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Weaving project started.

So, I’m off!
This morning I began weaving the first of the two (maybe three) rugs that I’ve set my loom up for. Have a quick look at this very beginning:
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At the bottom you see the hem. This is to be folded and sewed – no fringe for any rugs in my house, because the vacuum cleaner robot chokes on it..!
On top of that is the rosepath patterned rug fabric. For the tabby ground weave I use a beautiful 2-ply yarn of gotland sheep wool. Dark bordeaux. I use 4 strands as one. Actually I have plyed and then cabled the yarns to make it easier to get an even tabby-weave.
The pattern yarns, on the other hand, are just laying side by side. There are 8 strands of yarn held together, all different qualities and fibers. Only “rule” is that the yarns for the pattern weave has to be white, natural, tan og grey.

There are many many pattern possibilities with rosepath, but this first rug is just gong to have this diamond pattern, all over. For the next one I might get a little more adventurous and play with the threadling sequence.. 🙂

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Now: The Loom

I want to weave. Now.

It’s been much too long since I’ve done that, and my beautiful Finlandia Loom has been standing naked in my studio for more than 1 year. The latest items I wove on the Finlandia were two twill shawls. These beauties. Back in August ’12!
Yesterday I suddenly decided that it was time to dress the loom. I made a warp of cotton carpet yarn, for rugs.
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I am going for a weave structure called Swedish Rosepath. It is woven on 4-shafts and ties up into a ground tabby and the rosepath pattern. 6 treadles. I have an idea of using grey wool yarn as the ground weft and several strands of left-over yarns for the pattern. Hope it will work out the way I envision it!
I really have enormous amounts of left-over yarns, whish makes this project look very usefull and practical – at least in my head. I can’t wait to weave a sample, so I better get going.. The loom is warped but I still have a lot of setting-up to do before I’m ready to go.

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Off the loom!

I have recently cut down my two twill shawls from the loom. They are now fringe-twisted, washed and ironed – and ready to leave home.. 🙂

The first one is merino/silk yarn in both warp and weft. It is 170 cms long and 56 cms wide. Plus fringes, which are about 15 cms. Soft, shiny, with a nice heavy drape.
Number two has the same warp, obviously, but then I used handspun alpaca/silk in one of the club colourways, “July”, as weft yarn. It is variegated and adds lots of life to the shawl:

It is extremely soft and luxourious. Dimensions: 56 cm x 180 cms, plus the fringe.

The handspun shawl while it was still on the loom.

Both shawls are now in my webshop, together with lots and lots of fiber!

My loom is now standing naked, so I’m making plans for new weavings. With handspun.

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Dyeing, spinning, weaving

There’s a lot going on, but I haven’t been very good at blogging about it. Sorry about that. But I’m quite busy all the time, things take time and sometimes I just have to make priorities.
Today I sent out the club-fibers for July fiber-club. The colours are soft and sun-bleached and summer-like, so I just called the colorway “July”. Well, you know. It just came to me.. 😉
I don’t have any photoes of “July”-fibers yet, but actually you can see the colors in my waeving in the previous post. I have spun the July-colors (alpaca/silk) using my Bosworth spindle and the singles yarn is used as weft in my shawl. Still on the loom, but soon to be finished! (if I get the time..)

I have beeen doing a little bit of natural dyeing too. Inspired by an experiment from Jenny Deans book “Wild Colours” I dyed this bunch of very small skeins in one dye-pot, with Curled Dock (Rumex crispus). I had mordanted beforehand with different mordants and then I treated some of the skeins with different stuff after the dyeing. That way I got a lot (25) of different shades from just a single dyebath. I’m going to use these yarns in a fair isle project.

All the shades go so well together!

Last week I was at a tapestry class. Great fun! I learned a lot and really really want to get some work done on my big tapestry loom – but the time is not for that right now, sadly..

Also spinning a little bit. Not much, I mus admit. But in the latest issue of Spin-Off Magazine I read about a really cool technique: Ply-on-the-fly, using a spindle. i just had to try my hands at that method of spinning and navahoplying at the same time, and after a little fumbling and trial-and-error I finally got it. Here’s the Polwarth I spun and plied-on-the-fly:

I have made two of these balls. Still two to go..

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Fiber Club for June.

