Thursday, March 14, 2013

First Blooming Leaf

 I've just cut off the first Blooming Leaf scarf!  I wanted to look at it overall, because my initial feeling was that it was too busy, and because I don't have anything large enough to space the fringes well.  I like it!  What do you think?  I still think it's a bit busy, and I sure hope it softens up a bit.  It's very stiff.  I will twist the fringes and give it a bath and then put it away from my furry friends to keep it pristine.  I'd like it to be one of my pieces when I try to jury into the Appalachian Art-Craft Center.  Here's hoping!
And because I think the first version was too busy, I've chosen similarly toned rayon and chenille for the next version.  I'm going to use the chenille for the leaf at each end, then use two strands of the rayon for the center, using the center repeats from Lee's Surrender.  That way, the wearer will see the leaf at the ends, with the center repeats wrapped around their neck.  I vetoed the variegated green because I'm not sure I like the texture of the two strands of carpet warp in the first version, and I thought the green-blue-yellow too loud for the black chenille warp.  I think this next color way will be more unisex.  Now, I can day dream about the third color way while I weave!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LouElla Gets Dressed

Yesterday I posted on Loomy Tunes that I was threading LouElla, the tapestry loom.  This morning, I sleyed the reed, which is so much easier than sleying a floor loom's reed!  It's just a stand-up job, right at eye level, so enjoyable!
  What to weave next was not so easy.  I had to think about it for a while.  I busted out my new watercolors and a photo I found in Garden Design magazine of a field of poppies and got to work.  I love watercolors!  I'm not very good yet, but I do so love the way the color moves and mixes!  I had to keep Leo from drinking the water as I worked, but I had a good time.
  As I looked at the finished picture, I realized I was going to have to weave it rotated 90 degrees, because of all the flower stems.  I put the painting on a music stand next to the loom, then finished tying the warp onto the cloth beam.
  The tension seems to be holding fine, and I won't need to advance for a little while, so I can do without the part Allan is making to replace a broken part that is on the brake.  I am making a lot of this warping process up as I go along, because the only information I could find on warping a tapestry loom on line is for the Mirrex looms, or for Archie Brennan's copper pipe looms.  I see some looms that look like mine, but not enough similar to be able to copy the process.  So, I warped it like a floor loom, including spacing the warp threads with fat scraps. I used fleece strips left over from the last shag rug, and it seemed to work fine.  I finished the edge with some embroidery floss, just as Tommye McClure Scanlin taught us in that tapestry class in October.
first line
  Pause.
  Uncertainty.
  Wind bobbins.
  Wonder if I have enough colors.
I want a "frame" around the finished picture, so I started easy, with some gray.  I wove a few lines of the gray, started up the sides with some more, then plunged in with color.  I feel as though I've forgotten everything I learned, and then, bit by bit, it comes back.  I'm so worried about making a mistake that my neck and shoulders are really tense.  I've decided to stop for the day and think about it some more.

Where I stopped for the day

I've made a nice cup of tea and might sit down to knit for a while, but earlier, when I took another break from the tapestry, I wound a black chenille warp for Jenny, naked loom that she is.  I made it 120 threads, about 10 inches wide, and ten yards, so I should be able to get three long scarves out of it.  I'm thinking overshot, each scarf a different colorway.  What about this dyed carpet warp for weft?  Kind of cheerful, no? And I have a green-blue colorway that'll look good, too.  And then, maybe all those bobbins of bubble gum-mint left over from the green and purple chenille scarves.  Oh, the fun we'll have!