Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snowflakes That Won't Melt

If you have been a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I love the complexities of snowflake twill. In a previous post, I ran through a number of projects I've done featuring this pattern. I left you awhile ago with a brief view of the current three scarf warp on the big loom. I had found a streak on the underside of the warp. It looked fine on the top side! It was from a mis- threaded heddle where the thread went below the eye, so it produced a visible line, but not where I could see it.

I used a lovely 30/2 blend of  55% silk and 45% bleached camel. Its a soft creamy colour and soft as a cloud. The sett was 36 ends per inch and just about eight inches in the reed.  After fixing my little oops, I decided to change my weft to something shiny as the warp is rather matte in finish.  I end up weaving all three scarves in more subtle shades. The pattern can be a bit busy when brighter colour are used. I prefer things a bit more subtle.  I wove two scarves to seventy two to seventy three inches and the last one went  a bit long to seventy six inches! Its amusing how the warp that couldn't seem to get started, and then I  couldn't get finished and then on the last scarf.... I wouldn't quit weaving!

Here's the bronze-gold bamboo weft (the last, longer scarf) on the fringing board.

This one has a fine 10/2 white tencel. Nice play of light on the pattern with the shiny weft and matte warp.

The picture above shows the silk/ bleached camel warp and a 45% regular camel and 55% silk for a lovely soft gold tone. This scarf is butter soft to touch! I twisted the fringe in fine bouts on all scarves for a more feminine look.

This grouping shows the sewing of beads and bling.  I used various fine glass beads, Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls. There are twelve pearls and twelve crystals per scarf!

Madge Mannequin looks elegant all decked out. She's modeling the bamboo weft scarf.

In these below, you can see the camel/ silk with camel /silk. The pattern wove up  'to square' and smaller. More petite.

Below are shots of the white tencel and creamy warp. The contrast between matte and sheen is wonderful and so you get good pattern definition. Its just hard to shoot with a flash as the tencel shine takes over!

An interesting thing happened when I measured them up for their hang tags. The length was puzzling! Two scarves woven to seventy two or seventy three inches were now only sixty eight inches!. The extra long bamboo went from approx seventy six inches down to seventy two inches! The length wise shrinkage with the camel silk yarn is quite considerable. I will be making notes to add to the balance of the yarn for the next project.

Silk...its a lovely fibre to weave with. Plied, it has great strength on the loom as warp. Its lovely natural colour or takes a dye beautifully with acid based dyes. I've used Telana dyes with great success. My stash of 20/2 and 30/2 silks are running low and so I started to search for a source.  At $117.00 to $135.00 per  pound, it can get expensive fast. I checked all the usual places and then went looking for other sellers on line. and I found  an Indian direct silk seller. (edit: link removed)  I ordered five- one hundred  gram skeins. That's just a bit over a pound... for $50.00 plus a small postage fee.  It took some time to arrive and when it did, it was a marvel to behold! The postal clerk was amazed it was still full! So was I. The paper wrapping had a mesh backing and the silk was enclosed in a cellophane bag. It was unscathed but we all marveled at why... The only places on the parcel that was okay was where there was tape. They just didn't use much! I had a email conversation with the seller and the pictures convinced him that shipping changes were in order. Either to completely tape it, or use a box. Those Indian postal clerks play rough!

As you can see the silk inside was untouched and simply beautiful!

Edit: ... and at $10.00 a skein, I  would like to order more but won't.  They have repeated the poor shipping to another weaver and her parcel barely arrived in one piece too. My complaints about the wrapping didn't change a thing!  They have also changed from a 'buy it now'  to a bidding process which means the price is driven up considerably.   Back to looking again!


barbara said...

Hi Susan - so did you have to bid on the silk, or did you "buy it now" on ebay? I don't understand ebay stores, can you explain a little more how it works? The silk looks beautiful and the price is sure right. Thanks for your help.
Weaverly yours ......

barbara said...

Hi Susan - I am not sure if you got my first post. Interesting about the ebay store; I don't understand how they work, do you bid on the item, or did you have to "buy now" the silk you saw? Is that how it works? The silk looks beautiful and the price is sure right. Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

charlotte said...

Your shawls are real works of art! Their future owner must get very proud! And thanks for the tip about the silk, I find it quite difficult fo get hold of silk yarn.

