Sunday, September 30, 2012

We're Baaack!!!

The last month or two have been hectic times around here, so my apologies to my regular readers for my absence! My sister-in-law was visiting from Australia and we were constantly on the go, showing her the sights of Vancouver Island. The rest of the time has been spent on never ending landscaping, but oh, how beautiful it’s all beginning to look!

The 2/8 Tencel warp that I had on the loom was a study in frustration and although I did manage to get one of the two planned scarves woven; I must admit that I gave into my annoyance and cut the rest of the warp off the loom without weaving it! This turned out to be a decision I’ve since regretted…..the pattern is stunning! It's a 12 shaft advancing twill.
This shows the light and dark sides of the scarf.

I was having constant selvedge challenges and it was slowing me down while watching the selvedges for mouse nibbles. I’ve since discovered the culprit was the tension on my end feed shuttle.

I regularly walk around ‘Lily Louet’ my 12 shaft countermarche loom, and tighten up all the screws but I never check my end feed shuttles! My friend Susan at Thrums, suggested that tension could be the problem and she was absolutely right; while I was weaving miles and miles of warp it was getting looser and looser, to the point that my weft was pulling out very sloppily and causing this problem. It’s fixed now!
I’ve very hurriedly taken a few photos of the scarf and they really don’t do it justice. This scarf is sooooo amazingly iridescent and I just couldn’t capture it in this light.
This is such a beautiful scarf but I’m not thrilled with the selvedges so it’s going to be mine, mine, mine! I love the colour combination and I will weave again but I may choose a lighter azure blue to really showcase the iridescence.
On a completely other track, I received a shipment of silk and 50/50 wool/silk in the mail a few weeks ago which I ordered from Superior Carpet Mills who are selling off ‘mill ends’.  If any of you are in Canada and would like their contact information, just email me and I'll pass it on.

I received 4 pounds of silk and 3.5 pounds of 50/50 wool/silk blend  the idea is so that I can use my silk stash which is in very bright colours as well as my handspun yarn stash.
I had requested grey, silver and cream and sent them paint chips with yarn samples for a colour match. Luckily they still had these colours in stock.
My request for grey blue, grey green and navy unfortunately couldn’t be filled, so after a quick phone conversation I asked for chocolate brown and copper, which should go with much of my stash...hopefully!

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Hand Dyed Cotton

I was looking through the stash and I found some more hand dyed cotton, it was hiding in the bottom of the tub!  Mum and I thought that we had used it all up with the blue scarves, pink scarves, purple scarves and gray scarves, but was there!
This is 2/8 cotton in hunter green.  I thought that it would be great to use in an overtly masculine scarf using a pattern in A Weaver’s Book of Eight Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler that I think looks like bugs.  What can be more masculine than a bug?!
The warp is stripes of the green cotton and a really lovely gold that didn't photograph at all well.  The pattern is a two shuttle weave with the same colours.  I am really disappointed on how the pattern is working out.  The bugs are hard to see! 
Here is a close up and you can see that the buglike pattern is mostly created from the interaction of the two colours.
I don’t like my edges either, I had placed a twill tape down the edges but I don’t like the result.  And to top it all off the scarf feels  too thick; that's when I realized that I had set the epi wrong.
I didn’t like weaving the scarf, I had set it up wrong, and the pattern wasn’t working so I cut it off.  Usually I would have unwoven the scarf to save the warp and then reworked the entire scarf but I just didn’t want to do all the work for some warp that I didn’t really like.
After cutting it off, the sample relaxed and I could see the bugs!  I'm glad that the scarf is off, I just didn’t like weaving it at all!  My loom was only empty for an hour before I had another warp on it, this time another table runner warp.

Some of the cotton scarves are in our Esty shop - Woven Beauty.  There is three blue scarves and one pink scarf.  The purple scarves have not made up yet but soon!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Slow Progress

There has been so much going on lately that weaving has definitely taken second place!

Two weeks ago I had dental surgery that set me completely on my butt for 10 days; it was the anesthetic that did me in, OK, OK and the weird feeling that I have a moon crater in my mouth! My eye tooth, which had a regular root canal treatment done and a few years later had an Endodontic retreatment root canal done, packed up and needed to be pulled!  I was horrified! I will after several months of healing get a tooth implant, but for now I get to wear what my dentist called ‘A Party Tooth!’ It’s a clear plastic mouth guard with a fake tooth…..yup, a real joy!!!!

So long story short ~ I have a warp on the loom, but I’m going nowhere fast!
The warp is coral coloured 2/8 tencel sett at 24 ends per inch. I worked up an Advancing Snowflake pattern in twill on twelve shafts using PCW. I decided to put on enough warp for two scarves, but I want each one to have different coloured weft, so I’ve hung the selvedges. There are 6 weighted film canisters on each edge and to keep them from twisting I’ve threaded them through a small plastic mesh.
This photo shows the first pattern repeat ~ this scarf is woven with Azure blue 2/8 tencel weft. This is the dark side, mostly teal with coral peeking through.
This photo is of the other side of the scarf where the coral colour is the background with a teal pattern. Hopefully this will become clearer once the web is off the loom and fulled.
Each pattern repeat is 158 picks long, so it’s pretty slow going ~ I just can’t get it memorized, but I do get into the swing a little bit when it follows numeric runs…..

My sister in law is visiting us from Oz (even though she is a New Zealander, Sydney is where she lives now), so I expect that this scarf may be a ‘work in progress’ for awhile. We have spent our days discovering our local beauty spots and towns ~ a great ‘staycation’ for us!  However; I have a nice silk yarn order arriving in 7-10 days so I really want to get this warp off the loom so I can play with the new yarn!

Here's a quick link to Woven Beauty where you can visit our shop.