This project started out with the very best of intentions. I was on a stash busting mission and I wanted to challenge myself to NOT weave a defined pattern. I have come to the conclusion that ‘hording stash is tying up cash’, don’t you just love truisms? A quick look through my stash and I saw these bits and bobs of thick silk which spoke to me – mistake number one.
These are some dyeing samples that I produced when I was in a study group last year and I love the vibrant colours. I found a huge cone of this milk chocolate coloured single silk to act as a foil for the thick random dyed silk. Now my goal was to find a ‘non pattern’ to show them off. Aztec Wanderings by Russell Groff was my choice as it had potential.I pulled the thin silk warp separately from the thick silk warp. I can’t remember why this seemed like a good idea, but since I was getting ready for my trip to Europe, I’ll use that as my excuse. I warp from back to front on my Louet Spring – having two separate warps that needed to be interleaved – mistake number two just reared its ugly head. I ended up beaming the thin silk onto my back beam rod and the thick silk onto a supplementary wooden rod which I tied to the steel back beam rod. Not a pretty sight, but it worked
This is when I left for my month in France and while I was away I’ve got to say I didn’t think about my loom at all, so coming home to this jury rigged warp was a reality jolt.
I treadled a bit of broken twill to start and then swung right into the small band of pattern I had planned. Mistake number three just showed up, I had screwed up the threading on the thick silk ends. Not so much that I couldn’t make a pattern, but enough that it wasn’t the pattern I’d intended. This is the point that I looked at this warp and decided I loathed it. Not just disliked, but vehemently hated it! The pattern was all sorts of ugly and the lovely milk chocolate coloured silk looked like poop! I treadled most of the scarf without the pattern. I had wound two regular bobbins of the thin silk a few months earlier for a project that didn’t pan out, so rather than rewind onto pirns I decided to plunk the regular bobbins onto my end feed shuttle – yup, being lazy made mistake number four! I’m quite determined and did force myself to deal with it nibbling my edges, but I probably cost hours to save minutes! I just couldn’t contemplate cutting the warp off, so I soldiered on and just did the broken twill. This proved to be my only good choice and the way the colours peak through are very enticing – don’t get me wrong it’s all kinds of funky and I still don’t really like it, but I’ve gone from hate back to dislike…..and that’s a good thing.
As the end of the warp approached, mistake number two reared its ugly head; the funky beaming became a sticky mess, so I decided to cut off about ten inches early and avoid the snarls. That’s when I discovered I’d made sackcloth…..you could just about cut yourself on the edges of this burlap! I’m holding my breath that wet finishing makes the difference. On another note, this is one of our last Fred’s Plum tomatoes and it’s huge, but beautifully sweet and meaty. A really wonderful tomato to grow.