Monday, August 19, 2019

Eight Shaft Plaited Twill Scarf

I rarely ~ make that never ~ set out to weave something for myself.  Like most weavers I get to keep the mistakes, so needless to say I have plenty of scarves!
When I saw this warp though, I knew it was for me.  The warp is raw silk that I dyed in gold and green and the notes I have for it show that it is a warp long enough for two scarves.   I wanted to weave a wider or ‘blanket’ scarf for my upcoming trip to Spain and this was the perfect time to do it.
I decided to fold the warp in half and mount it on the loom.  One end of the warp was as usual with the cross intact, and the other end had my warp counting twining in groups of 10.
I had to figure out a way of picking up a cross for the lease sticks that was quick and effective and I decided to use a netting needle to weave through the counting stitches.
It looks pretty rough, but it worked very well.
Now it was time to audition the weft.  My goal with this scarf was to wear it with a denim jacket, and ideally I would weave it with bombyx silk weft, but I just didn’t have a colour that would work.

So with that in mind I went for the next best thing and tried a bunch of 2/8 Tencel colours starting with Vert Fonce (Brassard), Grey Blue (Webs), Coquille (Brassard), Mineral Green (Webs),  and Straw (Webs).  None of them really floated my boat, but the Grey Blue seemed to show the plaited twill pattern the best and would go with denim, so I went with that.
The 8 shaft, 12 treadle plaited twill pattern is subtle on the green warp and shows nicely on the gold.  I’m loving it!
Although I expected to have plenty of warp, since this was a double scarf warp, I did not.  Upon reflection I expect the raw silk took up hugely when I was washing out the dye.  I ended up weaving right to the very end and as close to the heddles as I dared to go.
Off the loom and relaxed, it came in at 68 inches long by 16 inches wide, luckily I'm a diminutive gal, OK... make that short.... and so this is plenty long enough.
Here it is, still not steam pressed or fringe twisted, but looking wonderful on my jacket and all ready to wow them in September.

Little by little Ngaire and I are making all the technical challenges featured on the Great British Bake Off and this is our very tasty attempt at a Povitica.  Pretty, pretty loaf and yummy too!
The beauty shot from our garden is Grevillea victorae (Victoria Grevillea) which is an Australian protea.  It is loaded with these confloresenses right now and they should start opening at the end of September just when the hummingbirds need the nectar.

Monday, August 12, 2019

What was I thinking?!

My last two hand dyed warps are doozies but I’m going to get them woven.  This time I'm weaving the final dyed Tencel warp; this is going to be my last Tencel warp for the rest of the year.  The warp started as Lemon Drop Yellow then I dyed it with splatters of brown, red, green and little hints of blue.  The warp isn’t something that I would usually do, I’m more of a pretty and cheerful kinda girl, and I’m not even sure why I went with brown.
It was a really challenging warp.  I wasn’t sure if I should find a pattern first or a weft colour.  I looked for a pattern but nothing looked good so I pulled out all the Tencel bins so I could look at what colours could go with this warp.  The autumnal colours seemed to be the most promising so I went with a favourite pattern; a network twill that looks a little leaf like.
For the weft I tried two shades of red brown – Spice and Pompeii, antique gold (which is a really weird colour, gold with lots of lime green in it), taupe and a hunter green.  The red browns had some promise.

The second set of weft choices were a lighter pinky brown - Adobe, yellow, orange, the darker of the red browns from last time - Pompeii and slate grey.  I think that Pompeii, the red brown is the winner but that pattern isn’t going to work.
The small splashes of colours in the warp are really breaking up the pattern so it was hard to see.  I decided to change the pattern to something that would show the warp to its best advantage.
The new pattern is a 6 shaft twill in a diamond shape.  One side is warp dominant and the other side is weft dominant.
The Pompeii weft really shows off the soft yellow in the pattern.
I think that this scarf is going to be much prettier than I thought!
Final Garden Shot is of our Persian Silk Tree, it is blooming with lovely fluffy pink clouds of blossoms!  It is also called a Mimosa tree or my favourite the Sleeping tree (Albizia julibrissin).  It is called Sleeping tree because it will close it leaves during the night, so cute!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Blue and Green Tussah Silk Scarf

This is the last hand dyed Tussah silk warp that I have to weave.  It is a lovely denim blue and a soft grass green.
It is a colour way that I have used before with great success so I grabbed the same weft that I had used for the other scarf.  The weft was a pretty dark teal Tencel but it looked terrible next to the green.  The tussah silk took up the dye different from the Bombyx silk that I had previously used.

So I audition some other weft colours, a couple of different shades of blue and green.  Definitely the winner is the navy blue.
I used the same tie up as the silver scarf from the previous set of tussah silk scarves but I changed the threading and the treadling.  I like being able to change something in the draft but be able to reuse one of the elements.
This is a gorgeous scarf.  The different interlocking diamonds of the pattern are really stunning.  I also like the play between the matte tussah silk and the wonderful shine of the navy blue Tencel.

The final garden shot is a close up of the Prostanthera rotundifolia 'Australian' commonly called Australian Bush Mint. This has a wonderful rosemary/mint smell and the flowers is huge compared to the leaves and very orchid-like. We are hopeful that it will overwinter, so fingers crossed.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Gong Show of a Four Shaft Scarf


This weave is my personal horror story ~ I have made one mistake after another.

