Thursday, April 18, 2013

Back From Purgatory


Late last year I wove a silk scarf in this pretty eight shaft pattern and thought : "this is great! I'm going to weave something else with this pattern."  To be fair to my cranky lower back, I try to do double projects on the same tie up on the Louet Spring so I get more weaving and less tie up wrangling. 

So I got busy and wound a fine warp of 16/2 mercerized cotton (thirty six epi and roughly fourteen inches wide). Its a lovely taupe that Brassards calls Flax. The weft is a navy blue from Brassards also.   Beaming the warp went just fine, or so I thought. ( don't get too far ahead of me now) The Louet method is a snap.  Threading? no errors....sleying? well, three per dent and no issues there either.

So I wove away on what I like to call my Gothic Diamonds and there were no issues. This eight shaft twill runner was woven to fifty nine inches and it was planned to have a tidy twisted fringe and runner number two was to be woven in cream 16/2 against the flax, and have a hem allowance. One of each style, and light and dark. Perfect right? Not so fast....




I wove the hem allowance, then did some  lovely trellis hemstitching to mimic the pattern in the runner.   Then I ran of of yarn on my pirn and stopped to change to a new one.  It was a good time to leave the project for the day and I went off to make dinner. The next day I advanced the warp an inch or two and got started and that's when I noticed the tension on the right hand selvedge had softened. So I checked things over and weighted those threads and got back to the bench.  Then the left hand side went soft! What the Heck!!  I weighted those as well and wondered what was going so wrong and if I could make it to the end of the runner. I could have struggled through but the weaving looked dreadful. Fine threads are not forgiving of uneven tension and I wasn't happy either...

So next thing I knew I had scissors in my hand and was cutting away! What went through my mind was: "I do this for fun and this isn't fun anymore.... my time is more important "

Besides, once you have that first cut done....  then its really all over!

That's when it dawned on me that I had cut in the wrong place. It was only a scant 4 inches from the end of the runner that needs to have a twisted fringe. Oh, Crap!

So I cleaned up the loom and got it ready for another project. I did give the loom a good check up to make sure nothing was out of sorts but it seemed fine. I put it down to problems during beaming the warp. Subsequent warps have been fine and I've been paying better attention when loading the loom. I guess I got a little sloppy or something!




So this is all that's left of the second runner. It's become a sample stored in a binder, complete with draft and notes on the whole fiasco. If you look at the second picture, you can see the hem allowance on the right...hemstitching... then notice how the selvedge starts to go wavy with the tension problems!  If it can't be a good project, then it can  serve as a horrible warning not to get sloppy with tension when beaming a warp!

The runner with its clipped  too short fringe was folded up and sat on my sewing table for four months while I decided what to do. Normally I follow through with final finishing right away, so this was a first for me. Recently, my good friend Lynnette showed a neat method on her blog for a short fringe treatment and so I gave that a try.  I couldn't get it to look quite right, so I took it all out.  Then I tried simple finger twisting the warp bouts together just to see if it could be done. Apparently, if you went slow and took your time, it could be done. So, no fringe twister... and using my fingers and it slowly come back from the dead pile and purgatory!

Actually, if you didn't know the full story, you'd never know by looking at it....




As a bonus this time, I want to show you a silk shawl I bought myself from an Australian shop on Etsy for my birthday last month. I wear it with my black fine wool coat:


If it looks like there are feathers, you are quite right....



I wear it more bunched up and folded under the coat collar so the pattern isn't so much "in your face."  I've noticed that there are a number of "wings" on television lately:  the black crows of the Night's Watch on Game of Thrones, the Edgar Allan Poe's crow connection in the Following, and the perky 'angels' in the Victoria Secret ads.  I'm so right in fashion !    But more crow, and less angel.... :)

6 comments:

Betty the Wood Fairy said...

I couldn't see anything wonky going on to be honest! I like your work a lot and imperfections are acceptable in handmade in my opinion. I am so surprised you buy scarves - your feathery one is lovely but your own work is very special.

Linda said...

Simply stunning! I love this piece, Susan. Sorry there were such trials with it. Without having read the blog, I said on Ravelry that there should be just one 'dog' out of your studio so that we knew there wasn't some magical phenomena happening there. So reading this, I can see that this is you 'dog' story and that you are also not immune to the mysteries and frustrations that pop up every now and again. You simply have the experience to know when to cut. It is always such a treat to see how exquisitely even your 'dog' experiences turn out. Bravo.

charlotte said...

The shawl you made is just incredible, almost impossible to believe it's actually handwoven. Congrats!

barbara said...

Hi Susan - no fun when you get a "dog" on the loom. You did the best thing by cutting off. I agree, weaving is suppose to be fun. I love the shawl that you purchased for yourself, very interesting design .... beautiful piece of art work. Enjoy your weekend, and onto the next project. Weaverly yours...

Susan Harvey said...

Thank you for the great comments!
Sorry for the delay... I've been away for a few days but I'll write about that in my next post.

Charlotte: I did not weave that shawl. Its silk that has been silk screened. You must have read it a bit too fast.

Susan

Lynnette said...

I'm with you on cutting off a project if it isn't fun to weave! There comes a point of dimishing returns and once that is reached, I say reach for the scissors....