Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fancy Twill Table Runners

It's harvest time and I’ve been busy trying to keep up with the tomatoes, by planting over sixty plants means that there are tomatoes ready every couple of days. The raspberries are also ready so I had to make some jam too!This post is about the table runners that I started back in August, they are a cotton warp and silk weft in a plum and a grey and the pattern is a fancy twill. Here they are side by side before washing. I was able to get them the same length with the same number of pattern repeats!After washing and pressing them I noticed that they are no longer the same. The grey runner is longer than the plum runner by five inches. And the plum runner is wider than the grey runner by two inches. It is amazing the difference weft can make to a project even when the two colours are supposed to be the same.The both runners are finished with a two inch border with fancy hemstitching in the middle. The plum runner has trellis stitching and the grey has ladder hemstitching which I am going to be lacing a ribbon through to add a punch of colour. I haven’t bought the ribbon so I don’t know the colour yet but I am thinking blue.For the plum runner I chose the weft dominant side. I think the warp dominant side too white and it washes out the pattern, although in the picture it looks pretty good.For the grey runner I also chose the weft dominant side but for a different reason. The weft is a thick and thin variegated grey and black silk so on the warp dominant side there are splotches of black that look like mistakes.On the weft dominant side there is more colour and the black blends in better.The runners were so much fun to weave and I love the colours. The runners made a nice change to all the scarves that I have been weaving. I really like these runners, so much so that I have tied on, but that is another post!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

False Damask Yet Again

I’ve just finished another six tea towels in one of my favourite ‘go to’ patterns; False Damask on 8 shafts. I love weaving this pattern and playing around with the colour sequences. Sorry, there hasn’t been time to press them though! I have hand hemmed these two, but I’m leaving for France in two days and these four will just have to wait until October when I come home! This pattern really allows me to play around with warp colours the stripe placement. I pulled the warp with stripes in three different shades of grey, black, mauve and white as the divider threads. I used black weft on all six tea towels but every tea towel has a unique weft stripe sequence. These colours just look amazing with stainless steel appliances.I thought I’d share my way of ensuring that all the stripes begin and end at the same place, so that when the tea towels are displayed they look their best.

I like to weave 4 inches of pattern before beginning a stripe sequence. I never just weave tabby for hems unless the pattern is tabby, I’ve found that tabby often weaves up wider than patterns. The 4 inches allows me a 1 inch hem (1/2 inch turned under twice) and about 2 inches before the stripe begins.

I like to weave my tea towels 36 inches long and generally end up with about 28 inches when hemmed. I have a non stretchy piece of trim that is 36 inches long and that I’ve marked off with a line 4 inches from one end. I pin this to my woven cloth after a few picks and weave to the marker.I then begin to weave any stripe sequence I feel like; when I’m happy with the result I pull the other end of the trim forward and match it up with the piece pinned to my fabric. I then insert a straight pin to mark where my stripes end. I can then forget about measuring my woven cloth, I just pin the tape to the cloth as I go along. I ‘frog leap’ two pins as I go along so that there is never a time when the tape isn’t attached to the cloth. When I reach my straight pin I start the stripe sequence I’ve chosen and weave it in reverse. This ensures that both ends match perfectly. I thought I’d share this photo….I feel like a proud mama with my first really ripe Meyer Lemon! I got one lemon last year that I had to remove when still under ripe; but this year I have 10 on my wee tree and one just about ready to eat!