Monday, January 30, 2023

Grey And More Grey

At the end of the last blog I had just finish the coral pink silk scarf and was waiting for some winter sunshine to come to take final photos of the scarf.  Well it finally appear yesterday and I was able to take photos but I still need to process them so next week for the final reveal.

I have started another project by dipping back into the silk stash.  There are two skeins of grey raw silk, which I was hoping to use as a weft but the more that I looked at them, there were differences.  The labels are in two different colours, but the colour numbers are the same but the lot numbers are different.

The above photo makes it look like they are very different colours but in real life they are very similar.  The best use for these skeins would be in a warp where I could interleave them so any differences would be even throughout the scarf.  The next step is onto the skein holder and wound into cheeses ready to be pulled into a warp.

The silk yarn is quite interesting with the uneven texture and the flecks of white through the grey silk.  At this point I don’t know what the pattern is going to be, I needed to pull the warp first to see how many warp ends I had to work with.

I wanted the scarf to be 8 inches wide so I added two panels of dark grey silk to the edges of the scarf, the dark grey silk is also going to be the weft for the scarf.  When I pulled the warp I pulled each grey skein for two threads and now that I’m threading I’m separating the two threads further so now one thread from each skein is beside each other to blend any discrepancies in the silk.

Originally I sett the scarf at 20 epi and as it was rough sleyed into the 5 dent reed built into the top of the castle of the Spring loom, it looked really dense.  But I kept going and I sleyed the reed at 20 epi; but it felt quite thick and tight in the reed.  So I did a quick couple of passes with the dark silk weft to check the sett and it was incredibly stiff and I worried that after washing the yarn would bloom further and create a board stiff scarf so I changed the sett to 18 epi. 

The scarf is now 8.88 inches in the reed but the hand is so much nicer.  The pattern is one that I’ve used before; it is an 8 shaft twill but it uses 12 treadles.  

The pattern looks a bit like Greek keys, I was thinking the scarf was going to look like a grey winter sky but now I’m not so sure.

Final Garden Photo is the garden gate with little muddy paw prints on it.  Proof that there is a raccoon that likes to use the top of our fence line as a route through the neighbourhood.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Variegated Coral Pink Silk Scarf

The warp for this scarf is a lovely hand dyed variegated coral pink pure silk, there are shades of coral, pink and rose.  It is hard to get a decent photo of all the colours in the warp, it seems to change colours in the different lights.  This is the best photo I have to see the colours in the warp, it is a shame that it is a little blurry.

For the weft I tried 2/8 Tencel in Eggplant, Charcoal and Iris.  I wanted something that complemented the colours of the warp but didn’t overwhelm them.

I decided to go with the Eggplant, a lovely dark purple.  The pattern is a 4 shaft twill, it is surprisingly busy pattern to put with a variegated warp but I think that it works well.  

On the computer the round medallions seemed to be the highlight of the pattern but looking at the scarf from a distance the line of diamonds in the middle and edges are the stand outs.   

I was able to comfortably weave 70 inches of scarf but I looked at the extra warp and I thought that I had enough warp for one more pattern repeat, about 2 inches.  By the time I was finished warping bar was pressed against the farthest heddles but I finished the extra repeat.  

As an extra bonus I also finished the pirn! I love when that happens.

To prepare a scarf for washing I like to gently braid the fringe into plaits so that the fringe doesn’t get tangled during washing.  I take out the plaits after washing but before laying flat to dry, so that the fringe will hang straight with no kinks.  

I’m at the fringe twisting stage now.  Next is pressing and then I'm hoping that there is some winter sunshine so I can take some finished photos of the scarf.

Final Garden Photo is the first buds of Autumn Joy Sedum (Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' ('Autumn Joy')) are peeking through the winter scruff.  It feels like it is still early to be thinking Spring but it is coming!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Raindrops and Snowflakes

The ink blue Tencel scarves are off the loom.  I don’t have any in-progress photos so it is straight to the final reveal for the scarves.  The first scarf is made from ink blue Tencel warp with white Tencel weft.  The pattern is an original crackle (the pattern is available for sale) and I think that it kind of looks like snowflakes in this colourway.  For Sale.

The second scarf has the same ink blue Tencel warp with azure blue Tencel weft.  I tweaked the pattern to create a more raindrop like effect.  For Sale.

The store is running low on table linens and we are hoping to add a line of place mats but somehow rummaging around in the stash for ideas for table linens I found this.  A lovely hand dyed skein of 2/20 silk in a range of pinks.

It just called to me and I quickly had it on the swift and then spinning and whirling around the ball winder.

Next it is onto the warping board, I find that for a single scarf I can do a warp length of 100 inches.  That gives me 10 inches for the fringe in the front, 70 inches for weaving the scarf and 20 inches for the second fringe, take up and loom waste.  

I was able to get 154 ends of the pink silk.  I haven’t decided on the pattern yet but the pretty spring like pinks are making me very happy.

