Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Family Tartan ~ New Project

Vacations are a wonderful thing….great to see the world, but also great to be home and to celebrate what you have!  Our month in the Cook Islands and New Zealand was exciting, but man, am I glad to be home and back at the loom!

While away I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to put on the loom and what stash I wanted to bust… I made my mind up to weave our family tartan using the yarn I purchased made by Lochcarron Mills in 2007.  I know, about time......
 The Lynch family tartan is one of the original seven Irish tartans that were registered in the early 1900's and the colours are blue, scarlet and green.  I chose to weave this tartan using the Ancient colour palette; the only disappointing thing is that the ancient scarlet is quite rusty orange looking ~ not a fav, but authentic and against the soft blue and soft green it's surprisingly lovely.
It actually took me three sessions to make this warp ~ 1018 threads….yikes.  Although this is a 2/2 twill I had to extend it over all 12 shafts because of the number of heddles necessary.  After pulling the warp I noticed that I don’t seem to have as much blue yarn left over as I expected.  So an emergency yarn call to Susan down island who ordered this same yarn for our Canadian Master Weaver Tests ~ but she didn't have any of the colour I need….so if anyone out there has 2/16 worsted wool in ancient blue purchased from the Yarn Source in Ontario that you want to sell, email me please!
I’ve probably mentioned that I love, love, love to cook on this blog on more than one occasion.  Two years ago when we bought our house I put in this lovely appliance package and I’ve been bitching about it ever since.  I’m a really, really short gal, so the over the range microwave just didn’t work for me and frankly the fan just did not do the job.  The ceramic stove top is very pretty, but it cycles the heat and it made me crazy….Well, crazier anyway!
So we pulled them both out and sold them on Craigslist ~ I must have priced it too low because they went in hours!  I knew pretty much right away that I wanted a much stronger fan, so forward thinking gal that I am, yeah right!  I picked up a few tiles when I saw them last year just hoping that I'd get a chance to use them.
Ngaire and I tiled the bare patches of wall and added these great stainless steel button tiles for an accent.  Michael cut the tiles to fit and he made short work of installing the new fan without a scratch! Ahhh, team work!
For a full week we were without a range or microwave and this little hot plate worked really hard for us. My favourite recipe was this one from Martha Stewart, One-Pan Pasta, absolutely fool proof!
My new duel fuel cooker arrived last Thursday and the plumber came in on Good Friday morning to hook it up ~ I’m totally stoked!  No clock ~ no timer ~ no warming drawer ~ instant heat ~ priceless!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The 2014 ‘Oh Sh** Pile’

The contents of the pile starting from the top centre moving clockwise are
1. Colourful twill yardage - to be made into vests (?)
2. Pink and brown yardage - to be made into a cloak or cape (?)
3. Orange silk and blue Tencel scarf with beat error – to be made into a purse/bag (?)
4. 4 napkins with one sewn the wrong way - needs to be fixed
5. 2 small black and yellow squares – have no idea
6. 2 Red runners that need to be pressed and hemmed

The first items to be worked on are the napkins.  I was photographing them so I could put them on Etsy when I noticed that 'one of these things is not like the other (channeling Sesame Street)!'. 

The hem on one napkin had been stitched on the wrong side.  I unpicked the hem and re stitched it.  Now it matches the rest.  For Sale.
The second project was finishing the runners; they are not really part of the 'O-pile' because I only finished weaving them in late December.  The warp is 2/10 cotton and the wefts are linen single in Scarlet and cottolin in Raspberry.  They are both woven in a huck lace trellis pattern.

For the hemming I used a trick that I learned from a blog post by Cindie at Eweniquely Ewe.  She uses templates cut from folders to fold over the hem.  For a template I used a metal ruler to press the hem, be careful pulling it out it can be quite hot!
For pressing I usually use a steam press but a steam press only flattens the fabric it can’t really be used to block the fabric.  So to the ironing board I went with the runners.  It took much longer than I thought but they are done and looking great!

Above are some beauty shots of the scarlet linen and cotton table runner.  Very dramatic!  The finish dimension are 17.5 x 47 inches.  For Sale.
Here are some beauty shots of the raspberry cottolin and cotton table runner.  It is very striking!  The finish dimensions are 17 x 63 inches.  If you would like this table runner just email me through my Etsy Shop - WovenBeauty - and I'll set up a listing for you.  Both of these runner are quite lovely and I am really pleased with them.

So for the New Years 'Oh Shit Pile' already two out of six are done or 1/3 done or 33% done.  That seems pretty good!