Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Slipping into a new Season

There is a nip in the air in the mornings now, and even a whiff of smoke as our neighbour lights up his wood stove to take the chill off the house.  A bit early as its still August!   Then you notice the bracken ferns are turning gold, some trees are already making the shift, and geese are flying over head in "V" formations!

I love the richer golden colours that come with Autumn and so when I was digging around in the stash I pulled out some autumn tones.

pictures credit: Heike Rische


I was waiting for a yarn order to come from Brassards in Quebec and thought to weave off a single scarf real quick (well, as quick as I can go right now  :)    I used the lace weight alpaca / silk blend as warp and it sort of self striped itself as I wound. A regular colour pattern  repeat.  I wanted to  keep the colours in the warp lengthwise. So for a weaving draft, I used an 8 shaft Drall which was quick and easy to thread up and even tie up.


The weft is 20/2 silk in a nutmeg brown and the weaving was much different to my usual fare. I had to gently press the weft into place and be careful of the edge threads and drawn in. The end delivery shuttle was crucial with its adjustable tension. I also used  a wider 8 dent reed to minimize rubbing but I did have some some breaks. So my intent to "whip a scarf off" turned into a slow motion press and change sheds.


It was quite different to anything I have woven in some time! Especially the colours...


Then it was done and I decided to leave a fringe over twisting to show the original colours. No beads also as this could be for either gender. Hubby was eyeing it and checking his closet for something to wear with it (seriously!)


Excuse the light spots.... it decided to rain today and I had to turn on all lights and use the flash.


Here you can see the traditional squares of the drall pattern

The yarn order has arrived and I'm busy winding the fine 16/2 warp for the commission order and doing some weaving on the big loom. I've also been 'paper' planning some projects to come: more lace and more of the recent 12 shaft magenta project (again) as I have sold both scarves and three of my four on hand shawls! I'm not sure what is going on, but it seems the Christmas shopping season has begun.

In other news...
We have begun our usual fall chores: windows cleaned, doing yard tidy up, and have booked our annual hedge trimming for October. Tonight we had our first really drenching rainfall since last June. We actually turned off the television volume to check out what the noise was and realized it was rain drumming on the roof!

I'm also officially on the wait list for a full knee replacement and my name should come up in 6 to 9 months.
What shall we talk about then?   Hope you're not squeamish!   :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Magenta Mood

Its the Dog Days of a long, hot summer. There was a light sprinkle of rain yesterday that was more of a tease than anything.  The rain specks dried in no time.   I don't want to spoil anyone's summer but a little rain sure would be nice right about now.   Its nice and cool in the lower level of our place and we have every door and window wide open to catch a slight breeze.


I've been working away on the Louet Spring and enjoying my current project very much! Remember my post about keeping a 12 shaft tie up from a past project and then using the old tie up with a new threading?  I kept this tie up: (click on any picture to enlarge)


Then I found this draft with its patterned tie up:


Then when I blended the old tie up with the M's and W's, I got this:


I could see the potential in this one and so got started right away. I wound a warp of 187 ends of 8/2 tencel, six yards long in a bright magenta for two scarves. I just love this colour and I seem to be using it in mixed warps lately. So how about all by itself?  The draft above looks complex. It even seems to have areas of subtle shading around the 'cross arms'..... so how would this look woven up on the loom?

I had some help....


Hubby, Bruce offered to tension the warp and then kept goofing around. I don't think he knew I had the camera so close and handy.... or maybe he did!   The beaming didn't take long, even with his help...

The tie up was already in place and so after lacing on, I got busy! I have been using lacing with tencel as it can be slippery.


First up was navy blue weft and trust me, it was hard to get a decent shot where the sheen didn't take over.  A repeat measured about seven inches. So it became difficult to judge the precise end to the scarf. You have a good length but still a little short, but add one more repeat and it goes a bit too long!  The navy blue weft scarf ended at about seventy  three inches. They lose some length off tension and after washing. It ended up a final seventy one inches by six inches in width)

I've used dark teal and magenta together before and loved the combination so I thought I'd try them together again....


I think you can see some of the iridescent effect. Its beautiful when it works like this.... Both colours are of similar values and depth of shade. The teal scarf end up being a bit longer and final length was seventy four inches by six inches.

Then they were fringed as per my usual method:



I went through my bead stash and found a couple boxes of teal beads, and even a close navy blue. I know I don't have any magenta on hand. I tried a couple of arrangement variations but in the end I took them all out and left the scarves plain.  The pattern seemed to be intense and the colours seemed decoration enough by themselves.   So I washed them up and hung them outside to dry. From dripping wet to just slightly damp took two hours with our heat wave.

I gave them a  firm pressing and left them to completely dry over night. I trimmed up the tassels and I got out the camera for their photo shoot. You have to get the angle just right. They have a different mood depending on which way you look at them! The sett was 24 epi and so they have a nice hand to them.  First the teal version:


I love this shot!


Then the deep and mysterious navy blue....





I had big plans to try the old tie up once more time with another threading pattern but I got a commission at my Etsy store to weave a couple of runners so that's the end of this experiment.  As soon as Brassard's opens their door from their annual staff vacation time I'll be placing my yarn order for the customer's requested colours.  So I'm back over to the big loom and winding on a project there.  

How are you enjoying your summer?   Are the fall colours in your stash starting to call you yet? 

I woke to cloudy skies and light rain today. Yippee! You can hear the garden sighing...