do-able because it is based on advancing twill so there are some nice runs.
This photo shows my simple warp stretcher made from paper clips and weights. I find keeping the warp taut while weaving helps with the selvedges.

My final scarf has 8 complete pattern repeats and I must admit I’m really pleased with the results.  I think next time I will work on the section that connects the motif to see if I can tighten it up a bit.
This scarf is amazingly supple because of the floats in the crackle weave structure, but it still has a lot of integrity because of the sections of plain weave, as seen in the close-up photo below ~ really a lovely pattern!
I just took this photo a few minutes ago ~ we have thick fog and this is the fog dripping off the Pieris japaonica blossoms.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fresh Start to a New Year

Mum and I both have empty looms to start the New Year.  I have finished two twill scarves in red and gold, they are striking.  I’ll do a blog post soon on them.
Mum has just finished a hand dyed silk scarf in magenta and green.  The scarf hasn’t had its fringe twisted or been pressed but it is really special.  She’ll do a blog post soon, too!
On the warping board Mum has already pulled her newest scarf project.  It is Sea Silk in lime green, blues and purples.  I can’t wait to see it woven up.  It is not the best photo but I got photobombed by a kiwi!
My next project is going to be table linens using the Pima Cotton that we unravelled in September in September from a six ply into six individual balls.
Final Garden Shot is a Broad Tailed Hummingbird on top of the Cryptomeria japonica ‘Rasen’.  He has staked out the hummingbird feeder for the winter, this is the second year that this guy has overwintered in our neighbourhood.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Last of the Collapse Weave

I think that collapse weave scarves have run their course for now.  I wove four of them and although I really enjoyed the process of weaving them, I’m longing to do some pattern weaving!
After the two  rose collapse weave scarves were finished, I tied on a scarf in cream merino and rayon slub and I think that this one is my favourite.  The merino became very lofty and soft after washing and the shrinkage was very even.  The overall effect is a very soft meander with shallow wrinkles.
Please excuse the poor photo; we have a very grey drizzly day today and it was impossible to find good light.
My last kick at the can and this time I threw caution to the wind and really mixed up the fibres; using 2/18 merino, tencel and a cotton novelty yarn.  Here it is off the loom, but before washing.  You can already see the movement in the scarf.
This scarf had much more warp shrinkage; mainly because the merino was much finer and there was more of it in the warp.  There is so much twisting and bumping, it is not like the previous scarves at all! We have had to pull and snap this scarf several times to calm down the curling fibres and it is still very lively!
Here they are side by side, so you can really see the differential shrinkage, so in this case, your fibre choices make all the difference!
Now that I’ve shaken off the collapse weave urge, here is my next warp.  This is one of my hand painted silk warps just through the raddle and ready to pull onto the loom.  The plan is to weave it in Crackle Weave.  Unfortunately you really can't see the stunning colours ~ darn rain!  I'm trying out a new pattern that I've modified for the 200 ends I had in the warp.  The pattern repeat is more than 240 picks long, so it will be quite a challenge after a month of plain weave!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Collapse Weave ~ Lesson Learned

I think that the old adage of ‘less haste more speed’ is true of my last couple of projects on the loom!  I really enjoyed weaving the rose collapse weave scarf and thought that I’d do another.  When I cut the soft rose scarf off I had heaps of warp left on the loom, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to tie on the new warp.
I wanted to use 2/12 cream merino as the base.  I only had 2 ounces in the stash  and when I pulled the warp I ended up with 78 ends.
So I went hunting through the bins and found that I had a few ounces of 50/50 silk and merino blend in cream that I could add to the mix.  I managed to eke out 35 ends of this.
As in the soft rose scarf I wanted to use a knotty rayon that has great lustre and heaps of interest, so out came the big cone of cream and soft gold yarn.  I pulled 96 ends of this so I had enough for every alternate end.
I decided that I could handle a quick 'down and dirty' tie up and so I pulled some knitting stitch holders out and used them to hold my crosses….not the best idea in the world!  I tied on the 35 silk/merino ends first, then the merino and then the rayon.
Basically after that, chaos ensued, I was trying to tie the merino alternately with the rayon, skipping the already tied ends.  This instantly became a hot mess of knots and dropped and missed ends!
Thankfully, after much pfaffing around it pulled through the reed and the heddles fairly easily and it wove up beautifully; you can hardly see the fell line as it is being woven.
The cream scarf came off the loom yesterday and still needs finishing, but I’m so loving this weaving, so I decided to pull another warp in blue.  This time I’m using 2/18 porcelain blue merino as the base.  For texture and colour I’m using 2/8 tencel in two colours ~ soft blue and azure and an amazing multi coloured cotton novelty yarn.

I told you I learned my lesson; so this time I pulled the base 2/18 warp first and holding the cross with lease stick tied to my beater I tied on to the existing warp in a very orderly way ~  I tied onto every alternate warp end.
I then pulled the other 4 yarns together as a warp and using another set of lease sticks tied to the beater; I tied these on to the left over warp ends. I felt that I had corralled those cats!
This was so much easier and so much faster than my chaotic effort with the cream scarf! I kept the lease sticks in place while I pulled on the warp and it ran on in a lovely controlled manner! I am already weaving away happily!
The garden shot today is from my neighbours yard late last night, so please forgive the poor quality; but it was dark!  Our deer on Vancouver Island are so small that they are almost the same size as the lawn ornaments.
I have been knitting in the evenings and this is the latest off my needles, such a fun scarf to knit!