Friday, March 20, 2009

Random tencel - Yum! [Guest Scarf 3]

Isn't that gorgeous!? It's just one of the beeeeooootiful tencel scarves that Beth Mullins, winner of my scarf kit giveaway, wove on the warp she's going to share with us today. Absolutely stunning. As you'll see, Beth uses a method very much like the one I use for multi-coloured warps, but she's doing it in fine tencel threads and a really pretty twill rather than chunky cotton and nearly plain weave like lazy ol' me. Not to mention the lovely twisted fringe - clearly, some extra effort really pays off! And don't you just love the sheen that tencel has? Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

I must say, I'm also really impressed with her finished product photography! I've been pretty happy with my close up macro shots of my fabric lately but I'm still really struggling with how to get pics of an entire scarf (never mind blankets - ooph!) that look decent. Needless to say, I'll be picking apart Beth's photos for some ideas on that score as well.

I asked Beth to send me a bit of a bio to include with her post - not only did she do that, she also included a pic of herself at the loom! :) I'm going to try something clever here and get the text to wind up beside the picture... on my [wide]screen it looks okay - hopefully it won't be all weird on everyone else's.

"Being creative is my passion. It all started when I learned to sew clothes for my dolls at age 6 in my family home on Frederick Avenue, and has snowballed ever since. I enjoy keeping my hands and mind moving, challenging myself with new ideas. I was introduced to weaving in 1978 as a freshman attending Ferrum College. It was love at first try. After my sophomore year, I transferred to James Madison University where I continued my love of fiber taking as many weaving classes as I could squeeze into my schedule. Now I weave whenever I can. I have a true obsession with yarn. I am constantly trying new things, learning from every project. Seeing my works come to life brings me excitement. Sharing my pieces with others brings satisfaction."

There she is! It's so great to have a face to put to the name and "voice" I've gotten to know through our correspondence about these scarves, the scarf kit, and these days even a little bit of long distance tour guiding around Cape Breton. :) 'Course, now I want to know what that green warp is all about, too...

And now, without further ado, Beth's guest scarf post:

Beth writes:

"I decided that I wanted to try my hand with tencel for the first time. I've worked with rayon in the past and since other weavers had told me that they were similar, I decided to take the plunge. At first I worked up a sample of the 8/2 tencel using a sett of 24 epi. It looked a bit loosely woven on the loom so I contacted another weaver. She suggested I try 28 epi and boy, what a difference 4 little epi can make! After that issue was solved I dove right on in. Using a "method" I had tried in the past using Jaggerspun Zephyr and rayon yarns, mixing lots of colors and being pleased with the outcome, I decided to do the same with the tencel.

I grabbed 6 colors of 8/2 tencel that blended, still with nice contrast, from my stash. I warped all 6 ends together. This picture shows the warp chain placed within the lease sticks, ready to be threaded through the reed. I warp front to back. The back of my Macomber drops to the floor making FTB threading a cinch. Oh, I made the warp long enough for two scarves 72" long after washing. Width in the reed was 8".

All threaded through the reed. No problems....

No problems until I started winding on the warp. Seems that winding off all 6 colors together on the warping frame then pulling them through the reed has created some twisting. Nothing that a little TLC, finger combing, and tugging didn't cure.

All tied on and ready to roll. I did hemstitch at the beginning but forgot to take a picture.

Here's the first scarf well under way. I used black for the weft in this one. It really makes the colors POP!

Hemstitching the end of scarf #1.

Finished product using black for the weft.

Scarf #2 all done. A straw color was used for the weft on this one. Both scarves were finished with twisted fringe. I neglected to take pictures while weaving this one 'cause I was weaving so furiously, trying to get it done in time to include in the opening of a show. Phew, I made it!

This was a great project. I love the random striping and use of so many colors. No wonder I'm attracted to Janet's works!


Beth (Roanoke, VA, USA)"

Incidentally, these two selfsame scarves can be found on Beth's etsy shop at along with lots of other lovely scarves, tea towels and more. They can also be found at the show Beth mentioned, which features the work of 14 local artists and runs until April 23 at Center in the Square in Roanoke, VA.

In related news, Beth also sent me this pic after I lamented about excess loom waste in my post about dressing the loom front to back, to show me how she ties onto the back rod without nearly as much waste:

I think it may even be from this same scarf warp. :) If I'm deciphering the picture right, it looks like she first ties an overhand knot near the end of each bout (which she says is one threading repeat) and then ties the whole bout around the rod in another overhand knot, so that when the rod knot tightens up, the bout knot forms a stopper that keeps it from pulling out when tension is applied. Pretty clever, eh wot?

And there you have it. Now I'm all inspired to use finer threads and a twill threading. Hope you are too!

See you Monday! :)


branch manager said...

Although I'm not a weaver, I am a lover of the finished product. These scarves are beautiful and even I can tell from the pics the drape must be soooo soft.

Emily said...

They Look great! I've actually been fortunate enough to feel some of her beautiful work (I'm her niece) and they feel just as great as they look (same goes for her towels)! Congrats to my Aunt Beth!

paul said...

Beth is as sweet as she is talented. Thanks for featuring her and her fine work!

Rita Herbst said...

Rita and Carl would like to add their appreciation of the work shown by Beth. We are proud to say that we are her parents. She has grown in her art and the finished products show her love of weaving.

Kathy Herbst said...

This scarf is beautiful in the photos, it must be gorgeous in person. Beth's creativity amazes me.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Gorgeous! And, like you, I have pulled out her photos to study them......(grin!) I think your having a guest blogger from time to time, who weaves scarves, is a grand idea.

jackie said...

Neat trick for tyeing on the back! I am currently weaving a set of scarves in the same method of warping a bundle of different yarns and separating them in the reed. And I too have been lamenting waste when I warp f2b

phford said...

Congrats to my extremely talented little sis :)

Sue said...

These are lovely scarves, beautifully woven. Wish I could see the structure better -- is it a diamond twill pattern?

I'm using 8/2 tencel in turned twill (block 3/1-1/3) on eight shafts right now, sett at 24 epi, the sett I've always used. It would be fun to compare the drape of our two scarves. A limitation of the internet!

Thanks for showing us a variety of work, Janet. Gives TGIF another meaning!

Love, Mom (Sue on Vashon)