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.

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