Monday, July 29, 2019

Gong Show of a Four Shaft Scarf

This weave is my personal horror story ~ I have made one mistake after another.

First off, I had made the warp last year for hand painting ~ and for some unknown reason I put two blue stripes in the warp ~ why?
The warp started out with sea coral tencel with two blue stripes and I painted it with purple areas, very similar to this one. You can see how similar they are on the drying rack. I knew that I didn’t want the same thing again, so I decided to send it back to the dye pot.  This time I chose to put in lots of colour, big areas of teal and purple over the entire warp, which was a real improvement, but what a time waster.
I had made myself a list of how many threads were in each warp last year and beside #3, this warp, I had written that I’d already chosen the pattern.  Yeah.....but what did I call it and where did I save it?  I couldn’t find the pattern for love nor money and wasted hours looking for it!

I decided to go with an old favourite called Twill Complications; a lovely pattern with lots of interest.  The warp went on the loom beautifully and I had it through the reed and tied up when it was pointed out to me, by my darling daughter, that I had used the wrong reed, and the sett was far too tight.  I pulled it out of the reed and started again.
Now it was time to audition the warp; I am always amazed at what looks good. I chose the greyed teal second from the top.
Weaving the pattern is always a joy, but, first I had to fix a sleying error! So only a partial re-sley.

As I was weaving I noticed that the stripes were not hitting the pattern in a similar place, so back to the computer and a good fiddle around to see if it could be fixed.  No luck with this pattern, so I tried several others with no success, yet more wasted time.

I decided to re-thread the loom with 3/1 twill because of those darned stripes.  I could not find a pattern that centered them.  Since my lease sticks were long out, and I couldn’t easily re-insert them; I decided to wing it.  Right there I should have stopped, but no.....I carefully pulled out 12 threads at a time and re-threaded 1-2-3-4 X 3, tied the bout and moved on.  As I progressed with this it became a bit of a dogs breakfast with extra heddles and uneven numbers of threads, but I carried on. What hubris!

Whew, I re-sleyed, hemstitched and started weaving this lovely, forgiving pattern.
And then I saw it ~ I have one thread out of order on the left hand stripe!  I have a single blue end two places out of whack!

I have unwoven it yet again and  with a partial re-thread and re-sley I have moved that lonely blue thread back to nestle with its friends, but I am completely humbled! 
To recap, I have dyed the warp twice, threaded the pattern twice, re-sleyed it three times and hem stitched it three times and all I've got to show for it is two inches woven!  Complete Gong Show!

The garden shot of the week is of Gaillardia grandiflora'Arizona Apricot (Blanket Flower) and pretty purple Verena rigida 'Ventosa'.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Finishing the Tussah Silk Scarves

The two silk scarves that where inspired by one of the succulents in my garden are off the loom, washed and dried.  Now they are ready to have the fringes twisted; for the silver scarf I choose to do the twizzling in small bouts, for a more delicate appearance.
Next step is to iron the scarves.  I had quite the ironing pile to go through; there is a tablecloth, a table runner, four tea towels and what seems to be a lot of scarves.  And yes that pink scarf is really long!  It turns out that 3/1 twill doesn’t have a lot of take up; the warp was originally 100 inches but after weaving it to what Mom thought was around 70 inches, and then washing the final length of the scarf is 82 ½ inches long!
I am always surprised by the change that a hard press makes on a scarf.  It not only flattens the scarf but brings out the sheen and allows the pattern to leap forward.
The weft that I used for the rosette scarf was a lovely rosy brown but when I washed the scarf the weft ran and a lot of the red came out of the scarf but it left behind a gorgeous copper colour weft with a lot of shine.  The scarf is still lovely, just a little different from how I thought it would turn out.

The silver weft that I used for the second scarf really muted the plum and moss of the warp.  It looks totally different from the copper scarf.

Final garden shot is Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and you can see a hummingbird hidden on both photos, that has staked out the patch.  The hummingbirds love this plant; they sit on the branches all day fighting off other hummingbirds, bees and seem to get particularly stroppy with the bumble bees!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Four Shaft Scarf on Loom

Another week and another scarf ... well just about. I really, really enjoyed the relaxing weave of this scarf. I think 3/1 twill may be a new favourite!
This warp is moss green and fuchsia over sea coral tencel. It is one exciting colourway; the sheen is wonderful and the colours are really front and centre.
I have woven almost 60 inches and I feel that there will be warp left over, so maybe I can weave it off for a small jewellery pouch.
This is one of my favourite shots, I love looking at the cloth rolling around the beam.
I have been spinning along with the Tour de France race everyday, but one, with Ravelry's Tour de Fleece. I took a day out and we went to Victoria and toured Bouchart Gardens which were stunning!

