summer flowers

summer flowers

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's Fall already

It seems like the year has just been flying by.  Fall came on the calendar and the weather changed to fit.  We had a dusting of snow in the mountains, and the threat of frost on the plants. All I can think of right now is what I didn't get done...

Just call this "melancholy morning", the gray skies and lack of sun seem to be effecting me, or is it because I have not had coffee yet this morning...  

I have been having trouble know go to bed, finally fall asleep, wake up around 2 or 3 and then lay there awake until about 5 or 6, then finally fall asleep for another couple of hours.  After a night like that, not so much gets done. 
A few days ago, I started to fight back.  I went to bed early and with the help of chemicals, slept through the night.  The problem with chemicals is that the mornings are groggy and after 4 nights of solid sleep, I decided that last nights' chemicals were the last.  Have I got my body trained to sleep through the night without them?  Will I have a clearer morning tomorrow?  Only time will tell.  
I hope that I have got the start of a new habit to get to bed at about the same time each night and then to sleep though the night.  I do enjoy the morning, I love to see the sunrise, but I think deep in my soul I am a night person...and it's hard to fight nature.

I have been enjoying some spinning again...but this time I'm spinning cotton.  It has been a while since I did cotton and it is taking a bit to get back into it.  I have some cotton fluff I dyed years ago and I would like to spin it up for something.  But right now I am practicing on some punis that I bought.  They are very old and they seem to be very dense in the centers.  I spent some time pre-drafting them before I try to I need to do that?  They seem so hard in the centers.  I have never spun punis that I did not make, so I'm not sure that if these are too compressed or if this is how they should be.  Anyway spinning cotton feels different, and I am having fun.
First Bobbin of Cotton

I am surprised at the amount of veg in the yarn and my spinning is coarse enough to embed it into the yarn.  I wonder if it will all come out in the wash, etc.  
I also have a bag of brown cotton roving to spin in addition to the dyed fluff.  I guess I will have to card the fluff before I start it.  But for now, I want another bobbin of the cotton punis.  I think for the next bobbin, I will change from double drive to bobbin brake so see if I can get some better control of the overtwist (as show by the spirals sticking out of the bobbin).

I pulled out an old knitting project (yes, I have been clearing out the studio in hopes of getting to the Big Mac loom).  Since it is over half done and very small, I want to get it finished and empty one of my project bags.  

Three years ago I took a class on Bohus Knitting, and I have one finished and one half done "Blue Shimmer" cuff.  I am going to finish them...The weather has turned and so a cuff might be welcome.  (Of course, finishing in all those tails from the color changes will take some time and effort!)

I have been doing weaving, but I don't have any new pictures.  The twelve yards of blue scarves from the last post are finished, washed, and undocumented.  I like the way they turned out and I showed them to the weaver's guild at our first meeting.   I actually showed them all of the scarves in that cotton/rayon series.  Yes, 4 very long scarves in the blue and  beige macaroon color, four in the hand painted pale yellow and four in the hand painted blue.  Each of those warps were twelve and a half yards.  Lots of light weight summer scarves...what should I do with all of them? 
I have so much of that yarn (the cones hardly look smaller after those three warps) that I wondered if I could weave something else with them, yardage...tea towels...?  So I did a warp to test sett.  I wove samples in 12 epi, 15 epi, 18 epi, 20 epi, 24 epi, and 30 epi.  The 12 and 15 epi is what I have been weaving the scarves on and they show the slub yarn great, but by time the warp was dense enough for the towels, I had lost the look of the slub running through the fabric.  That texture of the slub is what I like about the yarn.  I don't think I can use it for towels (plus the rayon in the yarn gave a flimsy hand), but maybe at 20 to 22 epi I could do some yardage.  It still shows the slub and is not too sheer.  Something to think about.

After I took of the blue scarves, I put on and wove off 9 yards (three shawls) in bronson lace, and then put on a seventeen yard twill warp for three ruanas.  I have kept that loom (my baby wolf) very busy.  I also wove 10 yards in goose-eye twill to make three shrugs on a different loom.
The shawls are washed and fulled, but the shrugs and only stitched and waiting for fulling.  The I need to decide if I want pleats on the back of them to give a graceful hang in the back.  I will probably need to pin those on someone to check out the fit. 

Yes, and it is now raining, will the temperature drop enough for us to see some "lake effect" snow like the weatherman talked about.  There is now wind now, so maybe we will escape that for today.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I got the Third Cotton Warp on

I found my painted warp!  I had wound a third cotton/rayon warp, and I painted it.  This is the blue one.  But somehow, with vacation and all, I misplaced it.  In doing some cleaning up in the studio and dye area, I found it all tidy in a bag ready for warping.  I wove the pillows off the Baby Wolf, and wound the warp on.
Warp going on with the added threads.

As usual when I start and work on something in a hurry, I miss something.  On this piece I had wound six bouts of warp to dye in a staggered pattern.  I wound the amount for the ends per inch, but didn't think through that the threading repeat would give me a different number.  (I warped 15 epi, so I made the bouts 30 ends.  I am threading a turned twill so I needed 32 ends to make the threading work I just added two threads between each bout.)  This changed the design look slightly, but I like the threading pattern better.  I know I could have done a 3 shaft twill, but I hate treadling an uneven number...with 3 shaft twill, I have 3 treadles in the rotation, with 4 shaft, I can treadle 4 treadles and that is an easier dance for me.

The warp is a denim blue and I used the leftover paints from my class.  I used the same dyes as on Scarf Warp Two a couple of blogs ago.  So I painted yellow, fuchsia, green, purple and indigo on blue, of course, the colors look different than on the yellow warp...It was a surprise to see how they looked after I rinsed and dried the warp.

Just like on the other painted warp, I decided to dye the weft for the scarves.  The run of scarves is in twill, so I wanted a weft to show the blocks.  But I think there was a little too much fuchsia dye left, because the weft color is a little intense.
Pink is not really my color, but we will see how it weaves.
I actually dyed the two blues with different dye, again leftovers, but they look a lot alike!  I will weave the fourth scarf with the same color of weft.  

The first scarf on the warp is painted with purples and blues, so it is the most subtle of the lot.  I am using the blue weft, it is darker than the warp and makes a good pattern.
The yellow-orange at the bottom is the front beam showing through.
When the fabric is washed, I think the texture of the yarn and the colors will make a nice gentle color way.  I am randomly changing block size, repeating the unit 2 times, or 4 times or 8 times as I feel.  I am making the colors advance and recede with the warp and weft faced blocks.  

Well, lets see if we can finish weaving this one and get to the second scarf tonight.