Monday, March 20, 2023

Second Pink Silk Scarf

There was yet another batch of Debbie Bliss silk singles in the stash cupboard.  This time the yarn was a darker pink and there is less of it than I had to work with for the last silk scarf. 

I tried out a couple of different styles of stripes on the computer and I think that the best bet is to keep the dark pink silk as a large splash of colour.  So I ended up with two pink stripes with three smaller stripes of cream and chocolate brown silk.

For weft I went into the pink/rust range of Tencel.  I tried Adobe, Pompeii, Sea Coral and Spice.  I was surprised that I liked the darker colours best because they showed the pattern the best.

My final choice was the Pompeii, I like how it blended with the chocolate silk stripes and added a depth of colour and richness to the dark pink stripes.

The pattern is my new favourite, Stricklers #385.  I promise that this is the last time that I’ll use it for a while!  I have memorized the treadling, and because I like it so much the scarf wove up quite quickly.

I haven’t finished the scarf yet, it still needs the fringe twisted and a hard pressing but even on a cloudy day the scarf is lovely.

The monthly botany walk with the local nature club was last Monday, one of the highlights was the spawning herring seen from the parking lot of the park.  In the photo you can see a light blue ribbon of the roe, harder to see is the flocks of gulls, seals and sea lions feasting on the herring.  Those mountains in the background are the Coastal Mountains on the mainland of BC. 

The other highlight of the walk was the 500++ year old Douglas Fir; a massive tree that had lots of holes along the truck that later in the spring will have nesting birds.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Silk and Tencel Scarf on Ten Shafts

I have had some hand dyed 2/12 silk in Denim Blue in my stash for a while now.  I keep looking at the hanks and wondering how to showcase the lovely randomness of the colour. The silk has been dyed so that the colours are pretty even throughout the skein with small lines of darker blue here and there, but as always with hand dyed there could be some unexpected surprise spots.

I chose a graphic ten shaft, ten treadle twill and I have treadled ‘as drawn in’. Hopefully I have allowed the colour variations to shine through. The warp has 200 threads and it is sett at 24 epi.  
The scarf it a little wider than usual, but that is the only way I could centre the motif.

I love to show the threading from the back of the loom.  It really gives a forecast of the overall shape of the pattern that is to come. This one has definite diamonds.

My weft is 2/8 white Tencel and I aimed for a 50/50 weave to keep the pattern square.  Beat is really important when you have such a strong square over pattern.  White was a quiet choice for this scarf, but I really liked the idea of having a low contrast with high lustre to allow the pattern to gleam through.  

This is the scarf off the loom but prior to washing.  You can see there is some difference between the front and the back, the blue and the white trade places throughout the motif. 

Sorry about the lighting, but we’ve been overcast for weeks it seems; my counter top is bright white and grey, not this weird yellow tinge!  

Another shot showing both sides of the scarf.  There are really two patterns at work here, the big square boxes and the diamond stars in the centre.

And one more beauty shot.

Baked a couple of loaves this morning and Oh My! The house smells wonderful.

Monday, March 6, 2023

8 Shaft Twill in Silk Part Two

The pink silk scarf quickly wove up, so fast that I don’t really have any photos.  The scarf is pink and is framed by silk in chocolate, silver and cream and the weft is dark purple Tencel called eggplant.  The pattern is is Stricklers #385.  It is 8 shaft with 12 treadles but the pattern repeat is only 20 which is amazing for such an intricate looking pattern.  

I again wove up to the last possible inch for the scarf, it is impressive how well a Louet Spring loom works.  The fact that you can get a usable shed with the warp rods so close to the heddles is astonishing and it makes the loom waste is so minimal.

The scarf is washed, the fringe twisted and pressed but it is waiting for some sun so I can take some photos.  Here is a sneak peek, the chocolate brown stripes almost take on a purple colour making for a really harmonious scarf.

For the next scarf I had some more Debbie Bliss silk singles in a darker pink.

It has been a cold start to spring but we still have to start spring tasks, there may be snow on the ground but we put the lemon tree outside for the day to start hardening up.  The temperature in the greenhouse was 18.9C which is pretty awesome for an unheated green house, especially since the outside temperature was only 8C. 

The daffodils in the viola pots are starting to pop up and there was an unexpected flower, a snow drop!  What a wonderful surprize.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Eight Shaft Twill in Silk

Another dip into the silk stash  and this time it is the turn of some pink Debbie Bliss silk singles.  I’m pretty sure that there won’t be enough pink silk so I also pulled out some silk in cream, silver, grey and chocolate.