First off, I had made the warp last year for hand painting ~ and for some unknown reason I put two blue stripes in the warp ~ why?
The warp started out with sea coral tencel with two blue stripes and I painted it with purple areas, very similar to this one. You can see how similar they are on the drying rack. I knew that I didn’t want the same thing again, so I decided to send it back to the dye pot.  This time I chose to put in lots of colour, big areas of teal and purple over the entire warp, which was a real improvement, but what a time waster.
I had made myself a list of how many threads were in each warp last year and beside #3, this warp, I had written that I’d already chosen the pattern.  Yeah.....but what did I call it and where did I save it?  I couldn’t find the pattern for love nor money and wasted hours looking for it!

I decided to go with an old favourite called Twill Complications; a lovely pattern with lots of interest.  The warp went on the loom beautifully and I had it through the reed and tied up when it was pointed out to me, by my darling daughter, that I had used the wrong reed, and the sett was far too tight.  I pulled it out of the reed and started again.
Now it was time to audition the warp; I am always amazed at what looks good. I chose the greyed teal second from the top.
Weaving the pattern is always a joy, but, first I had to fix a sleying error! So only a partial re-sley.

As I was weaving I noticed that the stripes were not hitting the pattern in a similar place, so back to the computer and a good fiddle around to see if it could be fixed.  No luck with this pattern, so I tried several others with no success, yet more wasted time.

I decided to re-thread the loom with 3/1 twill because of those darned stripes.  I could not find a pattern that centered them.  Since my lease sticks were long out, and I couldn’t easily re-insert them; I decided to wing it.  Right there I should have stopped, but no.....I carefully pulled out 12 threads at a time and re-threaded 1-2-3-4 X 3, tied the bout and moved on.  As I progressed with this it became a bit of a dogs breakfast with extra heddles and uneven numbers of threads, but I carried on. What hubris!

Whew, I re-sleyed, hemstitched and started weaving this lovely, forgiving pattern.
And then I saw it ~ I have one thread out of order on the left hand stripe!  I have a single blue end two places out of whack!

I have unwoven it yet again and  with a partial re-thread and re-sley I have moved that lonely blue thread back to nestle with its friends, but I am completely humbled! 
To recap, I have dyed the warp twice, threaded the pattern twice, re-sleyed it three times and hem stitched it three times and all I've got to show for it is two inches woven!  Complete Gong Show!

The garden shot of the week is of Gaillardia grandiflora'Arizona Apricot (Blanket Flower) and pretty purple Verena rigida 'Ventosa'.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Finishing the Tussah Silk Scarves

The two silk scarves that where inspired by one of the succulents in my garden are off the loom, washed and dried.  Now they are ready to have the fringes twisted; for the silver scarf I choose to do the twizzling in small bouts, for a more delicate appearance.
Next step is to iron the scarves.  I had quite the ironing pile to go through; there is a tablecloth, a table runner, four tea towels and what seems to be a lot of scarves.  And yes that pink scarf is really long!  It turns out that 3/1 twill doesn’t have a lot of take up; the warp was originally 100 inches but after weaving it to what Mom thought was around 70 inches, and then washing the final length of the scarf is 82 ½ inches long!
I am always surprised by the change that a hard press makes on a scarf.  It not only flattens the scarf but brings out the sheen and allows the pattern to leap forward.
The weft that I used for the rosette scarf was a lovely rosy brown but when I washed the scarf the weft ran and a lot of the red came out of the scarf but it left behind a gorgeous copper colour weft with a lot of shine.  The scarf is still lovely, just a little different from how I thought it would turn out.

The silver weft that I used for the second scarf really muted the plum and moss of the warp.  It looks totally different from the copper scarf.

Final garden shot is Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and you can see a hummingbird hidden on both photos, that has staked out the patch.  The hummingbirds love this plant; they sit on the branches all day fighting off other hummingbirds, bees and seem to get particularly stroppy with the bumble bees!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Four Shaft Scarf on Loom

Another week and another scarf ... well just about. I really, really enjoyed the relaxing weave of this scarf. I think 3/1 twill may be a new favourite!
This warp is moss green and fuchsia over sea coral tencel. It is one exciting colourway; the sheen is wonderful and the colours are really front and centre.
I have woven almost 60 inches and I feel that there will be warp left over, so maybe I can weave it off for a small jewellery pouch.
This is one of my favourite shots, I love looking at the cloth rolling around the beam.
I have been spinning along with the Tour de France race everyday, but one, with Ravelry's Tour de Fleece. I took a day out and we went to Victoria and toured Bouchart Gardens which were stunning!

We had an estate sale at the guild this week, so sad to lose another weaver. The guild bought the entire studio filled to the brim with supplies and then sold to the members.
I bought some lovely hand dyed silk yarns, the cheeses are 2/20 silk and the skeins are 2/60...yikes!
And for some reason I just had to have ALL of this merino/silk blend sliver. I have a feeling this kilo of Ashford Pomegranate will keep me busy for yonks! To give you an idea of just how much stuff we had for sale, these fibres were left over after the serious spinners had gone through it.

My perennial beds are stunning today and I’ve decided to share the hummingbirds favourite flower du jour. This is Bergamota Monarede ‘Jacob Cline’ (Bee Balm).
And this one of a really tiny white crab spider hiding on a dahlia.