Last month I left you with drafts that I had just worked up, no circles, but twill rectangles using the Fibonacci sequence, and boxes within boxes.
Now the weavers adage is sample, sample, sample. Whilst I am happy to sample chocolate ;0) I do find it difficult to sample with weaving. I can hear your horrified whispers from here – but don’t panic too much. I have decided to sample – it is just that my samples are scarf length.
Sitting at my warping mill I put enough “sample” tencel on the mill for two scarves, one twill rectangles, and one S&W boxes within boxes.
Somehow or other my mind wandered far away and after I was done warping up for the first two scarves, I made another two warps in different colour ways. What was I thinking !!! Lordy lordy lordy, this is taking sampling too far.
But the samples were successful, at least, I think they were successful. 8/2 Tencel is such a lovely fibre to work with.
Above is the boxes within boxes and below is the twill using the Fibonacci sequence.
So six “sample” scarves were woven (one of them a total disaster due to a recalcitrant thread which I only managed to restrain after having woven 500 picks). The sampling gave me the confidence to follow through with both fibre and pattern for two shawls. Both, fingers crossed, destined for the exhibition next year.
Funnily enough, whilst playing with my tencel cones, I came up with a colour combination which is totally out of my comfort zone, but one which I kept coming back to.
Whilst I like the Twill scarf, I do think that the “back” side is very dark. And I know it is because I used a black tencel as my weft, but even if I used a dark navy or dark rust colour, it would still be very dark.
I went searching to see if there was anything that would still give me the dark outline, but which would maybe allow more of the warp colour to shine through. I found Damask. As I have now been instructed, in the US you have a Twill Damask and a Satin Damask, please don’t ask me which one I have stumbled upon as I am still in the dark, but awaiting clarification.
Whichever weave structure it is, it allows more of the warp colour to “pop” on the darker side and creates really funky little rounded lines on the back (methinks it might be twill damask). Either way, I have totally fallen for this beautiful weave structure.
Now you may be thinking that this month has been a month with zero weaving warts, well, not so much. After having threaded the loom with 756 ends of 8/2 tencel, I was happily weaving away until my curiosity got the better of me. I could see what the colours looked like on the top of the cloth, but what was happening on the back. I needed a mirror. Grabbing a mirror with a light, genius right, I slide it gently between both pieces of cloth and turned on the light. Zero, zilch, nada, nothing.
Don’t panic, I just have to swap out the batteries. Here is where a wart appears. Please, when exchanging batteries, don’t do it over a beautiful piece of cloth. I opened up the bottom of the mirror and battery acid poured everywhere.
Now I can be quick in certain situations, but gravity is a bitch and liquid isn’t that easy to hold in hands. I had battery juice on my cloths and hands, but more importantly I had managed to get battery acid all over my woven tencel.
There were expletives and the dog and cat did head for the hills. I threw the mirror at Leonard who had come in to see what all the hootin’ and hollerin’ was about, grabbed scissors and started cutting.
Here is where we come across another weaving wart. For some obscure reason known only to the weaving Gods, I cut the warp behind the heddles !!! There was plenty of room in front, but no, I went behind the heddles.
Tencel absorbs easily, and it does not discriminate between good liquid and bad. Needless to say I had to throw out that portion of tencel, and the top I had been wearing.
On the upside, my hands are nicely exfoliated :0)
After a shower, more expletives and self flagellation, I managed to get back into the loom room to see if there was any more damage. Luckily there was not. However, it was then I realised what I had done in cutting the warp behind the heddles.
As I sat down to rethread 756 ends, Leonard comes calmly into the room and hands me the mirror with fresh batteries and a placid smile on his face. He is lucky I am fat, slow and was sitting inside the loom, because man oh man I had so many ideas of where to put that blasted mirror.
Weaving warts aside, here are the two shawls that I managed to get off the loom.
It was a very overcast day, so the sheen does not show :0(
See how the warp lines on the darker side have that funky little curve to the ends. I love this weave.
So I think, at this moment in time, that these two shawls might be actually be good enough for the exhibition. I am slightly relieved, because I only have these two and the transparencies.
Though I have been playing with drafts. Tonight I have to decide on what next to put on the loom.
Till then lovely people, respect the warp, and please don’t make the same weaving warts that I do ;0)
Happy weaving y’all