Friday, November 15, 2019

Art Deco Diamonds

So in a few short weeks, it will be 2020 and a whole new decade. Roll the clock back 100 years and it was the start of the 'roaring 20's'. The world shook off the whole WW1 thing and partied, and enjoyed life again. 

Think Great Gatsby, the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922,  flappers and the Charleston, jazz bands and speak easy's, bobbed hair, cloche hats and shorter skirts.   

I also think of Art Deco.   This unique form of architecture and style started prior to to WW1 but came into its own by 1925  at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925.   One American classic building example is the Chrysler Building on the east side of Manhattan.

In Vancouver, BC, its the Marine Building which was completed in 1930 right after the Great Crash and the start of the Great Depression. It cost 2.3 million to build (in the dollars of the day I might add, and had a cost overrun of 1.1 million) and was sold off cheap for $900,000.   I have been in this building and its amazing! There is literally something unique to see everywhere you look and the front entry way and the elevator doors are works of art. 

We even have an art deco theme with our dining room set with a 1930 replica table. 

So imagine me spotting #68017 at and seeing these classy art deco diamonds:

Soon this draft was in my weaving lineup... and then on the loom!

There were some slight modifications for an edging and border made by me.  This is 10/2 black tencel, sett 28 epi and 8/2 tencel in Pompeii as weft.  I can't say I recommend weaving black warps at  this time of year!  I had lights all around the loom as I threaded and sleyed the reed. Its so darn easy to leave a dent  or  to double sley.

For the second scarf I used 10/2 tencel in a colour called Tussah from Textura Trading from my stash.  All my 10/2 dyed tencel is precious as you can't get it any longer. Only undyed tencel, and I'm not set up to dye my own at this time.

The diamonds wove up just a smidge smaller this time but interestingly when I measured the small inner diamond (or box if you turn your head sideways), the box measured perfectly square in box scarves regardless of the size of the weft yarn used. I can only assume my beat was correct for both!

Now they have been finished for awhile but this time of year with its rainy dark days have not been conducive to taking photographs.  It brightened up a bit today and the sun almost made a full appearance  so I dashed and snapped this pictures.  We have a week's worth of wind and rain ahead according to our weather forecast and I didn't think you or I want to wait another week for a blog post!  😳

My Favourite of the two scarves.  They measure 8 inches by 72 inches.

One take away from finishing these scarves was that manipulating the fringe twister is playing  merry heck with my arthritic wrists and fingers. I'm using a quad fringe twister currently and I seem to twizzle  a lot of fringe over the course of a year. So how can I maximize my efforts and get more done with less effort?

By ordering one of these!

I'm looking forward to giving this big girl a whirl soon and I'll report my findings back here. I'll be able to do a total of 5 doubled bouts at a time.   I'm going to hang onto the quad for now as a back up.

You know, they even make one that has 20 clips!  Nice to know you can upgrade your ride!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Adding Things Up

When you are weaving away on 9.5 yards, treadling one up to eight and back to one endlessly, you tend to go on autopilot and you can do a lot of singing along to music or simply thinking.   Things like: how many picks to an inch?
How many picks to 36 inches?
Gee... how many in this total project?

... and the big one.... how many miles have I woven in the past 25 years?  

So when I finally finished my 8 towels woven to 36 inches each on the loom and one runner that eeked out the last of the warp at 43 inches, I sat down and crunched some numbers:

  • 8 towels and one runner equals 332 inches or  9.2 yards woven on my 9.5 yard warp.
  • I averaged 22 ppi - or a total of  8047 pics total.
  • physical weight of finished project : 1.334 kg or 2 lbs 15 oz
  • That's 537 repeats of treadling the pattern repeat which has a count of 15
  • The only unwoven parts of the loom waste was 3 inches plus knots at the start and 13 inches at end, plus 6 inches for part of the fringe on the runner when I started it.   The final  fringe at the end of the runner came out of the loom waste..... so effectively I had only 10 inches of loom waste for the entire project! 😁 I had factored in 3 inches of take up for every yard woven.
  • oh, and half a box of Colour Catchers in the wash water as that red (cerise) wanted to run!

8/2 cotton from Brassard's: 6 colours in the warp and  another 4 used as weft.  Sett was 24 epi.

With black weft. (above and below)

With white weft.

Then I used a kaki green weft and loved the effect! It somehow worked with all the colour groups beautifully. I also used a plum colour but didn't get a picture of it on the loom under way.

Here's the end of the warp right up to the back of the heddles. I couldn't get another half inch !

There was a very satisfying "chubby roll" on the cloth beam, as I like to call it,  but it actually only was 1 1/2 inches. Well, it looked good to me!

Here's the loom waste from the start, plus the knots which is minimal.

....And the final loom waste from the end and remember that 6 inches of this will be fringe for the runner.

So the final fringe length on the runner after twisting was 2 inches plus the tassel and looks marvellous on our dining room table. Hubby was so pleased it was staying.  I'm also keeping a black weft towel and a kakhi green one.

Some one jokingly (I hope!) asked me why I had a jelly fish on my table.

Next are the 8 towels, all were woven to 36 inches and after relaxing off tension, washing, pressing and then turning a hem allowance and hand sewing, they are measured up as 20 inches by 30 inches. They all  pressed up nicely on my Singer press.

