Radio silence this week, for which I apologize, but it’s been a busy time with the teaching business! The Stash Busting Scarf Weave-Along has started, and with nearly 4,600 students both Janet and I have been hopping to keep up. I have had neither time nor brain to do any design work.
Nonetheless, progress has been inching along on the less brain-intensive stuff, and things are going well on the loom prep. Last week I switched from tying on 2,640 threads on Maryam to beaming on and threading 1,760 heddles on Amazing Grace. It went amazingly well!
Here’s a pic of the beaming process. I’m weaving three sets of samples, side by side, with different colors in each sample. Each sample is double density, enough yarn to weave two layers of cloth, because I want to weave stripes in two colors. The idea is you lift threads of certain colors to form the stripes in the top layer and then the remaining threads form the warp for the bottom layer. (If that makes no sense, don’t worry; it will become more obvious how this works once I start weaving and can demo it.)
As a result, there are six bouts, two for each sample, going onto the loom at once:
You may be wondering about the white spots in the warp. That’s where I tied off the warps when I wound them, to mark the color changes and also to prevent the dyes from running into each other at the color changes. The idea was to sync up the color changes so that they would line up perfectly. You can see the lined-up color changes and the ties in this photo of the dyed warp:
You can see the tied-off sections in the foreground, just as the warps change color, and how the color changes line up at the ties.
Now, getting the color changes to sync up precisely is tricky. And getting the color changes to sync up precisely after beaming on 14 yards of warp is even more tricky. Which is why I was so pleased to see this at the end of beaming on said 14 yards of warp:
As you can see, the color changes are synchronized to within about 4” of each other. With four bouts, over a 14-yard warp, that’s pretty darn good! Of course I hope to do as well or better next time – I already have some ideas on how to improve. But this is very good, and since every color is about 1.5 yards in length this gives me plenty of “good” area to weave on.
You might wonder what I’m planning to weave on this. The answer is “color gradient samples”. These will be examples of color gradient striping, in every combination of weave structure, color combination, and warp and weft color gradient I could think of. Here is a simple example showing two possibilities in plain weave:
There are lots more possibilities, of course. I plan to spend 14.5 yards exploring them.
First, though, I have to get the loom threaded. After a week’s work, I’m about halfway done (astonishingly fast progress, honest!):
I’m almost done with the first half. Alas, half the heddles are still en route to me. Through a series of tedious delays (mostly DHL’s fault – NEVER ship with DHL if you can avoid it, it’s been a nightmare!), my heddle kits are nearly two weeks late in arriving even though it’s an express international package. But unless DHL finds another creative way to delay my package, it should arrive on Monday or Tuesday, and I can resume threading then.
Until then, I can work on tying on Maryam’s warp. 31.2% done. Not that anyone is counting! 😉
Fortunately I have gorgeous flowers to comfort me. Others may still be stuck in snow, but it’s late spring in Northern California!
Soon we will be on to early summer; in another two weeks or so, the first apricots and peaches will be coming to the farmer’s market. I can hardly wait.