Monday, October 28, 2019

Finishing up the Chenille Scarves

This is the second installment for this diversified plain weave scarf, the first part of the story of the music note scarf;  is here.  Once I finally got the motif and the threading (had to redo it three times!) correct for this scarf it quickly wove up. 
It wove up so quickly that I only took one set of pictures, it is a little hard to see but I wove the second motif upside down so that when the scarf is finished the ends will match when worn.
The music note scarf joined the black piano scarf in the closet waiting for a sunny day to do the sewing for the hems.  Definitely need a lot of light when trying to sew a black scarf.
But they are now both done and here are the beauty shots.  The black piano is quite striking.  For Sale.

I preferred the black music notes with the white background for the music note scarf, so it turns out that I actually wove it upside down.  But it is pretty and continues that music theme that I have for the chenille scarves.  For Sale.

In the end I was able to weave three white piano scarves, one black piano scarf and one music note scarf.  It is quite a stack of finish scarves.
I am finished with weaving chenille scarves for the year but I was able to tidy up my pile of black and white chenille.  I emptied two cones and two tubes, the leftover tubes now fit in one of the tubs that we use to corral the weaving yarns in the closet.  I think it was a success!
Final garden shot is Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Eldorado') when the light hits it, it seems to glow a wonderful golden colour.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Weaving To Frame

I have been home for a couple of weeks now, and I’m ready to jump back into my weaving.

South central Spain was amazing and The Great Mosque of Cordoba was probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  The Great Mosque was begun in 784 and when the Christians conquered Cordoba in 1236 they built a cathedral within the existing mosque.  This place is massive and the Cathedral was built without demolishing the existing Mosque, it is a stunningly beautiful and wonderful place.  The other places that were beyond expectations were The Royal Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada, but after weeks away, it’s always nice to be home.

Now back to what is on my loom.  I belong to a study group within our guild, called Exploring More and our challenge this time is to design, weave and frame a piece that could be displayed on a wall.  Sounds easy, right?  I thought so too when I suggested it.
I started looking for things I wanted to weave and the more I thought about it, the less sure I became.  Finally, in a bid to get something on the loom I put on a natural 2/16 cotton warp 2 yards long with 280 ends, 10 inches wide on the loom and sett at 28 epi.
I threaded the loom in a 1-2-3-4 twill and tied up the loom with some options.  Then I went to Spain to enjoy the sunshine.  I have tied the treadles to weave plain weave, treadles to weave twill, treadles to weave dukkagang and treadles to weave basket weave.  I know, I’m really hedging my bets!
Now that I’m ready to begin I went searching for something that would look good on my studio wall; and since I love flowers I started there.  In my dining room I have a lovely watercolour of tulips and that was my inspiration.  I love that this painting is just a suggestion of tulips rather than being too literal, so right up my alley.
I still wasn’t sure how I wanted to weave the tulips so I took some coloured sharpies to the warp to rough in the general shapes.
I’m sorry that I didn’t photograph my efforts so far, but first I started just laying in colour in the general shapes I wanted using the Italian inlay method.  It just looked lumpy and bumpy, so that came out.  Then I started laying in colour blocks in a tapestry method and that was just far more work than I was willing to do, so it has all be pulled out too.

As it stands right now, I will use the natural 2/16 warp cotton and just weave this off as plain weave, then I plan to paint over my rough outline and perhaps do some embellishments.   Hmmm, I have a feeling that going at this all loosey-goosey wasn’t the best idea.  I still have lots of warp to play with, so that's my task for the next few weeks.

The garden shot today is a photo of one of the front garden beds in full autumn glory. It is Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt. Airy) with Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinesis 'Sarabanda' in behind.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Diversified Plain Weave Music Notes Scarf

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

I wanted to use up the last little bits of chenille in the stash; I had some white chenille on a cone, the last little bit of the creamy white chenille on a tube and the last of the black chenille on a cone.  Looking at the empty cones at the bottom of the warping board, I think that I did a pretty good job of using everything!
For Diversified Plain Weave there is one thick thread for every two thin threads.  I used the chenille as the thick thread and 2/20 cotton/Tencel as the thin threads.
I drafted this music note motif myself, if you would like to know how I did it here is a drafting tutorial blog that I did this spring.  I used a cross stitch pattern to help with the shaping of the musical notes.  I think it looks pretty looks cute!
I don’t know what I was thinking about but I decided to look at musical notes on sheet music to see if mine look correct.  Well, they look different from what I had drafted not a lot different but enough that it bugged me.  I had already woven 14 inches of the scarf but now that I knew what the notes should look like I had to change.  Now looking back at the double note it looks like the symbol for pi!
So, I carefully unwove the scarf, I was taking a big chance with the chenille, it could have frayed apart, but luck was with me.  I fixed the pattern and I had to rethread adding more shafts and retying up my treadles.
I also took the opportunity to change some of the threads.  At the edge of the black borders I had placed two thin white threads next to the black chenille.  It added a harsh white line next to the black edge so I changed to two thin black threads and I think it is a much cleaner edge.
I started weaving with the new threading and I got the second pick of the motif and I could tell that I had made a mistake with the threading.  So I unwoven about 6 inches and fixed my threading error, yet again.
So for the third time I wove the first motif and yes it is finally right and I can go ahead and weave the rest of the scarf!
Final Garden Shot is a dwarf goat’s beard (Aruncus aethusifolius) the fall colour of this perennial is spectacular!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Black Piano Scarf

You may remember from the piano scarves blog that I had a cone of creamy white chenille that didn’t match the others, which I didn’t find out until I had pulled the long 7 plus yard warp.  But I had just seen Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen movie, which is really good by the way.  Anyway, in the movie there was a black piano and it sparked the idea for a woven black piano scarf.
I did the math to find out if I had enough of the white chenille to do a black piano scarf, and I did, just.  I had to scale down my pattern to just one scarf but I had enough white chenille to go for it.
It is surprising how different the piano scarf looks just by reversing the colours.
It is interesting how stiff and cardboard-y the scarf is before washing.  The amount of shrinkage in the width is also surprising when it is compared to the washed and dried white piano scarf.
I wash the scarf by hand then put the still slightly damp scarf into the drier to finish drying and to fluff up the fibres.  The scarf is in the dryer with two large bath towels and some wool drier balls and yet it tied itself into a perfect knot?!  (Sorry for the bad photo)
I wish that I could show you the finished scarf but I caught that terrible cold that is going around and so the scarf has been hanging in the closet waiting for me to finish the hems.  Hopefully I’ll have the finished scarf by next blog.
Final garden shot is the Flying Dragon Bitter Orange Tree (Ponciros trifoliata monstrosa); its fall colour is just spectacular.  The bright yellow and orange leaves are a bright spot in the garden next to the silvery sage and green spears of the Siberian iris.