Friday, November 22, 2013

Black Baroque

I like to play at planning future projects on paper and then winding up the warps ahead of time. Its satisfying to have another warp ready waiting and you can beam it right away. Then, I'll divide my time between threading and sleying on the loom and doing any finishing work on the newly removed cloth. I must multi task to avoid stressing my joints and its probably a good idea for any weaver with a healthy body!

I had an all black warp pre-wound and it was intended for a project on the big Woolhouse loom, but with the loom being advertised for sale, I want it cleared off and a smaller cotton sample warp to be placed on there. Right now, the loom patiently waits for me to sit and finally complete the ongoing project.   So the black 8/2 tencel warp is now homeless !

I double checked how many ends there were and decided to add about twenty four more to the warp and I loaded it onto the Louet Spring instead. I have the twelve shaft tie up in place and now know the basic pattern off by heart after weaving the recent two shawls. It would be a nice twist on the current theme and also not waste the black warp!

It beamed up quickly. Bruce holds and tensions the warp while I wind and it goes very smoothly!  I love the system Louet has devised for their looms as it give consistently beamed warps every time. Oh, and the practice of beaming consecutive  warps also helps! I also used the two sticks at the start again, and it worked beautifully. I think this will be a permanent change for me!

This time its not about colour blending to create iridescence but something more simple and elegant. I had visions of a black wool winter coat and someone wanting to have a scarf to really set it off nicely. Of course the customer may have a completely different idea of what it will do for them!  Many of my tea towels have been turned into table centers, and one wider scarf even became a skinny table runner!

A towel of mine on a table top in Michigan!

I wanted one to be a nice rich red. So I searched the stash. Lots of burgundy, pink reds, and so on but not what I had in mind. Finally I found a small part cone of 10/2 tencel in a colour called Persian Red. A deep colour but a touch of coppery orange or that Turkey red you see in kilims.   That was what I had in mind!
My stash of 10/2 dyed tencel is getting smaller and smaller as they no longer dye 10/2 tencel in large quantities any more.  The American weavers market is huge and they collectively decided they prefer the slightly larger grist of 8/2 and so 10/2 dyed tencel faded quickly away.... You can get it undyed now and dye it up yourself, but there is something nice about reaching for a full cone of colour, especially at a time like this.

Reds are hard to photograph.... but this one is very close!

Being a finer weft yarn, it took longer to weave and compacted the pattern a bit. A different slant on the previous projects, but nice all the same.  I also started and ended the scarves with a run of black silk to give them a more finished look. I'm still seeing that nice black wool dress coat or  dress suit!

This time they looked like they needed a bit of something extra .... so I decided on small bead and Swarovski crystal accents in the corners only. The "less is more" concept.

It never fails to amaze me how the tencel looks flat, even lifeless after washing, even a little lumpy in texture.... but once you give it that hard steam pressing, it comes alive!

Then I had to wait for some sunshine to photograph them as they are dark enough as it is!   I loaded them into my Etsy store as from recent activities there, people are Christmas shopping!   The silver and black scarf sold in less than 24 hours.... and is going to Switzerland! Given the winters there, perhaps it will be paired with a black coat!

The loom is reloaded and the final project using this draft and tie up is about to start. These last three magenta scarves will take time ( and one is presold!). I will be more than ready for a change on the loom once they are done!


Karen Reff said...


Peg Cherre said...

Stunning, as always!

barbara said...

Hi Susan - The black/red shawl is beautiful, especially with the crystals at the corners - that won't be long on Etsy. I love how you wind warps ahead, that's a good idea. I have not woven in mid to late summer, I must get back down in the studio and start working on summer stock. You also are very wise to do different jobs throughout your time in the weaving studio. We had a beautiful day here, and I actually cleaned out another two shrub beds ..... one more to go .... if the weather holds, if not - it can wait until the Spring. Weaverly yours ... Barbara

Susan Harvey said...

From Linda:

Your blogger doesn't like me, but again, I have to say that these are stunning. I’m partial to the red and black, but they’re equally gorgeous. I’m not surprised that they’re selling so quickly. Always a treat, Susan!

Thanks Linda.... I don't know...maybe I should come there and watch you enter a comment! It just seems to be consistently you that has trouble so maybe...???

:) Susan

Fab Felis said...

...actually the black and white scarf will likely be either paired with my bright turquoise 'medieval' coat or the black fluffy 'medieval' coat with the silver trim and the purple lining ;-)

Dorothy Stewart said...

Lovely scarves, not surprised they have sold so quickly !

Lynne4444 said...

Very inspiring. As a new weaver I look forward to my weaving path.