This is my blog to share my adventures, misadventures, exploration, and experimentation with fibre- and as it turns out, with life as well. There is some of both. One thing leads to another. Collecting, spinning, weaving, dying, learning, building a web of relationships. Here we are: welcome.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The charteuse project

A few weeks ago I decided to weave a scarf to donate to a fund-raising project. So I picked out some soft chartreuse felted 2ply warp from my stash (some yarn I picked up at a studio sale with no particular purpose in mind), and some gold for warp, and red for accent.  Warped up my loom for a scarf and wove a sample.

 I knew the yarns would shrink at different rates, something weavers often take advantage of to add texture.  Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't.  The visual texture of the sample looked nice, but the gold turned into something bristly. Not a scarf, then. 

So, maybe make the warp wider , and weave a table topper.  I chose a different color weft, a green more subtle and slightly darker than the chartreuse, to make the chartreuse a little more subdued.  When I washed a sample of the new wef, it seemed that it  might be a bit more drapey when washed, but still give a sense of texture.  I kept the red for accent, but decided to lay it in rather than weave it in.  So here goes:

I drew a simple cartoon drawing of what I wanted to aim for,  The cartoon is a general guide for composition but not a pattern. I would lay the pattern in by eye as I went, and expected that the end result would vary and be somewhat asymmetrical. As it turned out, it was less asymmetrical than I'd anticipated! 

The dreaded shrinking shed

As I am approaching the end of the piece, I notice that the shed is beginning to get smaller. And smaller....

So I decide to weave this end with a similar size double red line and seven inches of plain weave, same as the other, though the design elements are asymmetrical and not centered.  Keeping my fingers crossed I cut it from the loom:

I have hemstitched both ends to stabelize the weaving, which at this point,unwashed,  looks something like canvas.  I left about 7 or 8 inches for fringe.  The finished fringe will not be that long,  but I wanted plenty to work with.  In my sample and preliminary tests, the warp ends felted well together and I am hoping that it will be stable enough for me to cut off the knots and leave a trim 2.5 inch fringe sans knots.

 Each of the fringes is just two warps, twisted singly, then twisted the other way by hand and knotted.  I never thought I'd want one of those fringe-twister doo-hickeys. But on this project, one sure would come in handy!  I'm trying to making meditation out of it! 

When the fringe is finished (give me a few days), then comes the suspenseful (and unnerving) part: washing to shrink and full the yarns.  Will I come out with a fascinating minimalist texture, or a confused mass of yarn that won't lie down flat?  Stay tuned....

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