Thursday, April 12, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

While I mull over the designs for the wood series (which is up next), I've been weaving a totally different style of scarf. The warp came off the loom a couple of days ago, and I've been working on the finishing since then. Finishing can be as simple as laundering and pressing, or in the case of cloth like this, there are some other steps that guarantee that industry would never be interested in this design, because most of the steps are completely hand-done.

For these scarves, I'm working with two yarns that will shrink and one that won't. The shrinky yarn is two shades of teal Zephyr (wool/silk blend from Jaggerspun, which I found on eBay at a very good price) and the nonshrinky one is a mohair/wool blend from New Zealand, made by Touch Yarns. I picked up a 2-kilo cone of the Touch yarn when we visited NZ in 2001. When it's gone, it'll be time for another trip to the Antipodes!

The design is a block weave that forms layers - one for each color in the cloth. This is a true 6-selvedge cloth. Here are a couple of pictures. You'll notice that the front and back can be very different with this weave structure.

I love the organic shapes formed by the white mohair/wool yarn! As the two teal yarns shrink, the white yarn has to bend and twist to get out of the way.

I do the shrinking in the washing machine, using as many cycles as it takes to get the texture I want. After spinning out the excess water, I take the damp cloth to the ironing board, cover it with a pressing cloth, and basically iron it dry. The pressing cloth prevents the corners of the iron from catching on the floats, but it also means I have no control over what's going on under there - the bends and twists do whatever they want.


Beryl said...

These are really lovely. I'd love to get a close up touch and feel and surreptitious inspection of the structure!

Kaz [curiousweaver] said...

Such unusual and wonderful textiles. I assume that it is a type of triple weave? Wonderful.