Sunday, January 26, 2014

12 Shaft Fancy Twill - Four Scarves

This is the first warp after Lily Louet's new year tune up,  a 2/10 black tencel warp.  I purchased this  yarn from Yarns Plus before they (alas!) closed their doors.  Since the cone was getting low, I had a look online for replacement yarn and couldn’t find anyone who carries 2/10 black tencel!  Do any of you know of a supplier that you will share with me?

The warp I put on the loom is 9.5 yards long for four scarves, each scarf has been allocated 83 inches which will be 68 loom woven inches and 7 inch fringe allowances.  The first scarf has a 10 inch fringe to allow tie on to the front beam and the last scarf has a final fringe of 16 inches to allow for loom waste included.

The pattern I’m weaving is 12 shaft fancy twill that I developed based on a combination two patterns.  The first pattern was shared by my friend Susan and she showed it on this post.  The second inspirational pattern was found in Handwoven’s Design Collection #19 called ‘Peacock Shawl’. 

I’m weaving the scarves so that I can take them with me on my New Zealand trip in five weeks, not too sure if that’s enough time as I’m in a particularly poky period of late!  We have been invited to stay with several friends that my husband went to Ardmore Teachers College with in the 1970’s (yes, he’s a man who holds on to his friends!)  I thought a hand woven scarf would be a lovely hostess gift for the ladies in their lives.
The first scarf is woven using 2/10 burgundy tencel and I’m really very pleased with the pattern.
I’ve already finished the first scarf and I’ve started the second scarf in 2/10 soy silk in a lovely hand dyed bronze. 

As you probably know I live on Vancouver Island and frankly a moist environment is an understatement.  Today it’s dense fog and 100% humidity!  Needless to say wearing wool in the winter is a must for me, but I hate the tendency for wool to pill and make you look unkept.
I bought this great gadget by Conair called a Fabric Shaver and I can’t say enough great things about it!  There is a guard that allows you to choose how close you come to the fabric ~ security blanket for me!
Here is my brown wool cardigan sleeve before I attacked it, yup....gnarly barely covers it!
Here it is with one sleeve done, much, much better!

This is just the first part of the pile of pills I removed ~ amazing ~ I'm all back to smooth and warm.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2013 Weaving List Part 2

Part 2 . . . 

July 2013
Finally using the blue yardage from the ‘oh shit’ pile.  The yardage used two shades of blue, Ming Blue and Aquamarine with Verdigris Green 2/8 Tencel.  The pattern is Undulating Twill.  The first 5 in 1 has glitter buttons and some surface embellishment in the form of hand stitched lines stitched in dark blue Tencel.  For Sale.
The second 5 in 1 has shell buttons and is a little shorter then the first.  For Sale but not up on Etsy because it is too similar to the first one.

August 2013
I am not sure when I wove these two scarves; it was some time in the spring.  The warp and weft are 2/20 Cotton in baby pink.  They are Woven Shibori so the main body of the scarf is Plain Weave and the inset Shibori threads are Twill.  They actually lay forgotten in a drawer until the night before the Dye Day in August, when Mum asked about them.
The cotton took up the dye really well and the scarves are mostly orange and green with only the slightest pink showing up and if you didn’t know it was there you wouldn’t see it.  Green For SaleOrange For Sale.

September 2013
I love these 5 in 1’s so much that I made another two.  They are a style of clothing without too much complicated sewing that added an extra design element to the Esty Store.  The warp is black Bamboo 7 and the weft is Silk/Merino blend in Bronze.  The pattern is an Extended Point Twill, I love the large medallions.  For Sale.   
The second 5 in 1 the warp in taupe Bamboo 7 and the weft is Silk/Merino blend in Cream.  The pattern is the same.  These 5 in 1’s are a little heavier and are more suited for outer wear.  The pictures just don’t do them justice and I will be re photographing them soon.  We use a small half mannequin and I think that these will photograph better on a model - we just need to find one!   For Sale.
The first of the hand dyed silk warps from the Dye Day in August.  I dyed the warp in splashes of golden yellow, orange and raspberry red.  The scarf is woven with 2/10 Burgundy Tencel.  The inspiration for the choice of pattern was the rustling of autumnal leaves, the pattern is a Networked Twill.  For Sale.

October 2013
A second set of scarves woven in the twill polka dots.  The warp was 2/8 Tencel in black and the weft for the first scarf was super fine Muga Silk also known as Golden Silk.  This scarf was woven to a length suitable for a man and the polka dots were treadled so that they were more oval and in my mind, more manly!  For Sale.

Second scarf was woven in 2/8 White Tencel and woven in the normal polka dot pattern ~ you know we love it!  For Sale.

