Monday, December 21, 2020

White Linen Table Runners Part 2

To begin we would like to  wish you all  a very Happy Holiday Season and we send you our hopes for a much brighter 2021!

Now to talk about weaving. The clear blue cotton of the final white linen table runner was a joy to weave, especially on the dark and rainy winter days that we have been having here on Vancouver Island. This pattern never fails to please me.

I took a quick photo of the two runners side by side before they went into the wash to see what they looked like together.  On one side the pattern creates large blue X’s and on the other side is large white X’s and I will need to decide which I prefer before the runners get hemmed, although we hem so nicely both sides could be shown.

Our  blog is called Dust Bunnies Under My Loom, so I guess it is appropriate that I show you some dust bunnies that formed on the carpet, linen is a real shedder! If you look really closely you can see them.

The table runners have been pressed and pinned ready to be hemmed, just waiting for a sunny day to sew.  This is a job that Mom enjoys and I'm happy to leave them for her.

Alas, when I was steam pressing the table runners I noticed that I had made a threading error.  It is a small error with one of the small X’s at the bottom of the larger X’s.  It looks like it has only half an arm.  I tried to figure out a way to needle weave in a thread to fix the error but I wasn't pleased with the result.

These table runners were to be sold on my Etsy store, Woven Beauty, but with the error they just don't make the cut, so they are mine, mine, mine!   I have more white linen and lots of the denim blue cottolin and blue cotton so I'm thinking I could remake them, but I'll wait until after Christmas to start.

The final Garden Photo is heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica); it is not a true bamboo but a member of barberry family.  Here it is in its blaze of winter colour, it truly stands out in a winter garden.  It is doing especially well this year because we have been having very mild wet weather.

Monday, December 7, 2020

White Linen Table Runners on Eight Shafts

After adding the new videos to our Etsy table runner listings, we have sold 4 table runners in the last month!  We are down to just 7 listings for table runners so I started a new project with white linen from Belgium.  I love the view from the back of the loom where you can see the pattern in the heddles.

I like a neutral table linen, so for the weft I tried a lovely warm beige cottolin.  It is a lovely colour but it brought out the yellow tones in the white linen.  It just made the warp look dirty so onto the next choice.

My next pick for weft is a faded denim blue cottolin which looks fantastic with the warp.  The linen looks white and crisp against the blue cottolin.

The pattern that I picked for the table linens is a classic one for us that I have woven many times and still enjoy weaving.  I last wove this pattern in January of last year and both of those table runners quickly sold.  There will probably always be at least one table linen in the shop with this pattern, it is just that pretty!  It is a snowflake twill with a strong graphic punch of the large X’s.

The faded denim blue cottolin runner quickly wove up and yesterday I finished it.  Next I had to pick a new weft for the second and last table runner for this warp.  I looked through the stash yarn book at all the different yarn choices and colours but this large cone of blue cotton spoke to me!  You may remember it from the wool throw blog post where it had been mislabeled as wool at a yarn sale but a burn test showed that it is cotton.

I am quite surprized by the difference between the two blues.  The cobalt blue of the new warp overwhelms the denim blue cottolin almost making it seem to be grey.  It could also be because of the grey and dreary light we have right now.

I wove a single repeat just so I can see what the new cobalt blue cotton weft is going to look like, and yup it is going to be amazing.

We have three hummingbirds overwintering in the back garden this year.  They are amazingly noisy with their chirping and chasing each other around.  But I caught two of them perching together against the stormy winter sky, staking out the feeder.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Weaving An Oldie...Part Two

If you remember my blog ‘Weaving an Oldie but a Goodie’ from a full month ago.  I was weaving a replacement scarf for one that wasn’t really successful, but still much worn! I loved the overall pattern of the scarf and I loved the seed beaded fringe.  I truly loved the bead sequence and overall look, so I wanted to re-use them on the replacement scarf.

I finished weaving new the scarf in pretty good time and then I cut the Japanese glass beads from the old scarf ready to add to the new one.

The first thing I did was carefully cut each of the bead groupings from the old scarf and slide them onto these long thin quilting pins.

I made sure that both sets of beads were identical because after dropping a few, they were a little bit out. I tried to keep them in sequence at all times.

Every time I picked up one of the pins I lost a couple of beads, especially off of the really long groupings.  I got this strip of ‘Fun Tac’ and jabbed them in, and that kept them corralled!  As an aside I use a strip of ‘Fun Tac’ to affix my treadling sequence to my loom; it keeps it right at eye level and doesn’t mark the loom; this stuff is useful!

Before I actually started to sew the beads in place I did a dry run to make sure I had the spacing perfect.  I really didn't want to get it wrong and have to re-do them.

I thought I’d show you the needle that I used.  This is an ‘Easy Eye’ needle from Germany, and as well as being very thin, it is sharp at both ends and the needle eye runs the complete length of the needle, seriously it’s the biggest eye I've ever seen in a needle!

This needle was gifted to me many years ago by my friend Susan from ‘Thrums Blog’ and I am thankful every time I use it. You can find a link to the Thrums on the sidebar.

I sew the beads on the scarf starting from right to left and I make sure I lock the thread very securely several times between each group.  The thread itself is hidden within the hemstitching. 

You can check out more on beading on the Tips and Tutorial page at the top of the post.

Here is the final fringe, it’s at this point that I’ll admit to adding two extra beads to each of the strands for added pretty!

The final beauty shot of my lovely new scarf; this really is a lovely addition to my wardrobe, with just the perfect amount of bling for me!