Sunday, April 26, 2009

New idea

The warp is finished and I now have a better idea of how I want to weave the actual scarf.

This afternoon I took some photos of the warp that was left over, together with flowers in the garden as there are so many in bloom at the moment with just the right colour. I could not resist doing this.

Regarding the weaving, first I was so keen on trying to get the pleats that I tried all sort of yarns but I kept to the weft sequence of weaving.

In my last swatch I let go of this idea and added to the tie-up so that I could weave blocks and that is the answer. No double weaving this time but playing with the colours like I have done in this last swatch. Not sure yet how much colour change there will be in the weft, I will just play along when I start weaving the actual scarf. I had also changed part of the sett from 12 to 16 threads per cm but I like the 12 best but will use the 16 for the edges. So, all in all this warp has been a good learning curve for me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weaving not going to plan

My warp is on the loom but the weaving is not what I had in mind. Clearly, what I intended weaving is not done with the yarn I'm using. If I want the pleats I think I need to use a different warp yarn. I'm using fine cotton Nm34/2 (or Ne20/2) yarn, I probably should have used a thicker woollen yarn to create the pleats. I've tried various weft yarns (wool and cotton in different thickness's and cottolin even sewing thread), with no difference in effect. So far I have cut my sampling 3 times now to see how my weaving looks of the loom and wet finishing them and than trying out different weft yarns.

I've changed the sett to see if that will make a difference at all.
Before I know it my warp will be finished as I only made a 2,5 meter warp to make the scarf.
This warp will now just be samples and I will probably choose a different technique for my gift scarf as this is the yarn I have for the warp, with the weft I could play with some different yarns like I'm trying out at the moment or stick with the same as the warp. May be I'll go back to my the double weaving idea that I intended to do after I finished the double weave course.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Purple scarf

I have promised a friend last December to make her a scarf and she is still waiting!
She chose 5 colours from the Venne cotton yarns herself. I ordered the yarns and they have been sitting in a basket waiting patiently to be warped for some time now. I was not sure if I was to make a double weave scarf or not. But I have finely decided to make a kind of pleated scarf as it is a fine yarn and I do not want to spend a long time weaving this scarf as she has been waiting so long already!

So here is my plan.
I found the idea for the scarf in this book and made my own interpretation as I'm using the same thickness yarn and not a thick&thin yarn. For the weft I chose a woollen yarn in one of the warp colours. (in about the same thickness as the warp yarn)
The warp is now made and ready to be put on the loom. A nice weekend job to get the loom ready for weaving. Although the weather keeps being nice and sunny in our part of Holland so I have been out in the garden during the daytime today and hopefully again tomorrow and the loom might have to wait until evening time :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Online workshops

For a number of years the Association of Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers has been running residential spring workshop's but this year they are doing a trial run doing the workshops online. Obviously unlimited people can take part here.

So, if you are not a member of the Online Guild and ever wondered how on earth they can run a workshop online, now is a chance to find out for yourself. The workshops offered are starting today and run until the end of the month.
The running of the workshops is slightly different from the OLG as this is a Yahoo Group and as such communicate with each other. For this week there are 3 Blogs running, a weaving blog, a spinning blog and a dyeing blog. This way everyone can chip in with their questions and there will be 3 Galleries showing your pictures.

Happy Weaving (Peruvian Pickup), Spinning (Designer Yarn), Dyeing (Gutter Dyeing)! But watch it, these workshops can become addictive :-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

More cochineal

Sunshine today and temperature up to 20C, that is more like it! Trees are becoming green again with the leaves opening up. I love Springtime.

My next cochineal dyeing session this week went very well. Most of the colour was taken up in the 1st dye bath, a really nice red. I did dye some more in a 2nd bath, the colour I got was pink.

After that I did some modifying with copper water, iron water, lemon juice and an ammoniac rinse. This time the differences are more clear to see. I'm really happy with the total result of this dyeing session. The yarns I dyed are all different sizes and they have taken the dye slightly different.

Here my picture of the cochineal on white yarn.
9 = 1st dye bath no modifying
8 = 1st dye bath + copper water
7 = 1st dye bath + iron water
6 = 1st dye bath with ammoniac rinse
5 = 1st dye bath with lemon juice
4 = 2nd dye bath no modifying
3 = 2nd dye bath + copper water
2 = 2nd dye bath + iron water
1 = 2nd dye bath with lemon juice

On the right are all the dyed yarns (grey and white) together in one picture. I find it hard to get a true coloured photo but here you can see what a variety of colour I have ended up with.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cochineal dyeing photos

I've dyed my grey wool yarns for the OLG workshop and I'm pleased with the results though I would have thought that I would have ended up with more variations in the colour.
Here are the cochineal bugs that I grounded in an old coffee grinder that I keep specially for this.
I forgot to make a picture of the grounded bugs, when you see a lovely red colour coming out.

I can show a picture of the grounded bugs in the water ready to go into the dye pan. Here you can see colour!

The yarn that I have dyed is this on the left. The yarn in the top of the photo is on the cone as I bought it and below a skein of the cleaned yarn, a big difference to be seen. The water from just wetting the yarn was very dirty. Only after cleaning (heating in soapy water) and rinsing did the water become clean.

Next, I put my soaked grounded bugs in the pan and I added 6 skeins of yarn and started heating slowly and left it for more than an hour heating on low heat but it must have been near boiling point. I left it overnight to cool and took the skeins out next morning and heating up the water slowly again with another 3 skeins and left this for the rest of the day. Took the skeins out when it was cooled and added another 2 skeins and let this heat for another hours. I now had 3 batches ending up with 3 variations of colour looking like this on the right. As I only had 2 skeins from the 3rd bath I divided one of these skeins in 3 so that I could do some more experimenting.
I took a skein of each batch and put them into part of the dye mixture where I had added some copper water (you make this with water+vinegar+copper piping and leave to rest for a while), next I added a skein of each batch into part of the dye mixture with added iron water (water+vinegar+rusty nails and leave to rest for a while) and the last was dye mixture with fresh lemon juice and a skein of the 1st and 3rd batch added. I might have used to little of the copper and iron water (or my water had been standing idle for to long, I've had it for ages, not sure how long this keeps, I presumed indefinitely). The difference is so minute that you hardly notice.

Here are the photos of all the different colour variations, as you can see very subtle differences.

It is very difficult to get the exact colours to show up in the photos.

The photo with the 3 different bath's is probably the best, colour wise. It is great fun to do this dyeing and at the end I hope to have a big selection of red yarns for weaving.

Next job is to dye my white yarns in cochineal, the dye mixture is already waiting, just a matter of having enough time to do the different experiments and I'm hoping for more spectacular differences this time.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Dyeing with cochineal

I've been busy preparing myself for the April OLG workshop given by Debbie Bamford. Roots, woods and bugs: working with red dyes.
I've been making lots of small skeins in the last few weeks so that I can do different experiments with the red dyes. Yesterday part of the skeins were cleaned and mordanted.
At the moment my first colour is on the stove: cochineal.
I have to wait until the dye is cooled down so that I can add the skeins to the dye bath. I'm doing 2 dye baths as I have grey Shetland wool and white wool to dye. When I cleaned the grey, the water stayed very dirty (and that was only soaking in water stage) but I did get clearer rinsing water after I had cleaned the yarn with soapy water. I opted for separate dye baths as I do not want to risk that the grey will affect the white wool. Later tonight, the grey wool will go in and I will do the dye bath for the white wool tomorrow. I will post some photos when I have my first results.