November 2013
My third weaving disaster, it was supposed to be a scarf but I am not sure that it is going to be now.  The warp was 2/8 Tencel in Ming Blue striped with thick Silk hand dyed in orange and blue.  The pattern was Herringbone Twill.  The part of weaving that I have to be really careful about is my beat.  In this scarf I was beating very heavy at the beginning to loosened up to my normal beat at the end.  I have no idea why I thought that I should beat so heavy because I don’t really like to look or feel of the firm end, so my first new addition to the 'oh shit' pile.
In late November we received our first commission on Etsy.  It was exciting!  There were four extra tea towels, two sold two days after the listing went up on Esty, two are still For Sale.  There are two extra woven squares 11¾ x 11¾ inches that I don’t know what to do with . . . any ideas?  Luncheon napkins?  Dish towels?  Face cloths?  

December 2013
Sorry for the bad picture you can't really see the great pattern!  I will be showing you the finished project soon.  The last project of the year was table runners.  The warp was 2/16 Cotton in Red and I put on enough for two runners.  The pattern is Huck Lace in a Lattice design.  Both runners were supposed to be woven from fine Linen singles but I had done my math wrong.  I forgot to change the yards per pound from the cotton to the linen so I ran out of the linen very quickly.  The Linen piece is the Cardinal Red Runner, it took a lot of washing to get the excess dye out – it actually coloured my hands!  After a mad searching through the stash I settled on Cottolin in Raspberry.  The runner is a little longer and is a totally different colour red.  I still have to hem them, photograph and list them on Etsy – hopefully before the end of the month.

So that it!  So I'm going to take a little different take on blogging this year - I'm going to microblog which means smaller blogs but more often interspersed with Mom's blogs.  Hopefully it will work out so that we get together more often!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Weaving List Part 1

Hi!  It’s me, Ngaire.  For some reason I stopped blogging last year but I didn’t stop weaving.  I miss having a journal with pictures of each project so I am going to start adding to the blog again. 

This first post is going to be a recap of the last year which I have seen other bloggers do like Martha and Susan.

So let’s get started.

January 2013
Every year I make the same two resolution with regard to weaving, one is to use up the ‘oh shit’ pile.  The scarf was a Hand Dyed Cotton and Orlec that I had run out of weft on so I had added blue orlec in a Fibonacci sequence.  I didn’t really like it so I cut off the stripes and re hemstitched the scarf and made a new fringe.  It worked but the scarf was shorter then normal so I didn’t know what to do with it.  It was given as a gift to someone very small!  The piece of blue Tencel yardage was removed and I made into two 5 in 1 Shawl/Shrug/Capelet/Tunic/Wrap but that idea didn’t come until July.  I still have the other colourful yardage in Tencel and I hope that 2014 is its year to be featured.
The second resolution is to use up the weaving stash.  I like to pick a yarn and then work it into something and this time I picked three cheeses of Linen/Silk blend that had a small slub.  It was a disaster!  The yarn was very hairy, sticky and dusty it was a misery to pull onto the loom.  The picture shows the fibres that I had to pick out from between the lease sticks.
Finally  I started weaving it and the fibres were flying off; there was a line of extra fibre behind the reed which really made the fibres bridge, and they were bridging even more between the heddles.  The plan was to make table runner but it was too hairy and prickly feeling.  It is the first time that I have ever cut off the project but there was no salvaging this piece!
Bookmarks using Bamboo 7 warp and with Silk weft in different colours.  The bookmarks were woven in Turned Summer and Winter in motifs that looked like insects, tribal and abstract.  They were woven on a Louet Jane Table Loom, with three bands on bookmarks, two black and one taupe woven at the same time.  Twelve were woven but only two found new homes.  For Sale but not currently on Etsy – they should be though, because they are lovely!!!
I did the piano scarves again.  I sold one at Christmas and just added the new listing for the second one I wove.  The piano scarf doesn’t get the interest that I thought it would on Etsy and I don’t really enjoy weaving them.  So after I finish the chenille I don’t think that I will be doing them again.  For Sale.

February 2013
My first go at an Ombrè affect.  The warp for the two scarves was 2/8 Tencel using bright orange, scarlet, burgundy and flowing to a warm brown.  The weft for the first scarf was 2/8 Tencel in Navy Blue and was woven in twill polka dots.  Love this pattern! Sold.
For the second scarf the weft was Olivine 2/8 Tencel and was woven with a modified treadling that created little ferns along that scarf.  Sold.
The warp for the scarf was super fine Merino Wool in Dusty Pink.  The weft was Ramie which is an ancient fibre from Asia made from nettles; it’s similar to linen.  The pattern is M’s and O’s woven in blocks.  For Sale.
I used the same M’s and O’s pattern but I changed the warp to Sea Coral and the weft was the super fine Merino Wool in Dusty Pink.  The blocks ended up different sizes because my beat changed – I must have been rushing to finish.  So this is my scarf and I love it!
Etsy has a huge Wedding section so Mum and I decided to branch out into Wedding Shawls.  The warp is 2/8 Orlec in Soft Peach with long subtle stripes of slubby rayon in orchid pink and cream; the knops of rayon add visible interest and texture to the shawl without overwhelming it.  The weft is the same Soft Peach Orlec woven in a Broken Basket Weave.  At both ends of the shawl there is 6 inches of cross medallion motifs picked out in a soft pink Orlec.  The twisted fringe frames the subtle natural Freshwater Pearls and Japanese Delica seed bead detail studded within the fringe.  For Sale.

