summer flowers

summer flowers

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Autumn is Coming

It has been one of those months, I can't get myself to get to anything.  We had our family camp-out for four days at the first of the month.  I did not even take any pictures.  I did enjoy the quiet and just sat and stared a lot.  I also took a couple of books to read.  I think we were all a little more subdued this year after the emotional fireworks last year.  (I thought my siblings had out grown that type of thing.)  I think this year we felt we were all walking on egg shells and afraid to cause more stress and tears.  But, I think last year's problems are weighing heavy on some of us and that is part of my "down" days.

I did re-sley the warp to get it back to the wide scarf size and I will put on another scarf series.
re-sley the dummy warp
These scarves will be for winter sales.  I got a notice about another Christmas Sale in the area, this is one that I used to get in all the time.  So I think I will apply this year.  That means that I will need to have product for both shows and I need to get weaving.

Pinwheel from alpaca scarves
I want to do the pinwheel that I did on the previous series of scarves.  These will be the wider and shorter version of scarves that I do.  I think I can get about seven out of the yarn I found in my stash.  This yarn is a wool and alpaca blend with some nylon and it feels so soft around the neck.
Yarn that I found
I am putting the white and gray as the warp, then I will have a couple pinwheels with white and gray and a couple with fawn and white...then whatever is left for the rest of the scarves.

I still haven't taken pictures of the commission, I need to get that done as they will be going out in the mail the first of next week.  We leave for Southern California next week and I have to ship these out before I leave.  

My classes have finished, and will not start again until after the trip.  I need to use this time to get my act together in the house.  I wake up with a list of 3 or 4 things to get done that day and end up at night with one or two done...not a good return.  

I know I should not be hard on myself, but I am experiencing a "down" time.  I'm close to tears a lot, and I don't know why.  I need to just sit and write feelings for a while and see what comes out on the page.  (That is sometimes helpful to me when I experience these days.)   I still have the good thoughts, smile when I see flowers, laugh at the funny things in life.  Yeah, I know, I just need to relax and enjoy my life.

I have been working on the rigid heddle scarf.  It is the Mermaid scarf from the cover of Handwoven.  Mine looks nothing like that one and I call mine the Woodland scarf because of the colors.  But it is progressing nicely.  I weave on it when I watch Netflix, I'm watching "West Wing"  and that show gives me a good feeling.

Woodland scarf
I love the colors.  The warp is a rust colored 3/2 pearl cotton with a tabby of 10/2 rust pearl cotton.  The pattern yarn is a slow color change yarn called "Poems".  The color right now is brown changing to dark brown.  I got tired of the browns, so I pulled out several yards of each color, so it would change faster.  Hopefully I will see some green showing up soon.

When I first started doing this scarf, I wanted to do some leaves in the pattern, but decided against it.  Now I may add some leaves to the scarf.  
Close-up of the pattern.
The picked up pattern is a free-form overshot like pattern.  I need to pick up warp threads to tie down the front face and the back face of the fabric.  In this picture, you can see the color change about in the middle of the picture...going from the lighter brown to the darker brown.  
I loved the scarf on the cover, it had a very water like shimmer to the pick up, but with my colors being so different I didn't do the wave look and instead have picked up the background in a very random way.  I don't know if that is better or if I like her method better.

We have a family wedding coming up next week and there is lots of things going on about that.  I need to get my Mom down here to the ceremony and have arranged for a different sister to drive her home that night.  I will also have her come over to my house between events so that she can rest some.  This is my younger sister's last child and so she is very involved in the planning and such.

I hope that I can get more done in my house, get ready for the trip, wind a warp and take pictures of the finished items that I just made...Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

End of the Dummy warp...or is it?

The knots came up over the back beam on the last of the scarf warps...I am pleased.
Knots over the back beam and approaching the heddles
So this is the fourth scarf warp woven.  I still have to wash the scarves, label them, hem the rugs, and package everything to ship to the buyer, and I want to finish it before I leave on vacation on Thursday.  The chances of doing that are about 50/50 mostly because my "free" day that I thought I could work on them is now taken by a trip to Ogden to help Mom and a trip to Perry to pick up some things for the Pioneer Craft House. There is always something happening and I need to put more time in my weaving if I want to continue doing these commissions.

The month of August has been fun and busy.  The end of July had me trying to fit the people into the rug class.  The computer did not cut off at the maximum seven students, I ended up with ten students and was worried how we could get that many looms available.  I emptied three floor looms, fixed the brake on the AVL and hoped that the new Gilmore did not have any problems (I had not had time to test weave on either of these looms before the class).  We are now in the fourth week of the class and it seems to be working well.  The students need to weave six different rug samples with six different types of warps and then we will do six different rug finishes.  Once I got the looms arranged, the students are busy doing the work and I just need to bounce from one loom to another to make sure the students understand the structure that they are working on.
It's fun to have this many looms going at once.

I also went to see a quilt show in Brigham City.  The show has some very beautiful art quilts from artists from all around the world.
Beautiful hand applique quilt from Egypt
A quilt done with lots of thread painting
Here's a detail of her thread painting
My favorite was a Japanese garden
A detail of the machine applique on my favorite piece
We had a great time at the show and although I have not considered doing much quilting, my sister and my Mom both have done some great work.  I was just awestruck by the work, the craft and the design on these quilts.  There is a lot of new techniques that my sister had not explored when she was doing quilts and it was fun to discuss quilts with her.

My weaving continued on the dummy warp.  I put the first of the long scarve warps on the loom and again was not able to count the warp right.
I have some real concerns about my counting skills
I put on a hounds-tooth twill and wove two scarves on it. I like the black and white together.  The black is a blend of alpaca and silk and has a bit of a sheen to it.
I think both of the designs are great.
I finally got the correct count on the last scarf warp.  I wove another two scarves on this warp and I am pleased that the weaving is done for this yarn, but as I said I still have some work to do to finish them.
Yeah, my counting skills returned.
I used my ply splitting to join the weft yarns in the scarves.  It seemed to make a more invisible join.
Here is the last of the bobbin split and tucked.
When I get to the end of the bobbin thread, I split the ply and weave one ply in and leave the other ply hanging out.  I like it when it runs out in the middle of the piece.  I think that is a better place to make the join.  On the edge, there may be some weakness in the selvedge where you join.
The new weft end is split and laid into the shed

The new bobbin thread is split the same and I overlap a ply from the new bobbin over the ply from the old bobbin, the extra two plys just hang out.

I weave up several picks to lock the ends in.
After cutting, there is no thicker weft showing.
This method of splitting the ply works great on thicker yarns.  You have less density in the overlap section so that there is very little difference in the weave.  The finer the yarn the less you would need this technique.  There is a point of diminishing returns with this technique.  It takes longer to do than to just overlapping the yarns, but it makes me happier to see the results when I do my joins this way, so I continue to do it on some of the thicker yarns.

Simple point twill.
Now that the last warp is off, I'm looking at the dummy and wondering if there is some more yarns that I can use to make some scarves for me to sale.  I would like to do some more pinwheel designs.  Once the rugs are hemmed, I can look for some yarn.