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Sunday, January 1, 2023

2022: A Weaving Year in Review

Like many of you, I'm thinking about the past year and just how fast it went by! Another one 'done and dusted'   😳     We had a nice but very quiet Christmas and it could only be that way due to being inundated with snow and we couldn't get out!  We never got much of a fall and seem to go straight into winter with a dump of snow while the leaves were still on the trees and then it would melt and fall again etc. Then came the recent cold snap and more snow.  Winter has only just begun and we're sick of it already!     A pineapple express from Hawaiian waters came to the rescue and warmed us up and melted nearly all the snow away with heavy rains. Its a case of be careful what you ask for as now we have had some flooding, but not for us fortunately. 

New Years Eve was also quiet for us but we did stay up for the big moment and our neighbours set off fireworks and banged pots together.   🎉

Some years ago it became a 'thing' to photograph what is on your loom for New Year's Day and I changed it up to be a review of what I accomplished for the year in the studio instead.  I can say that I wasn't as active as in previous years, but I put more thought into each project and took my time enjoying each step. That's a good thing as Life is busy enough as it is and weaving is something I want to enjoy and have fun with.   Both my looms are engaged; the Spring has rose fibre shawls, and the Megado has table runners underway.


Thank you to Robyn Spady of Heddlecraft for this fun Bingo card for weavers!

I know that there are some regular readers out there and I thank you for your patience when the time between posts go long,   Blogger took away the email notification of when a new post is written so  I have to rely on you taking time to check in periodically.   Blogging seems to have fallen from favour with the trendy masses as they shift to the next new thing.   I can't keep up with it and don't want to.   So I am on social media at Instagram as @ThrumsTextiles, Face Book as Thrums Textiles, Etsy shop called Thrums Textiles, and my favourite weaver playground of Warped Weavers at Ravelry, as weever.    I will continue to post here; after starting this blog in 2008, I may as well carry on while I enjoy it. 

Now lets get to the review....  Click on pictures to enlarge.  Click on hilighted links to list the past post for details, possible draft and more pictures.

January 2022

I had some health issues for several months in 2021 with a reoccurring toe infection which makes treadling difficult and resulted in a minor surgical procedure in December.    That, and a shoulder muscle spasm meant I was healing in January, but I did get both looms full and busy and weaving was underway again.

February 2022



I had a ruby warp on the Megado and planned for two 16 shaft twill shawls. Some tension issues meant I cut the first one off and so this beauty was able to be finished and modelled. 




I finished these two scarves featuring a pretty little 16 shaft twill and a colour gradation. The top picture was recently featured on the cover of the Guild of Canadian Weavers "Bulletin" as they show cased their 75th anniversary online exhibition.    My first time as a cover girl! 😁

March 2022



Then there was three table runners woven on the Spring loom featuring pattern #246 from Carol Strickler's   The Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Patterns. The pattern when used in band of colours,  looks like straps interwoven, but I went for a more subtle look.   Some soft colours and its a play of light that reveals the interlacing bands.   A touch too subtle it seems as none have sold.   Its so darn hard to photograph white on white. I'm going to try again come spring and  with better lighting conditions.


The second shawl off the ruby warp was completed as well and shows some iridescence and our early spring garden.

April  2022

Nothing weaving related  to show in April but the looms were  busy, as was my e-spinner. I just love it!


May 2022
I was trying more of the 'interlacement' imagery when I wove these two silk and silk bamboo  scarves.   The treadling is done in little groups of three that you can enlarge in both threading and treadling to make bigger boxes. I thought this might make a colourful baby blanket in the future. Except later in the year when I wove a baby blanket I forgot to use it.  😬


June 2022

This month started with having a close call with our old car when the steering column started smoking as were about to start a trip. We got turned around and headed (slowly) to the dealership.   A shortage of parts, and of used cars thanks to the pandemic, but we did leave with a newer used car and feeler safer on the road, and a slave to car payments once again.   *sigh*   Hub went back to the dealership two days after we bought the car and discovered they had had a fire in the service bay and were half burnt down! No it wasn't our old car but it was the same make and model.   

