Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Finishing Fling

I have been feeling 'pinned' lately much like these scarves! I had originally thought that these would be a quick project being plain weave and featuring colour, but apparently not. I might be the 'queen of twill' as Lynnette called me, but it seems I have a lot to learn about plain weave.
I took the first two red stripe scarves off the loom and immediately wound on the greens. I thought I would do finishing on the reds while weaving off the greens. I had them pinned out on my old board and worked out the twisting order to keep the colours solid over the barber pole look.
While I did lose some of the colour intensity, the finer black silk weft did a great job. Please notice the straight selvedges. (Not because I'm showing off, but because this is important for my story later on. )

I'm able to twist groups of equal size except for the two little red stripes and I'm okay with the little skinny group. I can work that up with beads and such.

Above you can see the reds are done and I'm weaving away on the greens. At no point did I have any trouble with the tension. In fact, it was beamed on wonderfully and I'm enjoying the weaving very much. (okay, don't get too far ahead of me now! :)
Next up was beading and I went for red beads on the black sections and black on the red, then a fancy 'special' midsection. It was fun choosing! They are only 5 inches wide so this didn't take very long.
A little star for the midsection on one red scarf.

Meanwhile, the greens are off the loom and now being fringed. Sorry these pictures are a bit dark but something seems to be wrong with my Canon DSLR. Sometimes the flash works, sometimes it won't... and even when it does, its not really bright. Mind you, these are dark colours!
Same as before, colours were twisted onto each other and went quickly. You can see how nice the edges are here!

I put some of my new green beads to work and got them all tricked out in an afternoon.

Here's a close up of the work under way...

All done and this one shows the centre feature showing a little dragonfly. Our yard is full of them this year!

All four scarves went into the laundry tub for a good soak and gentle wash, rinsed and then hung to drip dry outside under the upper deck. There was a nice breeze that day and they dried quickly.

The edges now have a wavy edge and the centre stripe seems to be so much 'tighter' then the solid green or black tencel. It's all tencel, but the variegated portion came from a different source.
The selvedges seem 'lumpy' now.... what the heck is going on here??

What was beautifully straight and smooth, looks like this now...

and like this....
In fact out of four scarves, only one is okay as far as edges are concerned. I was not happy and tried to think what had gone wrong! The centre tightness I could understand as the two types of tencel are from different sources. This problem disappeared with careful steam ironing thankfully. Love my Rowenta with 400 steam holes!! In fact the scarves are buttery soft despite the tighter sett. I'm left with nasty edges to deal with. So I did what any other weaver does at a time like this, you call your BFF and whine! Lynnette recommended I try the cord edging trick like she had done with her edges on her echo weave scarves. This sounded fantastic and I got right to it.
I used 4 ends of black tencel, wound two against two ( to mimic the small coloured group in the fringe). The length of yarn ran down an entire hallway to a door knob at one end of my house and me stretched away at the other and twisting like mad! I got it as tight as I could but even after you knot the end and release, some twist comes out. This means as you hand sew it on (yes, hand sew) you must add additional twist to keep it firm as you go.

I settled on this method. Which ever side the thread comes out on is my starting point. So with extra twist applied and securely held by my thumb, I sew through the scarf edge and into the cord.

Then come back from the other side the same way. This would hide the sewing thread neatly and produce no visible evidence. This goes on for the entire 72 inches of one side, then I flip and do the other. Yes, I'm that crazy to do this but if I don't do something, these scarves won't sell at all and be a total waste of time, yarn and $$. So much for my fast and easy project!

So before you think this is silly, take a look at the edge now behind the sewing area! Smooth and straight! Yes, there is a bit of a ridge where the cord is, but so long as its consistent along both edges, it looks like you *planned* it. :) The end of the cord just blends in with the rest of the twisted fringe.

Here's the green edge all done...from nasty to nice! Thanks Lynnette!

So this is my current work area as I have the second side of a red scarf to cord up and then a final green scarf. To keep my nose to the grind stone no new project is going on the Louet Spring until this remedial work is done by way of as a reward. So I plug in my iPod and turn on my bright light and sit in the cool studio and stitch away....
Send in a search party if you don't hear from me again soon huh? This post has gone long so I will save the finishing of the second white shawl till next time...


Dianne Dudfield said...

What a disappointment but very neat solution.
What's on the loom in the background from the work table?

Susan said...

I was wondering if anyone would notice that! That's the echo weave project and as you can see, not complete as yet.... All will be revealed!
:). Susan

dorothylochmaben said...

Susan - what a great lesson ! I couldn't imagine just what you were doing to fix the problem but all those pictures make it so clear. What patience though to stitch the twisted yarn onto the edges like that, your fingers would ache holding it so tight. What a resource Lynnette is when you are in trouble !!
If one scarf was OK I wonder what was different about the others to make them go wavy like that ?
They look gorgeous now though !

tinsel said...

Thankyou for this info,I do the same when making belts for our national costume the bunad.They are stronger this way when the sides are enforced

barbara said...

Wow, what a great solution. One would need much patience for the task of fixing the edges, and Susan you did a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing - who would have thought to do that. Your BFF, Lynnette sure is a wise woman. Weaverly yours ... Barbara

Carrie said...

Wow. I like to think I'm learning patience at a surprising rate through my spinning/knitting/dyeing.. but just reading about all the cording along the 72 inch edges made me wince. You are a saint! The outcome is absolutely gorgeous though.

Spinning Out of Control said...

Oh my gosh....that is so cool! I've never heard of sewing a cord along the edge like that. I love weaving blogs. I always learn something new :)

Karen said...

This post may have come just in time for me! I just finished weaving a small tabby sampler with the leftover warp from my twill scarves, and liked it so much that I've wound on enough for 2 more tabby scarves. The sampler's edge was fine but it had the leftover floating selvedge. These new ones, of course, do not! I may be seeing edging in my future, though I don't know if I have the patience to do it.

Brenda said...

Regarding your photo colour problems. Do you have a Photoshop program of some type? If so, let me know which one and perhaps I can give you some photo manipulation tips (I spend a lot of my time at work diddli' with photos).

Theresa said...

Great idea, at least until it comes down to actually doing it! :) I tip my hat to you for all your beautiful hand finish work. Just awesome.

Lynnette said...

So happy that it all worked out well, but I bet you have seamstress' thumb now!
Great studio photo...it looks so light and bright.