Monday, November 23, 2009

All that Shimmers....

So do you like a purple shimmer?

Or a green glimmer?

This post today is one that has actually been preempted a couple of times as one or another topic pushed it to the back burner. Our area has been hit hard by flooding after a few days of torrential rains. The town is full of big name media trucks looking for the story and the images for night time TV news. While our home is okay, our lower property was flooded by our normally gentle creek. We had our own private lake for a time! The water levels have dropped thankfully. Further down the road and closer to town, approx 300 homes were flooded out and now a wet, soggy mess. It will be many months before they are any where back to normal again, if ever. Many lost all pictures and family mementoes. So now due to dealing with matters here at home, tradespeople and Christmas shopping, not much weaving has happened.

This project is simply too pretty to hide for any longer though! The goal was to get some 'eye candy' scarves for the recent sale and to personally revisit the concept of iridescence. I took a three day workshop with Karen Selk of Treenway Silks back in 2000 or 2001, called 'Silken Kaleidoscope'. It was about putting more colour into your projects and trying varying types of silks for different looks and textures. I had been reviewing the workshop notes Karen had given each student and saw the page on iridescence. You use two similar grist (size) yarns in colours in tones of equal values. In the workshop we had used 2/60 silks in colours like a rich magenta and a deep teal. They were woven (slowly on table looms) in plain weave. The effect? Stunning! Think about some of the beautiful iridescent Indian sari's you might have seen... People are fascinated by this effect and love the chameleon like changes depending on how the light hits the cloth.

I chose a rich teal in 2/10 tencel called Persian Blue and the first weft was emerald green 2/10 tencel. It didn't take long to see the effect. My pattern is a well modified draft inspired by a Design Collection issue. I was looking for something quick to throw on as the sale was looming. (sorry, couldn't resist! :)

I had altered this draft using my Fiberworks - PCW program and expanded the pattern so it has plain weave plus much more of the delightful fancy twill which makes it completely reversible. So this sett is 24 epi and uses 8 shafts and 8 treadles, but iridescence can be done on 2 shafts and 2 treadles if you weave plain weave. For best effect, use very fine yarns.

Here is a snap of the pattern below. It looks quite complex but is an 8 shaft pattern and uses 8 treadles. It's how you put the treadles together of course...

*click on draft to see larger image*

The first scarf was amazing to watch progress. It was about that time that Elena came to pick up her shawl and saw them on the loom. The next scarf would be woven using a purple weft... and she bought it unwoven and sight unseen! So the third scarf would be purple as well so I would have one of each at least...

The purple was very pretty and my personal favourite. I have tried to get good shots so it shows either the patterning and/ or the iridescence. Hope it comes through on your screens!

So after two scarves, I cut off and prepped the scarves on the foam board for fringe twisting. See here for more info on how to do this.

Then since both scarves have similar values of colour, I got out my beads and made some colourful choices. They had some beads in common together which helped narrow the choices!

Here I am slowly working my way across the green weft scarf with beads that are greenish with a blue shimmer.

I like to have a special few featured. I used some of the last of my little gold wings I bought with Lynnette at Beadworld. Looks like another visit will be in order soon. Darn :)
Just admiring my handiwork ahead of the wash tub session to come...

Here they are side by side and, thanks to blogger, turned sideways! The second purple one is sold as well. Its for a lady who was watching me twist the fringes at our sale. Stiff fabric, no beads and she fell in love with it. Her gentleman friend is buying it for her for Christmas. Won't she be surprised to open the box and see that? I get a kick out of stuff like this... Me, a Christmas Elf.

So before I close for this time, an update on our indoor flood. Seems I will be getting a new floor in my kitchen.... and also a new kitchen! I have seen and approved drawings for the new lay out and we have made many choices of colours, fixtures and appliances! Rarely have Hubby and I agreed on so many things so quickly together. Must be the 25 years of getting to know one another :) The carpenter said that he's never had anyone choose a laminate for counter tops so fast! I like to think that weaving has had some side benefits for both of us... an eye for colour, shape and form that we bring to everything in our lives. Me as I work with it daily and poor suffering Hub as he must listen to me. To be fair, I know an *awful lot* of the running of railroads big (real) and small (HO scale).

The demolition and chaos start right after New Year's.... with the floor possibly coming out sooner so it can dry properly. Do you think I can weave through all that? I sure hope so!

One last shot... it's so darn pretty!


barbara said...

My gosh ...... I drool over my keyboard when I am looking at the photographs of your scarves. Interesting how much shimmer/shine you get!!! I must think about weaving some fine threads ........

Thank you for sharing. Thank goodness the flood waters in your area only produced a lake on your lower property. My heart goes out to those whose homes are flooded - the forces of Mother Nature.

Weaverly yours ...... Barbara

Little Garth Lochmaben said...

