Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Journey Continues...

I am almost done warping my 1000+ thread cloth. The heddles are all threaded and the warp is beamed. The first knots are holding the warp to the front apron. It was about at this point that my tummy declared it to be lunch time, and my clock said that I had other work to get done before my house guest arrives!

I'm hoping to get the warping completed and the weaving in progress this evening!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heat Set, Shibori Style Pleats

A few months ago I wove a scarf with 3/1 vs. 1/3 twill stripes as an experiment with collapse weave. It was moderately successful, but I wasn't thrilled by the results.

Since then, I've read Catharine Ellis' Woven Shibori and a couple of web posts (Yarn Bits, Aug. 2, 2009), and tried a new experiment with one of my samples.

This sample has a mystery yarn (probably a polyester blend) alternating with a 10/2 unmercerized cotton as the warp with another mystery yarn, most likely an acrylic, as weft.

I stitched gathering threads into the sample every 3/4" to 1" and tied them tightly.

Once stitched and gathered, I steamed the sample for 20 minutes.

The resulting pleats were amazing! Oh, wow! This is what I was hoping for!!! Really, the pleats are wonderfully elastic and I was thrilled with the way this worked!

Some things to note: the imperfections in the gathering remain in the set pleats...see the little blue "bubbles" near the bottom of the piece? See how the piece curves up near the fold between the pleated and un-pleated sections? I'll need to be careful to have the piece gathered smoothly.

One last experiment. I had to see how permanent these pleats were.

A twenty minute soak in lukewarm water did not change them.

The iron set for acrylic (lowest temperature setting on my iron) easily flattened the pleats when the sample was still damp (see section marked with two arrows).

The same low temperature setting also removed the pleats from the completely dry sample (see section with single arrow).

So, my exuberance at seeing pleats is tempered by the knowledge that these are quasi-permanent. They can be washed, but the need to be line dried. My guess is that running this through the drier would remove most of the pleating. I can't wait to try more!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Color with Perler Beads

I ironed this perler bead creation for my oldest daughter this morning and was amazed at her use of color.

In person it has an overall brown look, but the spots of color really jump out and shine!

When I grow up, can I create color combos on the loom like this?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Index Card Case

I'm taking a break from my 1008 thread journey. I'm still threading and my shoulder is complaining and sore.

In the meantime, my oldest daughter is starting her first research project. We purchased 3x5 index cards for her to take notes on, but didn't think that the typical hard plastic box would work for carrying the cards back and forth to school.

This little envelope-type pouch will hold over 100 cards and only took a little bit of research (on-line of course! There are lots of free tutorials available! :) and 30 minutes of sewing time.

The stretchy loop is from an almost dead hair rubberband and the bright yellow button belonged to my grandmother. The fabric is from the stash of quilting fabrics a friend passed along my way.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Journey of a Thousand Threads...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu

This warp has 1008 threads. It has become a journey and a challenge.

My plans started with the desire to weave yardage to make a skirt. It sounds straight forward enough, right? I did a sampler before Christmas and got an idea of what my sett should be, only to decide recently that I didn't like the idea of plain weave or twill for this fabric. I wanted something more interesting--something I couldn't buy in a store.

It took a lot of searching to find the right pattern. In the end, I chose a set of somewhat irregularly spaced dots that uses 7-shafts. I wove some tea towels as samples. The exciting part of the sampling was that the dots showed up even when the warp and weft were the same color yarn! Yea!

Now, I have 1008 ends threaded through the reed on my loom...3 per dent in a 10-dent reed. I've had problems in the past with three threads tangling, so I took some extra time and wound the warp with two threads at a time, but made a 1x1 cross (I even made a teeny tiny warping paddle to make this easier!). Then I threaded the reed in single thread layers. I am currently at the point of threading the heddles. It's not moving very fast, but I'm still working on it!

Here's to an interesting journey!
1008 threads through the reed

three layers of threads

tea-towel sampler

Pirate Patches

A couple of weeks ago it was my turn to teach preschool. The letter of the day was "P" and we went with a pirate theme. These cute eye patches are made from felt and some knitted "i-cord". They were a big hit!

Arrrgh, Matey!