Mac & Me

I’ve become friends with my Mac. It took time — time checking out other looms, time buying and then selling what I thought would be my ideal loom, and time weaving on Mac. I believe we’re there now.

I told you about that sample placemat I wove on the Mac. Well, not surprisingly, it wasn’t what my customer had in mind. The barber pole of the warp yarn created unpleasant eyeball effects – reminded me of 1970s doodles.

closeup placemat
Instead we’re going to use a solid natural cotton for both warp & weft.

I didn’t want to waste all the warp I’d put on so decided to weave some towels. First I used the same natural weft, figuring someone would like it. Then I used the same barber pole yarn for weft. Interestingly, using this same yarn for both warp & weft had a dramatic effect, and that disturbing waviness of pattern was gone. I liked it well enough that I wove a runner after the towel.

Then I tried a variegated weft in earth tones. I liked this, too, and changed up the treadling to show the variegated yarn more. I liked the treadling enough that I figured I’d try with another variegated weft, this time in muted pastels. It’s okay but too subtle for me.

Next came a mercerized cotton (everything up to now was unmercerized) in a bold variegation. I modified the treadling to make it a bit easier – no counting how many rows of pattern I’d done. I finished out the warp with a solid medium blue. Although I would have chosen more colorful yarns if I’d been planning on making towels, I think someone will like these and they’ll sell, and it was better than wasting warp. Plus I learned some things about color and pattern and got more Mac weaving time, so it’s all good.
towels & runner

Next I wanted to try an effect I’d seen on Weavolution – creating rayon snake skins. Now I’m not a snake lover, although I will admit some are very beautiful. But the concept appealed to me. I spent a looooong time working out the pattern, threaded heddles and reed, and quickly discovered that the 18 ends per inch I’d planned was too loose for this pattern. So I rethreaded the reed to 21 EPI and it was perfect. However now the scarves would be narrower than planned, and I would have modified the sides of the pattern slightly had I known I could add more threads.

I wanted to use a gold warp but didn’t have enough gold yarn for 4 scarves, so decided on black instead.

First I used a relatively bright orange weft. Does it look a bit snakey to you?
handwoven orange snakeskin scarf

I liked it, but it was brighter than I had in mind so went with that gold I’d wanted to use for warp. I think this one best displayed the effect I had in mind.
handwoven scarf, gold snakeskin

Next I chose a deep red weft – a bit shiny in this photo, and there’s not enough contrast in the black & red yarns to show the pattern well.
handwoven scarf red snakeskin

I rounded the set out with a white warp. Although I didn’t expect it, I think this one is my favorite of the four.
handwoven scarf, white snakeskin

Now I’m playing grandma for a week, caring for my sweet, little grandson while mama & papa take a mid-winter vacation. We’ve finished day 2 just fine. Five more to go — I’m sure we’ll be good. And closer than ever – YAY!!!

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