Thursday, July 18, 2013

My dyeing day

I had a fun day dyeing some silk noil for my next project.  I didn't calculate or measure the colors, just mixed the colors without a lot of planning.  I did have a concept in mind, however:  to have my dark, cool colors be more or less the color complement of my light, warm colors.






I am doing a "painted warp" to try combining plain weave and sprang in a finished piece.  I plan to alternate the dark and light colors in the weave to get a pattern effect in interlaced sprang.  Yes, I'm finally getting back to the sprang experiments.  Read about the sampling for this project here.

Here are the light colors right after "painting", and before steaming.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer & Winter baby blanket - finishing results

I've wet-finished the baby blanket.  I just put it in the washing machine like I normally do my laundry, and then in the dryer on cotton setting.

The top photo is what it looked like before it went into the wash.
And the bottom photo is after.  The yarns really migrated and fluffed up, making it a much nicer fabric, and better contrast between the light and dark areas in the design.

Overall, there was 8% shrinkage in the length, and 9% in the width.

I'll post a final photo of the whole blanket after I'm done hemming and pressing...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer & Winter is a tied weave

Summer & Winter is a "tied" weave.  This class of weaves is called so because some of the warps act as "tie-downs" to keep the pattern wefts from forming "floats" that are too long over the surface of the cloth.

In this picture I've thrown a pattern weft without tie-down warps raised.  You can see the long floats that are formed.  This will not make a practical cloth; these floats would get caught and pull out of shape.

In this next photo, I've taken that "wrong" shot of weft back out, and thrown it again with tie-down warps raised correctly.  The pattern weft still sits on top of the lighter ground weave, but it is held nicely in place by the tie-down warps.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer & Winter creates a reversible fabric

Now that the fabric is starting to come down onto the cloth beam, I can give you a view of the other side of the fabric.  I am weaving it with the light, or "summer", side facing me as I weave.  Here you can see the dark, or "winter", side.

When woven in its tradtional manner, Summer & Winter typically has this characteristic, where one side is predominantly light, the other dark.  The white warp dominates in some places, forming the light areas.  Where the darker pattern colors float over the warp, the dark areas appear.

The dark/light feature is presumably where this weave structure gets its name.  Other structures can produce this reversible dark/light effect, but for some reason this one got the name "Summer & Winter".

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Guest spranger!

This photo is a detail of a piece by Rosalie, who took my workshop back in April and was inspired to give weaving and sprang together a try.

And look what a beautiful thing she's made!  I love how she has incorporated her talent for beading into the side stitching that is holding the sprang outstretched.

I can't wait to see the whole piece!

Madder - Rubia tinctorum


I did some dyeing last weekend with madder root.  I planted some a few years ago, and it has taken over the back yard like a weed, so I decided I need to learn to like reds and pinks.

The fabrics in the top of the photo were some samples I thought might be towels, but they are a little stiff, so I'm going to repurpose them into something else.  The photo is showing both faces of the fabric.  The warp was kind of a tan color and I think the overdye improved the color.

The bottom fabric is just some unbleached muslin I threw in the pot.  I had the pieces of root in the dyebath with the fabric.  The darker spots of red are where they made direct contact with the fabric. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer weaving - progress

More leaves (and hearts) are appearing on the blanket.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer weaving - no winter today

Finally!  Weaving is started on a baby blanket for a nursery with a woodland theme.  It has been hot ub Southern California, and I'm weaving this "summer & winter" blanket with the "summer" side up, which means the treadling is quite heavy.  Getting a workout while weaving isn't a bad thing, but if I do this structure with this many blocks again, hopefully I'll remember to do it the easier way.
I knew the leaf motif would be large, but its size still surprised me.  I may not get through all the different leaves I designed before I run out of blanket.