Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Yet More Table Runners

I have washed and dried the two runners, and because its winter they took a little longer to dry.  I gave the runners a first press on the steam presser before folding up the hems; I really think that helps to reduce the bulk of the folded hems.  I like to use a metal ruler to help fold over the hems; it gives a nice sharp crease.  I just have to be careful because the ruler gets hot!
Now the runners are waiting for a nice clear day so I can see to sew, it has been very rainy and foggy here on Vancouver Island lately.  Looking at the runners side by side they almost look like they are from two different warps, the green runner has an exceptionally beautiful golden gleam.  (Sorry, the picture is a little blurry)
This year is about reducing the stash so I have some of the blue rayon left.  It wasn’t enough to weave a runner 50 inches long, like the previous runners but it should be enough for a 40+ inch runner, a perfect size to go widthwise on a table.
I have just made a warp of a lovely creamy white 2/10 cotton.  It is about 5.5 yards long enough for a 40 inch, a 50 inch and a 60 inch runner.
The draft that I am using is one I have used before so I just blindly followed it.  Well it turns out that the draft didn’t quite have the right number of ends so I had to correct the draft on the computer and pull an extra 20 threads!  Boy, I’m glad that I checked before I had pulled on the warp because if I remember correctly this cotton can be a tad sticky.
I’m going to pull on the warp on today.  Hopefully I’ll have some pretty pictures of some weaving next week!
Final Picture is an atmospheric gloomy photo of the fog with the silhouette of the Douglas Fir trees, the scene can be seen from the studio windows.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Table Runners Yet Again

After all the kerfuffle with pulling the warp for these table runners, the threading and sleying went quickly and easily.  I usually audition several wefts before making a decision but this time as soon as I saw the navy slub I knew that it was the one.
Inside of the cone I found a little note.  The note is from a previous owner, it has the fibre content, yards per pound, and when it was purchased.  This cone has been around from April 1986 and I think that it is time to be used!
The pattern is a favorite 8 shaft twill.  I love the large scale of the Xs.  The navy blue adds a lovely shimmer and shine.  The table runner is about 50 inches long and wove up quite quickly.
For the second runner I also went with the first choice, this time is lovely dark green 3/10 cotton.
I usually don’t weave the same pattern but I really do love these Xs.  The dark green has a yellow undertone that really brings out the golden pima cotton.  The table runner just glows, but as usual, photographing green is problematic.
The pima cotton warp was a real shedder.  There was a really impressive dust curl left on the back beam, a dust bunny explosion!  I am definitely going to have to vacuum my loom before the next warp.
I just cut off the two runners yesterday, I still have to wash and hem them.  I think that they are going to be a lovely addition for the shop Woven Beauty.

Final Garden Photo is the hummingbird that has staked out our backyard for the winter.  She has figured out that she can sit above the feeder which is under the eaves out of the snow.  She sits up there fiercely guarding the feeder from the other hummingbirds.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Cotton Table Runners

Table runners are going on my loom today because we are running low in the Etsy shop and our guild has a sale coming up in April.  I pulled out some pink and peach 2/8 cotton that has been in the stash for awhile.  These cones are unusually tightly spun and quite ropey; so not great for tea towels but I think they would be lovely for some runners.  The idea for the runners was making a flower motif with Diversified Plain Weave.  I spent a couple of days making different flower patterns on the computer but once I scaled the patterns up to the width needed for a table runner I needed a lot of heddles on shaft 1 and 2, far too many and too weighty for the loom!  So, I changed my mind about using the pink and peach cotton.  I just can’t figure out the perfect pattern for them right now so I’m going to think about it some more.
I went back to the stash and found the last two balls left over from a large 30 oz 6 ply cone of Pima Cotton.  We spent hours unplying the cone an rolling it into balls of 2/10 Pima Cotton.
I had used some of the 2/10 balls previously for table runners so I was able to go back and look at my notes.  I did some quick mental math and thought that I could do a 6 yard warp at about 18 inches wide.  So I leaped in and pulled the warp.  As I finished one ball and counted the ends, well, the warp isn’t going to be wide enough, only 12 inches wide.  My mental math wasn’t so good, so, I wound the warp back into a ball, with help from the ball winder.
Before I started to pull the warp again, I spent some time with an excel sheet and found that I needed to pull a warp that is only 4 yards long and it will be 18 inches wide.  I made the warp but it wasn’t until I had started to pull off the warp chain that I noticed that I had short changed a warp thread and made a short loop.  Once again I put the warp chain back onto the warping board and pull the warp back into a ball, with help again from the ball winder.
So for the third time I, this time carefully, pulled the warp.  I have now threaded, sleyed and tied the warp onto the cloth beam.  Today I’ll pick a weft and finally start weaving!
Final Garden Shot is Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’ it has one little flower open and beside it is the first bit of snow on the plant. We got a skif of snow yesterday, but it didn't stay.

Monday, January 6, 2020

If It's January, It Must Be Tea Towels

It’s a drippy but fairly warm day here on Vancouver Island ~ a perfect start to the New Year, but not so good for my photos, so please bear with me!

As usual in January I have an intrinsic need to weave tea towels, I have no idea why it is such a compelling weave, but I have no trouble embracing it.
I must admit that it’s taken me a few days to thread the loom because of our ‘west coast gloom’; it’s just really hard to see the dark threads even though my loom is right in front of three large windows.

My warp is navy blue 2/8 cotton of 513 ends.  I sett the warp at 24 epi a nice firm tea towel and made the warp 11 yards long and 21 inches wide, with the end result of 10 tea towels, each a yard long.  I am using the same pattern 12 shaft twill pattern that I used in January 2018, because it’s a beauty.
I have only just begun tea number one, and I chose to use a lovely turquoise for the weft, the plan is to use jewel tones as the weft and weave one or two of each colour. 
I like to weave a nice hem at the start and end of each tea towel and generally I change the treadling somewhat so that I have a fold guideline.  In this case I treadled 1-2-3-4 for two inches before I began the body of the tea towel. Sorry for the colour discrepencies, the bottom colour is closer to true.
The garden is resting right now and although there is the stray bloom here and there, it’s pretty boring.  What isn’t boring is this amazing Passionfruit and Citrus Entremet Cake Ngaire and I made for her birthday.
This cake has 8 layers of yummyness!  It starts with a cookie base, then citrus curd, then cake, then creme fraiche citrus mousse, then passion fruit jelly, then cake, then curd and finally fresh passion fruit.  It was a triumph!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What’s on the Loom on January 1st

I know that we just did a blog post on Monday, but I love the weaving blog tradition of showing what is on your loom on January 1st!  It started 10 years ago by Meg from the blog Unravelling.

Starting with Mom’s loom, she is getting ready to thread her loom.  The warp is 2/8 navy cotton for - you guessed it – tea towels!
My loom is empty but not for long.
The next project is table runners and it is still in the planning stages.
Final Garden Shot is Daffodils, they are peaking up through the ground already!  We just planted them this fall and we are a little worried about them.  They maybe up too early.