Monday, June 19, 2023

Making Waves 🌊

Every now and then, I feel the need to try something new or do something old differently.  Weavers can get into comfortable ruts like anyone else.    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, so you try a different angle.

So speaking of angles.   I have woven "Wall of Troy" in the past but found this nifty tessellated twill progression at  #78316      If you get right up close, it has a series of little pattern boxes all neatly marching along.   The effect is almost 3D and looks like waves or ripples.

I have this painted tencelwarp from Carr Park Artisans called Blue Lagoon, but at 200 ends, it's rather narrow.  I added a double black (two threads used as one) and a soft gold tencel.     The final band is 8/2 tencel in Mineral Green.  So I'm also trying out an asymmetrical  design as well.   Lots going on....but let's back up a bit to the beaming part....

Some pretty pictures of the threading...

The view of the back where I was testing out 3D printed lease stick holders from    I had some difficulty keeping them in place and that seems to be on me as I had them turned the wrong way  😳   I must say the lease sticks being firmly wrangled and not bouncing on a cord was quite an improvement!

I went onto buy a set of Lofty Fiber's Helping Hands as well and so plan to see which one suits me best.    

The draft from #78316

It's a tough grouping of colours to team up with.  After a black weft, I replaced the double black ends with amethyst and used amethyst as weft.    It's nice, but not great.... hindsight says I should have stuck with the back as it has the best impact for all colours and visuals.    Given so many new things being attempted, something had to fall short in expectations.     Can't hit every one out of the park!

The show and tell portion......

I tried some in the shade and some in the sun.  I'm not that good a photographer to compensate beyond toggling my camera to automatic settings.    You do your best.... and try again.

So the learning curve?
  • I loved the advancing twill and will weave it again sometime.
  • asymmetrical is kinda nifty but the OCD part of me likes things in balance (but I will try it again)
  • go with your gut when it comes to colour choices.
  • don't be afraid to try!  
  • failure is how we learn and grow.
  • I'll try the Gingerlocks lease stick holders again but the right way around. 
  • Try the Helping Hands version next and see.  Then compare experiences.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Act in Haste and Repent at Leisure

 Some of my regular readers will recall this scarf woven last year?  I wove them in the fall of 2022.  I used a gradation feature in Fiberworks for Mac and blended five colours of tencel.    The first scarf used a rich wine coloured 30/2 silk and the second (shown below) used a hand dyed 20/2 silk in a browny apricot. There was only one small skein and it made the warp spring to life.

I listed the two scarves for sale on Etsy and later that evening just before bedtime I decided to take the Abalone shimmer out of the shop in the morning and keep for myself.    You guessed it, in the morning it was sold to a lady in Maine.   

Next thing I know, I received a private message from another Etsy customer positively begging me to make her one. I explained that I don't have any more of that silk weft yarn. That didn't deter her and she kept on asking.

So I contacted the seller I had bought the original silk weft yarn from.... in 2014 no less!   She had just moved her home and there was no dye kitchen set up or likely to be for some time. No, she didn't have any of that silk / colour.

So I went to my favourite silk shop,  I have been shopping with them since they were on Saltspring Island and then owned by Karen and Terry Selk. Now in Colorado and owned by Susan Du Bois.   A few shopping trips at the web site brought orange / pumpkin / peachy toned skeins my way (um, and a few other unrelated silken skeins).  I mailed Susan a sample of the coloured silk I needed and we did a colour consult via phone.   Susan handling the skeins at her end and me peering at the online colour card at mine.  (Yes, we had a discussion about getting real colour sample cards and their complexity to set up.)

I ordered  two more colours:  Arbutus and Spiced Cognac and waited for the mail delivery.    Spiced Cognac was a perfect match!!     Now all this silk skein hunting took place over a month or so. It took some  time to find just the right shade. Mean while I wound another warp for two scarves.   One for the customer and one for ME.  😁

I used my previous notes and records from the first batch woven and it went very smoothly. The test was when I started to weave with the new weft yarn:

Big sigh of relief!   I got the first scarf woven and cut it off the loom.   That's when I got a nasty muscle spasm in my back earlier this year and couldn't weave for some time while it 'unclenched'. I did get the fringe twisted, then washed and pressed the scarf and mailed it to its new owner.   She was thrilled. 

My customer who nudged me to weave it again said:

It is BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT in every way!  
I simply could not be happier:)
Your exacting workmanship, artistic eye, and deep care is woven into every not only is it gorgeous, the feeling of it is delight-full when put around my neck. I cannot thank
you enough for carrying through with my longing to have this scarf, finding just the right shade of 'peach' to put in it....the subtlety of the blue changing to green....oh is a artful wonder that keeps ongiving. I will treasure it and your kindness, always:)

So my scarf took some time to lace on and resume weaving again.... but it is done and is ready for me to wear (once I have gone clothes shopping to have something nice to go with it).

This is the second iteration ..... and now I can enjoy wearing this!

The spicy  peach tones brings out all the best in the warp colours. In fact it even makes colours appear that aren't there.... such as the green below.   There are teals and aquamarine.....see the warp pictures at the top.

See you again soon!