Trials and Triumphs

This scarf. 

Oh, this scarf was full of peaks and valleys. At the end, I did climb up to the peaks, though I will admit to spending a lot of time in grumbling, narrow valleys, that offered only slivers of sky.  Nearly everything was done twice for this beautiful frustration.

Here is diary of this green beauty-beast.

6/13/15

Winding the warp was a breeze after the last weaving projects.  Winding off the weft got a little interesting, but I've figured out a good system now, learning success!

6/14/15

The first time I dyed the noil silk yarn I miscalculated the acid needs (aka not enough vinegar for the dye to take, the greens fell flat, and so I dyed it again.  More chartreuse, more vinegar. More waiting for the yarn to dry as I paw at its cottony luxury, willing the dampness away. The two greens together reflect the lush greenery a North Carolina summer has to offer (especially after it rains... wishing it would do just that!) 

Once dry, I had to detangle the weft yarn because it felt like being trouble (but being dyed twice and not having enough ties around it would do it to any good yarn).

6/17/15

I began the process of dressing the loom with a threading pattern that kind of made my eyes cross (a red flag I totally missed). While winding the back beam I also managed to miss-read what was going on and cut 8 ends short thinking everything was awesome and ready to be tied onto the front beam… it wasn't, that group of ends had popped off the back beam and was merrily pulling forward. Walk away from the loom. Went to mom's for the weekend, glad and sad the loom can't travel with me. 

6/22/15

Home again.  Re-thread and fixed, begrudgingly glad I didn't try to fix it right away, but stepped back and returned with a better solution.  (thanks, late night thought rambles!).

Wound bobbins without issue, things are looking up! 

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Feeling vindicated, I started weaving the pattern, to find that the sequence caused one edge to be perfect and the other loose and sloppy.  I picked everything out and tried again, with something a little different. Nope, still wonky. Pick it out again. Try one more thing, still sloppy. Walk away from the loom.

The next step is to re-do the tie up on the treadles back as they were (familiar ground) to make something that works better, because, damn it, I am NOT rethreading this thing. Harrumph!

What keeps me from cutting it all off- the greens blending together perfectly, knowing the loom can take the fists I've shaken at myself with grace. There will be a scarf coming off this loom in the next week, because I have faith.  Faith in the loom, the yarn, and my ability to follow the thread out of the labyrinth of new knowledge mixed with experience.

6/23/15

Finally figured out what treadle pattern would give me nice edges! It's a little wonky, but that's how I work.  I think part of my block with this scarf was that I wanted to FIGURE it out technically, in detail, why it wasn't working.  And you know what? I don't know enough about weaving yet to know how to do that. What I do know how to do is to work out a system that gives me a beautiful piece of fabric, and I'm ok with that (...for now...).

 I wove 40 inches with a nearly constant rhythm, letting the treadle pattern lead the way. Sometimes I lost track, but the undulating pattern of diamonds looked so pretty, I kept going. I can't wait to get this off the loom and finished! Then I can offer it up to you, dear readers, which is why I make.  To share with you my view of color and movement, my imperfections, the beauty of fiber. 

6/24/15

Woven, cut off the loom, washed, and photographed. The noil silk has a light, cotton-like hand, it's a perfect summer scarf for those freezing air-conditioned restaurants, offices and movie theaters.  The pattern is made up of shifting diamonds and zigzags.  

In the shop now.