Can you count to 1221?

It’s always good to have several projects going at once. Currently I have two weaving projects and two spinning projects! Here’s what I’m weaving…

Progress on my current big loom project is slow. I’m weaving fabric for sewing – about 40 inches wide and 5 yards long. The thread (remember that blue cone in my earlier post?) will be woven at 30 ends per inch. 40 x 30 = 1200! Well, actually there are 1221 warp ends (to accommodate the width of my pattern). The fabric will be huck lace in solid blue.

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Simple supplementary warp scarves.

Three Supplementary Warp Scarves

These three scarves are part of my ongoing journey with Jane Stafford’s School of Weaving. This project, from Season 3 on extending plain weave, took me out of my comfort zone by adding a supplementary warp thread that could either be incorporated in the fabric or float on top or behind.

Project Specs:
Warp: Maurice Brassard 16/2 cotton with hand dyed 20/2 silk as the supplementary thread.
Sett: Selvages (Fuschia) 40epi; Centre 20epi.
Weft: same as warp, with Maurice Brassard 16/2 bamboo in yellow for the third scarf.
Loom: Spring II
Started 22 Jan 2022, cut off loom 31 Jan 2022 - a nice quick project.

I had a lot of fun playing with the various possibilities. Here, the supplementary warp is combined with the same silk in the weft to create offsetting “bricks”.

And here I’m playing with stripes in the cotton weft (using a light blue cotton that’s quite similar in colour to the silk) and floating the supplementary warp on top of the fabric for two picks, then behind the fabric for two picks – sort of like a running stitch.

Adding the Dye Dimension

At a Weavers Interest meeting late last year I received a 1998 issue of Weavers magazine with an article by Kay Faulkner about woven shibori. I regret that I was not able to take Kay’s class on woven shibori as I learned so much in the two classes I was able to take with her.

So, what is woven shibori? Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique where cloth is stitched or tied in intricate patterns, the stitching drawn tight, and the fabric dyed resulting in resist patterns where the tight gathering threads kept the dye away. Tie-dyed T-shirts are an example of shibori. With woven shibori, the gathering threads are woven into the fabric, gathered once the fabric is off the loom, then the fabric is dyed.

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The Power of Negative Space

Now that I have the new loom, I’m off and running. The first project was from Season 3, Episode 1 – Denting of Jane Stafford’s Online Weaving School in brown and rust 16/2 cotton. I showed a bit of the warping process in my previous post about the loom. The idea is to add some interest to plain weave by considering the spaces as well as the fabric. The warp was arranged in 1/2″ segments – 1/2″ of warp at 24 ends per inch (12 warp threads), then a 1/2″ gap. The colours started at rust on the edge, moving through browns to a light ivory then reversing. There are 14 of the 1/2″ segments of warp and 13 empty gaps between.

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