Monday, October 19, 2009

Sheds, temples and water lilies

Just a quickie to show you guys some of my progress so far on Craft Market Countdown 2009. You may have spotted my tally in the top right corner; if so, you're probably fretting at the very small number of scarves I've finished so far - I know I am! Still, those are scarves that are Completely Done, tagged and everything, not any of the ones that are currently in progress, so things aren't quite so grim as they appear. Which is to say, I'm not yet in full blown panic mode - that's still a week or two away. I hope. Ahem.1

In addition to those three finished scaves (pics up soon, I promise!) I've actually got warps going on four different looms right now, with two wide scarves off and ready to be twisted and three others in varying stages of doneness. (Is that a word? My spell checker says no but I say yes. Take That, Mr. Spellchecker!) The warps are all totally and completely different but very pretty in their own ways. Here's the one I'm loving the most, in spite of the fact that it's totally unseasonal. It's on Joey right now but only for another hour or so until I get the last of three scarves finished:

The weird green thread on the left side is the guide string - I don't usually use one but did this time just for kicks.

That's the warp on the mill before I chained it off. The colours aren't so hot in this pic but you can see that they're soft, nearly-but-not-quite pastels. Or maybe they are pastels but they're more grey than the baby pink and blue and yellow that I associate with the word "pastel". To me this colourway looks like one of Monet's paintings. One of the Water Lilies, perhaps?

Here it is again, all chained up. This shows the colours much better:

I'm doing these scarves like the ones from Warp #9 and the magazine article: 4/8 cotton at 8 EPI, 15" in the reed and beat Very Gently Indeed. They usually come out around 11" wide after they're wet finished. I used the same stripe progression that I used for the grey scarf in the article rather than my usual random colours or reflected stripe - I'm quite taken with that and expect to be using it quite a lot in the weeks and months to come.

I started out using the same light green that's in the warp. I wasn't sure at first whether it worked but after the scarf was finished and off the loom I decided I quite liked it. The stripes are much more subtle than I'd anticipated but subtle is okay!

For the second scarf I used a soft grey with brownish undertones that sets off the warp stripes much more than the green did. I fell in love with that one from the get go but didn't take any pics of that one on the loom so you'll have to wait until it's wet finished to see how pretty it is. Ho hum.

For the third one I used a bluish green that's just a bit darker than one of the colours in the warp. At this point the grey's still my fave but I remain open to the possibility that this one might overtake it. I started working on it this morning when I found out today's cruise ship was canceled, and I'm heading downstairs inna bit to go finish it, then twist the fringes on all three and get them wet finished - am very excited to see what they look like all done!

I've got two rigid heddle looms on the go right now, too: my own little Knitter's Loom which is dressed with some bright scarves in purple, gold and navy, and a Flip that I borrowed from a friend which is wearing all bright purples and fuchsias. I'm really loving the fuchsia stripe action on the Flip and I think they'll be really popular what with how big purple is these days but the muted tones in the Water Lilies are my absolute faves for me personally. I wear those kinds of colours all the time. Will be hard to part with the scarves once they're done but then I can always make myself another. :)

Anyone following the hubbub over the use of temples on the Weaving List may be interested to know that, as you can see from the pic, I'm using one on these scarves. I didn't use one for the green scarf but put it on part way into the grey one (hopefully the funny little bump where it gets wider won't show up too much) and plan to use it for all other scarves I do of this type since it makes such a big difference. I generally use a temple on my wider scarves and shawls but not on my narrow scarves. Don't use one on placemats, sometimes do on blankets and sometimes don't. I have no hard and fast rules except to use one when it improves the cloth.

Incidentally, for narrow and lightweight fabrics I use Glimakra temples. I've tried the LeClerc temples and, although they're very similar in style to the Glimakra, I Do Not Like Them. I don't know whether it was the particular temple I was using at the time or something about the LeClerc design, but it prompted considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth that the Glimakra ones do not. The Glimakra ones are lighter with finer teeth and just generally more pleasant to look at and to touch. That counts for a lot in my book. For heavy, wider fabrics (read: blankets and rugs) I use metal Toika temples. They are The Business. Also, I like the bright cheery colours. I also like that they don't obscure as much of the fabric as the wider, wooden ones - that extra width bothered me a bit at first with the Glimakras but I've gotten over it now. :)

Speaking of seasonal colours, things are absolutely gorgeous around here right now. The colours are just a tad past their prime around my yard but still lovely, as you can see in this pic of our brand new shed, which has caused much rejoicing chez moi the past couple days:

Every fall I daydream about weaving something using the colours in the trees. Especially the hot pink and gold of the maples - such an unlikely combination but so beautiful! Throw in a bit of dark green from the evergreens and the grey of the tree trunks... oh man, now I want to go wind warps instead of weaving. Good job there's time for both!

The shed is big news 'cause it's finally going to relieve some of the pressure in the house space-wise, plus it's extra exciting for me 'cause it feels like Step One towards building my outside studio, which I think might become a reality next year or the year after. The link between the shed and the studio is more psychological than anything but I have walked around in there and tried to get a feel for the space, estimate how much more space I'd need for what I want in the studio, etc. etc. It just feels like Progress, and that's a really great thing.

1. I've also got a fair number of scarves at a couple of different shops that will close for the season by the end of the month and I'll be Very Surprised Indeed if I don't get several scarves back that haven't sold yet. Surprised, then thrilled and then really freakin' desperate 'cause I won't have diddly for the market. Gaahh!


Sue said...

Pretty colors -- both on your loom and in the trees! I'd like to see the RH work, too -- sound really bright and cheery!


Janet said...

Took pics of the KL+warp already and will take pics of the Flip+warp tomorrow if I can. It's down at the shop where the light is GRATE for pics and tmw should be sunny. Will be down there demonstrating for a bit after my TOUR OF THE SHIP & LUNCH WITH THE CAP'T. :D

branch manager said...


barbara said...

What ship are you touring tomorrow? Lunch with the Captain ..... how nice!!!! Like the shed out in your back yard ........ so to be a "stand alone studio" - something to look forward to. You are doing well getting ready for the Xmas Craft Fair - with everything else going on. Have fun!!!!! Weaverly yours ......... Barbara

Janet said...

Heh, every time someone else mentions my shed, I think they're talking about the shed on my loom, i.e. the space between lifted and lowered threads. I spend a moment or two feeling very confused and then remember just what shed I've been blathering on about of late. Hadn't realized the weaving/new building connection at first. Just like my favourite weaving sheds, My New Shed(tm) is very deep and fairly wide! :D

At any rate, isn't s...he(??) a beauty? Don't know yet if it's a boy or girl - I've never named a building before but this might call for breaking new ground in more ways than one.

Janet said...

@barbara: Am touring the Costa Atlantica, providing it doesn't cancel again. It was supposed to come on the 8th but canceled that day; weather's expected to be good tomorrow so I'm hopeful!

Since it missed the 8th, tomorrow will be its inaugural visit; they always take a handful of people from each port on a tour the first time it comes to town and a friend and I both get to go this time around. :D