Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some of My Favorite Bookmark Drafts

I promised two things recently: to report the success-or-failure of June Taylor Fray Block as an alternative to machine stitching to reinforce the fell line of the bookmarks, and to post some more of the bookmark drafts.

First, the Fray Block is far superior to the other so-called "fray stopper" products I've tried in the past. I applied as fine a line as possible on the ends of each bookmark, either while still on the loom (if I remembered in the pressure to finish up the warp before the show) or after the warp was cut off the loom. The stuff does indeed dry clear (although if you put too much on, you can see a slight blurry aftereffect) and is washable and ironable. Even though it sometimes seeped across onto the shots of waste yarn, that didn't prevent me from gently pulling those out. But the shots of pattern thread in plain weave stayed in place even while I removed the waste yarn. And once dry, the Fray Block didn't gunk up the iron when I hard-pressed the bookmarks. So, success!

As for my favorites among the bookmark drafts, here goes. To recap, the warp was 60/2 red silk sett at 60 epi, the wefts were a variety of 60/2 and 100/2 silk in whatever hand-dyed colors I had in my stash of left-overs. Teal, purple, gold, lavendar, grey, etc. The threading is seven repeats of straight draw on shafts 1-16, with doubled threads on shaft 18 on the right selvedge and shaft 17 on the left selvedge pegged to weave plain weave in a faux-floating-selvedge effect (using that shaft order at the selvedges - which maintains an odd-even alternation - ensured that I could weave true plain weave at the beginning and end of each bookmark).

This one looks like little diagonal braided cords.

This one makes vertical ropes that you'd swear were not straight vertical columns, but of course they are.

This one is really cute. Woven in very similar hues/values, the difference between warp-faced and weft-faced areas is subtle but effective.

This one, too, is really pretty in close hue and value, so that only the difference in luster between the warp-faced and weft-faced areas indicates the pattern.

Here, the little triangles of weft-faced and warp-faced areas just sparkle. I also liked that the diagonals are steep, not a 45-degree angle.

And since part of my mission with this warp was to learn more about rib weaves, I really fell for this pattern, which has a chain-link-fence grid in twill over a background of ribs.

And this draft, which is all rib weave, is my top pick among all the drafts I tried. I wove it with gold weft, which really contrasted strongly with the red warp, and loved the results.

Here's a close-up shot of the bookmark. In this shot, the warp runs horizontally, so you'll have to mentally rotate it to see the lines created by the ribs in the draft.

Next up, some hand-dyed velvet scarves in LWI technique to sell to two women who tried but failed to win the last one I brought to a pirate gift exchange at DH's woodturning club holiday party. Most of the gifts at the exchange are guy stuff (wood for turning, tools, sandpaper - you get the idea) so I started bringing scarves so the wives attending the event would have something to fight over. Each year, there are tears shed by the women who lose out during the pirate part of the exchange, but this time two losing spouses pulled Mike aside later and asked if I could make more so they'd be able to surprise their ladies at Christmas.

I did the dyework yesterday, then put the scarves in the washer with a tub-full of cold water to soak overnight (to get the excess dye out, which is a considerable task with LWI on velvet because the dye is so concentrated there is a lot to wash out) and now I'm washing them in warm water with Synthrapol to drag out the last of the excess color.

Soaking in the sink is the next warp to go on the loom, another in the Wood series. I've wound 4 skeins: two of 30/2 tencel and two of 30/2 tencel/silk blend. They've been scoured and are waiting to be mordanted in aluminum acetate this afternoon.

I've got 6 or 8 jars of sawdust soaking in alcohol in the garage, slowly extracting color. I'm scheduled to give a talk at DH's woodturning club next week to show them what I'm doing with the wood chips left over from the lathe-turned goodies Mike makes. I have a few Wood series scarves for show and tell, but I'd like to bring a dye-pot, a mordanted skein, and a jar of soaked wood chips to illustrate the process for the club members. I should be able to start the dye-pot at the beginning of the meeting, and by the end have enough color on the yarn to demonstrate the results.

1 comment:

Etha said...

Oh wow I love the second one that doesn't look straight but is, too very cool!