Monday, January 20, 2020

Table Runners Yet Again

After all the kerfuffle with pulling the warp for these table runners, the threading and sleying went quickly and easily.  I usually audition several wefts before making a decision but this time as soon as I saw the navy slub I knew that it was the one.
Inside of the cone I found a little note.  The note is from a previous owner, it has the fibre content, yards per pound, and when it was purchased.  This cone has been around from April 1986 and I think that it is time to be used!
The pattern is a favorite 8 shaft twill.  I love the large scale of the Xs.  The navy blue adds a lovely shimmer and shine.  The table runner is about 50 inches long and wove up quite quickly.
For the second runner I also went with the first choice, this time is lovely dark green 3/10 cotton.
I usually don’t weave the same pattern but I really do love these Xs.  The dark green has a yellow undertone that really brings out the golden pima cotton.  The table runner just glows, but as usual, photographing green is problematic.
The pima cotton warp was a real shedder.  There was a really impressive dust curl left on the back beam, a dust bunny explosion!  I am definitely going to have to vacuum my loom before the next warp.
I just cut off the two runners yesterday, I still have to wash and hem them.  I think that they are going to be a lovely addition for the shop Woven Beauty.

Final Garden Photo is the hummingbird that has staked out our backyard for the winter.  She has figured out that she can sit above the feeder which is under the eaves out of the snow.  She sits up there fiercely guarding the feeder from the other hummingbirds.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Cotton Table Runners

Table runners are going on my loom today because we are running low in the Etsy shop and our guild has a sale coming up in April.  I pulled out some pink and peach 2/8 cotton that has been in the stash for awhile.  These cones are unusually tightly spun and quite ropey; so not great for tea towels but I think they would be lovely for some runners.  The idea for the runners was making a flower motif with Diversified Plain Weave.  I spent a couple of days making different flower patterns on the computer but once I scaled the patterns up to the width needed for a table runner I needed a lot of heddles on shaft 1 and 2, far too many and too weighty for the loom!  So, I changed my mind about using the pink and peach cotton.  I just can’t figure out the perfect pattern for them right now so I’m going to think about it some more.
I went back to the stash and found the last two balls left over from a large 30 oz 6 ply cone of Pima Cotton.  We spent hours unplying the cone an rolling it into balls of 2/10 Pima Cotton.
I had used some of the 2/10 balls previously for table runners so I was able to go back and look at my notes.  I did some quick mental math and thought that I could do a 6 yard warp at about 18 inches wide.  So I leaped in and pulled the warp.  As I finished one ball and counted the ends, well, the warp isn’t going to be wide enough, only 12 inches wide.  My mental math wasn’t so good, so, I wound the warp back into a ball, with help from the ball winder.
Before I started to pull the warp again, I spent some time with an excel sheet and found that I needed to pull a warp that is only 4 yards long and it will be 18 inches wide.  I made the warp but it wasn’t until I had started to pull off the warp chain that I noticed that I had short changed a warp thread and made a short loop.  Once again I put the warp chain back onto the warping board and pull the warp back into a ball, with help again from the ball winder.
So for the third time I, this time carefully, pulled the warp.  I have now threaded, sleyed and tied the warp onto the cloth beam.  Today I’ll pick a weft and finally start weaving!
Final Garden Shot is Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’ it has one little flower open and beside it is the first bit of snow on the plant. We got a skif of snow yesterday, but it didn't stay.

Monday, January 6, 2020

If It's January, It Must Be Tea Towels

It’s a drippy but fairly warm day here on Vancouver Island ~ a perfect start to the New Year, but not so good for my photos, so please bear with me!

As usual in January I have an intrinsic need to weave tea towels, I have no idea why it is such a compelling weave, but I have no trouble embracing it.
I must admit that it’s taken me a few days to thread the loom because of our ‘west coast gloom’; it’s just really hard to see the dark threads even though my loom is right in front of three large windows.

My warp is navy blue 2/8 cotton of 513 ends.  I sett the warp at 24 epi a nice firm tea towel and made the warp 11 yards long and 21 inches wide, with the end result of 10 tea towels, each a yard long.  I am using the same pattern 12 shaft twill pattern that I used in January 2018, because it’s a beauty.
I have only just begun tea number one, and I chose to use a lovely turquoise for the weft, the plan is to use jewel tones as the weft and weave one or two of each colour. 
I like to weave a nice hem at the start and end of each tea towel and generally I change the treadling somewhat so that I have a fold guideline.  In this case I treadled 1-2-3-4 for two inches before I began the body of the tea towel. Sorry for the colour discrepencies, the bottom colour is closer to true.
The garden is resting right now and although there is the stray bloom here and there, it’s pretty boring.  What isn’t boring is this amazing Passionfruit and Citrus Entremet Cake Ngaire and I made for her birthday.
This cake has 8 layers of yummyness!  It starts with a cookie base, then citrus curd, then cake, then creme fraiche citrus mousse, then passion fruit jelly, then cake, then curd and finally fresh passion fruit.  It was a triumph!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What’s on the Loom on January 1st

I know that we just did a blog post on Monday, but I love the weaving blog tradition of showing what is on your loom on January 1st!  It started 10 years ago by Meg from the blog Unravelling.

