Magic in the water

I washed the three scarves from the scarf set warp I just took off the loom. They came out…AMAZING. They were pretty stiff when I took them off the loom and I was a bit concerned that they would stay that way. No. When you hold one, it’s like holding a liquid it’s so soft and drape-able. It’s wonderful. I don’t want to sell them!! 🙂 Of course I will, but I’m definitely going to try and buy more of the 6-ply rayon before it all sells out. I’ll probably make one for myself at some point. I’m so happy with how they turned out!! I can’t wait to get more yarn wound off and on the loom.


Twisting Fringe…Changing plans

For both of the scarves I’ve sold/traded I hand twisted the fringe. It looks great, but my poor fingers still hurt. I’d better get used to it. I have to twist the fringe on the next four scarves that come off the loom. I can feel the pain already.

So I think I might be changing the plan a bit for my place mats… I’m thinking now that I’ll do an overshot pattern on the ends of each to add a little more visual interest. True, it will be covered up on one side by the napkins, but that’s okay. I think it will help tie the place mats to the bowls and plates better. I’m planning on weaving a pattern called honeysuckle. It looks like the flowers that I constantly draw and that I painted in slip on the bowls and plates. I can’t wait until I get all my stuff fired so I can glaze it and get to the fun part: taking it out of the high firing! It’s like they say, it’s just like Christmas every time you open that kiln door. I can’t wait!

Sale and Trade

I sold another scarf!! I’m pretty excited. It’s kind of funny, way back in September, my textiles professor stopped by the Fall Fun Fest booth and I happened to be there. She saw one of my scarves and said she LOVED it. She told me that day she would probably be back to buy it later in the day, but she never came back by.

Yesterday in class she asked me if I would be selling any of my work in the annual Holiday Sale that takes place at the Craft Center after Thanksgiving. I told her I wouldn’t because I am not a member of the Visual Arts Society. (VAS) She then asked if I still had the blue scarf that she was looking at and if I would want to sell it to her. Here’s the picture of the scarf I’m selling to her.

OF COURSE I said yes!! I went home immediately after class and twisted the fringe so that it would be machine washable. I had forgotten to twist it after I took it off the loom. But it’s all ready now and I will be charging her $60 for it. It was originally $50, but I think since the fringe was twisted by hand, it was acceptable to charge a little more.

Well funny story, I took the scarf with me to the clay studio last night just in case I had some time to work on the fringe a little more and I was telling a good friend of mine about how I was selling it. She asked if I had any other scarves and I said I did. I told her I had one that was green and purple. (This one)

Well she got really excited and said those were her favorite colors! She asked if I wanted to trade something for it. That was pretty much as exciting as selling it to her. So I’m trading her the scarf for three serving bowls. 🙂

I really like the idea of people I know having the things I make. I love sharing them with people. (Selling, trading, giving etc) It makes me happy to know that something I made, enjoyed making and loved is going to someone that will really enjoy it. I know my textiles professor will love the scarf she’s getting because the moment she saw it, her eyes lit up. She loves textiles and fabric and fibers so she appreciates it on a different level.

I know that my friend will love her scarf because she has an appreciation for crafts, weaving, and loves the colors. It’s so encouraging and fun to have work to sell. I really need to build up an inventory so that I’ll have MORE things! As of now, I have one bag left from the work I made this summer and that’s IT!! Crazy!! I’ve sold (or traded) three scarves, a bag and a hat. And the hat and two of the scarves were in the past week! I need to get planning projects and get warps wound off so I can get projects going! Success (even in a small form) is very exciting and encouraging.

Scarf #3

Perhaps it was in response to the Weavezine article, or maybe it’s because I’ve never tried it, but for my 3rd scarf on the warp I’m trying a basket weave. I was trying to figure out something that wasn’t twill that I could do on a tabby (straight twill) threading. I was trying to get all complicated with it and it didn’t work. So I ended up with a nice tabby variation. I’m actually pretty excited about it.

I really like how my selvages are turning out. I think it’s because it’s the basket weave and it goes around two yarns instead of just one. I am weaving with two shuttles because I find it easier than to have to wrap around the selvage yarn each time I throw a shot. I am using a rayon weft that matches the tan stripe down the middle. I did some striping at the beginning of the scarf to give it a little more interest. It was a little annoying to do because I kept changing the bobbin every 10 picks to change to a different stripe color, but it looks great so I don’t really mind. It’s only 5 inches of striping. I think I can handle that. I used a bright yellow for the stripes. It looks really neat!

I’ve been trying hard not to complain about my lack of tools, space, yarn etc. But unfortunately, I can’t stop thinking about Bluster Bay mini end feed shuttles. 😦 It would probably be beneficial for me to test one of the things first, but I don’t have any way of doing that. I have thought about getting a different brand because I think Schacht or LeClerc might be cheaper (I can’t remember) But the thing that I really like about the BB is that it’s a MINI. It’s only 11″ as opposed to 13″-15″. I generally do narrow warps (Which I’m sure won’t always be true) but right now it doesn’t make sense to have a shuttle that long. Perhaps when I weave my first blanket I can use it as an excuse to buy a larger one. 🙂 I WISH I could weave my first blanket now. But I’m really just happy I’m able to weave at all. I have to remind myself of that…(Often)

I’m a bit torn because I also really want to get this lovely set of interchangeable circular knitting needles from Knit Picks.

