Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fresh Starts

So the calendar says its spring... and in our back yard we have some spring flowers  and 'courting critters', also known as  amorous squirrels and raccoons. I feel a little guilty knowing that much of eastern Canada and the USA are still getting daily snowfalls and parts of the UK have been inundated with snow.  Think of it as an extra long weaving season while I'm having to dig weeds and start yard work. Trust me, I'd rather be weaving!

Greens and pink- purple tones in the garden....and also on the loom.

After two consecutive projects that were neutral, it was time for some colour! I used my Itten Color Star and went cruising through the nicely organized stash. Oh, it was so worth the effort!

 This is 8/2 tencel, 187 warp ends and the sett is 24 epi .... its long enough for two scarves. The draft is a twelve shaft and twelve treadle twill I found on (great web site!) Its an elaborate M's and W's with a plain weave background. 

I decided to try colour shifting across the warp and I'm using four colours: eggplant, red purple, old gold and olive. It was pure eye candy to wind on the warping board and I love the intensity on the warp beam.

Once I had the threading done, it was time to hoist the little lady up and get ready for the tie up. It will be a big one today and 144 ties... so after this scarf project is done, I will be doing a second colour warp and using it again. So stay tuned for that one!

She's all set up on her booster crates, light is close by, cords and large print tie up sheet... and good tunes playing on the iPod player. I complete a treadle, maybe two and then take a good stretch.... must baby that cranky back! (Time to admit that many joints are cranky... must be the change in seasons....)

Here you can see my tie up sheet: I isolate the row or treadle I'm working on and definitely double check as I go. I really don't want to have to get down under the loom for corrections. The joints protest that loudly

Sleying and lacing on is next. I like to lace on with tencel as its rather slippery. Besides eliminating the tie on issue, it also helps to save on warp. Handy when using expensive warps like silks and exotic blends.

At the end of yesterday's session I had woven the opening runs and a partial pattern repeat, and I had my hemstitching done.  

I've started this scarf with the olive green and the second will be eggplant. The pattern appears across the width and gains better definition as you shift through the other colours.

Here's a close up:

Its fully reversible and there are no long floats as there are plain weave interlacements throughout. It might be better for colour 'razzle dazzle' if there were more warp floats but at least this way, the plain weave is consistent throughout. Tencel will help with the drape. Using the same sized yarn as weft means a better balanced weave as well.

I found some warp floats on the gold/ green side that I'm not sure if they are meant to be there, or a dreaded threading error. So rather than cut it all back, I thought I would spend some time looking at the draft on the computer and see if it's consistent across the width. Sure enough, it happens when you go from a 1 on the treadling plan to a 12 (or vise versa) there is a longer three thread float.  I'm happy as I really didn't want to have to start all over again.  The floats show up rather well in the gold into green section as that's a lighter colour and lighter colours project more.

Here you can see the floats that caught my eye and  you can understand why I thought I had a threading error to deal with for a time. I got out my pick glass (or linen tester). My  linen tester even comes with a light and I got it in a traditional retail construction tool store (boy was I ever surprised to find it there!)  I studied the pattern across the entire warp and the floats were consistent with the pattern. Also, I doubled checked the threading too.  I simply could not go with weaving if I thought there was a possible mistake!

Today I got busy weaving and I'm half way through the first scarf. I tried to get some pictures late today to show you the depth of the colours, but the sheen on the tencel added to the flash equaled a lot of glare! The colours didn't look anything like the reality.

I used some camera settings I don't normally play with and I finally got something that's pretty darn close. Somehow I managed to eliminate the shine in the photo but its still there.. I can hardly wait to see what the second scarf will look like with the darker eggplant weft!

Snow drops in our front garden....

"Happy Easter, Happy Ostara "


Maggie said...

I love those colors!

DebbieB said...

Susan, your warp is GORGEOUS! I love the scarf in progress - great blend of pattern and colour. I'm looking forward to seeing the eggplant weft in action as well.

Anonymous said...

Susan, the color shifts are just wonderful. Really reminds me of spring flowers just opening on a warm day. Wonderful eye candy.

Linda said...

I agree with those colors! And the last photo appears to 'warm them up' a bit more, which make them especially alluring. I also happen to like that there is a lot going on with the color v. pattern. Sometimes it's good to have that challenge of ' I like that stripe in the middle or not'...because it holds the interest and, in the end, by the time you figure it out, you realize that the entire look has evolved for you and you love it even more for having had that process. Sounds screwy, but it's an enjoyable alternative to a clear 'yes' or 'no'.

Dee said...

That is absolutely stunning and I always learn something valuable about weaving from your posts. Thank you!

Cindie Kitchin said...

Lovely colors!

charlotte said...

These colors are so lovely and bright!
Happy Easter!

TinyWoodland Fibres said...

Wow incredibly beautiful! I have just got rigid heddle loom and I can't even imagine how difficult setting up your loom must be! How long does it take! Also how do you weave such beautiful patterns you should do a video!

Heather (

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Heather,

Setting up a floor loom does take more time than a RH. That's why you generally plan multiple items from one warp, or as in my case, I use the tie up for a repeat or try it with a different pattern.

There are some links to the warping process at my blog (on the right hand side bar). As for making a video... it would be a real snoozer! Much more interesting vids have been made and posted at You Tube for viewing.

Yes, this is a nice way of saying I'm camera shy!

Dianne said...

Wonderful colours and pattern.
Have you thought of using all tones in the weft in one scarf. Starting olive at one end and working through to aubergine at the other with a bit of interleaving where the colours change. It'll take some counting and measuring! Maybe a wee sample on the next warp.
Dianne in NZ where the leaves are turning autumnal, if they haven't fallen off due to drought.

Dorothy Stewart said...

Lovely colours and a nice draft to set it off. The tencel should weave up nicely and give a soft handle to the scarves. Great pictures and a very helpful post !
Enjoy the weave and the stretch to reach the treadles ! I wouldn't like to have to reach for any more !


barbara said...

Happy Easter to you and Bruce. Enjoy the onset of Spring, we will have it soon enough in Eastern Canada. I just stepped out onto the back deck and there is a beautiful full moon and star lit sky, and the temperature is at 0, can't ask for much more then that on the 27th of March. Thanks for sharing the story on the scarves, they will be beautiful, can hardly wait to see them all finished. Weaverly yours ...

Linda said...

That warp is a stunner! My eyes are so in need of that saturated color after such a grey winter.

Peg Cherre said...

I love the fact that you shared not only the photos but also the draft. It is always instructional to me to see how you do this case how you shift from one color to the next.


Sharon said...

I always appreciate it when you include what you might think we already know. I was glad to be reminded that hem stitching is a given. And yeah - those colors rock.