Back to Bumberet

trunk full of leaf mulch
Two weeks. Where does the time go? I’ve been busy, but apparently haven’t blogged. I took advantage of our early spring weather and shovelled 10 buckets of free leaf mulch for my garden, and bought bags of composted manure from the local Agway. Planted early lettuce blend, sugar snap peas, and carrots. Then planted golden beets, spinach, and Red Russian kale. They’re all starting to sprout now.

beaming orange bumberet

Using 13 colors, I measured and beamed another warp for six bumberet towels, this time in mostly oranges with a few other colors thrown in for good measure. Interestingly, what looks turquoise in the towels is very clearly pale blue on the cone, same value as the pale lavender. Color interaction is everything.

As usual for me, I wove each towel with a different color warp. I think this is the order I wove them in.

Pale orange weft:
pale orange weft

Medium ochre weft:

ochre weft

Dark rose weft:
dark rose weft

Dark orange weft:
dark orange weft

Salmon weft:
salmon weft

And the only color that isn’t also in the warp, red weft:
red weft

Here are all six twirled together. I like this shot of brightness.
all six towels twirled together

And all of them layered to show the comparison better, I think.
all six towels stacked

I spent a fair amount of time with that pale orange one doing a single row of needle weaving for a treadling mistake. Should have been simple, but it took me forever. Long enough to get the tops of my feet sunburned as I was doing the work outside to both enjoy the weather and have great light.

I’ve also taken a two-day workshop on weaving transparencies. More on that as soon as I get the last yard or so woven and off the loom. Gotta go weave now!

Colors pale and colors bright

I’ve woven the 3 scarves with that last pastel silk warp. In the process of fringing, then will do bits of needed needle weaving and wet finishing. Still, I can show you some previews now. You already saw the lavender weft. About half way through I realized I had really long floats in one spot (9 threads!), but didn’t want to fix the tie up in midstream, so I hope that float doesn’t make for an unstable/unusable cloth.

Then I decided to go more for texture than color, and used a singles silk with a lot of texture to it. I fixed the tie up and changed the treadling pattern.

raku threading with texture

For the third scarf I used a thicker weft in a cotton-linen blend, and changed the treadling again. I really like how it looked on the loom.

raku scarf with fancy treadling

Meanwhile I wanted to get back in the dye studio (aka my basement) while the weather forecast was for rain. So I planned and measured for 2 more warps. One was inspired by this great print of a mallard wood duck by Bob Ripley that I bought at Cazenovia Artisans. (Sorry the photo isn’t so great; the painting is.)

Mallard inspiration painting

The colors aren’t exactly what I had in mind, but I can use black, blue, or white for weft to create more of the look I had intended. Here’s that warp dried and chained.

Mallard yarn chained

For the other warp, I was truly inspired by Denise Kovnat‘s talk at Monday’s Weavers Guild evening meeting. The presentation was on paint 2, beam 1, a concept that hadn’t previously moved me, but it did after I heard her speak. The basics are paint 2 warps in complementary colorways, beam them together, use parallel threading, sett close and use a weft that is finer than the warp, achieve a warp-faced fabric. So I picked the colors of pansies, and here are my two warps chained and swirled together.

Pansies warps 1 & 2

I think they look smashing. Hope they do after they are woven, too. 🙂

I have two more painted colorways in mind, but need to weave some more right now. Am currently working on another 6 bumberet towels in pinks and oranges. I sold 3 of the 6 in the blues and greens. 🙂

Hard at work

After the job of painting the arbor I needed to do something that would be both noticeable (hard to see that you’ve painted black on something that was already black) and, hopefully, beautiful. So I planned 4 warps, measured out 2 of them of 10/2 tencel, and got out my dyes.

painting teals and purple

First I wanted to use a dark to light teal. After my experience with the last batch of scarves and the fact that the light and dark magenta looked pretty much the same, I made sure that my teals would look different. I was quite surprised to learn that at 1/4 strength there still wasn’t much difference. I used about 1/8 strength for the light, and decided to throw in some light purple for good measure. I left some short sections undyed, too.

Then I moved on to what I wanted to be terracotta and dusty rose.

terra-notta and rose

I know it looks incredibly dark there, but I’ve had just a bit of experience now to see how much lighter the colors are after the yarn has dried, so I felt hopeful.

