Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weaver's Poker - Beryl's Hand

It seems like a very long time ago that we all got together and pulled our poker hand from a series of 5 bags (structure, yarn, design element, color and color relationship) We were allowed to discard one card which left us with four items to incorporate in a woven piece.

Initially, my hand looked pretty workable. 
Structure - gamp
Yarn - silk
Design Element - To look ancient or faded (discarded)
Color - green
Color Relationship - Triad Complement (in my case purple and orange to go with the given color of green)

As the months went by, however, I struggled with a couple of the items.  Silk and "to look ancient or faded"  I really didn't want to use silk and then deliberately fade it with a chemical of some sort.  And then, there was the question of not wanting to buy any more yarns for this project - so I added the constraint of using what was currently in my stash. 

I toyed back and forth between using cotton and fading it with a discharge or dipping into my silk stash which I'm rather picky about saving for something special.  Finally, when rummaging around in my silk box, I found several cones of some rough silk that I had purchased from Robin and Russ, many years ago.  Frankly, it didn't look or feel much like silk.  I had a cone each of a brownish purple, teal and a burnt orange .  I needed green, so I wound off a good amount of the teal and overdyed it with yellow.  The  resulting green was a good solid bright color.  The purple was kind of ucky, so I overdyed that as well and used all that was on the cone. 

The next step was to create a gamp design.  I wanted to make this a useable piece, so I put together an eight shaft point and advancing twill threading and then mirrored it.  I played around with some tie ups and found one that showed off the design well and went with it. 

This is one half of the warp.  To use this design, mirror the threading for the other half of the warp.
Next step was to get yards per pound of my silk yarns to see what kind of a warp I could put together.  I decided on the green and the purple in the warp and the orange for the weft.  I tried looking at a design with stripes in the warp since I had less purple than green.  Finally, I decided to make a green border and then alternate the purple and green through the center of the piece.  When I wound the warp, I had to use one extra green thread on the border because I ran out of purple yarn.  The green and purple turned out to be very close in value and almost make another color when warped next to one another.

The warping and weaving was fairly straight forward, although keeping track of  first the threading and then the treadling required concentration.  After I had done one repeat of the pattern, I thought  that if I changed the tie up it would make it more gamp-like.  So I used a total of three tie ups in the piece.  And, no, I didn't use a dobby.  I got under the loom and changed the tie ups!  Each of the tie ups shows off the two color warp differently - a great learning experience in itself.

When I wet finished the runner, I used fairly warm water and soap to remove any of the lingering sericin in the silk.  It was rinsed with a squirt of white vinegar to restore the pH to the fiber.  I was being careful when I pressed it, but then found if I ironed with a little pressure, the silk became lustrous and softened nicely.

It was really a fun learning experience and a great one to do in weaving groups. 


Tisserande said...

this is lovely Beryl - would you have any objection to my using your draft, giving you credit of course - no offence if you would prefer not to. love how this has turned out, and you have achieved a sort of faded look very well.

Beryl Moody said...

No problem at all, Gill. I can send you a wif file if you like.

Karen Barbera said...

Lovely! Really very stunning.

Ingrid said...

This turned out great Beryl! Thanks also for posting this one...

Meg Weaves said...

Interesting experiment and a great success.