Thursday, June 28, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

I’ve been very diligent at choosing projects to weave from my stash and frankly I’m due for a reward because I really have been stash busting! Webs online, was having their anniversary sale, so I broke down and placed an order a few weeks ago. Some of my colour choices were back ordered, so it took awhile, but here they are!

 I ordered large cones of aqua marine, black, blue ming, mineral green, natural, navy, pompeii and taupe. My photo just doesn’t do it justice!

As a reward to myself for using up all the hand dyed cotton, I’ve put on a 3 scarf warp in tencel. My plan is to weave three variations of my original Echo weave that I did back in 2009. There are a few things that make a weave Echo Weave work:
*parallel threading

*alternating warp colours - two or more
*high sett density
*split complementary colour scheme
*parallel treadling

*no more than a 3 thread float
This scarf was woven with navy blue weft and so this is an analogous colour scheme. This means that the scarf isn’t a true Echo Weave because the colour-way should be a split complementary, but hey, rules are ment to be broken.

I’ve deviated yet again from a true Echo Weave by treadling this scarf point twill as you can clearly see on the selvedge. 
The scarf reads differently on each side, one side is dark blue and the other seems to be washed denim, which makes sense due to the similarity of the blue and green warp threads.
 The surprising thing is that there is also a taupe colour in the iridescence on the light side. On the dark side I swear I see khaki! Everything about this weave structure is amazing!
This is such a pretty scarf that I’ve decided it will be mine, mine, mine! I do love to wear what we call the ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ a denim jacket with jeans…..and this will jazz mine up considerably.  OK, I really don't wear two denims exactly the same colour!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Warp Rep or Ripsmatta

I am still on a stash busting mission and Rep Weave uses a lot of yarn, so it seemed like a natural choice for me. I haven’t woven Rep Weave since 2004, when I was doing the Guild of Canadian Weavers Master Program, so I thought I’d have another look at the whole weave structure.  I found that Lila Lundells book Rep Weave to be really good.

Rep Weave gets its name from its strong horizontal ribbing; rep and rib have the same root word in French.

“Rep Weave is a derivate of Tabby with warp set so closely that it covers the weft. Two wefts are used alternately; one very heavy and another very fine. The fabric has ridges parallel to the weft. If the warp has all uneven numbered ends of one kind of yarn; and all even ends of other the fabric will have two sides woven in two different yarns. The same applies to the warp made of two alternating colours; the fabric will have one colour on one side and the second colour on the other”. Excerpt from Encyclopedia of Hand-Weaving by Stanislaw A Zielinski published by Funk & Wagnalls New York.

I decided to use two different colours of the same yarn rather than two different yarns, although that sounds pretty exciting and I may try it in the future. I found exactly the pattern that I was looking for in Handwoven Magazine September/October 1988. The article is entitled Warp Rep by Lynne Giles. The actual design is called ‘Lace’ and was designed by Catharina Carlstedt and published by Glimakra.

This is the draft that I got from the magazine and it took me forever to key it into PCW!

Ngaire had a look and noticed that I didn’t have enough heddles on 8 shafts for the pattern, so she took it to PCW and stretched it over 12 shafts for me. I still ended up making 20 extra heddles…..painfully slow! I can see an order for a few hundred more heddles will be in my future.
Pulling the 808 threads seemed to take forever, but thankfully it pulled onto the loom really easily. I’ve sett the Rep Weave at 40 ends per inch ~ 4 per dent in a 10 dent reed, so that part went quickly.

I found that the origianl draft in the magazine was just too big for my purposes, so I reduced the pattern overall to make a runner the width 20 inches. I’ve chosen to use 2/8 Orlec for the warp in mid-green and light green alternately for the warp.

Threading was pretty straightforward, but I had to really keep my mind on the colour sequence as it changes on a frequent basis and there are plenty of times where two light or two dark colours lie next to each other.  The pattern looks like it has some texture but that is an optical illusion caused when the warp colours change.
I’ve used the same 2/8 Orlec for the fine weft and thought I’d use a DK weight Acrylic Knitting Yarn for my heavy weft. It was cheap and cheerful and I thought it would wash very well.
Well that didn’t work out well at all– can you see the fluffy knitting yarn popping out between the warp threads? It's just too fluffy and poofy and it makes the pattern appear a bit fuzzy.
I went to my local yarn shop and found a skein of Butterfly Mercerized Cotton from Greece! This is a 6 ply cable yarn and it works much, much better. The cotton is very firm and it behaves itself and allows the warp to cover it completely.
This is my runner so far.
This is the runner from underneath. I took this photo lying on the floor looking up and it was much more difficult than I thought it would be!  This runner will be completely reversable.
I'd forgotten how much fun Rep Weave is ~ I'm really enjoying this simple, graphic pattern and I can't wait to see the finished result!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Last of the Hand Dyed Warps Part 2

This warp has been trouble from the start - I have had to unweave, re thread and re tie up twice and now I don’t have enough soft green Orlec for the weft!  I knew that it was going to be close but the scarf is just a little more than halfway done and this is all the weft I have left, it's just a little too short!
In the warp I used the soft green and a soft blue to lighten up the slate grey cotton and there is a tiny ball of the blue Orlec left that I ended up using to extend the scarf.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to add the blue to the scarf but Mum came up with a great idea to weave bands of colour in a Fibonacci sequence.
I was just able to finish the scarf to the length that we like, which is the aviator length of 70 inches.   There was barely anything left on the pirns when I was finished ~ talk about cutting it close!
The colour blocking of the Fibonacci sequence really added interest to the scarf.  It is a lovely spring weight scarf and it is really, really beautiful in both feel and colour.
The second scarf wove up really fast; there were no issues which made it a nice relief to weave.  It is a completely different treadling that looks like interlocking diamonds climbing up the scarf.  The weft is a soft lilac Orlec.  And that little nest of  slate grey cotton on the side is all that I have left of the hand dyed skein.
The two scarves look really different from each other and I really like adding Orlec to cotton for scarves; it adds a lovely shine and it isn’t too heavy weight wise.
I am happy to say that we have used up all the hand dyed cotton warps, they were a little intimidating to work with but the end most of the results are just fantastic.  I think that we will be dyeing some more warps in the summer, maybe some silk.