Monday, December 25, 2017

Hand Dyed Silk Goose Eye Blanket Scarf

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All

This project started by pulling out the hand dyed silk bin and rummaging around and a large skein of a thick nubbly singles dyed blue was found.  I was not sure how much yardage there was so I just pulled a warp and then planned a project around the number of ends that I had.
The scarf ended up being quite wide, the finish width is 12 inches, more of a blanket scarf or narrow shawl.  I wanted to play up the fact that it was wide by using a large scale pattern.  I used a simple goose eye twill and the weft is silver Tencel.
The pattern allows the variegation of the warp to really pop.
This scarf has a wonderful graphic punch to it.
The drape on this scarf/shawlette is just wonderful.  For Sale.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Polychrome Crackle Gone Wrong

Flushed with the success from Polychrome Crackle Echo I had a really cool idea.  Echo is an extended parallel threading, which is two different twill lines (or crackle) are interleaved together.  So it is kind of like two different scarves woven together, so what would happen if one of the threading lines was hand dyed splotches and the other a solid colour.  Well let’s find out!

I just happen to have a small bout of hand dyed warp, it is only 96 threads.  It is the sister to the warp that I used for this scarf.  The original plan was to use the two warps together but I couldn’t figure out a project that worked.  The warp is yellow Tencel with splashes of purple and turquoise.  The purple dye had broken around the edges into blues and one of the blues was very similar to Blueberry Tencel so I went with that colour as the secondary warp.
The hand dyed warp was already pulled so I had to pull the blueberry warp separately and layer them with two sets of lee sticks.  But Tencel is really nice to work with and I had no problems pulling on the warp.  The pattern is a simple 6 shaft crackle that I had used before and just loved.
Next came the weft auditions, on the computer I had used a pale green and the pattern really popped. So I tried a green grey, silver and a dark grey.  Not so good.
Second lot was yellow, bright blue, a darker green and a darker blue.  No options this time.
Maybe purple?  Nope.
I found that the blueberry warp killed a lot of the weft colours, it acted like a shadow.  So I decided to just go with the blueberry as the weft and hope that the painted warp would pop.  It didn’t work; it actually looks better in the picture then it did in real life.
Also you can see the edges are bulging.
I unwove the blueberry and go back to trying a new weft.  Maybe black or white would work, nope.
The new idea is to try different weft grists.  I try 2/10 in black and 2/16 bamboo in black and blue.  Nope, too thin.
Next I tried yellows again in straw, gold, taupe and a different gold.  Nope.
Next I tried greens again in pale green, teal and greyed green.
Nothing really worked but I had to make a decision because I was starting to make the warp fuzzy with the weaving and unweaving.  So I went with the greyed green because it worked when I used on the computer.
Nope.  And the edges were still terrible.  There was something wrong with the draft.
You can see the one thread that is the culprit.
The best option that I had was to change the treadling.  The threading was complicated and I hoped that I didn’t have to change it.  After some computer time I figured out a twill treadling that fixed that edges and I didn’t have to change the threading or the treadles.
I just went for black as the weft because it was the only thing that could possibly work and it did. The scarf reminds me of the art paper with a black topcoat that you scratch off to reveal the colours underneath.
The scarf looks good even though it is not what I had in mind.   For Sale.
Final Garden Shot is a creeping rosemary that is just starting to bloom and some sunshine that we haven't seen in weeks! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Eight Shaft Huck Lace Shawl

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners just finished our annual sale and I was the committee chair this year.   Although the others in the committee did the bulk of the work, just planning and worrying that I missed something was tiring.  It turned out that the worries were for naught as we had a hugely successful sale last weekend with around twenty weavers and spinners putting their work up for sale and everyone making some sales.
I had a put a fine merino wool shawl on the loom several weeks before the sale, with the hope that it would be ready to include, but sadly it sat unwoven as the sale day drew closer.  The colour is all wrong here, it is actually a lovely deep apricot with a slight grey shade.

The pattern is eight shaft double diamond huck lace, and I am really very pleased with how it came out.  I did not have enough heddles on shafts 1 and 2, so Ngaire spent a few minutes on PCW and put it over 10 shafts for me.  This really made a difference as spreading it out on a countermarche loom makes lifting the shafts really easy.
Here it is off the loom and washed, but not yet pressed or fringe twizzled.
I liked this pattern so much that I’ve put on a series of runners in deep gold mercerized cotton to take advantage of the pattern already tied up on the loom. 
The pattern looks great on a shawl and I know it will make stunning table runners.  The loom always looks so very lovely from this angle doesn't it?

I had such great hopes for putting some of my hand spun and hand knits into the guild sales, but that too was not to be.
This is a mananita that I have been knitting recently.  The pattern is from The Best Of Knitters Magazine Shawls and Scarves and the pattern is by Meg Swanson.  I used my own hand spun fine merino yarn in a wonderful deep gold colour.
The knitting is all finished, now I just have to apply myself and get it blocked., I don't know why I just don't do it...but here it sits.

