Monday, March 27, 2017

12 Shaft Crackle Runners

In January I always get a case of ‘must use up the stash’.  So I went through our stash book and found that we only have two entries for 4/8 cotton.  Perfect, I could find a project that used up 3 cones of lime green and 5 balls of navy blue.

The balls of navy blue cotton have been kicking around for a long time in the stash and they had picked up a lot of other fibres and fluff.  But a quick pass over with a lint roller and the balls look like new.
The project that I picked is runners because the 4/8 is a heavy yarn so it makes for nice thick and heavy runners.  And the weave structure was . . . surprize Crackle!  Crackle is a good choice for the thickness of the yarn because it only has a three thread float and a lot of plain weave to add structure to the runner.  The draft is an original of mine.
While I was pulling the warp I found an area of high over twist in the lime green yarn.  You could pull the twists out but as soon as the tension was gone the yarn would twist up again.  So it had to be cut out but I have never seen this before so I thought it was interesting.
One of my favourite spots to take a picture on the loom is of the threads going through the heddles.  I love seeing the basic shape of the pattern already appearing before a shot of weft has been thrown.
Last time I wove Crackle I noticed that there was some ‘mouse nibbling’ on the edges of the shawls. It was from the picks of the three thread floats moving to areas of plain weave.  I was able to get away with having the crackle design going all the way to the edges of the shawls because I used such a fine grist - 2/30.  But with such a large grist, 4/8, used for the runner I had to address the issue.  So this time to help the edges I added a two inch band of twill around my crackle design.  
For the runner project I had to do some math because I only had five small balls of the navy blue yarn so it was going to be the limiting factor of the size of runners that I could make.  I figured that I had enough yarn to make 84 inches at 20 inches wide.  So I decided on two runners that would be 30 inches long and 50 inches long.

The Crackle design that I created had a very long repeat, it is one of the hallmarks of Crackle.  So for the 30 inch runner I made the repeat smaller with large diamonds.  The repeat still ended up being 13.5 inches long because of the pattern and the grist of the yarn. The 30 inch runner only got two pattern repeats making it a little shorter then I hoped.
I don’t include the hems in the 30 inches of length so the runner is woven to 30 inches of pattern and the hems kind of used as the take up and shrinkage fudge factors.  After washing, drying and hand hemming the final piece is 26 inches long so not too bad.  This photo doesn't capture the amazing colours at all well ~ it is soft celery green and pure navy blue ~ stunning!
The runner has a really graphic punch.  For Sale.
For the 50 inch piece I was going to use the very long repeat but when I sat down and crunched the numbers with the information gleaned from the first runner I figured that the repeat would have been 25 inches.  I thought that it would have been too long and I wasn’t sure that I had enough weft for the full 50 inches, I had 3 ¼ balls left.  So I decided to use the same pattern so I could get the most length possible.
It turns out that I was able to get 5 repeats and a finished length of 58 inches!  Bonus!  I absolutely love the large scale of the pattern, it is very modern.  For Sale.
Final Garden Shot is actually a picture of some clouds that I photographed back in February.  I was reminded of the picture when I read the recent article in BBC that 12 new types of clouds have made it into the International Cloud Atlas.  I may not have captured it well but it really looked like the Asperitas Cloud.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

12 Shaft Crackle Shawls – The End

The shawls are finally off the loom, washed and pressed and they are looking amazing!  Here is the first side of the black shawl.  The large flowers really draw the eye.
The second side of the black shawl the large crosses stand out more.
The pattern is quite large and when the shawl is being worn it makes quite the statement.
The red shawl looks totally different; it is amazing that the only difference between the two shawls is the tie up which is just two different angles for the twill line.  Here is the first side, the pattern looks like fancy Christmas ornaments.
The second side of the red shawl, the ornament shapes stand out even more.
The glow that the red shawl has absolutely amazing.
There is something wrong with the shawls though, they both have a white stripe about five inches from one edge.  The white stripe is from sun bleaching on the cone that I used for the warp.  I didn’t notice the colour change when pulling the warp.  But you can see a very faint two inch line only the shawl but where it really shows is in the fringe.  I am not really sure what I am going to do, I think that I am going to dye the shawls.  I think that blue could work for the black shawl, but I have no idea for the red shawl.
An added bonus problem for the red shawl; some of the red dye ran when I was washing it.  I did a rinse with Synthropol but there is still a half inch of pink at the top of the twizzles.
So the shawls are going to sit in the closet waiting for some warmer weather so I can fix them.

Final Garden Shot is the first leaf on the Black Beauty Elderberry Tree (Sambucus nigra 'Gerda').  This poor leaf has been out all by itself for about two weeks as we keep getting snow storms, the last one on Thursday!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

12 Shaft Dyed Crackle Scarf

Crackle weave is still the hot topic around here.  After making some quite unattractive 8 shaft crackle tea towels; the pattern worked really well and showed the various gradations of crackle blocks, but the colours were yukky!
I know I’ll have these tea towels kicking around the house for years....why do the ones we hate last so darn long?

I had purchased a bit too much Lemon Drop yellow tencel in the heat of the moment and I thought it would be a great candidate for over dyeing. Late last summer I pulled a tencel scarf warp in 5 bouts of 40 thread segments.
 Before I painted the warp I flipped alternate bouts end for end and applied the procion across the warp.
When I put the warp on thee loom I flipped them back again to the original position and I was really pleased with the result.  

I created an original Crackle design by using an advancing curve of crackle blocks for the threading and then I treadled it with a regular twill treadling.  I was attempting to get a circular design with the centre of the circles in plain weave.
 I sett the scarf at 24 ends per inch because there was so much plain weave in the crackle and wove the scarf using black 2/10 tencel for the weft.
This scarf turned out really beautifully, upon reflection I would do smaller areas of each colour.  The scarf is yellow with red, brown, orange and bronze areas.

The bronze falls right in the centre of the scarf and is much prettier in real life than the photos show.  For Sale.

The final garden shot is really one for the books, it's Ngaire waist deep in snow last week!