Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Doing It Ourselves

My family are dyed in the wool 'Do It Yourselfers'; or sometimes known as ‘too dumb to know better’. We do know our limits in some respects ~ no messing around with electricity or plumbing, but everything else is pretty much fair game.

We are now almost five months into our new home and as much as living on the ‘Wet Coast’ will allow we’ve managed to get a quite a few projects done outside.
Ngaire and I landscaped the large front gardens including adding a masonry patio, Michael built a garden shed that looks like a wee doll house in the back garden, Ngaire and I oil stained the fence and now Michael is adding on 32 feet of additional fence!  Never a dull moment!

The not so nice spring weather has made weaving everyday an easy goal to meet and we have set up our Etsy shop (NyreeLynn). So we thought today was a good day to tackle something new that falls into the 'why the heck not' category!
Our friends had a couple of small wing back chairs that were destined for recycling. The chairs were being stored where their cat had access ~ that pretty much says it all! These are really sweet chairs and I thought they had potential.  We decided that having them professionally upholstered was out right now as all the other projects have left the wallet a bit slim, but I knew that we could make them pretty!
First we cut off all of the shredded fabric; this showed that all of the damage was on the sides and backs of the chairs and it was deep, this is just a small sample of what we cut off!
The front of the chairs was fine and so we decided to just cover over the backs and sides of the chairs.
A quick trip to the discount bin at Fabricland and $29.00 later Ngaire had found the perfect fabric. I was really happy with the fabric, it lightens up the all over green chairs, it was a simple pattern to match and the green colour was a match.
I made a paper template and cut the fabric a few inches larger than the chairs and we took special care to make sure that the pattern on the fabric landed in the same place for all four sides of the chairs.  The pattern runs down the centre on the back of the chairs, who doesn't like matchy, matchy?
Before we started I pinned the pieces onto the chairs to make sure I had done it right, looks pretty good!
Michael loved this project because he got to buy a new tool...the pneumatic staple gun made the whole thing possible.  Ngaire go to do the actual shooting, I'm the fold and hold gal!  We stapled the fabric over the top of the old fabric, making sure that the staples fell into the ditch behind the original trim.
I can’t believe how cute these look! It took about six hours from start to finish, but I think it was well worth it! You really can’t see the staples too much, but I think I’ll hunt up some kind of trim to cover them later on. 
From the front the chairs still look the same, but now that I look at things I think the next project will be to refinish the tops of those nesting tables.  Including the purchase of the staple gun, the project price ended up being $40.00 per chair!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Last of the Hand Dyed Warps Part 1

We've finally bitten the bullet and opened our very own Etsy Shop and I've got to say it's wayyyyyyy more work than I expected!  The good thing is we're getting really good at taking photos of our weaving and as an added bonus we're improving our descriptive language skills......please take a moment to visit us at NyreeLynn

All the recent warps that Mum and I have been doing are hand dyed 2/8 cotton that we dyed sometime last year.  This last warp was supposed to be dyed navy but the colour came out slate grey which is very pretty but quite a dark colour.
I used a soft blue, soft green and hot pink Orlec to liven up the warp.  The green and blue were used alternating with the grey cotton and the pink was used as 6 stripes.  This warp turned out to be one of the prettiest warps that I have ever done!  When it was sitting on the shelf it looked so enticing and I couldn’t wait to weave up the two scarves. 
The blue and pink hand dyed scarves that I have done previously have been Finnish Lace.  For this warp I wanted to do a different pattern, I chose another lace pattern that highlights the pink stripes.  But I didn’t like it; the little squares of lace in the pink stripes are too small widthwise, so thet seemed lost in the scarf.  I also didn’t like the fact that plain weave had one pick with the all the light colours of the warp and the other pick was all grey.  It made the scarf really dark.  The lace and plain weave didn’t play nicely together making the weft look droopy.    I also had trouble with the edges so back to the drawing board.
I went looking for a new pattern by searching through drafts that had already been woven and I found this lacy twill that I had woven before, out of bamboo and tencel that I just love.  I fiddled with the pattern so that the medallions fit between the pink stripes.  And for the pink stripes I broke up the twill to give the scarf added interest.
I really like how the twill wove up, and loved the colour play, but I don’t like how the edges are weaving up.  They are pulling in because of the twill floats on the edges which make a ruffled edge.  So I unwove, rethreaded and did the tie up again for the third time!  I made the edges into a 2/2 twill which I put on shafts 9 –12 to make things a little easier. 
So here is hoping that the weaving goes easier from now on!  I am getting tired of weaving the same couple of inches of just the first scarf.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pink Scarves

I'm working on yet another de – stashing project ~ this time the project was based around a small skein of variegated pink hand dyed cotton which needed to be used.  I took this picture after I had already pulled the warp once.  I had made a mistake with the math for the cotton and had run out prematurely, so off it came.
I don’t remember what the original thread plan was; but the warp turned out to be one thread cotton, one thread Orlec, alternating between the light and dark pink orlec.
I had a really hard time figuring out what colours of weft that I could use on the two scarves, so I sampled.  Starting at the bottom is hot pink, dark grey, light pink, lilac, light grey and rose.  I think that the colours that worked best were the hot pink and light pink, everything else faded into the background.  These are some very pink scarves, I was hoping to tone down the colour, not enhance it, but you gotta go with the flow!
I liked weaving the series of variegated blue scarves so much so I decided to use the same Finnish lace pattern for these pink scarves.  I chose two new treadlings for these pink scarves, making four different treadlings in total so all the scarves in the blue/pink series are different.  The first pink scarf is an all over lace and the weft is hot pink Orlec, this scarf has great texture.
For the second scarf I used the same weft because it pretty much finished the cone and that is the point of de- stashing!  Also in the picture is the little ball of cotton that I had left, pretty good usage considering that the cotton was a random amount, it hadn’t been dyed with a project in mind.
The second scarf used M’s and W’s treadling.  I really liked it because of how the boxes of lace are framed by more lace, very neat.
When I washed the scarves some of the dye ran off and it left the cotton more uniform in colour.  I really miss the bright splashes of fuchsia that the skein had before I washed it!
When I was weaving these scarves I knew that I had to have one, I really like pink!  I started wearing it immediately and I have been really happy with the weight of the scarf; it is light enough for spring but wide enough to fill in the collars of coats from the cold wind.   
These are delightful spring time scarves!