The garden shot for today was taken this morning and shows my Grevillea victoriae in bloom.  This shrub from Australia is amazing since I just moved it this summer....still alive and kicking after all that stress.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Piano Scarves . . . yet again

I know that I have said that I probably wouldn’t do the piano scarves again, but what can you do when the yarn literally shows up at your house?!  Thanks Susan!
I have a lot of notes for these scarves, even weights!  I rarely weigh warp or weft but I do find the information really useful and it is something that I should do more often.  So I did some math and figured out that I could do three scarves.  (There was a second white cone).
They actually wove up really fast this time.  I soon had a large roll of keyboards on my cloth beam.  I may actually want to weave some again!
Then they got put into a drawer and forgotten about over the summer.  I have just washed and dried them ready to hem.

Here they are done and ready for sale.
They are up on Etsy but I think that I will be at least one to the guild sale on November 24-25 at the Rotary House in Qualicum Beach.
Final Garden Shot is the damage that the surprise snow fall did to the garden.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Could This Be Echo Polychrome Crackle?

For the last study group before summer we looked at Polychrome Crackle.  The basic definition of polychrome is the use of two or more colours, either in the warp or weft.  A lot of the examples of polychrome crackle use three or more colours in the weft, the downside is that you get ribbed edges from the numerous wefts.  But, if you turn the draft so that the wefts become the warp that problem is addressed and for a lot of the drafts that I tried this on the pattern didn’t really change either.

While I was experimenting on computer with the polychrome crackle drafts I found that they reminded me of Echo Weave.  So I took one of my favorite crackle drafts and did an extended parallel threading and presto a Crackle Echo Weave Polychrome draft was born.
There are two colours in the warp, I choose turquoise and orange.  Usually for Echo Weave you use a split complementary colour choice but I went bright and cheerful, I felt like breaking the rules!
For the weft I tried all the blues that we have, and I wasn’t really happy with any of them.  I had hoped to see the fourth colour from the mixing of the colour but the blues seemed to blend with the turquoise in the warp.  The navy could be a possibility.
Next I tried all the greens; nothing is the right shade of green.  It is interesting how the teal green perfectly blends into the turquoise.
All this weft auditioning is what I get for not using a split complementary in the warp.  Onto the purples, the purples with some blue in them seem to work the best but I am still not seeing the fourth colour in the web.
In desperation I tried grey and silver, one is too light the other is too dark.
I take a leap of faith, maybe my sample sizes were too small to see the colour effect.  I decided to go with the navy and I finally see the fourth colour!  You can see the orange, the turquoise, the navy and a royal blue.
I was weaving along then Clunk my treadles will not move.  One of my lamm tie downs was too long and it has slipped over a button further down on the treadle.  It is an easy fix, just move the texsolv tie up to the next hole; but it is still annoying.
The pattern has a lovely long repeat at almost 9 inches.
The pattern is like a long teardrop shape, with orange and blue colours it is almost flame like though.
The scarf is very pretty and the colours are amazing.  In the finished product the orange takes on an almost coppery finish.  And the three different blues really pop.  For Sale.
What I have learned about polychrome crackle is that multiple colours in the warp are easier to deal with and you get a very similar look to having the colours in the weft.  The pattern choice is important; a crackle pattern with a strong crackle block pattern shows the interaction between the colours the best.

Final Garden Shot is a new tree called a Mimosa tree, or Persian silk tree or my favourite the Sleeping tree (Albizia julibrissin).  It is actually a legume and the fragrance of the flowers is amazing, there are buds on the tree we are hoping that it will bloom this year, although we only planted it late last month.  It is called Sleeping tree because it will close it leaves during the night, so cute!

Monday, August 28, 2017

One Mistake at a Time

I have been weaving away and not always as successfully as I’d like.  I wove a really lovely crackle scarf with an original pattern that had so many mistakes that I’m gobsmacked.
There was one treadle that every once in awhile just dragged an adjacent thread along with it.  This was all happening on the underside of the weaving and I completely missed it.  This is a beautiful iridescent scarf and now it’s mine.  It joins the host of mistake ridden scarves that are just ‘too good to be threw’ in my wardrobe.   It will take another weaver, very close up to spot the mistakes but dammmmn!
I then put on one of my hand painted silk scarf warps.  This one is a lovely white and soft grey.  I chose to weave it using a variation of Marguerite Davisons Twill Complications pattern.  I am having a problem with my right knee, so weaving with four shafts and tying all the treadles for my left foot feels pretty good right now.
The warp went on as smooth as silk and the scarf wove up in a flash.  I was really happy with the overall effect until it was off the loom and I noticed an incomplete pattern block.  What the heck?  Again I couldn’t see it from the front of the weaving, but’s there.
This is a lovely scarf and I just can’t take yet another addition to my personal scarves, so for the first time I will sell it as a second.  A non weaver will never notice the treadling error and I will point it out on the sale page.  It will be a good deal for the right person.
Today's garden shot is all about the abundance of figs on our trees.   This is my Fig and Onion Jam.....I took a regular fig jam recipe and doctored it to create these beauties.  It tastes amazing with cheese.
We also have a bounty of cherry tomatoes that are going to be a real ray of sunshine next January!