The fiber is ready. Packed and ready for sending off tomorrow. It’s still a little too early to show the June-colorway on the fibers, but I’ll show you my inspiration for this months colors:

A wonderful painting by a friend of mine, Karen Margrethe Jelonek. She is a very talented artist, and I was so fortunate to get this beauty in a trade for a piece of furniture.. Lucky me!
The colors of this flower painting are deep and rich. Reds, dark and strong and warm, deep dark blues and greens and browns. I just loved the painting the moment I saw it, and also knew right away that these hues just had to become a fiber-colorway..
I’ll show the actual June-fibers in a few days!
I just want to say that there are a few available slots in the Fiber Club , starting from June. So if you are very quick you can still join the fun for this month and the next two. See my Etsy-shop for details!

Other than dyeing fbers (and yesterday some yarn as well) I am been weaving these days. I’ve warped the loom with a merino/silk warp in three colors and threaded the shafts for a twill structure. It’s going to end up with two shawls. The first one is allready woven and still sits on the loom. Now I’m weaving the second one:

Using handdyed, handspun weft for this one. Alpaca and silk singles that I’m spinning (as I go along) on one of my favorite spindles, a Bosworth midi. It’s yummy stuff!

 

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Tapestry eye candy.

Today my good friend Elisabeth had asked me to meet her at a local art center, Silkeborg Bad Kunstcenter.

Elisabeth wanted to show me an exibition of wonderful woven tapestries by a group of European art tapestry weavers. The artists call themselves European Tapestry Forum (ETF) and the juried exibition is called ARTAPESTRY3.
And it was interesting stuff! As a wannebe-tapestry weaver I was mostly drawn to the technical aspects of the artworks, and not so much the artistic impression..
Elisabeth and I have both signed up for a two day workshop in tapestry weaving later this month, so todays expedition was kind of a study filed trip..
The colors, the size, the impact of all those very different weavings was overwhelming! I snapped some photos, of which very few were a decent quality.

I’ll just show a few, like this hanging, woven of fabric strips like our well-known, good old scrappy floormatts.
It was sooo hard not to touch the hangings, and so tempting to lift them out to inspect the backside.. We were of course thrilled when we came to a tapestry that stood out from the wall just enough for us to get a good look behind the surface:

As you can see, the back side of this very colorfull piece looks almost like rya. No weaving in ends here! Notice how Elisabeth holds tight to her hands.. We didn’t touch anything. And, because touching was not allowed (and this maybe is a bit nerdy) we simply used another one of our senses: we actually sniffed in the fabric with our noses in an attempt to find out if a certain part of a weaving was made out of silal of silk. Elisabeth even claimed that the colors had their own different smells, like in this piece woven with naturally dyed nettle yarns:

But mostly it was the use of many strands of yarn to create subtle color variations and a lively surface that was interesting to me. Like this:

Beautiful, isn’t it? I would love to be able to weave just remotely like this some day..

We also visited another exibition today in the same place. “Netmaskerne“, a group of Danish machine knitters opened their show fabolous, interesting and gorgeous dresses and robes, and of course we went to have a look.. 🙂

Beautiful stuff!!

Back home I immediately sat down to weave a bit on my pratice-tapestry:

I have to admit that I’m quite intimidated by all the colors I have to control to get the right look of the mushrooms. It’s not easy at all! But I guess I just need to remind myself that it is a practice piece, and that I’ll learn by doing (and hopefully learn a lot at the tapestry-class later this month..).

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Back in weaving-action!

It has been too long since I have woven. My new landlady here at my studio provided the motivation for getting the loom dressed up: she said that she could use a shawl or stole in soft hues of pink, green and tan, something that would go well with a summerly outfit.

That got me thinking, and last week I wound a warp for two shawls out of luxurious merino/silk yarns in 3 colors: light rose, beige/tan and sage green.

Dressing the loom with the warp took its time, but today I was finally ready to start weaving.
For the first shawl I have chosen the same yarn as the warp: a lovely 2-ply silk/merino yarn, soft and shiny and just a little fluffy..
The weave structure is a regular 2/2 twill on four shafts. Very classic and always suitable for shawls with its simplicity and wonderful drape.
I have woven about 40 cms of the first shawl today:

I have chosen an off-white weft yarn to tone down the colors even more.
For scarf no. 2 I have decided to use a handspun yarn with lots of colors, just to make a shawl that will very different from the first. That handspun weft-yarn is not yet spun, so I predict that it will take quite a while before I can cut the two shawls off the loom.