Sunday, September 30, 2018

Painted Silk Warps in 12 Shaft Twills

Mum and I both have a very large Ziploc bag filled with painted silk warps so we are on a quest to weave them all up.  The first warp that I put on the loom was painted in warm autumnal colours of golden yellow, warm bronze and raspberry red.
For weft colours I tried to stay in the autumnal theme, and I tried all the reds, oranges and browns that we have.  They didn’t work there wasn’t enough contrast.
I went with black, it really highlighted the colour and made the 12 twelve shaft twill really pop.
The finished scarf is truly spectacular; the colours are warm and glowing.  The graphic punch of the twill pattern is really interesting.  For Sale.

The second warp that I put on was painted in a raspberry red and a moss green.  I don’t have a good shot of the warp because painted warps are so exciting that they don’t sit on the loom for very long!
I tried a lot of weft colours.  The first bunch of colours was antique gold, amethyst, light navy and gold.  The amethyst was OK so I left it and tried two more colours next.
The two new colours on top were olive green and black.  The black overwhelmed the colours and the olive was boring.
Next I tried some reds to warm up the warp.  Well they just made the warp muddy.
I told you I tried a lot of weft colours.  This next batch I tried anything and everything that could remotely work.  Nope, nothing there.
The last try I looked at some previous choices, maybe I was too hasty in rejecting them.  I tried the amethyst, gold and a different darker navy.  Yup the darker navy is the one.
The pattern is a 12 shaft twill; it is actually the same tie up as the previous scarf.  I changed the threading and the treadling.
This scarf just glows.  There are two distinct sides to the scarf one is more navy and the other highlights the painted warp.  For Sale.

Final Garden Shot is the roof top visitors that we had this summer on our neighbours roof.  First is a bald eagle and the other is a raccoon.  Needless to say I preferred seeing the eagle!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Last of the Fine Cotton Projects

There are two little balls of fine cotton leftover from one of our dye days, one is a silvery blue leftover from Mum’s blue ombre shawls and the other small one is purple leftover from Mum’s Echo Shawls (which she hasn't blogged about yet).
The original plan was to make a shawl using both balls but after I had pulled the blue ball there was more than enough for a single shawl.  The blue colour of the warp really reminds me of blue jeans so I thought the perfect colour for the weft would be the gold stitching used for jeans.
The gold I picked was antique gold Tencel which has a slight green tone.  It really overwhelmed the pale silvery blue warp, so I ditched that one.
Next I tried a warmer deep yellow gold colour and finally a gorgeous silver yarn.
The silver was the clear winner.  The pattern is a lovely undulating twill that either looks like X’s or lovely diamond shapes.

The shawl has a stunning shimmer and shine to it.  The silver weft really highlights the pretty pattern.  For Sale.

With the purple ball there was only enough warp for a single scarf.  I am really pleased that I am finishing using up all the fine cotton that we had dyed as it fits into my 'stash busting' pledge.
The weft for the purple scarf is a greyed teal and the pattern is a crackle, always a favourite weave structure in the Lynch household.  The pattern is fun to weave and vaguely looks like trees.
The scarf is wonderfully lightweight and the interplay of the matte finish of the purple cotton and the shine of the teal Tencel is fantastic.

For Sale.

Final garden shot is a hardy fuchsia that I have growing beside the hosta, the colour is just amazing!

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Kitchen Reno and Two Scarves

During the summer I find weaving often takes second place to gardening as our climate makes everything grow at an amazing rate.  I seem to spend my time, weeding, picking and processing for most of June, July,  August and September.  It's no wonder I'm ready for vacation in October!

Mid June we started a kitchen renovation.   We did most of the work ourselves ~ and went from the kitchen chosen by the builder which looked like this, a tad too brown for me:
To a blank canvas; and it is at this point you always question yourself. It is daunting!
And we ended up with this, a light and bright kitchen to make our often cloudy winters just a bit less grey. We put two different quartz counter tops in, a plain white fleck on the perimiter and a bolder white and grey marble on the island.  We also increased the size of the island, cause who ever said they had enough work surface? The upgrade to quartz made all the difference for me as it lowered the overall height of the counters, by a full inch and since I'm a bit vertically challenged, it is a wonderful improvement. We put in a black granite sink which is HUGE and that was a bonus too.
Ngaire planned the back splash tile pattern by laying the tiles out on the foyer floor using a paper template made from a roll of my used beaming paper.  We found that offsetting the tile by 1/3 was perfect.  We chose white beveled edge subway tiles from England that match the colour of the perimeter quartz perfectly.
The actual tile setting was relatively straightforward due to the preplanning, but perfecting the grout was much more difficult.
I did manage to do a wee bit of weaving in June and wove two painted tencel warps.  I used the same pattern for both of them as it is one I love weaving and summer is not the time to tackle difficult tasks in my opinion.
The first warp I called Fire and Ice, this painted warp was predominantly blues and oranges and by  choosing a burgundy red weft I ensured that it really does look like fire.
I threaded the warp as an 8 shaft advancing twill and treadled it in a parallel fashion.  I have used this pattern several times before and the fluid nature of the treadling never ceases to please.  As long as I pick a general progression series and stick to it I am free to weave ad hoc which is perfect for summer and a general laziness.
The final result is for sale on our Etsy shop Woven Beauty.  For Sale.
The second warp I call Pink Cammo and it is various olives, peachy pinks with a bit of burgundy.  I used black for the weft and this one is a real stunner.  For Sale.
The garden photo today a clump of drumstick allium ~Allium sphaerocephalon ~ complete with honey bees.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Opening Our Studio

