After spending a wonderful week on Vancouver Island it’s lovely to be home again. We had a great visit with Susan in Duncan and I got a sneak preview of what she has on her Louet Spring. While I was there Susan gave me one of the lovely 'breaks and recesses' tea towels that just came off her loom…..visiting sure has it’s advantages!
Before I could sit at my loom and get down to weaving I had to get my veggie garden planted immediately. Michael roto tilled the garden plot and we were away! Our very cool spring made planting extremely late and my poor tomatoes are mere babes, maybe if you squint you can see a leaf or two! The rhubarb however is amazing this year and the dark marks in the soil is where we've watered the seeds and plants! I grow my organic heirloom tomatoes from seed that I save myself, and this year I started them outside in my potting shed/greenhouse. Needless to say the weather conspired against me, but nature will win out and they will soon catch up. The lilac in my back garden is simply amazing this year, with abundant blossom heads over a foot long! And the chestnut tree in the front garden is covered in snow white cone shaped flower heads, while the ginko tree in the background is just coming into leaf. Before we left for the Island I warped ‘Lily Louet’ with 3 yards of hand painted 2/20 silk, so when I got home all I had to do was thread and tie-on. The silk was dyed in very bold deep purple, red and yellow. My goal was to weave a scarf that would show strong colour changes; I dyed some 1/20 bombyx silk purple for the weft. What I hadn’t counted on was that the weft I’d planned on using (in the ball) completely killed my pattern when it crossed the purple patches. Now I was on the hunt for weft, which seems to be a never ending saga in my life! I pulled out my Itten’s Star and found the split complementary was olive green, after a few picks I thought that the olive overwhelmed the yellow portions of the warp, actually changing the colour to a weak dull lime green, yuk! Then I tried a yellow gold which blended into the yellow and hid the pattern, the same with red…….so back to basic black which was the only colour that seems to enhance all my colour changes! I chose 2/20 black tencel as the fine grist of the weft makes the scarf very light and still allows the colours to show through.The pattern is advancing twill on ten shafts, which is treadled ‘trom as writ’, and I’m extremely pleased with it. You can really see the neat pillow shapes that this pattern makes and the black weft doesn't seem to darken the colours too much.