Sunday, July 22, 2012

Done, Done and Done!

Surprisingly this week has been a good one for getting things completed! Usually the summer months are a complete bust for weaving and blogging because I’m working in the veggie garden. Sadly, we didn’t have time to get the veggie garden developed in this new house, so I’ve had time to spare in the past few days.

The first project I’ve completed is the hand dyed cotton scarf that was woven in the spring. The scarf was lovely, but it just lacked something….and it was pizzazz!

I hauled it out and started beading and shirring it following the pattern blocks ~ the time was well spent because I think it looks wonderful!
The beads are studded along the selvedges and when the scarf is worn they pop up and glint in the sun….really special.
Last night as ‘Maillot Jaune’ powered past the finish line on the second to last leg of the Tour, I completed the actual knitting on my Tour de France cardigan.
I’ve just pinned it together and will do the final seaming tonight while I watch ‘The Boys’ sail down the Champs ElysĂ©es and complete the race. This project has taken me 21 stages to complete and even though I’m not thrilled with the wool quality ~ I love the cardigan. Fingers crossed that it fits once it’s blocked!

My husbands’ sister will be flying in from Australia in a few weeks. I’ve been working at relocating the stuff stored in the closet and making the room really pretty for her. I’ve been on the hunt for night tables that will bracket the bed but it’s been a difficult search. If I liked them they were either the wrong colour, too dark, too heavy or too big….isn’t that always the way!
Ngaire found these two plant stands and from there a project began. The scale, the price and the airiness were perfect ~ now to make them personalized and unique.
I wanted to bring some bold colour into the room, but to keep it in small amounts; so we decided to cover the triangular plant pots with a printed fabric.
This is the fabric we chose – boldly graphic, but still keeping it traditional for my French yellow and white room.
I made templates and cut out the fabric, then the fun part began ~ we used Modge Podge to affix the fabric to the metal pots. I couldn’t believe how easy and fun it was. We used two coats and it was all dry in one day.
Now my husband Michael stepped up to the plate and he made the table tops out of white wood planks. This was his first try at beveling edges and he did a fantastic job! We chose to make the table tops 14 inches by 14 inches. Michael made wood frames on the bottoms that fit into the plant stand openings, keeping the tops in place. He then sanded like mad and then two coats of pale green paint and one coat of polish and ~TA-DA, they are done.
They are completely fun and do the job without making the room feel too full of furniture and came in at just $40.00 each!  I took this photo in my foyer, it's the only place the light was right.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Unexpected Echo


We’ve changed the name of our Etsy shop today and have chosen to call it Woven Beauty to better describe our scarves. Today we were featured in our ninth Treasury so that means that we are finally being found on that humongous site!  Still waiting for our first sale though....sigh....

Here’s the link if you want to check out our Woven Shibori Scarf in the latest.
www.etsy.com/treasury/MTgwNTE5MDl8MjcyMDUwMTY4NQ/cool-summer-blues
The final scarf to come off the blue and green Echo Weave warp and it is not at all what I expected.
I rarely, hmmmm that would be never ~ choose to weave a scarf with a white weft, but this time the white 2/8 Tencel seemed to beckon.
I was more than a little amazed at the result! This scarf was treadled exactly the same as the last one, just the colour of the weft has changed from coral to white, but the result is astonishingly different.
The Tencel and the rather close sett that Echo Weave needs brings a high lustrous sheen to the scarf. The missing piece to the weave structure is the split complementary weft colour; so there are no unexpected colours coming through as the warp and weft interact. On the last scarf I got turquoise from the blue/green/coral combination!
What I do have ~ besides a whole bunch of pretty! ~ is a scarf that is predominately white on one side with a green motif at each selvedge and a larger blue motif running down the centre. These strong motifs were not really noticeable on the other two scarves, but are front and centre on this one!
The other side of the scarf appears more azure blue with white motifs running down the selvedges and a darker blue/green centre panel. As I said, it was a completely unexpected bonus feature!

I’ve been glued to the PVR every evening watching Le Tour de France and I’ve been knitting madly as they race over the flats and slog up the mountains.
This is the pattern I’m weaving. I chose something pretty simple because frankly, my attention has been on the screen not on my knitting!
I purchased the wool in New Zealand on my last visit and thought it was time to use it. Unfortunately I’ve been plucking all sorts of short cuts of wool from between the ply as I’ve been knitting. Ending up with a ¼ cup at the end of a session is not unusual…..and a real pain in the butt!
I have finished the back and both front sides…..
The cardigan is basically plain stocking stitch with these funky little rows at the collar to add interest.
We’ve still got a week of watching ‘The Boys’ and I started the sleeves tonight!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Echo de France


I’m absolutely addicted to watching the Tour de France, so the next three weeks I’ll be knitting a sweater as I watch ‘The Boys’. Thank heaven for the P.V.R. so at least I can watch the ‘Boys in Spandex’ at a time that works!  
I’m being very Canadian this year and I’m cheering them on in an ‘anybody but’ fashion; which is a little bit passive aggressive but as long as it’s not Cavendish I’m golden!  I love the art that surrounds the tour.  The photo above was taken by iaianclaridge.co.uk.

Now back to weaving!
This is the second scarf in my Echo Weave series and this beauty does follow all of the rules and so it really delivers. I’ve use a split complimentary colour pallet – soft green and soft blue alternate in the warp and I’ve used a soft coral in the weft. At first I didn’t like the look of the coral, but as soon as I could see a whole pattern repeat I was sold.  The two sides are amazingly different.
I treadled the scarf using a parallel treadling and although it’s an odd sequence at first, I soon got used to it. Basically every shaft has a complimentary shaft and they always work in pairs , for example 7-1, 8-2, 9-3,10-4, 11-5, 12-6, needless to say my look while weaving it was not always ladylike as there is always a large space between the treadles.  The motif on the coral side has a centre of blue diamonds and green diamonds on the edges.
There is iridescence in abundance and quite magically other colours appear, in this case turquoise gleams on the dark side and dusty mauve shimmers on the light side.
This is why Echo Weave is magical!