A year in review September – December 2020
This is part 3 of a year in review which includes all creations our members have shared with us between September and December 2020. What a year it has been. Our members have been busy.
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Spinning / Fiber
I’m learning to use a supported spindle to spin eri silk.
I’m slowly getting a Perendale fleece ready to spin. It has a wide colour range, from almost white to almost black. During prep I separated it into light, mid and dark piles, unsure of how to use it. Experiments with drum carding and combing left a lot of waste that I re-carded without blending (see picture foreground). Suddenly a plan took shape: make a layered batt with the 3 shades (top & bottom layers showing in picture), roll it sideways (edge to edge) and attenuate to a sort of roving format for spinning. The result is a quite nice heathered yarn. Not bad for scrap fibre!
After sending all the wool from her flock of sheep to be spun at Custom Woolen Mills ltd, she is now experimenting in dyeing her wool before weaving. This section highlight her dyeing learning progress:
1- First attempt at ciba acid dyeing
2- Same colours of dye, different colours of wool. So far cobalt, green, and purple, a double batch of black to see if it would fit in the pot and red hanging in the shower dripping. Next up Turquoise. This is a very fun “colourful” experiment. Ciba acid dyes from Maiwa “cooked” on an induction plate on the front porch
3-Colour study continued, same dye coloured (ciba acid dyes) on different coloured wool, gold yellow (orange) turned the grey – brown and yellow turned the grey – green. Fuchsia and Navy to go
4-Finished my study in colour, Maiwa ciba washfast acid dyed, same colour dye on different colour wool from my sheep. Cant wait to turn them into blankets
I’ve decided to weave up all the pink, red, and purple hand spun I’ve ever made into narrow yardage for a kosode – a type of kimono from medieval Japan.
About 2 years ago, I started to make the warp for these towels. Then a big tree fell on our house (Dec 2018 windstorm…) and I had to move things out of my second floor studio in an hurry. While moving things out, the warp got lost with a broken yarn and some of the warp slipped out of the warping board….. a sad sight to see. Earlier this summer, I took the unfinished warp out, troubleshooted and figured out where I had to restart in the pattern. It was not a complete lost.
Another shadow weave riff. This time the scarves are black and charcoal. Same threading as the charcoal/ silver combination and same treadling sequence, but a different tie-up. Or, viewed another way, same threading, same tie-up but treadled differently. Take your pick. Once again the two versions differ only in which weft colour goes first.
For one reason or another, there was a bit of warp left which seemed ideal for a machine-felted sample. The pre-felted image shows how open the web is, with areas resembling huck lace. Because the yarns are a 50-50 merino/ tencel blend, differential shrinkage creates a fabulous textured fabric that reminds one of persian lamb. OK, that image reaches back quite a few decades. Both the camera and my eye are persuaded that there are at least three colours in the felt. No doubt a light-shadow (pun!) effect from the texture created by felting. Drape and hand are yummy.
Sheila had another busy fall with haying, gardening and market. Regardless she found time to weave. Some of us suspect that weaves in her sleep. Below is a list of her creations:
1- Variegated acrylic warp, three strands of yellow acrylic weft in a simple 43214321234123 pattern. sett at 8 epi.
2- hand dyed warp, weft is “tango” mohair boucle drying on my new to me (formerly Margaret Thomson’s) 45″ nilus counterbalance loom, it’s about 30 years newer than the 36″ on the right hand side of the photo.
3- First project off the “new to me” Leclerc Fanny 45″ loom. 2 baby blankets and 1 throw. Warp and weft wool from my sheep. The baby blankets I put 16 pics of plain weave at both ends, then needle wove the tails back in. Sett at 8 epi
4- I attempted this Finnish overshot pattern, the cat likes it, not exactly the result I was looking for. Apparently the pattern calls for linen and paper yarn but I used the wool from my sheep.
5- Baby blanket for granddaughter number 2 due in February. Acrylic baby blanket yarn so can be washed and dried in the machine. Just need to finish the edges
6- Repeat of Ombre plaid, pattern from handwoven sept/oct 1993, bernat baby blanket acrylic sett at 8 epi, this time woven in 2/2 twill
7- 3 shades of my sheep!! Simple 2/2 twill, still getting used to the braking system and therefore tension on my new to me fanny loom. The fanny is very tippy compared to my old leclerc loom.
8- Candy cane plaid, wool from my sheep and dyed with Maiwa ciba acid dyes. Sett at 8epi.
9- Wool from my sheep dyed with Maiwa ciba acid dyed, sett at 8 epi. Fun pattern but I used dark purple as the opposing color and the actual blanket is very dark.
10- Vibrant crackle? Wool from my sheep, dyed with Maiwa ciba acid dyed sett at 8 epi. Christmas present for my mom.
11- Snail tails and cats paws, so many mistakes but of course i was weaving it upside down so I didn’t see them until I took it off the loom. Wool from my sheep, dyed with Maiwa ciba acid dyed (black and fuchsia on dark grey) sett at 8 epi.
Inspiration from handwoven Jan/Feb 2014
I just published my latest knitting pattern, Ribbon Wrap Light, to Ravelry .
News from the Studio
Maria is playing with a straight twill threaded warp in 8/2 cotton sett at 16 epi. The left towel is 2/2 regular twill using 8/4 cotton weft in lovely fall colours. The one on the right is a yummy caramel confection that combines plain weave with 8/2 cotton, regular twill with cotton bouclé for those marshmallow ridges and large sections of twill bouclé woven with a tabby pick of 8/2 after each bouclé pick (see detail photo).