Thursday, February 13, 2014


close up before wet finishing...
Quite some ago I found a draft I really liked from a Weaver's magazine issue 44, Summer 1999 and playing with it on Fiberworks, I adjusted it from sixteen shafts down to twelve shafts. I wound up a warp  for this project and it was originally slated to go on the Louet Spring, with its smooth warp beam. It was hung up on the side of my big loom where I store future warps so they are handy to go on as soon as a loom is empty.
 Then stuff got in the way... time passed. Then, I got caught up in the hurry to get shawls ready for the Christmas sales and then there was that runner commission to do as well.  I decided to switch that lattice project to the big Woolhouse loom and take advantage of the 20+ tie up assist to do the daunting 144 cord tie up.  So I took the sectional rakes off, and dusted off the raddle, and beamed the warp up. It was a taupe 8/2 tencel, with a sett of twenty four ends per inch and it went quite well. It was a straight draw of one to twelve for threading and the same again for treadling. All the pattern is in the tie up.

I have lower back issues (to go along with the wonky hip and knee) and so weaving on this loom is hit and miss unfortunately.  It seems to aggravate my lower back so it took a *long* time to weave the scarves off, especially when one is in a very fine black silk, as shown below. Such a shame as its a beautiful loom. {She's still for sale and the price has even dropped a bit.}

Here's the draft adjusted to twelve shafts from sixteen:

Taupe is actually difficult to cross effectively as its such a neutral mushroom shade. It needs a sharp contrast so black was an obvious choice and the 30/2 silk worked up nicely. Much finer cloth when you check its 'hand '*. For the second scarf, I went with a deep eggplant tencel and the contrast worked nicely and didn't look so dark.   {* Definition of Fabric Hand: “The quality of a fabric assessed by the reaction obtained from the sense of touch” }

So, finally they were done (we won't talk about how long they took okay?)  Fringes twisted, a few baubles added and then, a nice wash and press. They are ready for their close up's


The drape on this one is beautiful and light!

The selvedges were quite nice but there was a slight pull in at the little border after wet finishing. It was perfect until I washed it, so I think this is due in part to the change in pattern plus the shrinkage of the silk. Its more balanced between plain weave and twill in the section above and so doesn't pull in. Its not a big problem and the close up picture exaggerates the change. 

Not sure if you can see it here but on the tencel scarf, the edges have a slightly scalloped effect on both sides. So it looks planned (right? :)
This time the border didn't pull in. I believe the tencel weft has more 'presense' in the cloth and held its own. (The silk was finer and perhaps compressed too) So each is unique despite being woven up identically, treadle wise.
The only annoying  problem between the two scarves was the right hand floating selvedge frayed and broke every 6 to 10 inches. No matter what I did, changed or shifted.  Oh, well... it was consistent the entire way!
The Woolhouse is being prepped for a seven yard "one of a kind" coloured striped kitchen towels. This is where I'm using up small bits of 8/2 cotton cones. Once loaded, I'll weave when I can and putter along.... so no holding your breath for the finished towels! I will show you the warp once its under way. I'm weaving eight shaft "breaks and recesses" of my favourite stand by's, which I haven't done in awhile.
On the Louet Spring, I have a silk shawl project and I'll save the details for another post but my weft yarn has arrived.
This is a silk yak blend and this is the natural colour when you blend bombyx silk and the yak beige brown. Its the equivalent of 30/2 so quite fine. My original stash of this soft yarn has finally twindled down to nubs and it was time to spend some of my Christmas sale money and  reorder.
Treenway Silks used to be just off the coast from me on Saltspring Island but now is being operated from Lakewood, Colorado. My order took a bit longer to reach me as a result but I'm thrilled with the yarn. Beautiful quality and I really like their paper skein wraps. It lists size, yardage, weaving setts and more. Very helpful information!

I will leave you with this final picture and some news:

There's my little family, Bruce and Calli working on a project in the laundry room together. I couldn't resist this shot...  She's ready to lend a hand paw anytime!  There is a toy or ball just out of the shot in case he changes his mind about working.  She's just as helpful with my looms and stuffs toys under the treadles.

I'm very happy to share that as of yesterday we now know that my hubby Bruce no longer needs abdominal surgery and we can cross that off our list!  Such a relief!   Last week my Dad had a second surgery and is well on the way to being on the mend again. He will be in hospital for a time yet.  Its been an unusual winter this year to say the least....   So sorry to take so long to post but as you can see there has been a bunch going on behind the scenes...


barbara said...

Hi Susan,
Your taupe warp with the fine black silk and the Eggplant silk going through, and the pattern you have chosen has turned out so beautiful! I always enjoy reading about your warps and the colors you choose. Good for you taking your time and listening to your body telling you to take it easy.
Great news that Bruce does not need the surgery; and also very good news that your Dad's second surgery turned out well, and he is on the road to recovery.
The silk you ordered from Treenway is sure beautiful; good to know the new owners have kept up the find quality of silk and dying that was always available when they were on the West Coast.
Happy Valentines Day to you and Bruce. Weaverly yours ... Barbara

P.S. I am trying to get some tea towels woven for a couple of shops this summer. One warp is 2/8 white cotton and I am throwing through some of the spaced dyed cotton from Brassard in an undulating twill pattern; hard to see the pattern on the loom, hopefully it will "pop" when I wash the tea towels. My 20 yard sample ......

Unknown said...

Beautiful weaving, I've had this draft in my queue as well.
And especially glad to hear you've gotten some good health news for your family!

Bruce said...

I've always loved your weaving, Susan..., and to view it with 'happy' eyes is even more warming than usual.

And, I always enjoy doing household jobs that take place in the bottom three feet of any room. Our little helper is right there to keep my ear and cheek clean and moist. Thanks Calli.

Love, Hub.

Cindie said...

I love your scarf - it's so elegant. I might have to use that 16h draft for a future project. I've got some pale lavender and dusty purple handspun merino/tussah I've been trying to come up with the perfect weave structure for - this lattice might be it. I spun it fairly thin but will have to figure out sett to see how long those floats will be - may or may not work. Hopefully it won't take as long to weave it as it's taken to get it from being spun to on the loom..........

Peg Cherre said...

Yay to the health improvement!! Good news is always so welcome!

Louisa said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Lovely scarves, as always! Sorry you haven't found a new home for Gertrude yet.

Glad Bruce is able to avoid the surgery and that your dad is on the mend. Now it's just you and a date with some bionic body parts, huh?

Unknown said...

Susan, it is ingenious how you altered the draft from 16 to 12 shafts - I would be totally clueless how to do this!

So now... can you adjust it to 8 for me? LOL!

Seriously: Both scarves are simply gorgeous - elegant, classy, and over-the-top beautiful.


Unknown said...

The lattice scarves are very pretty, I think I like the black silk one best ! It's a very effective draft even when reduced to 12 shafts. Nice project and lovely finishing as always .