Wednesday, December 22, 2021

All That Glitters Collapse Weave

After the wonderful success that Ngaire had with her scarves, I jumped on that glittery bandwagon!  This style of collapse weave really reminded me of a Fortuny dress, with all the stunning pleats and the ability to curve and hug the body.

Hoping to expand on the theme I decided to weave my scarves using Cobweb Merino Wool, Cotton Slub and Lumeya glitter.  The Cobweb Merino is in a pale, pale lavender, the Cotton Slub is soft white and the Lumeya glitter is pure silver.  It is a really lovely combination with an overall soft grey vibe.

Pulling the warp did not start out well because I was trying to pull the cobweb merino and the glitter together since they would ultimately share a heddle, this seemed like a good plan at the time.  But, they had such hugely different levels of stretchyness it was a nightmare!  Started again and pulled each of the different warp threads separately and it was much better.

Putting the warp on the loom went fairly well and using this pipe insulator really helped the ends not tangle in the raddle.  [This was the same piece of foam that Ngaire used to even out her tension on her collapse weave.]  The end of the warping process left the final few inches a tad snarly though.

I do love a photo of the warp when it is all organized.

Weaving plain weave was pretty boring, but using super fine over-twisted wool added interest and a little bit of trepidation, especially on the selvedges.  It is absolutely imperative to beat on the following closed shed to maintain the loose, even beat. 

The two scarves came off the loom essentially the same size and they are absolutely gossamer-like before washing.

After a long soak in Eucalan and the hottest water I could get they were squeezed dry and then popped into a hot dryer to tumble and transform for twenty minutes. 

Voila! They are stunners and truly resemble the pleats in a Mariano Fortuny dress.  I’m so sorry that the weather is so very grey and that I can’t capture the amazing sparkle, but trust me, sparkle they do!

I bought an Amaryllis bulb last month and she’s a looker!

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Collapse Weave Scarves in Fawn

My favorite winter scarf is one that my Mom wove in Collapse Weave way back in 2015.  The scarf is a beautiful soft rose Merino wool with a lovely crepe de chine texture and a wonderful drape.  So I decided to weave this exciting weaving technique!

The warp I'm using consists of 2/16 Merino wool in tan, a rayon knop in Peanut beige and Lumeya Luster in gold.  The Lumeya Luster is from Reiko Company in Japan.  It is a neutral colourway but the sparkle of the gold Lumeya makes this warp really pop.  It just glitters and shines even in the weak winter sunlight.  This technique is all about differential shrinkage so I don’t really know what will happen with the Lumeya shrinkage wise, I also don’t know if it’ll be strong enough to be warp!  But it sure is pretty.

I made enough warp for two scarves and beaming the warp went surprisingly well . . . for the first couple of yards.

But then the Lumeya stretched slightly making it a little longer than the rest of the warp which created loops that looped around the top raddle on the Spring loom.  I only broke three of the Lumeya threads but it was a bit nerve wracking pulling on the warp.  

The weave structure is plain weave and for the threading I placed the Lumeya and the Merino wool into the same heddle, yup there is a lot of shiny in this warp! 

The weaving of these scarves is a little different; I’m using a very fine high twist wool as the weft, it comes in at about 2/110, finer than sewing thread!  The beat for these scarves is very loose, about 10-12 picks per inch.  In the blog post from 2015 Mom said that it is best to squeeze the weft on a closed shed, boy am I glad to have that information.   

For such an open and airy beat the scarf didn’t weave up particularly quickly.  The rayon knots added some interest to the scarf; you just ignore the displacement of the weft going around the knots.  It was a pleasure to see the shine while weaving.

About halfway through the first scarf I started to notice that one side of the scarf was very tight.  So I added a piece of pipe insulation (a pool noodle or piece of foam would work too) to the back of the loom.  The warp was able to even out the tension by biting into the pipe insulation as needed and I was able to weave without hanging anything off the warp to try to even out the tension.

After the first scarf was finished I cut it off the loom and retied on for the second scarf.  The second scarf was woven just the same as the first.  Then scarves were hand wash in a mild soap and placed into the dryer for about 20 minutes but I stopped the dyer every 5 minutes to check and shake out the scarves.  Here are the final beauty shots of the scarf.  The scarves are light and airy with a wonderful shine from the gold Lumeya.

It is hard to get a photo in the winter sun showing the shine that these scarves have!  But the drape of these scarves is lovely and the soft brown colours of these scarves are just charming.  The Lumeya didn’t shrink at all, which isn’t a surprize but it made little loops that bring extra sparkle and shine to the scarf.
Final Garden Photo of the early snow that we got, La Nina is really feisty this year.  The Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) was still in full leaf and flowering but this snow and cold snap is putting a stop to that.  But the glint of the sun shining off the snow reminds me of the scarves!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

12 Shaft Snowflake Twill

I’ve been looking at some of my original designed drafts so that I can put them up for sale on my Etsy store as PDF patterns.  I found a draft that I first wove in 2010, a 12 shaft snowflake twill  and I’m just as charmed by it as I was in 2010 so I decided to weave it again!

I put on a warp of 2/8 charcoal grey Tencel; there is enough for two scarves.  One of my favorite views is from the back of loom looking at the pattern that is made from the threads going through the heddles.

The weft for the first scarf is going to be red but picking the shade was tricky.  I looked at Tencel in burgundy, scarlet and spice.  

