Friday, November 10, 2017

Piano Scarves . . . yet again

I know that I have said that I probably wouldn’t do the piano scarves again, but what can you do when the yarn literally shows up at your house?!  Thanks Susan!
I have a lot of notes for these scarves, even weights!  I rarely weigh warp or weft but I do find the information really useful and it is something that I should do more often.  So I did some math and figured out that I could do three scarves.  (There was a second white cone).
They actually wove up really fast this time.  I soon had a large roll of keyboards on my cloth beam.  I may actually want to weave some again!
Then they got put into a drawer and forgotten about over the summer.  I have just washed and dried them ready to hem.

Here they are done and ready for sale.
They are up on Etsy but I think that I will be at least one to the guild sale on November 24-25 at the Rotary House in Qualicum Beach.
Final Garden Shot is the damage that the surprise snow fall did to the garden.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Could This Be Echo Polychrome Crackle?

For the last study group before summer we looked at Polychrome Crackle.  The basic definition of polychrome is the use of two or more colours, either in the warp or weft.  A lot of the examples of polychrome crackle use three or more colours in the weft, the downside is that you get ribbed edges from the numerous wefts.  But, if you turn the draft so that the wefts become the warp that problem is addressed and for a lot of the drafts that I tried this on the pattern didn’t really change either.

While I was experimenting on computer with the polychrome crackle drafts I found that they reminded me of Echo Weave.  So I took one of my favorite crackle drafts and did an extended parallel threading and presto a Crackle Echo Weave Polychrome draft was born.
There are two colours in the warp, I choose turquoise and orange.  Usually for Echo Weave you use a split complementary colour choice but I went bright and cheerful, I felt like breaking the rules!
For the weft I tried all the blues that we have, and I wasn’t really happy with any of them.  I had hoped to see the fourth colour from the mixing of the colour but the blues seemed to blend with the turquoise in the warp.  The navy could be a possibility.
Next I tried all the greens; nothing is the right shade of green.  It is interesting how the teal green perfectly blends into the turquoise.
All this weft auditioning is what I get for not using a split complementary in the warp.  Onto the purples, the purples with some blue in them seem to work the best but I am still not seeing the fourth colour in the web.
In desperation I tried grey and silver, one is too light the other is too dark.
I take a leap of faith, maybe my sample sizes were too small to see the colour effect.  I decided to go with the navy and I finally see the fourth colour!  You can see the orange, the turquoise, the navy and a royal blue.
I was weaving along then Clunk my treadles will not move.  One of my lamm tie downs was too long and it has slipped over a button further down on the treadle.  It is an easy fix, just move the texsolv tie up to the next hole; but it is still annoying.
The pattern has a lovely long repeat at almost 9 inches.
The pattern is like a long teardrop shape, with orange and blue colours it is almost flame like though.
The scarf is very pretty and the colours are amazing.  In the finished product the orange takes on an almost coppery finish.  And the three different blues really pop.  For Sale.
What I have learned about polychrome crackle is that multiple colours in the warp are easier to deal with and you get a very similar look to having the colours in the weft.  The pattern choice is important; a crackle pattern with a strong crackle block pattern shows the interaction between the colours the best.

Final Garden Shot is a new tree called a Mimosa tree, or Persian silk tree or my favourite the Sleeping tree (Albizia julibrissin).  It is actually a legume and the fragrance of the flowers is amazing, there are buds on the tree we are hoping that it will bloom this year, although we only planted it late last month.  It is called Sleeping tree because it will close it leaves during the night, so cute!

Monday, August 28, 2017

One Mistake at a Time

I have been weaving away and not always as successfully as I’d like.  I wove a really lovely crackle scarf with an original pattern that had so many mistakes that I’m gobsmacked.
There was one treadle that every once in awhile just dragged an adjacent thread along with it.  This was all happening on the underside of the weaving and I completely missed it.  This is a beautiful iridescent scarf and now it’s mine.  It joins the host of mistake ridden scarves that are just ‘too good to be threw’ in my wardrobe.   It will take another weaver, very close up to spot the mistakes but dammmmn!
I then put on one of my hand painted silk scarf warps.  This one is a lovely white and soft grey.  I chose to weave it using a variation of Marguerite Davisons Twill Complications pattern.  I am having a problem with my right knee, so weaving with four shafts and tying all the treadles for my left foot feels pretty good right now.
The warp went on as smooth as silk and the scarf wove up in a flash.  I was really happy with the overall effect until it was off the loom and I noticed an incomplete pattern block.  What the heck?  Again I couldn’t see it from the front of the weaving, but’s there.
This is a lovely scarf and I just can’t take yet another addition to my personal scarves, so for the first time I will sell it as a second.  A non weaver will never notice the treadling error and I will point it out on the sale page.  It will be a good deal for the right person.
Today's garden shot is all about the abundance of figs on our trees.   This is my Fig and Onion Jam.....I took a regular fig jam recipe and doctored it to create these beauties.  It tastes amazing with cheese.
We also have a bounty of cherry tomatoes that are going to be a real ray of sunshine next January!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Undulating Twill Silk Scarf - 10 Shaft

At one of the Guild yarn sales we picked up a small cheese of singles silk in that natural dark bone colour.  The singles also had flecks of blue, red and yellow running through it. It was pretty ugly but it WAS silk.  During our last dye day I chucked the silk in a turquoise day bath; it's pretty now!
I did a wrap test to check what the sett would be for the silk and I got 24 wraps in an inch.  I knew that I had 3oz of yarn which should be enough for a scarf warp but I wasn’t sure what the width would be.
I went to the warping board and started to pull a 3 yard warp.  I knew that I wanted to use all the yarn and I ended up with 318 ends, which is a width of 13 inches.  It is wider than normal for scarf but it is nice to be able to offer something a little different in the shop.

