Monday, December 19, 2011

"Tale of 3 Scarves......."

I wove scarves as Christmas gifts for Claire, Julie, and Sean this year. I hand dyed each skein, hopefully, choosing a color that each would like. The yarn used was Bare, from Knitpicks, and it was a 70% Merino, 30% Silk blend.

This is how Sean's yarn looked prior to winding it out of skein form.

Claire's yarn is the Burgundy on the left, the Packer yarn from a previous post in the middle, and Julie's blue on the right.

Each skein had to be wound into a ball, then from the ball, I chose to wind it onto a cone, thinking it would unwind more easily from the cone when measuring warp and for filling the bobbin to use as weft. I love my handy little bobbin winder. It is a true time saver!

Sean's yarn created a variegated pattern, with colors ranging from white, through a variety of blue grays. I also hemstitch at the beginning and at the end of each scarf. Hemstitching is sufficient to secure the scarf from unraveling after it is taken off the loom and could be left "as is", allowing the warp to hang loose in single strands. I have done that, but when using sock yarn, I have always "twisted" the fringe.

Claire's yarn was more of a consistent burgundy with occasional white flecks. This photo shows the process of taking the yarn from skein form and winding it into a ball. On the right, are my dye pot, tongs, and bag of citric acid, which is used as the mordant for my Jacquard Acid Dyes. When I began dyeing yarn, I used white vinegar as the mordant, but as I dyed more and more, I got sick of the smell, so switched to the odorless citric acid. The wooden slats are warp sticks, which are used initially to keep the warp flat/even as it is wound onto the warp beam. I also use them on the cloth beam for the newly woven material to keep things nice and flat as well.

Next step after measuring out the warp, is to attach it to the warp rod, keeping the cross (which you'll see in another photo) with lease sticks, and winding it evenly onto the warp beam. The table loom is pretty easy to warp because I can hold onto the warp with my left hand, keeping the warp taut, as I wind the warp onto the warp beam with my right hand. Of course, that depends on the warp used, too. I recently used some mohair/silk blend warp that is "sticky" and clings to itself, so I use a couple of hooks and clamps to hold the warp taut so I can take more care to keep things winding smoothly in back of the loom.

Here is what Claire's yarn pattern looks like.

Don took a few photos of me weaving. You can tell I was weaving on a weekend. ;)

Levers 1 & 3 being pulled down. These scarves were all woven in plain weave. Levers 1 & 3 for weaving into the warp from the right, and levers 2 & 4 for weaving from the left. My table loom has the ability to weave using 8 shafts, but I've not delved into those patterns yet. Soon....... ;)

Measuring the warp for Julie's scarf. The cross I mentioned earlier is made between the 2 pegs on the top right of the warping rack. This cross keeps the warp parallel and in sequence, making it easier to thread the heddles. These scarves are all 8" wide, and end up 55"-57" range, depending on how long/short I tie onto the cloth rod when I begin. Since I am weaving them in plain weave, I use 10 ends per inch for the width, having 80 warp threads total. I measure the warp in 2 bundles, 40 threads in each. This photo shows 1 of 2 bundles, which are taken off and put onto the loom. Each bundle is then untied and separated into the 10 warp ends per inch, using a raddle, which spreads the warp into its 8 inch width.

And from that point, once again the warp is then wound onto the warp beam.

A similar pattern to Sean's yarn is created with Julie's, too, although in different and more vibrate blues.

Claire's burgundy scarf has the fringe completed by twisting, Julie's and Sean's still in single warp thread form, but they will also be twisted as well.

You may be wondering why I am posting about Christmas presents prior to Christmas. These scarves were shipped last week and I know that Julie received hers and opened it already, so I am "assuming" Claire and Sean got theirs, too. If not.....Merry Christmas guys....I hope you receive yours soon! ;)

1 comment:

Claire said...

Haven't received the packaged just yet (hopefully will tonight) but am looking forward to it! Love the color!

Thanks Dad :)