Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Try and Try and Try Again

I am still working with the 5/2 white cotton, I’m not going to let it win!  I did a lot of math and according to it I should be able to get a warp of 4 yards off the cone, the width will be a little narrower than I would like but I should have enough to weave two runners.  I pulled the warp and was able to get 272 ends, which sett at 16 epi makes for 17 inches.  I just hope it doesn’t shrink too much when I wash the finished table runners.

I starting weaving using the cream 5/2 cotton and I hate it.  The pattern is M’s and W’s and the 5 thread float looks like a mistake.  I also didn’t really like how the 5/2 bent around the edges, it looked bumpy.

On the computer I tried some different tie up’s and treadling trying to get rid of the five thread float, but with the M’s and W’s threading it was close to impossible.  There were a couple of drafts but I didn’t like them.  So I pulled the warp back and went to another draft.

The pattern is an advancing twill with large diamonds, truly lovely and no more than a three thread float.  I also change the weft to a wonderful blue cottolin.  I am utterly charmed as I am weaving this pattern.

Final garden photo is forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) it is an early spring flower with very pretty blue and pink flowers.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Two Scarf Warp in Blended Colours

I really loved the pattern I used on the Silk Waves Scarf, so I decided to weave it again. 

This time I wanted to drive home the ocean aspect of the pattern so I decided to pull the warp using colours from dark to light and back to dark again.  

These are the colours I chose Aquamarine, Greyed Teal, Mineral Green and Cactus, all in 2/8 tencel.  I decided to make a two scarf warp because pulling and blending the diminishing colours takes quite a bit of time. 

You can see the progression on the warping board.  I pulled the warp in two sections ~ dark to light, then combined the big bouts on the loom.

I tied it on the loom allowing 10 inches for fringe.  The scarves will woven to be 70 inches (+ or -).

I love this shot.....you can really see the waves in the pattern already.

I auditioned some weft possibilities and frankly I was surprised.  From bottom to top they are navy,
ming blue, greyed teal, olive, ink blue and just to go out on a limb adobe.  

For the first scarf which I will call ‘Salish Sea’ I chose to use the greyed teal as the weft.  

I think it looks moody and cool just like the ocean looks today with our cold wind and rain.

I have been overwintering some Brugmansias in my ensuite and they have gone from this.....

To this in the past few days.  Brugmansia have a heavenly fragrance that really dominates a room.  They are evening/night scented with a strong rose/lily/baby powder scent.

Monday, April 10, 2023

And Again

I put away the 2/120 silk so I could think about what it wanted to be, if you have any ideas let me know!  I have wanted to do some table runner since January so I dipped into the cotton stash and found some 2/5 mercerized cotton in white and cream.

I like to put on a six yard warp for table runners, it is enough to do three runners at 70, 50 and 35 inches.  I pulled the first 100 threads out of 400 and found that it just ate up the white warp.  A quick trip to the scale and I saw that I didn’t have enough warp left for the runners that I had planned.

I pulled the white warp off the warping board and decided to pull another warp at four yards, it is enough to do two runners at 50 inches each.  I also made the runners a little smaller width wise so I pulled the first 90 threads out of 360 and again it didn’t look like I had enough.  I weighed what was left and nope not enough left.  So I finally did some math!  And there isn’t enough for a warp with just the white and if I use the cream there may not be enough for the weft.  So at this point I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

But onto a bit of a garden update there are signs of Spring everywhere, the strawberries are starting to flower.

The daffodils and the rhubarb are marching along.  The rhubarb is almost big enough to harvest.

The daffodils in the pots outside of the greenhouse seem to be cheering on the seedlings of 72 tomatoes, 4 types of peppers, and eggplants.  There are also some flowers growing in there.

The peas are going outside to start to harden off, there are sweet peas and eating peas.  They are growing up some sticks of corkscrew hazelnut.  Just a couple days until they get planted out into the garden.

The lilac is a haze of lime green of the new leaves and the promising blush of purple flowers.  It seems that Spring is almost here just a couple more warm days that the flowers will be bursting out.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Finishing Up and Starting Again

The finishing up part of the blog is showing the final photos of the scarves that were woven last month.  The first is Mom’s denim blue silk scarf with white Tencel.  It caught someone's fancy and sold in just a couple of days.

Second is my pink silk scarf with chocolate, silver and cream silk stripes, it has dark purple eggplant Tencel as the weft.  It is a charming scarf and I love how that pattern looks like ruse buds.  For sale.

The third scarf is the dark pink scarf with three stripes of chocolate and cream silk stripes, it has dark red Pompeii Tencel as the weft.  There was a disaster when I washed the scarf, even though I used Dye Catchers, the chocolate coloured silk leached into the cream silk.  Now there are smears of dye all throughout the scarf and the cream stripes have turned light blue/grey, not good.  So it is mine.

The fourth scarf is Mom’s ink blue silk with teal Tencel.  Getting photos of the wonderful iridescence is hard but the scarf is still spectacular.  The wonderful curves of the pattern look like waves coming onto the beach at one of the local beaches here on Vancouver Island.  For Sale.
I have put together a new weaving draft for sale, I call it Coastal Mountains Twill Tea Towels for 8 shaft looms.  There is a PDF with the draft, project guide and further breakdowns of the threading, tie up, and treadling just in case the person buying the draft doesn’t have a weaving program.  Also included is a WIF, which is a universal weaving file that can be used with most weaving programs.   Etsy listing for Coastal Mountains Twill Tea Towels Weaving Pattern.  
This is a favourite draft that has been woven numerous times by both Mom and me.  Here are some of the variations that we have done over the years, here it is in an Easter Egg Plaid, here in Grey with Purple Stripes, here in Grey with Yellow Stripes, here in Grey and Red Stripes, here in Caribbean Blue Stripes and lastly here in bright stripes of cottolin, a Unicorn Party of colours.   
I'm thinking about my new project featuring these two skeins of very fine silk in a lovely spring green and blue.  The reason I'm still contemplating is that these threads are actually not much thicker than sewing thread.

The skeins were quite messy and it took hours to make them into cakes so that they will be ready to make into a warp.

There was a homemade tag on the skeins saying that they were 2/60 but looking at them next to a commercial 2/60 I think that they are closer to 2/120!  That is very fine, I was thinking of doing a scarf in Echo Weave with them but they are just too fine.  The sett would be 120 ends per inch and at 8 inches wide for a scarf that would be 960 ends!  I'm really worried that the scarf would be too thin and webby looking.  I think that I’ll be starting again to find a new project.  But if anybody has any tips on using super fine silk, please let me know!

Final garden photo is Arctic Bells Daffodils (Narcissus bulbocodium 'Arctic Bells').  They are a form of hoop skirt daffodil, they are a lovely pale lemony colour and very fragrant.