Now that I knew the width of the scarf I went looking for a pattern.  The warp looked water-like with the coloured flecks looking like reflecting light.  I wanted to reinforce that image so I looked for an undulating twill.  I found a nice one that is 10 shafts and has a ripple like effect.
I tried a lot of different colours of wefts.  The first attempt deciding between dark or light shades so I tried two light shades of blue and green, they were too light.  And two dark shades of blue, one was too similar to the warp and the other one was too grey.  But the darker colours worked better.
Second try was a dark teal, hunter green and grey.  The dark teal blended too much and the other colours were too dark.
Third try was a lavender, dark blue, mineral green, teal green and white.  The only one that worked is the dark blue.
Fourth try I am willing to try anything at this point.  So to complementary colours I go, yellow, gold, orange, pink and taupe.  Maybe the gold weft?
Fifth and last try.  I liked the dark blue and gold wefts the best so I grab every dark blue and gold weft that we have to try them all.
I went with the blue at the top it is called Iris, the colour is less stark then the navy blues and seems to be one of those amazing colours that work just about every single time.  The pattern shows up well and it looks like water ripples, exactly what I wanted.  The play between the matte of the raw wild Silk and the shine of the Tencel is lovely.
I am always amazed by how much a scarf can change just by the finishing ironing.  The scarf had a lovely texture but was quite matte.  After pressing with the steam press the texture is gone but the shine is back!
The scarf is wider than normal at 11 ½ inches but it is lightweight and has a lovely drape to it.
For Sale.
Final Garden Photo is something that oozed out of the compost overnight.  It is Dog Vomit Slime mold (Fuligo septica), gross name but harmless in the garden.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Victoria Weaving Conference

Mum and I went to ANWG in Victoria BC during the Canada 150 weekend.  We got up early on Friday and headed down island to Victoria, a two and a half hour drive.

We only went to the Marketplace as none of the courses held any interest for us.  We got there just as the doors opened and already there was a crush of people.
The booths were full of yarns sorted by type and colour.  It was just amazing to see.
There was only one booth that had any weaving books, unfortunately we already had most of them.
I also took some photos of the guild booths that I liked.  The first is from Eugene Oregon it was quite simple but very effective.  Big samples from their Study Group, does the weave structure look familiar?!  It’s Crackle!
I am not sure which group this one is from but it was definitely the most moving.  The guild had lost a member and the booth was in remembrance of her, Dorothy Day.  Using her dyeing materials and they dyed and wove a scarf inspired from colours of Daylilies.  It was lovely.
The next booth is Seattle guild and they used large wooden plinths to drape their tapestries and scarves over to look like the Seattle skyline.
I think that this is the Boise Valley Guild and they made items from Bigelow tea bag string.  Bigelow throws away a lot of the tea bag string that they can’t use and this guild was able to use it in their weaving.  It was amazing.  Every weaver that went by said “I wonder how I can get some”!
The Greater Vancouver Guild booth shows that simple can be really effective.  They have tea towel butterflies flying around their booth.
The Salem Fiberarts Guild used a photograph of their natural environment to inspire their weaving creations.  It was beautiful.
It was a lovely day, and it was nice to see old guild members from the Okanagan.  The next ANWG is in Prince George in two years.  Maybe see you there!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Eight Shaft Twill Single Box Scarf

While I had the Green Twill Boxes shawl on the loom, my friend Susan from Thrums came for a visit.  She mentioned that she had woven the same pattern in the past and that she had amended the pattern and wove it as a continuous box.  I'm a bit late in posting this as Susan's visit was in May! 

I loved the concept of re-using the same tie up, a similar threading and with just a few tweaks getting a completely new weave.  Susan generously shared her original pattern and I made a few changes to come up with this pattern.
I redrafted the twill boxes and enlarged the centre part of the box.  I increased the size of the borders and pulled a warp of 263 ends.  This gives me an on loom width of 9 inches.
I love the hopefulness that I get at this stage of the weaving, all threaded, sleyed and ready to weave.

I had the last of a cone of tencel purchased from Yarns Plus which is no longer available in Ruby Red; a true blue/red, and I was able to make the warp with just a wee bit left over.
I chose to weave the scarf using a colour called Adobe for the weft.  Now that the scarf is done I will concede that it may not have been the perfect choice of colour. Here it is just off the loom, not yet washed.

My idea was to do a tone on tone red scarf so that the pattern was all about shimmer rather than contrast and I did get that result.  The other result is that the scarf tends toward burgundy red rather than the lovely ruby red it was. The adobe colour really washed out the brightness I so loved in the warp.
Off the loom you can see the lovely shimmer that you can get by weaving tone on tone.
This scarf is for sale.

This is a shot taken today July 02 of my Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) in full bloom.  It is a beautiful shrub that has these lovely chain like flowers, the downside is there is no fragrance.