Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pleated Scarf Journey

This is a journey in reading a printed project draft and modifying it to use with yarns on hand. I tried weaving the pleated scarf from a recent Handwoven magazine, and learned a few things:

Thing #1: Hairy crosses are annoying. This draft had a total number of ends divisible by three. I planned on using three ends per dent in my 10 dent reed. Unfortunately, the color changes were not divisible by three, so I cut and tied new ends across the entire warp to keep the colors in order.

Thing #2: Thinking about details: After I had 3/4 of the reed sleyed I realized that I could have used my 15 dent reed, sleyed at two ends per dent, had an easier time winding the warp, and sleying the reed! I will pay more attention to "little" details like that in the future!

Thing #3: Perserve. I intentionally wove two sample sections--one to wash and one to keep in off-loom condition. The pleats are formed by the natural curvature of 1/3 vs. 3/1 twill. My off-loom sample showed only a tiny bit of curvature. My washed sample showed a little pleating, but not much.

It was hard to return to the loom after seeing my samples fail at pleating. I debated cutting off the warp, changing the threading to plain weave, and a few other things, and finally decided to try weaving the scarf as planned.

Thing #4: Success is sweet! The real scarf pleated when I washed it! Wow! I was amazed and thrilled!

The fabric has less drape than I would have liked, but still, it pleated!!

The cream yarn is 10/2 unmercerized cotton. The blue is an acrylic (of some sort. I did a burn test!) and is a little finer than the 10/2. Weft is the 10/2 cotton.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Red Towel Soup

Check out the dye off these red towels! It's like soup or red gelatin! (Ewww!)

Migratory dye issues aside, these towels look good! Tomorrow it's on to the finishing touches--ironing and hemming!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Alpaca Roving

A friend of mine won 4 oz. of alpaca roving at the fiber festival in Greencastle one year. She invited me to do some spinning for her and share the fiber.

It is a super soft fiber, with a slightly orange-y, tan color.

This is the yarn for my friend. I plied a single strand of the alpaca with two strands of a blue silk yarn.

I'm excited to see what she will weave with this!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Can Count

Check out this warp. It's going to be a red towel with black accents that make squares. Note how uneven the empty dents are spaced in the reed?

I wound the warp with three ends together, and as I put the first set through the reed I counted. 3, 6, 12....24! Great! That's just how many threads I need!

And then I decided it would be a lot easier to just count 1,2,3...etc. and treat each group of three as one. No problem! I finished the first bit of warp threads, made a correction, and continued on.

Halfway into the last group of warp threads I realized something was a miss. I had miscalculated! 24 divided by 3 is eight...not six. Oh dear! Time to re-sley the reed!

In this photo I have about half of the first set of warp threads re-sleyed. The whole fix has been made (including fixing a later error...probably caused from catching pretend marshmallows that my 3 year old was toasting over a pretend fire....hmm. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to count when I'm playing with my kids! :) and I'm working on the threading!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Play after Work

I've just finished weaving two towels on a honeycomb warp. The first one I wove was actually a monk's belt pattern on the honeycomb threading. I used the dark green warp as a the background weft and cream perle cotton (5/2) as the pattern weft. It looks classy! The second towel was woven with the honeycomb pattern. Dark green weft for background and a slubby, cream yarn as the outline weft.

And now, with the two "real" towels done, it's time to play!

Many moons ago I overdyed a light blue cotton yarn with yellow. In many ways the result was a sickly color--not a true yellow, not a strong green...but look at it with the dark green warp! Isn't that great!

Now I'm trying to find a good outline yarn (and yarn color) to make one more towel with honeycomb and the sickly green yarn as background weft.

I'm leaning towards the brown/tan chenile. I may need to walk away for a while and see how I like the colors later!