Saturday, May 15, 2021

👩‍🎓 Cross Roads

 Say hello.... and good bye to this!   I just cut off the first scarf attempt this afternoon.   I wove roughly 30 slow inches and in that distance, the floating selvedge broke 8 times.  Its just not worth my time to keep on fighting with it.  

So I'm resleying and will give the second scarf a go for 10-12 inches and see how it behaves.  Its been warned and the scissors are on stand by.   There will be some changes made to the pattern and how I plan to weave it so we'll see how this pans out. It either will or it won't. 

I had such a good time weaving the recent Royal Stewart scarves and had hope to continue the fun but this has been a big disappointment.   I told my hubby it was yet another learning experience and today it was all about cutting your losses (literally) 😁✂️

So the Megado loom has a new warp on it.  Eleven yards of ring-spun cotton that fought us tooth and nail going on to the loom.   It was a bit awkward as it had a lot of over spin in the yarn and so it wanted to curl up and then cling to its neighbour.   I have 3- 3 pound cones of it so future warps will be shorter and hopefully sweeter.  Nothing much has happened there since beaming the warp as I went onto other battles on the Spring loom. 

I have mentioned before that I have issues with my feet so I have decided to make some changes in my other toys. I have my Louet Victoria wheel up for sale at Etsy and was nudged into buying a Hansen mini spinner a bit sooner than I planned due to Hansen having a brief sale last month I just couldn't say no to.   So I have been playing with this little  machine this week:

As you can see,  the introduction is going quite well and its  a lovely experience once you get the hang of the spinner and the foot pedal. The bobbins are quite large and I have put on an orifice reducer. I have a 12 volt battery pack and a folding camp table and so we're ready to take the show on the road when the pandemic is finally over. I bought a padded sewing machine carry bag with wheels and a telescoping handle to protect it and all the gear.  It even came with a plug to use in the cigarette lighter in the car.    🚗  

So besides the spinning wheel, I have been downsizing and selling off bits and pieces like weaving videos, books, yarn and a swift. I have come to realize that I'm just not going to use all this stuff I have accumulated.  Its quite liberating to move it all on.    Its leaving one parcel at a time.... 📦

Other news that also speaks to cross roads and changing the future..... is that my daughter graduated with her Masters of Arts in School Counselling last Sunday and had a new job just 15 minutes from home by Wednesday.  Its the result of much hard work and study and 4 years of her life (their life as she is married) and we are so darn proud of her! Carrie will be working with elementary school kids and she couldn't be happier!

We watched via live streaming and the ceremony was held outdoors, with a stiff wind blowing and a pause for a thunder storm.  It was a masked  and socially distanced event and the sun appeared from time to time.  I'm certain that there is a very large smile behind that mask!    I know we sure did!  😁

Monday, May 3, 2021

⏳ The One Question All Weavers Get.....

Yesterday I was asked again, and by another weaver no less, "how long did that take to make?"  You know, the question that makes you pause, take a deep breath and then quickly mentally evaluate how much time you have to answer and the questioners patience and level to understand weaving terminology?

I answered: "which part?"

The designing, the selecting colours, the project calculations, the warping winding with all the colour changes, the warp beaming, the threading, the sleying, the (actual) weaving part, the fringe twisting, the washing and pressing or the photography?   

Then because I do sell my work: the computer work or building a business page, managing it, adding the listing,  wrapping the sold item and a trip to the post office.

Its quite the little 'hobby'  😳    Obviously I must get some enjoyment from this process as I keep on doing it...

Its more a series of steps. The thought crosses your mind "can I get a smooth enough transition across a warp to have colours flow from one to another?" Closely followed by "what do I have in my stash that I could do that with?"

The draft below intrigued me and I liked the complexity of the intersections. I used the gradation feature in the Mac version of Fiberworks to flow from blue purple to greyed blue to greyed teal to dark teal, using 8/2 tencel.  The colour changes between the greyed teal and dark teal was a bit sharper than I would have liked, but close enough! The rest flowed very nicely one to another almost seamlessly. 

I left the weft as white so I could see more of the pattern and the warp. I also didn't know what I would choose for weft colours as yet.  I was in love with the warp for now! 

The warp colours on the cones.

The transitions on the warping mill. Yes I had to keep very close track of where I was in the colour order. Thank the gods for sticky notes is all I can say!

Then I started weaving. I auditioned several colours and for the first of two shawls, I chose amethyst.  It didn't really excite me but it did work and meant I was weaving and could work out the second shawl's colour later. Besides, I didn't want to reach for black weft yet again.   The pattern in the program looked fine front and back but once on the loom, I didn't like it at all.  Much too warp dominant one side and too weft dominant the other.   I wanted a more balanced view front and back so it could be reversible.

So I left the threading in place as is and went looking for other options for the tie up and treadling.    Version 2 didn't work and so finally I settled on the draft below, Version 3.  This shows the back view and this was my view on the loom.  Its nifty that I can choose which side is up with a click. 

.... and now the project is fully underway and I'm very happy with what is showing up on the loom.

I started to have some tension issues I wasn't happy about and so cut the first shawl off the loom and finished it up.  Finished dimensions (for both shawls) are 21.5 inches wide by 82 inches long, plus a 5 inch fringe.

The colour shift is more subtle here but the sheen and iridescent effect is lovely!

I called this shawl "Verdigris"

For the second shawl, I decided to be braver and I used my Itten Color Star and found that an orangey tone or a gold was something that the blue-purple and green- teals had in common. My cone of  'old gold' was too brassy but the muted pumpkin shade of adobe seemed to fit nicely.     

So here it is underway and finally with only 20-25 inches to go,  it sat for some time as I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder blade area.  Ice packs became my new best friend.  The larger arm movements of throwing a shuttle on the Megado really aggravated it. 

I was able to weave on the Spring as that was the tartan scarves and rather slow going and smaller arm movements.  Okay, anything to stay in the game....

I finally wove off the last bit, plus a sample for my records this past weekend and it was off the loom.  It looks so vastly different to the first and its even more magic in person.   So taking the time to find other options was well worth it and taking a chance.  Nothing much comes from mediocre.

The colour shift in the warp is accentuated by the weft colour....and it sings! This shawl is called "Desert Verdigris"

Change the angle and the light and it looks different again.

The breeze was blowing so you can feel the 'swish' of the fringe.

⏰🕰⏱  So back to the question of time?   I started the planning in January, wound the warp in February, started weaving in March and finished in April.  I had other projects on the go and so everything was done in due course.   Life also intervenes as well.    Its about the finish, not how fast you get there. 

Now how to sum that up in 50 words or less when asked the question?

🐢   🏆  🐇