August Catch Up

I have no idea how two weeks goes by so quickly! I thought for sure I’d posted since August 10, but apparently not.

So I’ll play catch up here, and show you several finished pieces, all of which were completed prior to my participation in the Chautauqua Crafts Alliance a few weeks ago.

I really wanted to try another undulating twill. I wasn’t overly happy with my first attempt some months ago, but had a different threading that I’d seen being woven, and thought it’d look smashing in a silk shawl.

But then I got chicken. What if I sett it too far apart and the cloth was not stable? What if I simply didn’t like it? That was a lot of silk to potentially waste! So I decided that I’d sample the design first making a scarf using a similar size cotton yarn. Sure, the two fibers (cotton & silk) would behave differently, but at least I’d have something to go on.

So I used a rich, burnished copper color in 10/2 cotton, sett at 24 ends per inch.
handwoven cotton scarf, copper waves

Actually, you did already see this scarf when I told you Dolly could stand independently, but the distance shot doesn’t give you any idea of the weave structure. I really like both the color and pattern of this scarf, so decided to move ahead with the silk, but thought I’d like it a bit softer, so sett the 20/2 silk at 22 ends per inch. (For you weavers, my 20/2 silk is 4,500 ypp, and my 10/2 cotton is 4,000 ypp; they are similar grist, despite the tale their numbers might tell.)

When I started weaving with the silk, it became clear to me that it’s slipperiness was potentially a problem, that it might not be as stable as I wanted it to be. I didn’t really want to unweave and re-thread the reed closer, so I decided that I could offset that potential to some extent by changing my treadling slightly, changing directions periodically. In my usual fashion, I did these symmetrically. The end result was a beautiful shawl that reminded me of butterflies. I’m not sure the picture shows it well, but I can’t shoot it again — I sold this piece in Chautauqua.
handwoven silk shawl, butterflies

Again, in my typical fashion, I didn’t want the second shawl (I’d warped for 2) to be identical. I wanted to use the wave pattern without reversing it, and decided I had to cut the first shawl off and re-thread the reed at 24 ends per inch. Once that was done, I decided to take advantage of the wave structure and use blue silk to enhance the watery look. handwoven silk shawl, water

Interestingly, I thought the 24 ends per inch could have been even a bit closer in the silk. I sold this one, too. I sold lots of pieces in Chautauqua – good thing I’d been weaving consistently for months on end, since I have two more big shows coming up!

I wanted to have small things people could pick up on a whim, too. I’d been weaving bookmarks at the ends of many of my scarf warps, some more successfully than others, and had what I thought was a decent supply.
handwoven bookmarks
Hah! I sold 16 of my 18 bookmarks. So right now I have a very narrow warp on my loom to see if I can get some more made by this weekend. They won’t be as varied as the prior batch, since they’ll all be made on a white warp, but it’s all I have time for. I can, and will, of course vary both treadling and weft color.

I also decided to use some of the learning from the MAFA conference, and threaded my loom with the end of the warp I had from that workshop, using a periwinkle overshot threading. I made four sets of mug rugs, using many different treadling patterns.
handwoven mug rugs, dark dusty rose
handwoven mug rugs, forest green
handwoven mug rugs, royal blue
bright orange handwoven mug rugs

That orange is really bright! Anyway, I had envisioned the ‘set’ being four of the same color. I laid them out that way, but hadn’t gathered them with a ribbon or otherwise restricted selection. Of course, the first purchaser, a young girl, chose one of each color. Fortunately, the second purchaser also chose one of each color, because she was a weaver and wanted to get different patterns. Then I sold the remainder of the forest green and royal blue from an email order, making four more of each color for sets of six – I had to really squeeze that last one out of the warp on my loom!

So now you’re caught up. I’ll have to be sure to take pictures of what I’ve woven since Chautauqua before I pack them up for my next show. Gotta run and weave!

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