Weaving is underway on longer warps of 8-9 + yards so they are all 'in progress' and I was also enjoying more spinning time sitting on our patio

July 2022



So finally one of the longer warps was completed and finished!  6 shaft herringbone twill kitchen towels that were fun to weave and a great way to use up some small part cones for the double shot of colour.  They have been a big hit and my local guild is possibly using the idea to weave a large 5 foot by 9 foot blanket for a local care home.

August 2023

I participated in an online towel exchange in honour of my late friend Padre Wayne Nicholson.   I received linen towels from  Cheryl in Georgia, USA and she received  one of the recent herringbone twill towels. 

September 2022




Our family Doctor announced she was expecting and I felt inspired to weave up a blanket  for her.   No idea if it was a girl or boy as she was going old fashioned and waiting to see.   So I started it a bit late so I could have it reflect a girl or a boy. Also, I was trying to use up stash... and I was shy on blue!  I forgot about the other draft I thought would make a good option, and went with  striped of twill and braided twill.    It was a little girl, so she got salmon pink hems.   The other two were more neutral green or plaid. 




These three scarves all have the same painted warp and with weft changes show three different faces.  The 16 shaft  straight draw pattern, by the late Ingrid Boesel, resembles ripples or twisted ribbons and the painted warp makes it look so much more complex. There is an 8 shaft version now at handweaving.net

October 2022




Continuing with the three theme, I was going to weave two shawls in the dramatic colours you see above but end up with three table runners instead.  Long story but the link will take you to the post where its all explained.  🍋

November 2022




The previous scarves I wove in the early spring with the olive to eggplant gradation had me wondering if it was possible to do closer shading, based on my existing stash. Web's tencel line has a great series of close blues into teal. So that's the reasoning behind these two 8 shaft twill scarves. I also thought that a careful choice in draft would also help to assist in the blending of colours, or at the least, make it less obvious.  

The first scarf I used fine 30/2 burgundy silk called Velvet Opera. It worked well with the blues and also the teals.    Then I dug around in my stash and found two small 50 gram skeins of dyed 20/2 silk that the dyer called 'vintage apricot'.  It was a peachy orange with a brownish undertone. I tested it and it looks fabulous.... and I had enough weft for one scarf! There are more pictures at the link above.  I really liked it, but I listed it anyway for sale at Etsy. In the morning I decided to keep it for myself and was going to take the listing down when I got notice it had sold overnight.  I also got another message from a disappointed potential customer who asked if I had another  as she wanted to buy it.    Oh, dear....

That begun the great peach silk hunt....  the original seller / dyer was not able to reproduce it for me, so had to go looking all over the internet.  Stay tuned.  😳  



I wanted to use more silk this year and had a lovely single scarf painted warp of 200 ends and added some solid plum dyed silk as borders.  Dark teal tencel was my weft and it was soft in the  colours and also the  touch.  It also sold right away.  

December 2022



I had fun winding the colour gradation, and so I wound another tencel colour gradation where the colour appears as a ripple across the warp.   See the colour changes in the fringe in the picture above.  Royal blue to greyed teal and back again twice.   I used the colour adobe as my weft and had fun weaving up these two scarves as my last project for the year.  Once again, they were snapped up over night and now they live in Maryland.

2022 Tally

scarves: 12   

shawls: 2

runners: 6

kitchen towels: 9

baby blankets: 3

A grand total of  32 finished items for 2022!

...... and I have also found the right coloured silk for weaving that special scarf again!   

I want to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy New Year with Smooth warps and Swift Shuttles!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Opal Stars and Waves

The last finished project for the year is now all done and photographed.  One loom is empty now (gasp!) and the other has a runner project about mid way.   Not to worry about the loom being naked as a warp is being wound and is half way completed.

I used to have new warps all wound and waiting ahead of time, but now seem to take more time considering the next project and being more choosy. 

All to the good I think. There's far too much rushing about nowadays.   Between Christmas preparations and making up for lost covid time.... I'm quite happy to take things at a slower pace. 