Three black ones

Then two with kakhi green weft. Its my personal favourite.

Next up are two towels with white weft. They are crisp and clean, with the stripes adding nice punch of colour, but you lose the zig zag pattern stripe.

Then finally the plum weft with is Hubby's favourite. It melded the colour groups too but not quite as effectively as the kaki green did, in my opinion of course.

I have kept fairly decent records of all my woven projects since 1996 and I could sit and work out some rough numbers and get an approximation of my last question which was of how many miles have I woven. Tempting as it is, I'm not going to spend the time doing that.

I'd rather be weaving new projects!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Thankful 🍁

I had some running around to do on Saturday.  One was a stop at my bank downtown and I was surprised by these lovelies!   Sugar maples in all their glory.... on Alder Street. I stopped and took a quick snap or three with my cell phone. A gentleman also going to the bank machine said that its much like the blossoms in spring..... a few brief and glorious days of colour.

My timing was perfect everywhere I went. As you can see above, no traffic and any parking spot I liked.   Same thing at the grocery store.... "you should have seen it here two hours ago" said one tired looking staff member.   I breezed around the store and there was no line up at the cashier.  I even got a flu shot with no waiting.     

🍁  We have very much to be thankful for.   🍁   

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving  and we're foregoing turkey this year and doing a leg of lamb instead. All the prep work is done.   Its just hubby and I as usual, and this year,  that's okay with us as Hub isn't feeling too well.    

He was out a couple of days ago and took these pictures down by the waterfront here in Campbell River where we have miles and miles of beaches like this. You can pull over and go sit on a log and watch the water for wildlife and shipping traffic.

The mountains are over on the mainland and as you can see, there are more than a few extinct volcanic cones over there! Well, we hope they are....

Meanwhile, here at home, this is the ornamental cherry tree in the front yard and our little 'burning bush' on the side of the driveway

The chestnut has gone golden and starting to shed leaves.....

On the weaving front:  I have just completed 10 yards of towels and completed finishing, pressing and snapping the  'beauty shot' pictures.  So a post on them is coming very soon.   Towels are fun but they are a lot of work and take time, especially when you are hand sewing hems !   The spring loom is waiting to be reloaded and I think I will shift my attention to the Megado  for weaving time.       Enjoy the sunshine while you can.....   🍂🌞 🍁

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cabbage Rose

Some time ago, and most likely last spring, I was browsing on Etsy and I saw this painted warp by Carr Park Artisans and fell in love. I liked the softness of the colours, the gentle merging of greens, then into cream, then peach and pinks. 

Some warps out there on the internet are sharp with jarring colours.  Now I like bright jewel tone colours but sometimes they can lack finesse.    Some add in some streaky black and it ends up like looking like something from a Killer Zombie movie.

But this appealed to a softer side of me and next thing I knew, it was paid for and being shipped!   200 ends of  8/2 tencel.... and 5 yards long.   It was going to mean two shorter scarves and no samples, plus shorter fringes.

It reminded me of these soft peonies and greenery gifted to me earlier this year.   The painted warp's name is Cabbage Rose and it fits well. 

So I went looking for a nice draft to use and one that would have the same tie up as my last project so to save some time and energy.    I found the Maltese Cross, or # 168 in Carol Strickler's  Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Patterns and I played with the draft until I got this:

Its difficult to convey a painted warp so I just used a generic soft pink for the 200 ends in the middle and added olive green, shale grey and lemon grass 8/2 solid dyed tencel for the edges.   I made some changes to the border threading. You can also see my starting border, and reversing that border treadling would be used at the end of the scarf.

It seems some newer weavers these days are not framing their work or have not been taught to do this and they simply weave the draft 'as-is' and while that's okay... it looks like something is missing to me.    Playing with a weaving program (any of them!) can go a long way to trying things like this out.   Watch your float lengths!  Be sure to check the back view as well.

I also used a soft grey colour as the weft above as I wanted to see details clearly. I knew my first colour choice as weft would be olive and that would obscure my view of the edges.

My second scarf? I went with a rich dark purple called amethyst as it worked well with all the colours.

The weaving went well and soon I was twisting the fringes, or 'twizzling' as my dear friend Wayne would say.  Washed, pressed and trimmed up all went as per usual but then they sat and waited out one of the first bad weather fronts of the fall to roll through. Then it seemed every sunny day we got, we had business away from home and the rain settled back in again. So finally I just turned on every light in the studio and got the camera out to see what I could get.

This scarf is shorter at 58 inches in length and I call it Lilypad.  The colour shifts in behind the pattern are soft and subtle and add to the iridescent effect.

Then this moody little number is called Twilight . Its longer at 69 inches.  I thought of summer sunsets on the back pond behind our house, complete with frogs, fish and dragonflies.

The soft green hues of 'cabbage' definitely come through the amethyst !

I have ordered another cabbage rose warp, much wider and longer this time and I think Christine will be doing several of them in short order due to demand.  Send her a note as to your desired length. I found 5 yards a tad bit short for two scarves, and it was too long and skinny for a shawl.

Every pond needs a faerie princess right?  Here's my 4 year old grand daughter Madison who is now kicking butt at her beginner Brazilian jujitsu classes (along side her older brother Ethan).    She got her very first stripe on her belt.