Aren’t they pretty?? So I don’t know what I want to get. Yeah, yeah. Christmas is coming up. I know. I’ll probably ask for fibers tools. (A first, actually) We’ll see.

Plain Weave

I read a WONDERFUL article on Weavezine today. It’s about the many different things you can do with a simple plain weave structure.

It really did my heart good to read it. I am a huge fan of plain weave (Which article author, Tien Chiu points out, there is NOTHING plain about it!) I love the simplicity that is tabby. It’s simple and beautiful. I don’t see that a weaving pattern needs to be complicated in order to be beautiful. It goes back to my entire philosophy as an artist of simple is beautiful. I would like to try collapse weave and see what it does. Now…To get my hands on some wool…

Balling up a skein of yarn

My yarns arrived on Saturday and I have been very excited to try them out! I finished the first scarf on my warp in a bit of a rush in order to get to the new yarns.

Alright. I have never used skeined yarn before. The kind that looks like this:

I figured it worked like anything else, you pull out all the ties that are holding it together and you pull the loose end. This quickly turned from an exciting moment, to all out war. Both ends came loose and I didn’t know how to hold it on tension (or that you needed to) in order to wind it on a ball winder. It turned mostly into large piles of knots. I decided that before I went any further, I should probably look up HOW to ball up a skein of yarn…Since I don’t have a swift, I looped each end of the circle of yarn onto my knees and held it taut. While I did this, I pulled one end completely out until all the yarn was lying in a pile on the floor and had the other end attached to the ball winder. This whole process ended up taking me about an hour or so to get several small balls of yarn (because I kept having to break the yarn.) and one larger ball. Who would have thought yarn could be so confusing?!

Well anyway, I’ve tested a little of the yarn (The Spice colorway) in a twill on the warp. It feels SO SOFT!! It’s lovely yarn and I think it will weave up nicely. I’m not particularly attached to it, so I might end up selling this scarf. Also, I have another scarf that is pretty much the same colors. I think I’ll probably weave up the green and aqua scarves for myself. (well it was MY birthday present!!) I was thinking I’d use the olive Tencel I have with the Dill Heather (the green) and then use the aqua (Shallows) with the navy Tencel I have. I don’t like scarves that are cotton. I have one and the only reason why I like it is because it’s the first scarf I ever made. But it’s not particularly warm, it wrinkles a lot and it can get a little itchy because of the weave structure.

I’m sure those scarf warps will not go on next though. I’m going to try to weave napkins and place mats for my culminating project over the break. I need to make 4 place mats and 4 napkins. I am making plates in my throwing class this semester that will match the place mats and napkins. I can’t decide if it would be better to have the place mats be variegated or the napkins variegated…Hmmm…I am getting a bit excited about weaving all this nonsense. I’ll just have to hurry and get those scarves off of there!! I’m still not sure what I’m gonna do for the third scarf…I might use the yellow and tan in stripes that match the warp. I’m actually kind of not crazy about the twill that I’m using for the current scarf. I don’t really like straight twill…But maybe I could try going up and down to create a zigzag pattern instead. I like that a lot on my overshot scarf. I need to stop blogging when I’m in an office. It makes me want to go straight home and get on my loom!!

November already?!

I can’t believe it’s November already! School is keeping me so busy and it’s going by so fast! I can’t believe that I only have one semester left and then I graduate!

My yarn still isn’t here. The tracking info says Monday. 😦 I don’t want to wait that long! I got to weave a little last night on the scarves. I’m still on scarf #1. I got the pattern at the bottom of it done though. I’m not entirely sure I’m happy with it…But that’s okay. I can maybe sell it. I’m also not sure I’m crazy about the tabby on rayon…For the second scarf I might try a straight twill and see how that looks. We were talking about different weaves in my Textiles class and my professor said that twill weaves are usually looser than plain weaves. Maybe I could try a basket weave variation too…I just wish I had the time to sit down and weave more!! Maybe I should have sampled a little more at the beginning. I was just worried about not having enough space to weave three scarves on a warp.

Ohhhh!! What if I did the cordovan, orange and red scarf/runner in a basket weave?? Here are the colors:

I was thinking of using the rayon (Cordovan/plum) for warp and then using the orange and red for weft. Seems like a good idea…For now anyway…I want to start using longer warps though. I got frustrated with short warps this summer. It seemed like I was always dressing my loom. Which was good, because it taught me quickly how my loom works and how to dress a loom quickly and efficiently. But weaving is the fun part. And longer warps allow for more weaving time. I’ll keep thinking about what else I could do.