Monday, February 19, 2024

Choosing a Painted Silk Scarf

The navy blue tea towels are off the loom and the yellow ones have already gone to their new owner.  The red tea towels have had their final product photos taken and are almost ready to go up in our Etsy store.

Now I’m trying to find something to put on the loom.  All week I’ve taken out different bins of yarns to see if anything leaps up and grabs me.  So far nothing has inspired me, maybe it’s the grey sky.

I finally just pulled out the painted silk scarf warps that we painted last fall.  They are gleaming in the light and they are definitely making me happy!  I lined them up and then had a look at the scarves that we have in the Etsy store, to see what colour we are missing and if any of these would fill the gap.  

I went with the one in the middle of the pile, it is 2/22 silk dyed in moss green, brown, orange, scarlet and plum.  I think that it looks like autumn leaves.  I don’t have a pattern planned or a weft chosen but the warp has been pulled onto the loom and it looks exciting.

We are in the long pause where it isn’t winter anymore and spring is just waiting around the corner.  The daffodils are heading up and the rhubarb is starting to appear from the ground.

The catkins, female flowers and leaf buds of the contorted Hazelnut, Harry Lauder's walking stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') are always an early indicator of spring and frankly I can't wait!

Monday, February 12, 2024

Mistakes Happen

As a follow up to my last post ‘It’s All in the Sett’; I did decide to work on this tea towel pattern. The pattern has so much potential and by sleying it at the wrong sett I did the pattern an injustice.  I did however get some really lovely tea towels, just not exactly the tea towels I wanted.

I had to make 42 more ends to have the tea towel come in at the correct width, so this entailed reworking the entire pattern to ensure that the stripes are well balanced.

As well as adding more ends I was running low on the aquamarine blue, so I had to swap out some of the stripes.....essentially making an entirely new stripe sequence.

As you can see I’m nowhere near ready to weave, but I shall persevere and I know they will be wonderful!

While the weather here on Vancouver Island has been rainy and dull, dull, dull I decided to go to my happy place, which is my kitchen.

Three days ago I started making ‘Cold Rising Sourdough Bread’ from Martin Johansson’s book Bread, Bread, Bread.  This is actually a three day process, with Day 1 invigorating the sourdough culture,  (I made this no yeast culture about 10 years ago and she’s a goddess!)  Day 2 was actually making the bread and doing all the intermittent stretches and coil turns and then popping it into the Bannetons to chill overnight in the fridge.  This morning all I had to do was to bake the two loaves.

This is the round one.

This is the oblong one.

And this is what happens when you are too lazy to put them on separate baking sheets to bake independently!  Thankfully they still taste amazing.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Navy Tea Towels on 12 Shafts ~ Part Two

After I finished weaving the 4 tea towels that are fulfilling a commission, these four were woven in golden yellow. I can now turn to the 2/8 cotton stash for the last 2 tea towels on the navy blue warp.  There is so much colour to choose from blues and teals, pinks and purples or the oranges, reds and greens.

I went for the bright red for the last 2 tea towels.  It is a classic colour combination for a reason and deservedly so; its such a lovely combination.

The 6 tea towels are finally off the loom and they make a satisfying pile.  I cut them into pairs and using the sewing machine stabilize the raw edges before tossing them into the washing machine and dryer.  I did put the red tea towels in a separate wash load just in case the red dye decided to run a bit.

I spent all day yesterday ironing!  First I like to press the tea towels in the steam press before cutting them apart and pressing up the hems.

Then I use a metal ruler and an iron to press up the hems, being careful not to burn my fingers on the hot metal of the ruler.  I pin the hem in place and they are ready to be hand sewn.

Here is the stack ready to be sewn.

Final Garden Photo is frost.  Everything this morning looks like it has been flocked with a thick layer of white.  The black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus) in the back is beautifully outlined.

But there are hints that spring is close, the hoop daffodils (Narcissus bulbocodium 'Arctic Bells') in the foreground are almost ready to bloom and in the back in a small pile of crocus that are just peeking out.

The greenhouse is also thickly coated in frost but as the sun climbs in the sky it hits the edge and starts to clear the glass.  There are already seeds started in the greenhouse, sweet peas, primroses and hellebore's.  They like a long and cold start before becoming seedlings.