Monday, April 27, 2015

Nevada County in Spring Scarf

In spite of the December deadline for the scarf challenge, weavers are already working on their projects. 
Diana wove her scarf for the challenge from yarn she got from Dee.  The warp yarns were 8/2 green rayon, 4 ply variegated rayon, 5/2 light green cotton and ribbon also in greens.  The warp was sett as follows:  8/2 rayon – 18 epi; 4 ply rayon – 12 epi; 5/2 cotton & ribbon – 12 epi.  The warp was threaded in a straight draw on 4 shafts.
The weft yarns were the 8/2 green rayon alternating with a 10/2 pale green cotton for the majority of the scarf, woven in plain weave.  Diana used orange, white, fuchsia, blue and purple similar weight yarns for the accent areas of the weft. The accent weft patterns were mostly twills found in Anne Dixon’s book:  The Handweaver's Pattern Directory.
Diana used a weighted “false temple” for the first time when weaving this scarf.  This involves using clamps at either side of the woven fabric, near the fell line.  String or twine is attached to each clamp and these are weighted.  The idea is to help keep the project from pulling in too much while not having to use a traditional temple, which tends to stab the weaver.

Diana plans to enter this lovely scarf in the Nevada County Inspired category at the Nevada County Fair this summer. 



For Dee, with all our love.

 When our group learned that our cherished friend and fellow weaver Dee was seriously ill, we pondered just how we could let her know, within a short time frame, how much we loved and cared about her.  At our Tuesday meeting, we came up with a plan to make a lap robe with squares of handwoven cloth from as many of our members as possible.  The handwoven pieces were all delivered to Marjorie (our quilter) by Friday noon.  On Sunday, this lap robe was complete and today (Monday) was delivered to Dee.  Marjorie tells us that Dee was delighted and was in fine spirits with many an anecdote to tell her visitors.   Later in the day, she plans to knit socks on No. 2 needles!
Weavers names top row starting at the left side.  Marcy, Sue H., Beryl, Betsy.  Middle row Wendy-Marie, Igor, Mardi, Jackie Bottom row Ingrid, Diana, Marjorie, Eileen.

Many of the pieces came from tea towel warps.  Here are a few comments about the squares  and quilting process from the various weavers.
Ingrid The sample is the end of the warp of the set of towels that were woven as the last of the original calendar inspired towels. The picture was of yellow lady slippers against a bright green leafy background.     It was woven with 10/2 perle cotton sett at 24 epi.  The threading was an 8 point twill and woven with a 3-2-1-1-1 8-shaft twill pattern
Wendy-Marie  a twill made of cotton (5/2, I think), when I was studying at Ruthie’s in Portland, OR. At the time, I was just experimenting with stripes. For Dee, I picked the zippiest part of the cloth, the part that was most lively and interesting — like Dee.

Beryl  This was the end piece from a towel warp where I do my experimenting.  I have always liked the colors in this piece  but there was not enough to make anything  until now, when it  has found its perfect home.

Igor  I wove this some time ago when I was experimenting with ikat dyeing in the warp and weft.  The cloth is rayon/silk and the ikat dye was local Black Walnut.

Marjorie    inside each square is same design - hearts and squiggly circles (better seen from back). the inside sashing is a combination of leaves, squiggly circles, and hearts; the outer border is leaves. there is a label on the back that simply says: Dee, April 2015, Not 2 Square Weavers.  

now, if you find that you want to do another in the future . . . i cut the squares 10" x 10". the sashing and the outer border were both 3". the finished lap throw is 36.5" x 48.5". washed and dryed it is not as pliable as i expected so i am really glad i used flannel on the back to give it the softness we wanted. at the same time, i like "weight" when i grab a quilt or a blanket (often use several to get desired effect) so i think we are good all the way around.

Detail of the quilting on the back of the lap robe

Detail of the quilting on the borders

Monday, March 23, 2015

Scarf Challenge 2015

In February, seven of the Not 2 Squares took on this year's challenge.  The participants brought some yarn that could be used for a scarf in a paper bag.  Then bags were chosen.  The object is to use the "gifted" yarn in a scarf.  It can be as much or as little as the weaver wants. 

Beryl was the first one to complete the assignment. 

Her yarn, from Marcy, was hand painted wool in shades of dark green to almost black.  Since the skeins were different, Beryl used one strand of each skein for her warp.  She paired this with a fine mercerized cotton that she got at a weaver's estate sale.  Beryl says that actual cone looked as though it might have been 20 or 30 years old when she bought it - and she's aged it another 20 years.  She painted some of the yarn in blues and greens quite a while ago, and when looking for a fine yarn to use, this seemed a good fit. 
The fine yarns had to be tensioned separately from the wool.   To do this Beryl used an empty paper towel roll to separate them and weighted it with fishing weights.

