My current project on the loom has given me some challenges. If you read my previous post of what I was doing, you will remember that I am making a scarf using yarn from Manos del Uruguay which is 60% alpaca and 40% Pima cotton, which really soft and would have a lovely drape.
The plan is to weave a simple scarf with the yarn doing all the work, no embellishments or other yarn included. However, as the scarf started to grow, i quickly became disillusioned by what was coming out. Sure, it was a lovely cloth and the yarn was performing as I thought it would in tamers of drape and softness. My first attempt at square hemstitching, rather than the normal plain, was fairly decent and I liked the effect. My weaving was coming out well, my selvedges were good also, with the width being fairly consistent.
But it just came across rather flat and lifeless once past the hemstitch.
So, I tried adding some weft floats, but after completing the first section, I still didn’t like what was being produced.
So, that was unpicked. I couldn’t help thinking that I wished my warp had been wider. Could I re-sley and add more warp threads to make it wider? And maybe get some weft yarn in a complementary colour? I did try adding a lovely soft acrylic in a green colour, which looked nice and after the second block, but I quickly decided it was going wrong. Plus it would probably have made a nightmare of a scarf after wet finishing.
I consulted with my tutor. A couple of recommendations came back such as doing blocks of hemstitch by using a spacer card to separate them, but that meant weaving in lots of ends. Re-slaying was not an option it seemed as the tension could end up being wrong across the warp. Or maybe try doing some Huck lace or honeycomb with a pick up stick. This prompted me to look online, as I have not tried honeycomb yet.
My search led me to Brooks Bouquet and the videos from Patty Anne and Liz Gipson. This might be what I needed to do. So I unpicked back to about 4 inches from the start and tried adding some Books Bouquet. My first attempt was not great, as I miscounted, so out that came. Because this was not part of the orignal plan, I needed to add a small border to allow me to group warp yarns evenly across the fabric. Missing 3 warp threads then doing blocks of 4 per bouquet and finishing with another block of 3 missed threads seemed to work. Plus, I only included the upper shed threads into the bouquets, creating a little window effect. This seemed to work, so I wove two inches of fabric then did another and then repeated again.
Is it going to be the best scarf made; no. As my tutor said, although it won’t be my favourite piece, it will be serviceable and it can be put down to experience.
Now, I am continuing with blocks of three Brooks Bouquet separated by a longer block of 4 inches, and we will see how it goes.
I look forward to seeing it off the loom and finished. In a way to just put this one behind me. But I have learnt a great lesson; plan more effectively! It’s too easy to just get going with a lovely yarn and think it will be just fine.
As I write this, I am sat outside on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. A family of house sparrows have found a nook in our roof to nest and are busy flying back and forth with food for the fledglings. And now and then I have to remove a little spider from my iPad as they float in on their gossamer thread balloons.
I hope you all have a lovely, lazy Sunday.