Thursday, May 15, 2014

Next on the Dobby Loom

The guild challenge for this year (due at the June meeting) is to create a table runner using colors from a list ordered by initial letters. We were requested to pick colors corresponding to our first name initial and last name initial, and use those colors in a weaving.

For example, "R" might be Rust or Rose. "S" might be Sage or Saffron.  "O" (my middle initial) might be Orange or Olive or Off-white. I picked Rust, Sage, and Off-white, and designed a sort of snowflake twill. Or maybe it's Ms & Os with some advancing twill thrown in. Whatever.

Here's the draft, woven as drawn in:

The sage and rust warp yarns are a 50/50 unmercerized blend of 20/2 cotton and bamboo. The off-white warp yarn is unmercerized cotton. The weft is white mercerized cotton, which should make the pattern in the off-white warp stripes show up just enough. Luckily, the sage and rust were already in the stash, mill dyed, and I had a cone or two of bleached white mercerized cotton. So the only dye work required was make a small amount of unmercerized cotton "off white," which turned out to be more difficult than expected. Deep, saturated colors are easy-peasy; pale is not. I was adding tiny pinches - a grain at a time - of this color, then that color, until the result achieved a neutral (not yellow, not green, not pink, not mauve, not grey, but definitely darker than white) hue. Whew!

I've got a few more treadlings ready to try, and the warp is long enough to let me do them all. Thankfully, only the first piece off the warp needs to be finished (and wet-finished) by the June meeting.......

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