The skein holder and ball winder are both back into action. 

For a single scarf I pull a warp 100 inches long, it gives me 10 inches for fringe in the front, 70 inches for the scarf and 20 inches for the second fringe, take up and loom waste.  I first pulled the warp using the pink silk singles and got 92 ends.  I want the scarf to be 8 inches wide so I need a total of 160 ends.  I used the cream, silver and chocolate silk to make a frame for the scarf.  Here is the scarf placed into the raddle at the top of the loom castle and it is ready to pull on. 

For the weft I knew that I wanted to use Tencel in Eggplant but I had no idea what the pattern I was going to use for this scarf.  I spent a lot of time on the computer trying out different patterns.  

I ended up using the same twill pattern as the smoke grey scarf, Stricklers #385.  I think that it looks like little rose buds in the pink centre of the scarf. The eggplant weft really, really works!

Mom and I joined the local nature group, they offer local field trips for birding and botany.  Last week was the monthly walk with the botany group, we went to a local park in a housing development that is also between two schools.  It is amazing how wild the forest still is, we were looking at different winter fungi and mosses.  

We saw a lot of little brown mushrooms but a highlight was the witch’s butter (Dacrymyces chrysospermus), an orange jelly fungus.

The final garden photo is daffodils and rhubarb, the photo is from last week because this week everything is covered in snow again!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Four Shaft Place Mats

Finally the cotton and linen place mat warp is off the loom.  I swear it was the slowest weave ever!  I started out with high hopes of doing some serious stash busting and ended up with a weave that I completely lost interest in. 

The idea was to weave some very simple place mats using linen, linen/cotton slub and cottolin warp in neutral beige/browns.  I decided on an eight yard warp to give myself options.  I chose a larger grist of natural cotton for the warp.

I used the spool rack my husband made me  to pull the warp, because the colours and threads were to be random.  I ended up making three separate warps because I wanted less of some colours than others and some of the yarn was minimal. 

Of course each of the warps demanded a different set of lease sticks, so here are the three sets all piled up.  

I used the raddle on the looms castle to do the first basic colour spreading, and it looks a right mess!

Thankfully after all that, the warp pulled on very nicely.

The pattern I used was from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Davison called Ribbed Twill.  It is a 4 shaft pattern that has a lovely diagonal with some grouped threads.

It is always so satisfying to see the cloth winding around the cloth beam, knowing you are almost done.

This was one of the messiest warps I’ve done in a long time and there was a lot of vacuuming up to be done.

Here it is off the loom just waiting for me to decide on how to finish it.  Do I wash it in a piece and cut later?  Do I cut it into place mats, then wash?  Do I give a fringed edge with a machined finish?  Do I do a turned edge?  Do I make double across the table place mats or individual ones? Too many questions!

Here is what is keeping me from the loom right now.  We just bought an outdoor pizza oven and we are waiting impatiently for the weather to cooperate so we can try it out.  Apparently it will get up to 500 C and cook a pizza in 1 minute!  There will be wine and cheese when we finally fire her up.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Smoke Grey Silk Scarf

Sorry, I missed last Mondays post but I was gardening!  There was a Enkianthus campanulatus 'Red Bells' tree in the back garden that was very unhappy living under a Raywood Ash.   We dug it out and placed it in a newly expanded bed in the front garden.  Hopefully it will like its new, much sunnier spot, as it is one of my favourite flowering trees.  

I promised the final beauty shots of the coral pink sea silk scarf, and it is really pretty if I do say so myself.  The pattern is really charming and for a busy pattern it works so well with variegated warps.

Happily this coral pink sea silk scarf sold the day after I put it on Etsy.  I think it maybe the fastest item to have sold on Etsy for us.  Here is a photo of the scarf just before it was placed into the envelope; I like to wrap up the scarf like a present.

I had just started to weave the grey silk scarf last post and it is already off the loom.  It was a pleasure to weave, it may be 8 shafts with 12 treadles but the repeat is very simple.  The pattern is from Stricklers #385.

The scarf was washed and dried then it was ready for fringe twizzling.  I tried a couple of sizes of tassels, thick or thin.  

I went with thick but I didn’t like the candy cane affect on the second tassel on the left side so I treated the dark grey silk differently and went with a three strand tassel, as shown on the right side, the candy cane one is on the left and I did redo it!

There was some sunshine this week so I was able to take photos of the finished grey silk scarf.  It is quite charming in its dark and stormy way.  For sale.

Final garden photo is not actually from my garden but from outside the post office in town.  I just love seeing snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), seeing them blooming it seems that spring is right around the corner.