Starting with Mom’s loom, she is getting ready to thread her loom.  The warp is 2/8 navy cotton for - you guessed it – tea towels!
My loom is empty but not for long.
The next project is table runners and it is still in the planning stages.
Final Garden Shot is Daffodils, they are peaking up through the ground already!  We just planted them this fall and we are a little worried about them.  They maybe up too early.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Our Year in Review

We would like to wish you a wonderful New Year with health and happiness in 2020!

I like to wrap up our weaving year by compiling a list of what we accomplished at the loom;  2019 was a busy year for us off the loom too because we undertook some pretty major projects around the house, we changed our landscape and painted the entire interior of the house!
In between gardening and painting I wove:
8 tea towels
8 scarves
3 table runners that I never blogged about
330 Guild of Canadian Weavers samples
5 pictures to frame
I also sewed 5 pouches
1 capelette for Ngaire
and 2 vests out of handwoven fabric
Ngaire did a bit more weaving, as she garnered a whopping
15 scarves
5 table runners
8 tea towels
2 shawls
330 Guild of Canadian Weavers samples
and 1 picture to frame
Ngaire also did some major work on drafting which took much more time to figure out than to blog about.  After all of her hard work, I finally got a good idea about drafting Diversified Plain Weave!

All things considered it was a very good year for the two of us at WovenBeauty and DustBunnies....and to add some icing on the cake I received this book on December 24 ~ what a great present from me to me! This is Marian Stuenitsky's newest book 'Double Twist' and I know I will spend many, many hours trying to understand all the new concepts....wonderful!

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Last Scarf of the Year

Finally this scarf is off the loom, it was a joy to weave, but trying to get sat at the loom can be problematic at this time of the year.  I feel it took weeks to weave.
This photo was taken before it was washed and even at this point I knew it was something quite lovely.  I used hand dyed silk for the warp and aqua tencel for the weft.
The lighting is quite shocking with winter mizzle giving everything a grey tinge, but I perservered and this shot shows some of the pattern quite well.
This is the scarf washed, but not steam pressed or fringe twisted and the drape of the cloth is simply amazing.  I will definitely be using this pattern again, but, I could not get a decent photo inside the house so outside I went.  The winter grey sky has really muted the colours and pulled all the lovely silk sheen out.  The colours should show as aqua, navy, green and magenta, but you get the idea.

The final shot today is Orange Charlotte Russe that we made for a family birthday, now we can buckle down and get going on Christmas.
We wish you all things Merry and Bright, and hope you have a safe and warm Christmas surrounded by those you care about.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Finished Weaving to Frame

I have finally finished the guild study group challenge to weave something ‘frame able’ and it was not easy!

I wove a piece of cotton yardage with the idea of painting on it and was frankly underwhelmed by the result (check it out here).  Then I tried distorting the fabric to make rusching and again, hmmmm, not so much.

I started out with a piece of fabric twenty inches long and ten inches wide and used some iron on Pelon to stabilize it.  Then I cut it into three equal pieces to give myself plenty of chances to actually succeed in this endeavour.
My husband Michael found this product called Fabri Ink which promises to ‘create beautiful Watercolor effects on fabric’.  I finally got a glimmer of an idea and jumped right in.  The product comes in two parts; a refillable water brush and some concentrated ink.
I decided to do something simple and opted for ‘mountainish’ lines which I painted on dry fabric.
I then sprayed it with water to encourage bleeding.
I went a tad to far with the spraying and got a bit more bleeding than I had hoped for, but I could live with it by applying a few more lines of ink.
Here they are all in a row and as good as I'm going to get them.
This one lookes pretty mountainy, with a bit of cloud at the peak.
This one is almost mountain ranges and I'm liking it.
Number three and it is the most literal of the three.
Together they make a very satisfying triptich and I can finally put this project to bed with the knowledge that I met my commitment.  After Christmas I will hang them in my studio beside my loom.
Here is my kitchen Christmas tree all decked out in fine blown glass vegetables and pastries, every time I look up on top of the kitchen armoir I feel happy.