Acorn to Oak said...

They're gorgeous! I especially like the camel/silk and the tencel ones. Incredible! Great price on that silk! What a find!

Cindie Kitchin said...

Your scarves are stunning! Thanks for the silk source and heads up to ask for a good shipping package if ordered.

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Barbara,
yes, both of your comments came through...
I'm fairly new to Ebay but it seems you can either buy right away (which I did with the silk) or if you are a gaming type person, you can bid a lower price and wait the time out. You may have to be sitting with your hand on the keyboard as the last few minutes play out to counter other bidders !

This 20/2 silk is a heavy cream colour and quite shiny. The quality seems to be very good. Winding a warp will tell if it has knots or not.. (no pun intended)

:) Susan

Anonymous said...

Susan beautiful shawls! I just adore your snowflake shawls and the wonderful beading.

May I ask where you found the 10/2 white tencel? I have been looking for some to make a christening gown for my new grandchild.

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Martha,
The 10/2 tencel is the very last of my stash from Textura Trading. I literally have 2 bobbins worth and then it's all gone. If you ever find any white in this size, please let me know okay? The explanation given to me is that the demand by American weavers is for 8/2 size as that's what they are comfortable with. Since there are many more American weavers than Canadian, they set the stock.
Apparently it's only a matter of spinneret size for producing the tencel.... Not hard to produce, just less demand.
😟 Susan

Jacquie said...

Your snowflake scarfs/shawls are wonderful to look at. One just wishes the Internet had a touch and feel button. I'm sure they are just as wonderful to feel.
Jacquie in sunny (but very cold) AZ

Dianne said...

Stunning. The snowflakes blow my brain away.
I see where you are tasselling you have worked on groups across the warp. Do you measure or count each group of threads and mark with a pin?
Just curious.

Linda said...

Another fabulous offering, Susan. I never tire of looking at the beautiful finishing that you do on your pieces. These are truly gorgeous! Great deal with the silk! Have you compared that to what Michael White offers through his Georgia Yarn Co (I hope I have that right). It seems like he has some impressive offerings as well for silk. I've not made it as far as buying any yet, but it sounds like folks are pleased with what they have bought from him. I look forward to see what you do with this silk!

Susan Harvey said...

Thank you for all the great comments! Its the payday that a blogger is looking for after all the writing, photographing and fussing before hitting the publish button! :)

Dianne: I had hemstitched every 4 warp ends as the silk camel was clingy. This made working with it difficult so I decided to separate some of the fringe so I could work! I also like to work out the groupings ahead of time to make sure I have no surprises at the end such as extra ends or a lack of them! You can slowly resolve these ahead if you preplan.

Yes, I have been caught in the past so now go in with military precision!

:) Susan

Lynnette said...

I received my order of silk too, but my parcel arrived in very good shape....I can't believe how lovely the silk is!

Your scarves are as always stunners...they just beg for the little black dress to show them off!

Dee said...

Susan, Based on your recommendation, I ordered a few skeins of the 20/2 silk. It is lovely but so much finer than anything I've woven before. I may have to set it aside until I'm a better weaver. Could you please tell me what sett you are using with this yarn? Thanks so much! Your weaving is spectacular.

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Dee,
My handy dandy yarn chart (free from Handwoven... See link at blog near my profile picture) suggests 30 epi for a twill like the snowflake twill if using 20/2 silk.

What I used in the snowflake twill scarves was 30/2 and the sett for that was 36 epi.

Whether 10 epi, 24 epi or 30... It's all about taking it slow ana the work is about the same, just a bit more of it.
I appreciate your new silk might sit for awhile until you feel more confident to use it as warp so perhaps try going finer with cottons first and get comfortable with that before hitting the silks!

Feel free to write me and ask again if need be...
Good luck,
PS they seem to be sold out now... You are lucky to have received some!

Michele Lewis said...

Hi Susan,
Did you see that Webs is selling 10/2 tencel in natural again? I'm quite happy to have it available once more.

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Michele,
No, I didn't know that! Thank you for sharing... I'll order some next time round. Just got a tencel order in.

:) Susan

Michele Lewis said...

I ordered some of the beautiful silk you mentioned here, and it arrived yesterday. Like your package, the outer envelope was just shredded and ripped open, but fortunately the inner plastic bag was also still intact.