Monday, August 26, 2019

The Last Hand Dyed Warp ~ 12 Shafts and 12 Treadles

The last  hand dyed warp I have is this 2/30 cotton.  I decided to try making a warp with fine white cotton to see how the cotton would take up dye. It started out as a mystery cone that I got at a guild sale. I had done a burn test on to see what the fiber was and it came up as cotton, but I wasn’t exactly sure what would happen when dyeing it.  The good news is the warp took up the dye beautifully and went from white to wine.
I had almost finished threading when I noticed that I had a lot of extra heddles left, turns out that I thought I had 400 threads but I only had 300.  I decided to rethread backwards so I could move the extra heddles back to the other side.  When I had finished rethreading I looked at my pattern and had the realization that I could have just dropped five threads off to balance the pattern without rethreading.  Oops!
As for weft, I only had a couple of choices that were the correct grist; if I am ever going to use this 2/30 cotton again I’m going to have to dye some of the yarn to use as weft.  The auditioned wefts, starting from the bottom are, a white cotton with shiny silver acrylic, a rose cotton, a pink cotton and the same cotton as the warp but undyed white.  The pink is the definite winner.
The 12 Shaft Advancing Twill draft has large diamonds and has quite a large repeat of 95 threads.  It is amazingly pretty and gives spots of weft, spots of warp and a definite diagonal.
The dye job for the warp wasn't perfect  and there are areas that are almost black and areas where the original white shows through but I think that it adds interest.  The ‘bad’ dye job is because I just drizzled the dye over the warp and worked it into the threads with my hands, I’m sure if I had immersion dyed the warp it would have covered the threads completely without any streaks.
How about this for luck?!  That is all the weft that I had left after I was done weaving the scarf.
As I was twizzling on the dining room table I looked up and saw that one of the Dalias in the flower arrangement matched my scarf! Ain't nature wonderful.
Here is the finished scarf.  It is really very pretty and I have the perfect jacket to go with it so it is going to be mine, mine, mine!

Final Garden Shot is a mass planting of Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' (Black-Eyed Susan).  The plants line part of our front garden border and today they were at their best.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Eight Shaft Plaited Twill Scarf

I rarely ~ make that never ~ set out to weave something for myself.  Like most weavers I get to keep the mistakes, so needless to say I have plenty of scarves!
When I saw this warp though, I knew it was for me.  The warp is raw silk that I dyed in gold and green and the notes I have for it show that it is a warp long enough for two scarves.   I wanted to weave a wider or ‘blanket’ scarf for my upcoming trip to Spain and this was the perfect time to do it.
I decided to fold the warp in half and mount it on the loom.  One end of the warp was as usual with the cross intact, and the other end had my warp counting twining in groups of 10.
I had to figure out a way of picking up a cross for the lease sticks that was quick and effective and I decided to use a netting needle to weave through the counting stitches.
It looks pretty rough, but it worked very well.
Now it was time to audition the weft.  My goal with this scarf was to wear it with a denim jacket, and ideally I would weave it with bombyx silk weft, but I just didn’t have a colour that would work.

So with that in mind I went for the next best thing and tried a bunch of 2/8 Tencel colours starting with Vert Fonce (Brassard), Grey Blue (Webs), Coquille (Brassard), Mineral Green (Webs),  and Straw (Webs).  None of them really floated my boat, but the Grey Blue seemed to show the plaited twill pattern the best and would go with denim, so I went with that.
The 8 shaft, 12 treadle plaited twill pattern is subtle on the green warp and shows nicely on the gold.  I’m loving it!
Although I expected to have plenty of warp, since this was a double scarf warp, I did not.  Upon reflection I expect the raw silk took up hugely when I was washing out the dye.  I ended up weaving right to the very end and as close to the heddles as I dared to go.
Off the loom and relaxed, it came in at 68 inches long by 16 inches wide, luckily I'm a diminutive gal, OK... make that short.... and so this is plenty long enough.
Here it is, still not steam pressed or fringe twisted, but looking wonderful on my jacket and all ready to wow them in September.

Little by little Ngaire and I are making all the technical challenges featured on the Great British Bake Off and this is our very tasty attempt at a Povitica.  Pretty, pretty loaf and yummy too!
The beauty shot from our garden is Grevillea victorae (Victoria Grevillea) which is an Australian protea.  It is loaded with these confloresenses right now and they should start opening at the end of September just when the hummingbirds need the nectar.

Monday, August 12, 2019

What was I thinking?!

My last two hand dyed warps are doozies but I’m going to get them woven.  This time I'm weaving the final dyed Tencel warp; this is going to be my last Tencel warp for the rest of the year.  The warp started as Lemon Drop Yellow then I dyed it with splatters of brown, red, green and little hints of blue.  The warp isn’t something that I would usually do, I’m more of a pretty and cheerful kinda girl, and I’m not even sure why I went with brown.
It was a really challenging warp.  I wasn’t sure if I should find a pattern first or a weft colour.  I looked for a pattern but nothing looked good so I pulled out all the Tencel bins so I could look at what colours could go with this warp.  The autumnal colours seemed to be the most promising so I went with a favourite pattern; a network twill that looks a little leaf like.
For the weft I tried two shades of red brown – Spice and Pompeii, antique gold (which is a really weird colour, gold with lots of lime green in it), taupe and a hunter green.  The red browns had some promise.

The second set of weft choices were a lighter pinky brown - Adobe, yellow, orange, the darker of the red browns from last time - Pompeii and slate grey.  I think that Pompeii, the red brown is the winner but that pattern isn’t going to work.
The small splashes of colours in the warp are really breaking up the pattern so it was hard to see.  I decided to change the pattern to something that would show the warp to its best advantage.
The new pattern is a 6 shaft twill in a diamond shape.  One side is warp dominant and the other side is weft dominant.
The Pompeii weft really shows off the soft yellow in the pattern.
I think that this scarf is going to be much prettier than I thought!
Final Garden Shot is of our Persian Silk Tree, it is blooming with lovely fluffy pink clouds of blossoms!  It is also called a Mimosa tree or my favourite the Sleeping tree (Albizia julibrissin).  It is called Sleeping tree because it will close it leaves during the night, so cute!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Blue and Green Tussah Silk Scarf

This is the last hand dyed Tussah silk warp that I have to weave.  It is a lovely denim blue and a soft grass green.
It is a colour way that I have used before with great success so I grabbed the same weft that I had used for the other scarf.  The weft was a pretty dark teal Tencel but it looked terrible next to the green.  The tussah silk took up the dye different from the Bombyx silk that I had previously used.

So I audition some other weft colours, a couple of different shades of blue and green.  Definitely the winner is the navy blue.
I used the same tie up as the silver scarf from the previous set of tussah silk scarves but I changed the threading and the treadling.  I like being able to change something in the draft but be able to reuse one of the elements.
This is a gorgeous scarf.  The different interlocking diamonds of the pattern are really stunning.  I also like the play between the matte tussah silk and the wonderful shine of the navy blue Tencel.

The final garden shot is a close up of the Prostanthera rotundifolia 'Australian' commonly called Australian Bush Mint. This has a wonderful rosemary/mint smell and the flowers is huge compared to the leaves and very orchid-like. We are hopeful that it will overwinter, so fingers crossed.