Surprising myself

You know, I tell myself – and sometimes you – what I like and what I don’t. What turns me on and what leaves me cold. And then something happens and I change my mind.

Funny how that works, isn’t it? This latest work is an example of that.

Following my experience with that Fires Everywhere scarf, I wanted to do something similar but different for a shawl-width piece. After a bunch of playing around with various ideas, I decided on a black to white warp in solid colors, not gradients.

I also decided I was going to wind the warp out of 100% tencel, 8/2 sett at 24EPI, and even though 2 shuttle weaves are not my favorite, I would try out an alternating weft with tencel and rayon chenille. So I got busy winding. Here’s half of the width wound on my warping mill.

winding a tencel warp, black to white

As always with tencel, the winding, beaming, and threading went smoothly. No hitches. So it was time to try the weaving. Again, everything was working well. Here’s the simple twill threading and treadling, as seen from the top while I was weaving. The warp alternates that 8/2 tencel in tabby with a fairly thick white rayon chenille, only about 800 yards per pound.

weaving the black to white shawl

It is often the case that I like the ‘back’ side better than the ‘front’, and this was no exception. You can’t see much of it here, but I think you get the idea. Little crosses inside the diamonds.

underside of black to white shawl on loom

I had some company for a few days, and fringe twisting just takes time, so the pieces sat for about a week after they were cut off the loom. I finally got that all done and wet finished. This is where the surprise came in.

I had differential shrinkage. Or something similar that created strong vertical crinkles in the cloth. Which I surely didn’t expect. Here you can see the crinkly piece on the left and its fraternal twin that I’ve given a press to (needs more) on the right. Look at the width difference between these two pieces!

2 black to white shawls

I honestly liked that crinkly piece, which surprised me. I sent photos of both pieces to my daughter and a friend to get their input. Of course, I got two different opinions. And now that everything is totally fully dry I’m again second guessing. One piece will get mailed to The Copper Shop on the Roycroft Campus for sale, the other will go to the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale. I keep changing my mind and my opinion. Do I really like that crinkly piece, which is now a scarf and not a shawl? It feels so much different than the flatter, wider piece; harder/stiffer, of course, since it’s so much thicker. On the other hand, there are still so many wrinkles in the wider piece – will I be able to get them out if I use my steam press?

I need to move forward. I have one day to make a decision. Your input, dear readers?

2 comments to Surprising myself

  • Judy+T

    Without seeing them in person, my vote is probably not of much value, but I’m inclined to like the crinkly one too. It just seems more dramatic to me. Will it stay that way or will it start to stretch out with use?

    • Peg Cherre

      More dramatic it is. And that’s why I decided to send it to The Copper Shop. Will the crinkles stay that way? I THINK so, but since I don’t really know why they happened, I can’t say for sure.

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