Final Garden Photo is violas.  There are five pots in a row on the edge of the patio.  They are each planted with different colours of violas and there are two types of daffodils layered in the pots also.  It is quite mild weather wise right now so it’s hard not to think that spring is right around the corner.  

Monday, January 9, 2023

Ink Blue Crackle Scarves

The newest warp that I have on the loom is warp of 2/8 Tencel in ink blue, a lovely rich colour.  There is enough warp for two scarves and the pattern is one of Moms original Crackle weaves called Helix Nebula, it is available for sale.  

One of my favourite parts of weaving is auditioning wefts and in this case it was surprizingly hard to find a weft that would go with the rich ink blue colour.  I tried white and silver and I also wanted to try tone on tone again after the success of the teal scarf so I tried different shades of blue Tencel, blue/purple and blueberry.   

The blues didn’t really show off the pattern, the silver looked dirty and the white was OK but I wasn’t really sure about it.  So I tried some more colours in blue this time more blue/green colours, peacock and aqua marine.    

I went with a gut feeling and chose the white Tencel.  I wasn’t really sure about it but having woven two pattern repeats I think that the pattern looks a little like snowflakes.  The eagle eyed of you may have noticed that the pattern looks a bit different from the original.  The original pattern is for a 7 inch wide scarf, I wanted an 8 inch scarf so I added extra bits to frame the original pattern.  

It is a lovely pattern to weave and it quickly wove up into a scarf.  The pattern is 6 shaft and 6 treadles which is a little unusual.  My muscle memory would sometimes have my feet reaching for treadle 8 and oops! not there. 

For the second scarf I thought gold would be a nice contrast with the ink blue.  I tried straw, gold and antique gold, they were all quite brassy looking against the blue.  

Next I tried purple, green, red and yet another blue, azure.  It can be hard to pick the right colour for weft, especially in the grey rainy months.

I went with the azure blue Tencel.  And I also tweaked the pattern to get a more elongated droplet shapes so the pattern looked a little more like raindrops, I think that there is a theme going on here.

In the last post I forgot to include Moms latest scarves, they are ruby red Tencel warp with black or iris purple weft.  They are a fancy twill pattern and are quite striking.

For Sale.

For Sale.

Final Garden Photo is the catkins on the tangled mess of the contorted Hazelnut, Harry Lauder's walking stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta').  This is the time that the tree shines, once it gets its leaves in the spring it is hard to see the twists and turns of the branches.  And yes it does produce edible hazelnuts, it is a race to see if we get them or the crows do.  


Monday, January 2, 2023

A Fresh Start and A Clean Sweep

It is the New Year and time for a fresh start.  I dropped off writing for the blog and I’ve missed it.  I like having a written record of my weaving and it is surprizing how much I refer back to the blog.  It may be a little old fashioned to write a blog but I do really enjoy doing photo essays about weaving. 

But first the clean sweep part, I’m going to tidy up the blog and give a recap of the projects that have been done since August.  The last blog by me was about the Fleur de Lys scarf, which was 2/8 Tencel in white and blue with 2/30 cotton.  I actually unwove the scarf and redid the motif, it’s longer and more ornate looking, the pattern is Diversified Plain Weave.  The finished scarf was lovely and has already sold.

Mom did two 12 shaft Drall scarves.  The first scarf was woven in 2/8 Tencel in grey with pinks, green and blue stripes.  The second scarf was also woven in 2/8 Tencel in white with different shades of blues.

For sale on Etsy.

For sale on Etsy.

In September I did a set of six tea towels in 2/8 cotton with a white warp and 2 towels each in lavender, red and turquoise.  They are woven in a lovely twill on 11 shafts that makes a charming round motif.  

Red and white tea towels for sale.  Turquoise and white tea towels for sale.  Lavender and white tea towels for sale.

We had a lovely long fall this year, with temps into the high 20’s into October which is really unusual.  We were able to grab this bonus time and we painted the fence, it was a lot of fence as we are on a corner.  We picked a lovely dark chocolate brown, it really makes the plants pop.

Two more weaving drafts are available, both are for tea towels.  One is the Cunningham Tartan Twill Tea Towels, which is a 4 shaft design.  For sale. 

The second weaving draft is Spring Viola Twill Tea Towels, which is 8 shaft design.  For sale.

Lastly I wove two network twill polka dot scarves with a light teal 2/8 Tencel warp.  One scarf is bright and cheerful in red violet Tencel and the other one is a study in shades with the weft being a darker shade of teal Tencel.  The teal on teal has already sold.

For sale.

For New Years I like to show what is on the looms right now.  Mom has place mats on the loom.  They are mixed cotton, linen and Orlec in earthy shades of cream, browns and rusts. 

I have an ink blue 2/8 Tencel warp on the loom, enough for two scarves.  The pattern is crackle, it is actually one of the drafts we have for sale – the Helix Nebula Crackle Scarf Pattern. I’ve started the first scarf in white Tencel.

Final Garden Picture is a charming yellow rose that is still managing to bloom even after the large dumps of snow and the unusually cold weather.  The next one is Mom sowing the first seeds of the year!