When the quarantine started, I knew for sure that I wouldn’t get bored...I actually don’t think I’ve ever experienced being bored. With so much time, it was evident that all I had to do was consult my handy dandy ‘things I want to do’ book and start looking through pages that weren’t crossed out. Dye tencel was written on one of the pages. Since dying with fiber reactive dyes is a two day process, I had plenty of time to play so I hopped right in and got my tencel looking absolutely beautiful! I’ve dyed for weaving before so no problem there. It’s getting the dyed yarn back onto a cone so that I can work with it that has always posed problems in the past. Quite frankly, warping from the swift or a ball is a pain in the rear end. Warping from the swift requires another person to feed the yarn and is overly time consuming. Warping from a ball is a nightmare because oftentimes I can’t get the ball to cooperate. It jumps all over the place and I spend more time getting it back to where it was than warping. Not fun! I have spent countless hours looking online for ways to get my dyed yarn back onto a cone. I finally found something that would work and after waiting and a botched order, it finally arrived only to find that it could not keep up with my needs. I had a friend take a look at the cone winder, we made some modifications, and I was finally able to wind the dyed tencel back onto cones so that I could finally work with it! Sloppy mess of skeins of tencel below with the nicely wound cones on top!
In anticipation of a delivery of cotton, I knew something had to be on the loom so I threw on some natural silk noil and wove with the treadle tie up already on the loom that I was using for the Spring Towels. This shawl ended up being around 20” or so wide and super long! I am still surprised at how this natural silk snaps so easily but on the loom cooperates under tension. Not one single break in the entire warp!
Using a natural color in the warp and a white silk noil in the weft, it gave just enough contrast to be interesting. Below is a picture of the wrap drying after the wet finishing process. Though it seems a bit bland, I can almost hear the glass turquoise beads calling to be added to the fringe. I’ll get to that soon but I think it will add a little element of color and just enough weight to the fringe to hold it down. As long as this wrap is, 90” or so, it is super light and the weight would help keep it in place while being worn…..or so I hope.
In the summer, I spend the evenings outside when the weather is nice. In the cold months, I can’t even imagine going out there! What is a girl supposed to do inside at night?! Knit, of course! At this point in my life, I’ve decided that I certainly DO NOT need to purchase another skein of yarn! I have a basket full of ‘brat yarn’ that I’ve been working through for the past couple of years. I literally do not own any other knitting yarn other than this wonderful basket full of quality hand dyed or hand crafted yarns. I purchased this really interesting colorway when I was working a marketing job years ago and found a pattern on Ravelry that just screamed to be used. Lace is a lot of fun to knit and the pattern had a chart and written instructions.
It took me about two months of knitting for an hour or so every night. The pattern is called Damask and is available on Ravelry. It was well written and any boo boo’s that I made were my fault and not that of the pattern writer. I think I had to rip 4 rows out at the beginning because I accidentally skipped a row. Blocking is so important and especially in knitting lace. You can really see the pattern open up and become visible...really showing off the lacework.
The cotton has arrived! This summer I was weaving like a lunatic! I basically wove down to nearly no cotton inventory at all! I’m completely out of 10/2, 5/2, and 3/2. The only thing left in 8/2 was a bit of purple, pink, a little bit of red and blue. Time to replenish the stock. Considering how well sales were with the towels this year, I’m going to limit my purchases in the future to only 8/2. I feel it wears well, absorbs well, and the size is just right for towels.
My number one seller was the rainbow and white pinwheel towels. I sold them out online and in the store lightning fast. So, obviously, recreating them first is first on the list.
I don’t know if anyone else out there is like this but, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning when it comes to new projects. I literally woke up at 4:30am because I couldn’t sleep! This warp was screaming to get on the loom!
This warp is 10 yards long in a basic pinwheel pattern alternating white with each color. The yield will be exactly 10 towels and if the black that is back ordered comes in, I will duplicate the rainbow and black pinwheels next. They were my second best sellers from 2020. The heddles are threaded as well as the reed. Tension set, treadles tied up, and we’re cooking with fire!
Until next time!