Susan - those scarves are stunning ! I haven't got my head round snowflakes yet and now I have something else on the 'must try that' list !! So when I am ordering Tencel I had better order two colours !!
Seriously though the detail in the pattern is amazing and your beaded finishing is an inspiration ! I have decided that scarves with no beads are unfinished !
A great blog !

Cindie said...

your scarves are breath-taking!

Dave Daniels said...

Whoa, that purple really does shimmer. The pattern is beyond imagination, you did a wonderful job on those.
Stay dry!

bspinner said...

Both of your scarves are beautiful!!!

So happy to hear the flood waters didn't do any damage at your home. I feel so bad for the others and hope they have a speedy clean-up.

Woven Spun said...

Totally amazing. Your work is so stunning.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Great colours, and the pattern is very effective in showing them off. Congratulations.

Geodyne said...

These are absolutely gorgeous, Susan. I've been wanting to get into playing more with irridescence/echo weave over the holidays, and suddenly I'm feeling truly inspired.

Yay for lovely new kitchens!

Jenny said...

Very beautiful! I ordered my first loom yesterday. Can't wait to make pretty silk scarves.

Life Looms Large said...

So sorry to hear about the flooding in your area.

Your scarves are gorgeous!! Tencel scarves feel wonderful too. It's great that people were buying them right and left - even before they were woven!! That Christmas surprise story is a good one too!

My sister-in-law is on month 3 of a kitchen renovation. I think they are moving a wall, so that's part of why it's taking so long. Good luck! The end results will be worth it!! I do think that if you can weave through water flowing through your house, you can weave through a kitchen reno - although cooking might be a different story!


charlotte said...

These are really astonishing effects, and the shawls are beauties! Thank you for showing this.

Charlotte said...

Really sorry to hear about the flooding - we've had lots in Cumbria in the Lake District over in the UK and it's so sad to hear.

However I love the colour of your scarves, they're really radiant!

Susan said...

Well thank you to you all for taking time to write!

Barbara: please bear in mind that tencel has a high shine factor all by its self. Anything you weave looks great :)

Dorothy: I'm so happy that we 'met' as I'm enjoying our chats via email. Your willingness to try new things is inspriring.

Cindie and David: you both make such beautiful scarves so a compliment from the two of you is much appreciated.

Barb: I feel for those people too. I saw brand new couches and TV's going into dumpsters yesterday.

Jenny, Charlotte, Woven-spun, and Fibresofbeing... thanks!

Sue: No walls being moved here thankfully! We are assured that this will be a fast transformation, but somehow I doubt that. We had a laundry tub over flow in 2003 and it took 3 months... that was work being done in a much larger square footage than this. The trouble is, it was all over Christmas so its de ja vu all over again! Hubby is on notice that meals under such conditions will be difficult... he says sandwiches are fine. ya right.


Threadbare Designs said...

I can't really add to all the wonderful comments here, but your scarves leave me speechless - they are beyond stunning. And that's just through a computer monitor. I can't imagine how wonderful they must be in person!

Delighted Hands said...

Ditto on the wow factor on those two scarves-just amaziningly beautiful! You will need to keep the loom up and running while you remodel 'cuz you will need it for sanity's sake!!! Glad it was the only re-do; flooding is awful.

Unknown said...

Susan, those scarves are absolutely STUNNING!
As usual, you've knocked my socks off!

terrific photos, too.

i hope things dry out soon where you are!
happy weaving :)

DebbieB said...

Fabulous! Your details are so very helpful.

Can you recommend a good source for learning more about color values? I don't have much of an eye for color (though I'm getting better at it!) and would love some more insight.

Restless Knitter said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! I love them both but I think I'd lean towards the purple shimmer if I had to choose.

I'm glad to hear the flooding didn't get in your house. I'll admit to being envious that you're getting a new kitchen. I hope it goes fast and turns out exactly the way you want.

Susan said...

DebbieB: You could make a start here:
The link is in the side bar under 'topic shopping'

As for books, Deb Menz has a great one and the title eludes me right now. Perhaps do a search on her name at Amazon? Also google colour theory and much will come up for artists, quilter etc... all working with colour!

Hope this helps..Susan

Louisa said...

The scarves are amazing! The book by Deb Menz is "Color Works: The Crafters Guide to Color". I've had my copy for ages and love that it has swatches in weaving, knitting, beading and embroidery so you can see how the theories work in different media.

Stay dry, hon'. Hope your kitchen reno goes quickly and with a minimum of hitches!

R. Delight said...

Oh my Susan, I am late in catching up with your post but had to add my admiration to the other 20 comments! The scarves are stunningly beautiful. I just love how incredibly versatile plain weave can be and Karen Selk is one of my favorite speakers/teachers. I know through my other weaving friends in the area that there was a lot of flooding. Good news about your soon to be new kitchen! Thanks for sharing, -Renee

SusanM said...

Beautiful work!