I went with the burgundy, which is a lovely dark red.  The motif is a large double pointed compass star running the length of the scarf.  Gorgeous!

The burgundy scarf wove up quickly and I was soon getting ready to weave the second scarf.  I use 1 inch metal venetian blinds as spacers between the scarves and the pattern that was highlighted by them was worth a photo.

For the second scarf I wanted to use gold so out came all the yellow Tencel.  I tried old gold, gold, straw and taupe.  I went with the gold.

I changed the treadling and the star now has three points and a slightly different diamond table in the middle.  It is really pretty.

The scarves are finished and up on Etsy.  Here are some beauty shots of the burgundy and grey scarf.  For Sale.

The beauty shots of the gold and grey scarf are below.  For Sale.

If you are interested in the weaving draft it will be available soon.

The weather has been wild for BC the last couple of weeks.  Final photo is one weather front moving out and the next moving in, part of the series of atmospheric rivers that paraded across the province.   Our area of Vancouver Island was on the outer band so didn’t get a lot of rain or flooding but we are feeling the effects of the washing out of the highways and towns.  We have gasoline, milk and egg rationing here on the Island. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Ten Shaft Networked Scarves

Both of the 10 Shaft Networked scarves are off the loom and will be ready to put up on Etsy as soon as we get some weather good enough to take photos.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to finish them.  Frankly, I usually dawdle along quite slowly because I have the attention span of a gnat!  

The scarves were woven with different coloured wefts but otherwise identical, the first scarf had purple weft. While I was weaving it I thought it high lighted the pattern really well, so I was stoked.  These photos were all  taken in the millisecond that we got decent sunlight last week, so the fringes had not been twisted yet.

The second scarf had black weft and it showed off the pattern even better.

Here they are side by side, just as they came off the loom and haven’t been washed yet.  I was really hesitant to use the black weft, but frankly it’s the real winner of the weft competition.

This is a lovely pattern to weave and I highly recommend it. It has everything going for it, an easy threading sequence, a treadling sequence that is easy to remember and selvedges that are smooth and even.

Since the garden is far too soggy to work right now.  I have been indulging myself by baking some of the Technical Challenges from the Great British Bake Off.  This is one of the challenges from the newest season... Chocolate Babka.  Thankfully the family loves to try new things and this one was a real winner.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Questions, Questions

Another grey and blustery day on Vancouver Island which means lots of loom time for me, and time to start a new project.

When I want to weave something my first thought is ‘What do I have on hand?’ That means a trip to the yarn closet and a good hunt around.  This time 2/8 Tencel jumped out at me.

Once the yarn has been chosen my next question is ‘What does that yarn make well?’ for example  I would not use linen warp for garments, so I try to think of how to use the yarn in a way that is fit for purpose.  Tencel makes lovely scarves, shawls and fine garments as you can see from the drape of the scarf below.  So a scarf it is.

Now comes the hard part, my next question is ‘What pattern?’  So a search through my binder of things I have previously woven is a good place to start.  I have chosen to weave a 10 shaft networked twill.

The hardest choice for me is the next in line ‘What colour(s)?  This is when I go to my yarn binder and see what I have available in my yarn of choice.  

Luckily I have plenty of Tencel to choose from and this time I decided to use them all!  Well, maybe not all.  An autumnal gradient of colours will work really well as the pattern lends itself to stripes.

Last choice and ultimately the one I pfaff about the most ‘What weft colour?’  Today was definitely a when in doubt . . . purple or black.  So I decided to pull the warp for two scarves and make one with each colour.

The warp looks just lovely once it was on the loom.  I love the way you get a forecast of pattern by the way the heddles line up.

I started with the purple warp fist and I’m really pleased with the design so far.

Today is such a dreary day I decided to make Staffordshire Oatcakes for lunch....these are super tasty, oaty crepes that are perfect eaten as is with just a pat of butter.  But...wrapped around bacon and scambled eggs they actually hit heavenly!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Eight Shaft Crackle (Echo) Scarves

I wanted to wait until we had a sunny day to take photos of the two Crackle Weave Scarves that I wove earlier this month.  I waited and waited and....well, you get the picture.  We have had the dullest October I can remember and this week we are in store for what the meteorologists are calling ‘A remnant of a typhoon which has become a ‘Weather Bomb’! Yikes!

I turned on all the lights and stood by a window and was able to get these few photos and frankly they do not show the iridescence much.  Here are a few of the better beauty shots.

The first scarf I wove on the blue and turquoise warp was with a greyed teal weft.  This scarf is super subtle and gives off a faint lime green sheen in the light.

Unfortunatly the photo really hids the pattern which is lovely and shows up beautifully in real life.

The second scarf that I wove on the same warp was with cayenne weft.  This scarf is much more iridescent and gleams red/purple and shows the pattern to much better advantage.

This is a really lovely pattern which has absolutely lovely selvedges, but to get them I had to weave with my bulldog stretchers and start my throws from the opposite edge than I normally would have.  It really pays to try out both ways before you commit to the weave.

Now I get to ‘fess up’ and tell you I made a threading error that only another weaver would notice, but, both Ngaire and I get to add another scarf to our collections.

We have been baking our way through all the Great British Bake Off Technical Challenges, much to my husbands delight and these are from Season 12 ~ Jammy Biscuits or Jammy Dodgers as they are fondly called.  British recipes tend to make small batches and this recipe only made 12 sandwich cookies, the perfect amount.  The cloth is Shadow Weave.