Sunday, February 9, 2014

12 Shaft Fancy Twill - Second Scarf

I’m almost finished the second scarf that I plan to gift to my hostesses while we visit New Zealand in March.  I’m weaving the same 12 shaft Fancy Twill pattern as the first scarf, but I’ve changed the weft from tencel to soy silk and the colour from burgundy to bronze. 
I’ve tried a different hem treatment on these scarves.  Usually I hemstitch with the weft that I weave the body of the scarves with.  But, I must admit that sometimes I’m not happy with the overall look of the stitches, even though I usually pick up very small increments.  This time I’ve use the same colour as the warp to start.  I wove 2 picks in black and then hemstitched over two dents ~ 4 threads.  Then I started the pattern weft colour, on the first pick I carried the black thread also.  Pretty nice I think!
The scarf has a slightly different look on the underside where the black warp is more predominant.
This is the first time I’ve woven with soy silk and I must say it’s behaving very well so far.  This soy silk was hand dyed and has a very slight colour shift which adds some additional colour interest. 
I have noticed that the soy silk is not as lustrous as tencel, but I’m hoping that pressing will bring up more sheen.
My husband and I have taken the big plunge and have decided to travel for a full month to New Zealand and the Cook Islands with only carry-on luggage!  Needless to say this has been causing me some angst as I’m admittedly a bit of a high  maintenance kinda’ gal!  We searched the internet and found our carry-on bags and they weigh under 4 1/2 pounds each, the lightest  with wheels we've found.

I also found a great video Packing Light and I did a trial pack using this method.  Amazingly, I was able to get 2 pairs of Capri’s, a pair of trousers, 9 tops, a bathing suit, 2 pair of sandals, a jacket, undies and my travel appliances into a 21 inch wheeled carry-on.  The whole shebang ended up weighing 12.7 pounds!  Admittedly I’m a small gal, but I tried it out for my husband who’s over 6 feet and he had space to spare!  I still have some trepidation but I'm feeling really good about it so far!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Loom Maintenance

Sorry about the weird fonts, I'm having a bit of a blogger issue!

My loom was the next in line for the New Year’s maintenance overhaul.  Each time we lift up my loom it's a surprise how much heavier it is than Mum’s.  My loom was built in the 1980’s and it is twice as heavy ~ OK maybe not twice as heavy but it is much heavier~ than Mum’s which was built in 2008.  There is nothing  really different about the design so it must be the wood that has all the weight.
So up onto the sawhorses went my loom and everything below knee height was at eye level and I was shocked at how dusty my loom was.
The previous owner had marked the treadles with green Sharpie highlighting the second screw.  I had never tried to clean them before but with a little VIM and some elbow grease it came right off. 
The next step was to level both sets of lamms.  It is pretty easy thing to do with the ‘biting penguins’ (I don’t know what they are really called) it is just a matter of screwing the heads up or down to level the lamm. 
I took off the tie up cords to clean and level the lamms so I had to return the texsolv tie up cords.  I measured each cord against a new one and removed any that were too long or too short.  I tied up the loom in plain weave so that there would be an even amount of tie cord on each lamm.  I was surprised that I had 14 too many long cords and was 5 short on the short cords ~ really out of whack!
There are two new improvements to the loom.  At the top right hand corner of the castle is a pin that holds the main textsolv cords in the neutral position, that pin is very bent so my Dad made me a new one! The original pin seems to be a knitting needle embedded in the wood, now its a stainless steel rod.
The new pin came about because I asked him to drill a new hole in the loom.  On Mum’s loom there are holes on both sides of the castle so the pin can go in through the back and it gives more room on the shelf.  On my loom the second hole didn’t go all the way through so Dad just finished the hole and now I can secure the shafts from the front or the back.
So now the loom is clean and reset for the New Year.  I can’t wait to start a new project.