Beryl used Fiberworks PCW to create this 4-shaft Basketweave drawdown since she liked the feature of thick and thin threads.  She felt it gives a better idea about what the fabric is going to look like.
The scarf looks great, the thick and thin yarns giving this fairly simple draft some interest.

This and the other scarves to be woven for this challenge are slated to go to the local foster children's holiday gift program. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Handwoven cloths to dry your salad greens!

What does a weaver do when she runs out of drying cloths for her salad greens?  Warp up her loom with 16/2 cotton (from a couple of over-sized 2.5 # cones)  and experiment with lace weaves.

Jackie has a lot of skill in designing lace, so in the planning stages for designs for salad green cloths, she devised several variations that could be woven on the same warp.  She was undecided about the sett, but finally settled on 26 epi for these regal additions to her kitchen!  Some of the cloths are a bit crisp and we wondered if one of her cones had some linen in it.  Might make the cloth just a bit more thirsty.

Jackie isn't the only crazy weaver in our group.  Recently Dee's granddaughter told her that she never uses paper towels to mop up messes - always rags which she washes and reuses.  Dee's gift to her granddaughter was a collection of handwoven rags.  Overcast edges rather than hems, but still! 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Kimono top and a special baby blanket

 Wendy-Marie has been yearning to weave and sew a kimono top.  She found a plan for the design in an older Handwoven (Nov. Dec 1991 page 42).    Wendy-Marie decided on brown and purple plain weave for the body of the kimono and then added stripes to her warp for the band decoration around neckline, down the front opening and along the bottom of the jacket.  By weaving the trim along with her garment fabric it matched the weight of her kimono -  ingenious!  She also used color stripes along the selvedge edges to guide her when she was sewing the kimono together.  The finished garment is pretty special and looks great on Wendy-Marie's small frame.

Margie made baby blankets that were about 5 years overdue.  (Baby has grown considerably).They are woven with a white cotton warp in plain weave.  The special touch was Henry's Attic Pigtail yarn, which when washed blooms into soft splendor.  Unfortunately, Henry's Attic tells us that this yarn is no longer available.  Margie has her stash, though and will be making more for future great grandchildren.  Henry's Attic suggests bonded cotton chenille for a similar effect.
blanket before washing
blanket after washing

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Towel Exchange

We had a tea towel exchange at the December meeting.  Members that wanted to participate brought a selection of their handwoven towels and  came home with the same number from friend's looms.  It's a wonderful way to remember good weaving friends when you use their towels, year after year.

This year it seemed that lots of people had twill blocks in mind but you can see that there was a great variety in the twill block interpretation.    Hard to choose when it came time for picking!

Dee's twill blocks in shades of green purple and coral

Ingrid's color and texture towels on the left  - and Beryl's twill blocks on the right

Jackie's twill block towels

Betsy sold most of her towels at craft sales, but brought  this violet/blue and coral towel
Mardi had a variety - waffle weave, color gamps
and a sweet baby blue towel
Margie did borders on most of her towels.  The wefts were a variety of cottons and cotton/linen.

Marcy's plaids and stripes

Wendy-Marie's elaborate twill block towels

Handwoven towels.  What a wonderful way to start the holidays. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

September Meeting Part III

Mardi has been experimenting with waffle weave and towels.  She bought a towel kit from Halcyon Yarns that included 8/2 yarn for 4-shaft waffle weave towels. 

Two waffle weave towels

Three towels and small sample of weft

She wasn't wild about the colors but has enjoyed experimenting.

Dee brought in several scarves she wove in the month preceding the meeting.  Not all of the pictures turned out, so here is a sampling:

The warp for several of the scarves were dyed on Dye day that the guild sponsors.

Dee also brought in some towels she wove with 8/2 cotton and carpet warp.

Dee brought a finished bag.  It is made with cottolin and cotton yarns.  The border is sari silk.

These photos weren't the best and the background of carpet didn't really help to do justice to these nice pieces.  Hopefully our regular reporter will be back at October's meeting.

Friday, October 10, 2014

September Meeting Part II - Towels

Here's more from our meeting last month.  Jackie decided to weave some towels since she hasn't woven any in a while.  She used 10/2 cotton sett at 24 epi to create a ton of towels using a classic two block twill from Carol Strickler's 8-shaft book.

She was able to get a broad variation in these towels by using different weft colors and varying the vertical size of the blocks. 

Jackie also shared a scarf she wove with cotton, silk and rayon yarns with random colors across the warp.  It was woven in plain weave. 

Wendy-Marie shared her 4-shaft herringbone towels.  These were woven mostly with 8/2 cotton and cottolin. 

These are in beautiful colors and each towel looks really different.  Here's some detailed pictures:

All of these towels would be a great addition to anyone's home.  Nice work!