March 2013
 The warp is 2/8 Orlec in Blush Pink with the same long subtle stripes of slubby rayon in orchid pink and cream.  The weft is the same Blush Pink Orlec woven in a Broken Basket Weave.  At both ends of the shawl there is 6 inches of cross medallion motifs picked out in a soft pink Orlec.  The twisted fringe frames the Swarovski crystals and Japanese Delica seed bead detail studded within the fringe.  For Sale.
The White Shawl warp was 2/8 Tencel in White with a slubby Silk for added interest.  The weft was 2/8 Tencel and the pattern was a Broken Basket Weave.  The twisted fringe frames the Freshwater Pearls and Japanese Delica seed beads.  Sold.

April 2013
Spring totally inspired these tea towels.  Made from 2/8 Mercerized Cotton the towels feature peach with the three shades of purple in stripes with a shot of lime green in the centre.  Both ends of each towel has a plaid border in purple, each border is unique.  The pattern is a Herringbone Twill.  I used two different peach cottons in the weft - two towels in each shade and that made for two different colours and feel to the towels.  Sold one and have 3 more For Sale.

May 2013
Two scarves were woven in a modern asymmetrical twist to the classic pattern for Herringbone Twill.  The warp was fine Merino Wool in Navy Blue.  The first scarf was woven with 2/8 Tencel in Mineral Green and features a border of diamonds at each end.  The twisted fringe has been hand wrapped in green Tencel for a special finishing touch.  For Sale.
The second scarf was woven with 2/8 Tencel in Sea Coral.  The treadling was changed to make boxes and chevrons.  The fringe was also hand wrapped in pink Tencel.  For Sale.

June 2013
The first White Shawl sold quickly so I was able to weave another one.  The warp was 2/8 Tencel in White with a slubby Rayon this time for added interest.  The weft was 2/8 Tencel and the pattern was the Broken Basket Weave again.  I ran out of white Tencel while weaving this shawl so I phoned Susan asking if she had some Tencel and she did!  Mum and I made a mad dash down Island (a four hour round trip) to pick up the Tencel.  Thanks Susan!  The twisted fringe frames the subtle natural Freshwater Pearls and Japanese Delica seed beads.  For Sale.

So that's half way through the year.  With so many pictures I decided to split this post into two ~ catch you later.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Loom Maintenance - Tuning Up Lily

 Ahhh the beginning of a New Year, so loom maintenance is in order. During the course of the year I’ve moved heddles all over the place and Lily Louet is showing signs of general wear and tear. 
The first thing I did was walk around the loom and tighten up all the bolts and screws.  Amazingly the screw holding the tension on my brake was just about completely off.  Glad we caught that one before there were tears!
I’ve noticed that my shafts were getting a bit uneven for a while now, so I had my husband Michael pick the loom up and sit it on his saw horses so that I could work on it at eye level.
Because the Louet Spring is a countermarche loom I started the leveling process from the bottom up.
My first job was to remove all of the lamm tie up cords to make sure that they hadn’t stretched out of shape or have frayed or whatever.  My plan is to reverse them when I put them back on the loom so that the loop holes are nice and tight, you can really see where they have stretched over the past couple of years.
Each shaft has this little pin, which we call the ‘biting penguin’ on a roller system that you can adjust to lower or raise the shaft and lamm bars, so I twisted and turned and got all of the short lamms even, then I worked my way up the loom leveling as I went.  Surprisingly this took no time at all.

Now that all the shafts and lamms are straight I moved on to the heddles.
The first task was to count the heddles on each shaft.  I like to have 100 heddles on each shaft.  I put a soft cord around the heddles that are to stay on the shaft and isolated the extras.
When I count off the extra heddles I like to use twist ties to secure them.  I have found using one colour for the front of the loop and a different one for the back of the loop insures that I don’t twist the heddles when I put them back on the loom.
Before I open up the shafts I mark the spot that the ‘biting penguins’ are in to ensure that I can put things back in the same place.
Then girding my loins and grinding my molars I push out the ‘biting penguin’ with my thumbs. 
I always remove the bottom part of the shaft first and then slide off the heddles, then poke the ‘biting penguin’ back into the marked hole.  Repeat the same process with the top of the shaft.  Do this until done all the heddles have been moved to the correct shaft.  I have to say that this process hurts like the dickens!
My next project is on 12 shafts so I was able to tie up for the project as I balanced the treadles ~ bonus!