November work

I don’t know how so much time goes by between my posts.

Wait, yes I do. I’m busy weaving, volunteering, babysitting, dancing, playing fetch with Jack, and making Christmas presents. But who isn’t busy? And when was I not busy? I’d like to promise I’ll do better in the future, but I learned a hundred years ago when I taught preschool not to make either promises or threats that I’m not prepared to keep. So anyway, here’s a post.

I started with the cotton & vintage synthetic warp.

cotton-rayon warp on back beam

I couldn’t find the same ‘bumpy’ yarn I used the first time, so used Queen Anne’s Lace yarn from Henry’s Attic. Although not as pleasing to me, it’s fine. After I wound that warp I didn’t have enough of the synthetic yarn left to weave both shawls, so I used shell Tencel with the Queen Anne’s Lace yarn, measuring how much I used in grams.

Queen Anne's Lace shawl

Then I knew that I did, in fact, have enough of the vintage synthetic yarn to weave the second shawl. I paired it with the same 8/2 cotton I’d used for the warp, just like I had the first time around. Beautiful and lovely, if I do say so myself.

smooth cotton & synthetic shawl

Using two shuttles, these shawls are slow weaving. I was alternately frustrated and in the mode, so decided I’d weave 2 more of the piano scarves I’d woven a few years ago, also slow weaving since they are clasped weft. Again, a HUGE THANK YOU to Ngaire at Dust Bunnies Under My Loom for the concept several years ago, long before I’d even heard of clasped weft. She puts hers on Etsy, so I won’t do that; since it is basically her design I will only sell them at local shows.

piano scarves, 2017

Note: Finishing these piano scarves will only bring me to 4 pieces for the month. And I’d like to weave 2 more rayon chenille shawls, since I sold a few and want at least one more each for the Copper Shop gallery and my winter show. IF I can do them before the end of the month, what with Thanksgiving and all, I MIGHT get to my goal of 6 this month. See how it goes?

I’ve also been doing a lot of dyeing – both hand painting and immersion dyeing, but not yarn. Instead, I’m making Christmas presents, so don’t want to share too much here, but I’ll give you a taste of the fun I’ve had.

Lots of dyed things

For those who asked, I did fine at this year’s Guild Holiday Sale, selling 1 scarf, 1 shawl, 8 of my packages of buttons, and all 10 towels. That will inform me for next year, too.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m taking a class on fitting a standard pattern to my body. This is much needed, and will encourage/allow me to use my handwoven for clothing. And to sew a few things from commercial fabric, too.

Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale

I’ll have 2 shawls, 3 scarves, 10 towels, and 20 packages of buttons at this year’s Weavers’ Guild of Rochester Holiday Sale. Stop by on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to see work from 50 other members, as well as my things. There will be weavers, felters, knitters, tatters, and other fiber-related artists. You’ll find everything from socks to hats, mittens to jackets, rugs to wall art. Plenty for your gift giving…or for keeping. 😉

Holiday Sale poster

Halloween socks

I don’t dress up for Halloween, but last night I wove in the yarn ends so I could wear these brand new socks today in honor of the occasion.

my Halloween socks

Finishing out October

I’m closing out October with 9 finished pieces. My plan is to get enough ahead of my goals that I can spend some time weaving not-for-sale items, such as a transparency or two. So I managed to fringe and wet finish a few more pieces.

I beamed the 10/2 tencel red-orange-yellow warp I’d hand painted earlier this month. I loved it going on the loom.

beaming the red orange yellow hand painted warp

I’d been waiting to try a few things. One was a draft that I was calling ‘wobbly eyes.’ 'wobbly eyes' weaving draft

The other was experimenting some more with creating iridescence with color. So I chose an 8/2 periwinkle tencel weft. I was not in love with it on the loom, nor after it was all done.

hand painted red-orange-yellow scarf with periwinkle

I wasn’t happy with this while it was on the loom, and finally remembered to listen to my own advice: either color or weave pattern can be the star of a piece, but if you combine the two they just fight with each other and it rarely ends well. So I cut the scarf off the loom and rethreaded for a simple point twill. I chose a dark red rayon 8/2 weft. I knew on the loom that this would work, and I was right. Due at least in part to the season, I’m calling this scarf Red Maple. (Note that the colors aren’t quite as intense as they appear in the photo.)

hand painted Red Maple scarf

I thought I had enough warp left for 2 short cowls. I was wrong – there was only enough for 1, but this turned out to be my favorite of the 3: Golden Maple.

hand painted Golden Maple scarf

In fact I liked it so much that I wore it to the NYS Climate Summit I attended yesterday.

