Saturday, June 29, 2013

This Yarn Makes My Fingers Happy

   I love everything about this yarn: the texture, the strength, the colors are all wonderful.  I didn't mean it to, but it kind of looks Mardi Gras-y.
   This is an alpaca/silk blend yarn, so it's very soft.  I'm weaving a twill pattern called Pennsylvania Dutch. These will be a pair of shawls with two different wefts.  The first shawl is getting a weft the same as the warp, and the second one will have a weft of a handspun wool that I have had for a while.  I currently plan to make the fringe very fancy, either with beads or just multiple knots, it depends on how much patience I have with it.
  Want to see something else pretty?
   It rained the other day and when it was done I went out on our balcony and found my hanging plants with some lovely raindrops hanging on to them.  To the right is a begonia of some sort, below is an asparagus fern my mom gave me.
  Just ignore the car in the background.
  Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Dreaded Task of Cutting

  It's really, really hard to cut into what you have woven.  One, because Whatifitunravels!!!!!!!! And two, I spent a month weaving these threads together and now I'M GOING TO CUT THEM APART?!!  I imagine it's rather like a baker who makes a glorious, four-tier wedding cake with all the decorations and fondant, takes it to the reception hall, and hands someone a knife to cut into it. Just kinda breaks your heart.
  But, as they say, you have to break the eggs...

   I, of course, zigzag stitched the edges, because of number one above.  The pillows are suppose to be 18 inches square, and what I wove was too big, which made me have to cut off two corduroy stripes on each end.  I was not happy about that.
   On one hand, yay, unexpected sampler! On the other hand, I could have saved those materials!
   Too late, moving on.
   The plain-woven back is in two pieces, with a zipper sewn to connect them. I had everything cut, pinned, reinforced, sewn, turned right-side out, and the pillow form inserted in a matter of hours.
   Baby Girl was amazed that I could just sew up a pillow like this, when I hadn't ever done it before.  This is the only child who still sees me as Mama Miracleworker.
   Here's the finished project:

  Next time on Nicole's Weaving Art: Alpaca/silk/wool shawls.

I've Never Woven Pillow Covers Before

   I saw something in a Handwoven magazine recently on pillow covers with corduroy stripes made of embroidery floss, so I thought I would do those next. The warp, thank God, was easy enough to put on, it being entirely perle cotton and I was done with them in a month.
   It helped that most of it was in plain weave, no delay in keeping track of a pattern, and I had no tension issues.
   There were six rows of two sets of embroidery floss, with one shot of the background perle cotton in between to keep it stable. Then I had to cut the long floats of floss to make the corduroy.  It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. If I wasn't distracted I could cut a stripe 20 inches wide in fifteen minutes.
 Thank goodness for those skinny-bladed stork scissors I bought a long time ago from an antique store.

Cut and Uncut
    After the weaving came the hardest part for any weaver.....
   Cutting up what you spent so much time putting together.  I'll leave that for next time.