Archive for January, 2011

First things first

I have the completed yarn palette.

I finished winding the 0.2% DOS triangle last night, and the results can be seen at the front. I’ve also redone the first couple of yellow/bordeaux mixes in DOS 3%, with better results (first time I must have been dribbling bordeaux – it just didn’t look right).

I’ve also completed, washed and pressed the huck sampler. I’ve been calling it lace, but it’s really texture – warp floats and weft floats, but never in the same place.

I’ve measured myself (fingertip to fingertip), measured existing shawls, searched on the internet, and come up with some basic ideas on dimensions and number of warp and weft colours.

But first things first… I’m just playing with my colours 🙂

Another layout, trying to get a visual combining DOS with the movement through colours as the mix changes. [later edit – Geoff just wandered past, admired (clever man!) and pointed out two colours swapped in the 2% DOS violet to bordeaux transition. Oops. No harm done except the photos aren’t quite right.]

The more saturated and deeper colours led by the magnificent Violet B are beautiful.

But the inner heart of chromatic greys and neutrals …
happy sigh…

Huck colour update

While mulling over the possibilities for my problem scarf, I continue to potter along with the huck project mentioned here and here.

I’ve dyed more mixes using Lanaset’s violet, yellow 4g and bordeaux. The first set was 3% depth of shade (DOS), shown here in a very poor photo (oops…). Left is the 1% DOS shade. Still being wound into balls is a 0.2% set.

The second photo gives an idea of the impact of the different DOS. It shows the top of each triangle. So the top 3 are all 100% violet; the second row all have 80% violet with the remainding 20% either yellow or bordeaux.

The little sample is done – photo to come. Tomorrow’s plan is to finish winding all the dyed yarns and do some heavy duty calculating on shawl size and how many little rectangles of colour I can have. My 3 basic dye colours become 21 in a colour triangle, times 3 DOS sets means 63 colours. In theory that would mean 3969 rectangles for every combination of warp and weft (63 of each), but almost half would be repeats. I’m going to have to trim a bit!

Scarf requiring rescue…

Possibly a picture is worth a thousand words – but this one is lying.

Yes, you see a gleaming silk scarf with wonderful drape and soft hand. I’m pleased with the stripe sequence I used. My selvedges are improving. I’d do it all (or almost all) again. And yet… this post is something between a “help wanted” ad and a crime scene report…

WANTED: Ideas to save silk scarf.

Vital statistics: warp 20/2 silk. Weft 60/2 silk. Warp faced plain weave at 40 ends per inch. Finished width 24 cm.  Finished length including fringe 182 cm.

The problem: unsightly blotches.

The villain: Seen on the right hand side of this photo, taken after Linda Coffill’s workshop last summer.

The sob story: It could happen to anyone – a happy summer day with like-minded folk, a busy workshop atmosphere, a level of inattention to minor details such as how long that silk has actually been in the dye bath in fatal combination with an eagerness to see how it turned out.

A pleasant time weaving a scarf in stripes of pink/orange and (gulp!!) undyed white. We were so happy until (cue scarey music)… wet finishing. Then it all started to unravel – or more accurately, to run.

So it sat, for months. Christmas came and went – and this intended Christmas present sat, forlorn, ungifted.   A couple of weeks ago I finally decided Something Must Be Done – soaked it in acidic water and put it in the microwave in an attempt to set the remaining dye properly.

Whatever Something should have been done, that wasn’t it! I am feeling suitably chastened and foolish. I don’t think the scarf or I could take any more forlorn months so Something Else Must Be Done!!!

Current thought is some shibori clamping or stitching and an overdye. Introduce still more uneven colour, in an interesting organic contrast to the regular stripes (in a fibonacci variation). However all suggestions gratefully received and considered.

Finally, the victim:

brace yourself

New colours, new sample

Red 2B, Green B, Navy R. DOS 1%

The latest results of dye mixing – now moving to a paler depth of shade (although DOS refers to the ratio of dye to materials being dyed, not directly to the value of the end result. Anyway, less dye available to the same amount of yarn equals a lighter colour).

In progress is dyeing at 1% DOS using the colours in my planned weaving mix project. I dye six 25g skeins at a time, there are 21 colours in each mix triangle, and it takes a few days for each skein to move through the steps – winding yarn from a larger skein; dyeing including sitting in the dye liquid overnight; drying thoroughly; rinsing; drying thoroughly; winding into a ball. It’s been a nice, potter-y thing to do while on holidays. I’ll have to find a new rhythm when I go back to work next week.

huck lace / colour mix sample

I’ve made some progress on the sample for the colour mix project. Actually, at one time more progress than shows here – I wove the header then found a threading error, so have gone backwards a bit. Rather embarrassing – I was busy being smug, thinking how nicely the colour striping and threading and sett and denting worked together, making it so easy to avoid errors … then oops, what’s going on there??? Maybe (I hope) it makes it easy to identify errors (but that assumes there aren’t more lurking, ready to bite).

The colours here are from the Yellow 2R, Blue 2R, Red G triangle shown here, and I’ll use a few others from that mix set as weft. The sample is on my Ashford table loom, using 4 shafts. The final piece I plan to put on the Noble loom, spreading the threading over more shafts.

Progress on The Plan

I’m being a bit lazy here, and it shows. This scan doesn’t even hint at the gorgeousness of the latest dyeing colour mix set. The stack of wound balls presentation of dyed yarn is a bit more exciting, but I decided to try a change.

I’m somewhat betwixt and between in my dyeing. I measure things out and keep records, but there’s a fair whack of slapdash and inaccuracy in it. You can see my labelled yarn wrap records, showing a methodical progression through mixes. You may also be able to see the uneven change of colour on the diagonal moving from pure Bordeaux B on the top right down to pure Yellow 4G at the bottom. This could reflect the different properties and strengths of the two dyes. It’s more likely one or more of: I muddled up skeins; I overfilled or underfilled the metric measuring spoons I use to measure out dye stock; a bottle in which I store dyestock dribbled while I was measuring; the dyestock was old and tired; I misread my planning page and measured incorrect amounts…. Whatever, there is also the “issue” that each yarn shows variation, not a single solid colour.

For my purposes it’s Good Enough. I’m learning, having fun, and have a growing collection of beautiful silk yarn to play with. I don’t need to reproduce colours exactly, and I actually prefer the semi-solids which are more lively to my eyes.

This set of colours is the one I want to explore further in weaving. I love each individual one (except the pure yellow, which is a Challenge and Good For Me to learn to use!).

Out of the all the possibilities I’ve been considering, this is the current front runner. It’s alternating stripes of huck lace from Donna Muller’s Handwoven Laces (page 57).

It has areas of plain weave, warp lace and weft lace – so should be effective in exploring colour interactions. The current thought is a warp with 21 stripes – each of the colours in the colour mix triangle (I may redye that pesky bordeaux to yellow section). For weft, I’m thinking of using the same 21 colours, plus a selection from yarns dyed with the same mix proportions but different depth of shade (that is, lighter). I’ve already started dyeing a group at 1% DOS, and plan another at maybe 0.1% DOS.

The end result will be about shawl size, with 21 colours in warp and say 42 in weft giving 800+ colour combinations (with repeats). Multiply by 3 given plain weave, warp and weft areas.  All from 3 base dye colours. Current thought is 25 epi for the 20/2 silk, which fits nicely with a denting scheme for lace and my 10 epi reed (the only one I have for the big loom).

What do you think? Viable? Interesting? Other alternatives I have overlooked???

The next steps are more dyeing, plus a woven sample to check sett etc.

 


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