Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cracking Up

The crackle scarf
   Forgive me, as I am a bad blogger--it's been a month since my last update. This always happens in November and December: I get busy with the holidays, and blogging gets shoved to the back burner. Before I know it, it's the middle January.
   The fancy twill towels and the crackle scarf are finished! I don't like having warps on either of the looms, and 2015 turned out to be a year in which I got a lot less weaving done than I really like: between broken looms and a broken weaver, my productivity went way down, and some of the warps felt like "dogs" (weaver-speak for a never-ending warp) long before the end knots came up over the back beam.
   Oddly, the crackle scarf was particularly troublesome. I normally don't have a problem with a weave, but this one was a bear. Some of the problem was probably with the design: 4 rotating blocks, each with a supplemental weft in the middle block and another supplemental weft, in a different color, in between each block. It looks beautiful, and reminds me of the spiraling flower spikes of Pride of Madeira, but keeping track of pattern weft, ground weft, two supplemental wefts, which block I was on, and making sure the selvedges were nice was enough to drive a saint to sin. As it was, I found three treadling errors as I was pressing and clipping ends after wet-finishing the scarf. Since it's flawed, I can't sell it, but there's no reason I can enjoy it this winter.
   Because it took so long to weave the crackle scarf, and a couple of samples, I opted to weave off the rest of the warp in plainweave, with the main warp color as the weft. It turned out to be a pretty nice-looking fabric: the bright red-orange and olive green pinstripes contrast nicely with the deep blue. At this point, the 3 1/2 yards I wove are wet-finished: I may turn some of it into a "pocket scarf."
An undulating twill, out of alpaca-silk.
   I finished the crackle warp on Monday; I finished beaming the next warp on Mongo this afternoon. I've been challenged to weave six projects in 2016 that use only yarns in my stash, and this is the first. The warp is 4 1/4 yards of Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace, in the "Zarzamora" colorway, that I bought with a gift certificate I won at the Marin County Fair in 2012 for the "Fall Leave at Sunset" shawl. It's going to be paired with a weft of periwinkle blue alpaca/silk that I picked up at Stitches West a few years ago as a magpie purchase from the WEBS booth. The design is for an 8-shaft undulating twill that looks like ripples. There's enough warp to weave a scarf and a couple nice samples.

On the looms: "Ripples" scarf, out of 2/15 Baby Silkpaca and 2/14 alpaca/silk. The Gem is nekkid.

On the needles: Nothing. I finished another pair of socks and a set of mitts over the holidays, and I'm currently hemming the Fancy Twills napkins.

Update: This was written back on January 14, but I was so late in putting in the photos, the "Ripples" scarf is off the loom, and I've beamed 4.5 yards of 10/2 mercerized cotton to weave some samples for upholstery fabric.

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