We had an estate sale at the guild this week, so sad to lose another weaver. The guild bought the entire studio filled to the brim with supplies and then sold to the members.
I bought some lovely hand dyed silk yarns, the cheeses are 2/20 silk and the skeins are 2/60...yikes!
And for some reason I just had to have ALL of this merino/silk blend sliver. I have a feeling this kilo of Ashford Pomegranate will keep me busy for yonks! To give you an idea of just how much stuff we had for sale, these fibres were left over after the serious spinners had gone through it.

My perennial beds are stunning today and I’ve decided to share the hummingbirds favourite flower du jour. This is Bergamota Monarede ‘Jacob Cline’ (Bee Balm).
And this one of a really tiny white crab spider hiding on a dahlia.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Four Shaft Twill Scarf

I have actually got a scarf warp on the loom, woven, washed, twizzled and pressed within three days! In an effort to be completely transparent, Ngaire actually did the twizzling and pressing.
This is so very unlike me it’s scary; my last warp of four tea towels sat on the loom for months while I found many a reason not to weave!
Yup, ‘one of these things is not like the other’....thank you Sesame Street for that little ditty.  It had been so long since I last used my tea towel template I forgot when to start the stripes, yet another grey moment.
I pulled on one of the pre-made hand painted warps that I prepared last summer, and frankly, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made it.  The warp is based on sea coral 2/8 tencel; to which, for some unremembered reason I added a blue stripe before I painted it!  Why oh why?  And to make matters even worse I made two sea coral warps with blue stripes!
My next conundrum was choosing a pattern, it is such an unusual warp that I decided to keep it very simple and I chose to do a four shaft 3/1 twill.
This gave me the full show of the painted warp on one side and the weft predominant on the reverse.
I chose the same sea coral tencel for the weft in hopes of allowing the dyed side to dominate.
Dressing the loom was wonderfully easy, no long reach for that 12th shaft and a straight twill threading.  It was a real joy and went on really quickly.
I am thrilled with the result of this weave, although for some inexplicable reason it is really, really long!  The 3/1 twill had virtually no warp-wise take up.
I liked this weave so much that I immediately pulled on another painted warp, this one is loaded with colour in moss, magenta and purple on the same sea coral base.

Its raining outside as I write this, so no garden shot today, but here is a real beauty shot.
This is a tempered chocolate dome, filled with lemon cremeux, sitting on lemon curd with chocolate sponge, blueberries and roasted lemon dust!  Yup, it was totally yummy!  This just proves I watch too much Masterchef Australia!
Not quite as pretty is my first days spinning for Ravelry's Tour de Fleece.  I am taking this really seriously and have promised myself to finish the Gotland fleece by the end of the race.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Inspired by the Garden


I am still getting through the warps that we hand painted last year.  I only have four more warps to go and this one is #17.  I like to make some notes for each warp; what it is, how many ends, the set and how long it is.  It is so easy to forget.
This warp is 2/6 raw silk that originally was that yucky raw silk brown colour.  When we were preparing the warps for dyeing we first put them into a Soda Ash solution which increases the pH, making the fiber more basic which opens up the fibers preparing them for the dye.  Surprisingly the raw silk leached all of the yucky brown colour leaving a silvery white; prefect for dyeing.  This warp was dyed moss green and plum purple leaving some areas silvery white.
The colour combination of this warp reminded me of a sedum (Sempervivum 'Icicle') that we have in the garden.  So I took that inspiration and ran with it.
I found a lovely rosette twill pattern; that resembles the flower-like sedums.  For the weft I lucked out and found a lovely warm rosy brown 2/6 silk.  The silk weft also has a wonderful shine that picks up the rosette pattern.
I have just started the second scarf on the same warp.  The inspiration is the same sedum but this time looking close at the individual silvery pointed leaves.
The weft is a 2/6 silver silk and the twill pattern highlights the leaf shape of the sedum.  The threading is the same for this scarf but I changed the tie up and the treadling.  I like changing the tie up when I can, to make each scarf different.
When I was tying up my treadles I found that one of my texsolv tie up cords had almost shredded apart.  It was hanging by a thin thread of texsolv, I am very lucky that it didn’t break through while I was weaving.
Next time you will see the finished scarves.

The final garden picture is a sad update of the oranges that have fallen off our hardy orange tree.  I am not really surprised because the tree was dug out last autumn, over wintered in a pot and planted in the spring.   Honestly, I was amazed that there were flowers this spring, let alone oranges on the tree!  Hopefully next year we will get our first orange.