I'm very pleased with how this project turned out and I'll say that both scarves sold within hours of being listed on Etsy.   That was the fastest part as everything else was slow and measured (literally).   I used my Fiberworks (Mac version) and created a colour gradation using four 8/2 tencel solid colours: royal, grey blue, greyed teal and aquamarine. I had the program create it in quarters and then flipped the centre  so it reversed to the opposite side. The colours are very close so I had to create a second copy with bizarre colours so I could see the colour order better.  Old eyes and glasses that slip all the time can make for a miserable time of it.  I think I spend as much time planning and selecting yarns and colours as I do the actual physical weaving...

So the threads were wound one at a time according to the chart on my warping mill, cut and tied each end.  I actually enjoy the process and have nice music on. Its relaxing to me.  I also like to watch the colours shift and grow on the mill:


The draft is one I found on Pinterest, with no accreditation unfortunately.  If you know who designed this please leave a comment.   This draft creates the 'waves'.


I played around with some treadling variations and when the pattern is reversed, you get stars and long ovals:


That's the beauty, the fun of a weaving program is that you can try all these things out and see a great deal before you commit time and yarn.   You can see the back view, check how long your floats are etc.  There's also an almost infinite selection of colour! 🌈


So, its been too cold or even too sunny to get decent pictures out doors so I'm doing my best inside the house. This is the Opal stars and ovals scarf.   I used the 8/2 tencel colour adobe as weft. The scarf is 10 inches by 72 inches, with a 5 inch fringe.



Below you can see the shift in colours and it would seem that aquamarine (turquoise) is much like yellow, in that a little goes a long way! It does seem to boss the other colours around a bit.




Then there is the Opal wave scarf. A bit shorter at 62 inches by 10 inches wide, but very pretty! Again I used adobe for the weft. It just pulled all the other colours together nicely. Green or blue.






So I listed them just before dinner and when I woke the next morning they were sold.  They are on their way to Maryland! 

We are on the verge of yet another snow event which is to arrive late today or over night.  We have an Arctic cold front to boot, so we'll be staying close to home and keeping warm.     I have done some online shopping and have some dandelion yarn and also green tea yarn coming. Some silk fell into the cart at Treenway too.    Merry Christmas to me!  🎁

In time I plan to show you my new 3D printed lease stick holder for the Megado loom.   A weaver's husband in the States look at her set up and thought: "I can make something better" and he did! I'm looking forward to trying them out next warp.

I would like to take this time to thank my regular readers who patiently wait for me to write.  Wishing you all the joy of the Holidays, how ever you celebrate!

I will be writing my usual annual weaving year in review post on January 1st.  



Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mystique

 Its snowing here today..... and the wind is blowing it in sideways. ❄️💨   Definitely a good day to stay inside and keep warm.

Yesterday it was brilliantly sunny, and a lot greener outside then it is right now.  I took Judy out for an airing and took some pictures of a scarf I finished a few days ago.  I thought it might be my last chance for while and it seems I was right.

I bought a painted silk warp last month from another weaver. Its called 'Mystique" and was made by Christine of Carr Park Artisans  4.5 yards and 200 ends of 20/2 silk painted in soft shades of plum, mauve, teal and turquoise.    It sat on my desk for a time while I worked out what to do with it.

I went stash diving and found a purple -plum solid silk which I used for the borders.   I auditioned a few colours for weft but the 8/2 dark teal seem to work best and pull all the painted colours together, and add more shine.    I chose an 8 shaft point twill which is treadled in a fancy version of M's and W's (sort of).

It didn't take long to weave up being a single scarf ( and some long samples..... maybe for card inserts later?).  Its was pretty but needed a little something to jazz it up, so I dug into my bead stash and found crystal seed beads with hints of these colours and  added some between the fringe bouts.  It took me an entire afternoon, peering into a pick glass (linen tester) to see what I was doing!  It seems my eyesight isn't what it used to be .....  😳  

So below are some indoor and some outside pictures of the scarf:     The sett was 28 epi. It measures 8 inches by 72 inches. 









...and as a bonus to my regular viewers, here's the draft!