Starting strong

October started really strong for meeting my 6-7 finished pieces per month. That’s mostly true because I don’t count scarves as done until they are fringed and wet finished. The 3 scarves I’ll show you were off the loom at the end of September, but not fringed or wet finished till early October. Way to start!

I had a dark royal purple warp on the loom, threaded for a complex twill. First I used a green that is almost chartreuse, longing for that iridescence that comes with complementary – or in this case split complementary colors. I much prefer the side that’s more purple.

purple chartreuse silk

I auditioned a salmon weft for the second scarf, again going for that split complementary color, but really hated it. So I used a very pale blue-green. I was tired of the treadling pattern for the first scarf, so changed it for the second. My overall reaction? Meh. It’s okay.

purple sax silk

I really wanted something that would send me for the third. I tried out a few things and settled on a gold silk that I’d immersion dyed a few years ago with natural dyes. It’s a bit thicker than the 20/2 of the warp, so the hand isn’t quite as nice, but I really like the colors. I also changed the treadling pattern again, and this one is my favorite weave pattern as well as favorite color combo.

purple and gold silk

Since October was starting off so strong with numbers, I wanted to spend a bit of time in my basement, hand painting some warps. I did three warps, and decided in advance that I’d (a) make decisions in advance, (b) take better notes, and (c) not use up any leftover dyes, mixing up new so I knew what I’d get.

First up is 5/2 bamboo. I dyed in a blue->green->blue->purple pattern, using a 3% dye solution. I also immersion dyed 2 skeins for weft. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough containers to give them each a vat with sufficient space, and then I was so involved in the hand painting that I failed to stir them. So the skeins aren’t a good solid color. That’s fine for warp use for a future project, but not the weft for this one. Live and learn, as usual.

blue, green & purple bamboo with skeins

Next I painted some 10/2 tencel. This time I used a red->orange->yellow->orange pattern to my painting, and a 2% dye solution. (These colors aren’t particularly accurate, but the best I could do.)

red, orange, and yellow dyed tencel

The third warp is also 10/2 tencel. This time it’s a 1% solution, in red->orange->yellow->green->blue->purple that then doubles back on itself, going purple->blue->green, and so on. In an ideal world I would have had just one ROYGBV run per scarf, but I couldn’t exactly make that work in my calculations, so I think each scarf with probably be more like 1-1/3 of that rainbow. I hope it looks okay woven. I also hope that the patch of white, where I obviously failed to saturate the yarn with color, doesn’t land in the middle of a scarf. 🙁 I can wish that it’ll be where I would normally cut for fringes, and just cut it out. A girl can hope, right?

rainbow hand painted tencel

While I was waiting for the yarns to batch and dry, a process that takes a few days, I decided to put on a warp for some towels. Although they don’t sell particularly well in my booth at shows, towels tend to sell at the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale, and I don’t have very many. I opted for more bumberet.

beaming October bumberet

I learned in the process that I prefer it when I have more of the predominating color, in this case intended to be blue or green. The towels, which won’t count toward my monthly goal, are in the finishing process, so you’ll see them later.

I’m always eager to see how my hand painted warps turn out in the weaving, so am looking forward to that adventure.

Oh, yeah. Meanwhile I also made some Christmas gifts. In my canner. No peeks at what’s inside!

canning for Christmas

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