Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Studio

Here's a bit of what's been going on in the studio these last few weeks...

A new scarf.

It's a blend of the four cotton and tencel yarns shown above.

This is the first time I have ever worked with tencel. Tencel is a natural, man-made fiber from wood pulp cellulose. Similar to rayon, yet different, it's known for it's great drape-ability and durability. As with the debate over conventional cotton and how it is processed, tencel has it's pros and cons in regard to it's impact of both positive and negative on the Earth. For the most part it gets good marks, being that it is fully biodegradable and made from trees managed for sustained harvest, and is considered an eco-friendly fiber. As for it's weaving qualities, I am very pleased. It has a lovely luster, and really does add a great drape and luxurious feel to the cloth.

I love the pointillism effect of all those dots of color!

And from a distance all those dots of color create a very subtle ikat effect...

Because it's got such a nice drape to it, I made this one extra long, (100" not including fringe) as sometimes I appreciate a scarf that I can wrap around me several times, but still have a nice length of scarf tails hanging down. I thought that others might like that, too. This fits the bill very nicely.

This extra long, cotton and tencel scarf, is now available in my shop, here.

I am continually floating between a love of bright color and a love of neutral colors, and have always been attracted to the look of vintage, European linen table runners...

So I let that be the inspiration for this woven linen, silk and cotton runner

 Featuring a twill weave design and both vertical and horizontal stripes of a lovely aqua blue cotton, it also has a lovely drape and very subtle sheen from the silk.

This linen, silk and cotton table runner is also available in my shop, here.

And here's a peek at what's on the loom now...

Anyone familiar with this blog knows of my love for shot cotton. So, is it any wonder that I would want to try my hand at weaving some shot cotton of my own??? 

I picked a soft blue for the warp and a bright spring green for the weft. As they intersect, they blend together and make a third color. Looking at the photo above, do you see how there is a slight difference in the color of the upper section compared to the bottom section? That's one of the things that I adore about shot cottons... those color shifts! (I'm curious to try reversing the order, a spring green warp and soft blue weft. How close or how different will the final two woven colors be?) 

Along with shot cottons, I also love the look of patches on my quilts, as many of you know, so why not incorporate some patches in to the shot cotton? By keeping the weave on the open side I can needle weave in small blocks of "patches" here and there. I'm using a variegated blue thread, (some of that lovely Sulky Thread that was gifted to me).

And by the way, did you ever wonder why it's called shot cotton? It's because every time you throw the shuttle back or forth, laying down a new weft thread of yarn, it's called a "shot".

Here you can see a couple of the woven patches. Once the fabric is off the loom, I'll wash it in hot water, which will close the weave up a bit. Curious to see what the final outcome will look like!

And last but not least... 

I have hit the half century mark! The big 5-0 came a few weeks ago, and as with all my birthdays, I take it with a big dose of sheer thankfulness. It definitely feels like a milestone though. 
Here's to those 50 years going up the hill, and here's to the next 50 going down.
Going down is always less of a struggle then going up, yes?
I'm looking forward to the new vistas and vantage points!
(And just for the record, I have yet to ever dye my hair... the grays are just now starting to appear!)