Right now I’m getting an almost-redo shawl warp on the loom. It’s 8/2 cotton and a fine vintage synthetic treated as a single thread in the heddles.

cotton and syntheic warp on back beam

It’s an almost-redo because I couldn’t find any of the ‘lumpy’ cotton yarn I’d used as weft last time, so I bought the closest thing I could find. We’ll see how it turns out.

Completely unrelated, some weeks ago a friend introduced me to a local dance class. Actually, I invited myself to go along with her. I. Am. Hooked. This is a soul line dance class, offered in a rec center in the city. The women in the class are so welcoming, the dancing is great fun, and unlike lots of other exercises I’ve tried, this one doesn’t hurt my knee. I often make mistakes when a new dance is introduced – which happens every single week – but it’s all good. When I get home I watch YouTube videos of the new dances and learn them as the week goes on. So I get more exercise every day. I am having a GREAT time AND losing weight – win-win! Here’s a clip of one of the newer dances, one that gets the heart rate up, especially if you do it several times in a row. Enjoy!

Met my goal, plus

With my goal of 6-7 finished scarves or shawls per month, I’ve just met that for October. It’s possible that I’ll get 3 more done, but they may end up not getting finished until November.

In my last post I showed you 3 warps I’d hand painted. The first to go on the loom was the 5/2 bamboo. I chose a simple block twill weave; I just like this weave structure.

For the first scarf I used an 8/2 cotton weft that I’d immersion dyed a year ago that was waiting for the right opportunity to play. This was it. I like the way the sheen of the bamboo and the matte finish of the cotton play off each other. I also switched the size of the treadling blocks randomly. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but I do.

hand painted bamboo and cotton scarf

I used a commercial 5/2 bamboo for the second scarf, and because I wasn’t sure if I’d like the random treadling, I used a consistent pattern for this one.

hand painted bamboo scarf

I had only enough warp left for a short cowl. I opted for a navy tencel, wanting it to make the warp colors pop. I also chose short treadling changes for this short piece. I was surprised that this is my least favorite of these 3 on this warp.

hand painted bamboo and tencel cowl

I also got those bumberet towels you saw me beaming in the last post woven and finished. I learned something with this warp…I prefer it when I have more of a main color predominating in the warp than I did in this one. They’re fine, just not my favs. From the top down, in the weft color order in which I wove them, you see blue, medium blue, pale green, periwinkle, peacock, mauve, aquamarine, and lilac.

8 handwoven towels

All of these towels, and a few others I have in stock, will go to the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale in a few weeks. History tells us that people like to have small purchase options, so I’m hoping the towels will do well there. Although I like making towels, they’re not big sellers at my show, so towels do not count toward my monthly goal.

In keeping with the small-items scenario, I decided to make polymer buttons for the Holiday Sale, too. I tried some new things, and there were lots of buttons that didn’t make the grade after baking.

broken buttons

I am happy with all those that did. I made a little leaf-vein etching on this set of 3…

3 etched buttons

…and did what I think is neat striping on some.

4 striped buttons

I decided to paint a glaze on the buttons for a finished look that I prefer, and turned them into button lollipops for 2 coats of glaze front and back.

button lollipops being glazed

Once they were all done I had to develop packaging that would show them well. I printed on cardstock, sewed the buttons to it (a task that took much longer than I’d anticipated), inserted it into a cellophane bag, stuck my business card in the back, and closed the bag with decorated tape. We’ll see if they sell.

3 packages of buttons

After this show I will put any towels and buttons left up in my Etsy store, and try to get some more photographic views of woven scarves and shawls to post, too.