Friday, May 25, 2018

Getting Closer

The guild challenge warp is closer to the point at which weaving can begin. The threading is completed; it took a long time to accomplish, as did the sleying. Six ends per dent in a 12-dent reed (two ends each of three values of blue) in a difficult design is slow going! Here's a peek at the threading:
There are lots of places where the three warp colors are very close together (in terms of shaft number), which makes it difficult to get the color order and the shaft order correct. This is where most prep errors are made (at least, in my studio) so I prefer to take my time and get it right the first time. Speed isn't always a good thing. Also, I am inclined to take advantage of the "treadle the threading" method to let the computer pick the next shaft to be threaded.

In any case (fingers and toes crossed), I'm ready to lash the warp onto the apron, adjust tension as needed, and start weaving! Here's the sleyed warp. Pretty dull colorwise, so the spice will be in the weft. Some bright purple, perhaps? The first two or three pieces should use the challenge colors, but then I can go wild. Maybe bright orange?

Stay tuned! There will be more news forthwith.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Next Project

The deadline for this one is rushing quickly toward me. The annual challenge for the Central Coast Weavers Guild is scheduled to be presented at the (also annual) guild picnic on June 9. The warp is for 4 or 5 pieces, but only the first one needs to be woven (and finished) before the picnic.

The warp is 50/2 silk hand-dyed in three shades of blue, and the wefts will be somewhat finer (60/2 or 120/2) silk in coordinating colors. The guild challenge was to use colors starting with "C" or "W" chosen from a prescribed list. We were to use 2 colors starting with "C" and one starting with "W" to mimic the guild nickname. So the darkest blue and the mid blue are "cobalt" and "cerulean," the lightest is "waterfall," and the wefts might be "wisteria," "wintergreen," or "wine" or maybe "copper," which is not coordinating but highly contrasting. Plus, there is some leeway in interpreting the color names. I think "wine" could easily be a pale yellow-beige similar to some white wines I know...

The arthritis in my hands is getting worse, so I suspect that rather than twist fringes, I'll decide to make infinity scarves or cowls. Why not let the sewing machine do the heavy lifting? It'll save yarn, too, not a bad thing considering it's hand-dyed silk.

Here's the beamed warp, followed by the lineup of cones:

When beaming from 6 cones, I make a 3x3 cross. Since the colors are easy to identify as I'm threading, the repeating order of "light, medium, dark" is easy to pick out without a cross separating the members of the triplet.

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2018

New Grand-niece Riley

Here's a picture of Riley with one of the baby blankets I wove for her:

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

Spring is here!

The Bad

The Golden State Warriors lost their shot at the Basketball Championship.

The Ugly

In the studio, I scoured some skeins of silk for the annual Central Coast Weavers Guild challenge. The scouring water was really, really ugly!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Next Steps

The blankets have been cut off the loom.

Next, I serged the ends of each hem, and cut them apart. The mending (if any is required) comes next, then wet finishing (washing and ironing). If their appearance now, with loom tension relaxed, is any indication, they will be highly textured when washed.

Finally, hemming. I'll do that with the sewing machine, not by hand, because baby blankets get laundered a lot, and I want the hem stitching to hold up a long time.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Blanket #5

The last one on the warp has a weft of grey/green/blue (the color of a sea about to become a stormy sea), and a treadling of advancing points. Because of the value contrast between warp and weft, the weave pattern shows up really clearly.

This was taken at pick 100. Another couple of hours of weaving, and it's on to mending and wet finishing and hemming.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Blanket #4

This one has a weft of pale grey, about the same hue and value as the center stripe in the warp.

 The design is another take on "tromp as writ," but shortened both top and bottom. What happened when I wove the previous blanket, was that by starting the design at the beginning I reached the required number of inches before I reached the end of the design; I was short by about 100 picks. So with this blanket, I chopped 50 picks off the top and 50 picks off the bottom of the weave pattern, hoping that this time the inches ending mark will match the design ending mark. It would be nice to have a symmetrical design.

Here's a closeup view, so you can see the design in more detail.

By dinner time, I was at pick 600, with only about 100 left. Tomorrow I can start on the last piece on the warp.