Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Stoles, Part II: Winding and Threading

H'lo folks! Just a super quickie to apologize for being totally unblogtastic the past few days and to update you on stole progress:

After deciding pretty much what the stole was going to look like, I went ahead and ordered the yarn for it. Although the rough draft at the time had one shade of gold and one shade of natural, I actually ordered two of each: a true gold and a brighter yellow, and a true white and a slightly darker nearly-white. My thought was that I'd use one shade of each in the warp and weave with the other two so that, where white crosses white and gold crosses gold, the diamonds would still appear. They'd be subtle, I hoped, but they'd be there.

The yarns arrived last week and I was really pleased with the gold colour and both shades of white, but the second yellow, the brighter yellow, seemed Awfully, Awfully Bright. Still, I took their pics and sampled the colours in Photoshop like I described doing for the blanket and played around with it. If you stare hard enough at the draft, you might be able to see that there's a slight two-tone thing going on in the white on white bits:

The brighter yellow, though, looked awful in Fiberworks. There's a chance that it might look just fine in the cloth so I'll be sure to sample a little of it at the start of the warp, but my plan at this point is to just use the one shade of gold.

The other decision I made was to weave the fabric double wide and half as long. That is, I'd weave both sides of the stole at the same time to cut down on the amount of weaving required and to ensure that the stripes matched exactly on both sides. This means having to cut the fabric up the middle and sew a lining onto the back of the stole but I had planned to line it anyway to give it some heft and stability. Plus, I'm going to sew the mitered corner at the back of the neck, so there was going to be sewing and construction involved in any case. And finally, I enjoy setting up the loom every bit as much as weaving (more, if truth be told), so winding and threading twice as many threads and then weaving 3 yards on a much easier to weave 15" wide warp sounded a lot better to me than weaving 6 yards on a skinny little warp and fussing about matching stripes.

It took a while to wind the warp since I had to do it one thread at a time rather than many-at-once like I usually do but it only took a heartbeat to wind it onto the loom. I have to say, this tencel is pretty stuff! Look at it being all shimmery and waterfally in the raddle:

Ron helped me wind on last Friday and I really hoped to get it threaded over the weekend but I had so much else to do that I didn't start threading until yesterday. It was slow going owing to other irons in the fire; it took two episodes of WeaveCast and staying up until 1:00 but I got it threaded and sleyed last night:

Today all I've managed to do so far is to tie onto the front rod.

It didn't occur to me to change my tie up before I tied on so that's the next job - which I now get to do while crouching down under the cords that connect the rod to the beam. Yay. :P

So.... will I get the stole woven before leaving for Halifax tomorrow as I'd hoped? Doubtful, considering everything else I have to do. Am I going to try? ... ... ... Maybe?

One last note: since I'll be away on Thursday and Friday, I'm going to post this week's Guest Scarfa tomorrow. Which is perfect, because this post is so long and so amazing that it definitely merits at least two full days for you to digest. Linda Hurt teaches a Basic Weaving Class at The Art League in Alexandria, VA and, when she got wind of my request for guest scarves, she actually offered up an entire class worth of them! Be sure to come back tomorrow to check them out - Linda is clearly as great a teacher as she is a guest scarfer, 'cause all the students' scarves are just beautiful.

As for me, I'll see you on Monday!

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