I batched, rinsed, hung, and dried.

terra-notta on rack

O.M.G. That orange is AWFUL!!! Definitely terra-NOTTA. So bright there’s no way I can imagine using it. So on my morning walk I thought about what I would do, and decided that instead of trying to paint over the awful orange sections, I’d overdye the whole thing with the remaining teal dye since I’d mixed far too much. I figured I had nothing to lose…if I still hated it, I’d toss it out.

overdyeing terra-notta

As soon as it went into the dye batch I was like, “Uh oh. You can barely see the difference in the two different colors.” Nothing to do but continue with the process. Although I did shorten the time…it was supposed to be in the immersion bath at least an hour, and I took it out after half that time.

rats nest of yarn

When I hung it on the drying rack it still looked all black. And now I had a rats nest, to boot. All that handling and moving about of the warps got everything really tangled. Again I figured I’d probably have to toss it out.

I was pleasantly surprised when it was finally dry.

a pleasant dye surprise

It is dark, much darker than my usual dyes, and I will need to choose light-colored wefts for it, but it’s actually attractive. I did break some threads getting it as straight as I could after it was dry, and I’m betting it’ll still be a bear to beam, but at least it has potential.

But here’s the completed yarn that I really like. A lot. Very happy with the results.
lovely blues and purple

Granted the blues aren’t really teal, but I’m fine with that.

While I was waiting for all that yarn to process, I beamed the last hand painted warp I had. It’s 30/2 silk and I think I dyed it in my last dye class (before I started dyeing at home). It’s very pastel blue and green, and each color is longer than I’d like. (I’ve learned that for my taste, short sections of color are much preferred.)

I spent some time planning the weave structure. I started with the Raku draft from 60 Scarves for 60 Years from the Weaver’s Guild of Baltimore’s anniversary book. Then I made some changes in Fiberworks to threading, treadling, and tie up, threaded the loom, and tried out a twilight silk weft.

trying treadling and weft

Well, I hated the results – the first inch or so in the picture. So I changed the tie up to the original from the book and tried that. Much better. But I hated the color of the silk. So I pulled that out and started with a lovely lavender.

raku vs on hanpainted silk

I’m quite pleased.


Tshirt with paint

There’s some evidence that I was painting. All day today. 10AM – 4PM.

paint on my arm

And evidence that I’m a slob. Not a neat painter. A few years ago I hired a neighbor to do some painting at my old house to get it ready for sale. She did both interior and some exterior painting. Didn’t get a drop of paint on her. Not. One. Drop. Clearly that’s not my style.

arbor painted

My wonderful son did the necessary grinding/wire brushing yesterday afternoon to get my beautiful arbor ready for painting, and started the job. I finished it today. We used an oil-based paint. Tough stuff. By the time I was done my brush and the paint itself felt like I was brushing on tar. Should last a good long time.

Threw out the Tshirt and shorts I was wearing. Spent a good long time with mineral spirits getting the overwhelming majority of paint off my skin, then took a nice long shower. I’m sure some spots are still there and will need to wear off.

But it was a good thing we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and got the job done, since my climbing hydrangea leaves were opening almost as I watched; I planted it last summer and am training it to climb the arbor and create shade, beauty, and attraction for flying things. My forsythia and hyacinth blossoms opened today, too.

climbing hydrangea

Glad I got one more job I didn’t want to do off my to-do list.

9 towels this week

I got those 3 log cabin towels hemmed and wet finished. Here’s one in its entirety.

wet finished log cabin towel

I am still quite ambivalent about them. I chose yellow for the solid color because sometime, someplace, I heard that the most common paint color for kitchens is yellow. I think I would have liked them better if I’d chosen blue for the solid. But maybe not. I’m guessing I’ll have these towels for some time.

I also got the 6 bumberet towels woven, hemmed, and wet finished. Here’s the full width so you can see all 14 colors in the warp, with the periwinkle weft.

periwinkle bumberet on loom

I wove each towel with a different weft color.
6 bumberet towels

I surprised myself by picking the pale green as my favorite. I never would have predicted that. But as I said to a friend, I can almost feel the spring breezes coming off that towel.

6 bumberet towels, folded square

This afternoon I mailed off 1 of the log cabin, 2 of the bumberet, and 1 other towel I’d found in my stash to Cazenovia Artisans to augment my display there. I’ve also sold one of those bumberet towels locally.

As soon as I have time I’ll do the glam shots for the other towels and put them up in my Etsy store. Gee, I have so much to put in there! Where does the time go?