At the end of May we took part in the ‘Mid Island Studio Tours’, and that was a new venture for us and surprisingly much more work than I anticipated.

Besides writing up a short blurb to go into the brochure that is distributed Island wide, we had to make signs, physically price all of our stock and clean out the studio.  We decided to leave the looms in place (with projects on them) as well as the sofa and the small desk.

Our house, luckily, was well suited for the tour as we have a large foyer that opens directly into the studio.  A few days before the event, we started figuring out what to put where and what a learning curve it was.  How to show your weaving to it’s best advantage is a real dilemma.
I wanted to block off the access to the rest of the house, so the grid racks worked well for this.  We had to address any possible tipping hazard; so we attached two of the extra racks at an acute angle to act as stabilizers.  This rack held five shoulder busts and twenty-six flat hanging scarves.  We hung the scarves by colour families.
This photo shows the colours a bit better, but the rack is not in its final place.
We have five larger mannequins that were used to highlight a few of the shawls, these were placed in the foyer, on the fireplace mantle and in a corner by the door.
We moved a couple of sofa tables from other rooms to the centre of the studio for the table linens.  I find displaying flat table linens to be very difficult.  We ended up rolling them on tubes of various sizes and standing a few up to give height to the display. 
This spiral display rack was pulled out of its box and this is its maiden voyage.  We used it exclusively for shawls and extra big scarves.  We used black flocked hangers which minimized slippage and faded into the background as well as allowing the shawls to be twisted into interesting shapes.
I had a ladder style towel rack that worked beautifully to display tea towels.  We hung one of each style  on the rack and had the rest folded neatly on the wooden bookcase behind it.

We learned so much by doing this event and would change only a few things.  The rack that held the scarves needs to be modified so that the scarves hang forward facing, rather than side on.  I will switch the scarf rack and the table linen display as the scarves are more exciting and need pride of place and the table linens are a bit static.  I would also hang fewer scarves and give each one more space.  Our statistics for the sale are very encouraging, every fourth person bought something and they all used credit cards.  Thank goodness for the Square Reader. Now the trick for next year is to have more people find us!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Green Cotton Shawls on Eight Shafts

I was serious about using all the fine cotton that we had dyed back in 2014, after this post I have two more projects with same fine cotton in different colours.  This time I used a pretty grass green.  There are two balls of the green with one ball slightly darker than the other; I am using the darker shade on the edges to frame the two shawls, so that I had enough threads to make a decent sized shawl.
I thought with a green warp that it would be easy to find a weft because nature uses green all the time!  But I had a hard time figuring out a weft that worked well with this particular shade of green.  I tried azure blue, yellow and lilac, nothing really worked.
Then I tried darker colours; amethyst, dark teal and hunter green.  Nope, nothing there that I can use but the darker colours showed the pattern the best.
Last try; eggplant, silver and always a favorite iris.  You’ll never guess which one I picked.
The eggplant won and it really shows the pattern well and it highlights the green warp.  It reminds me of the jackmanii clematis on the trellis in the back garden.  The photo doesn't do this amazing shawl justice, it's a real stunner.
For the second shawl I changed the tie up and the treadling to make a pattern that had longer floats so the green warp colour showed better.  I tried gold, blueberry blue, a very pale green, Ming blue and white.
I went with the Ming blue and it seemed to glow on the loom.
After washing the colour difference between the edges and centre is less noticeable but it still adds an interesting element to the shawls.  I am always amazed at the difference a good pressing gives the final piece.
The medallion pattern used on the purple shawl created two distinct sides, one green and the other a deep dark eggplant purple.  It is really striking to wear the shawl showing off that design feature.  For Sale.

The blue shawl is very pretty, the colours seem to glow.  For Sale.

Final Garden Shot is the Jackmanii Clematis if full bloom.