Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sample, sample, sample

I know people are probably getting sick of me talking about it but I'm still loving the patterns in the Torchon Workbook. I'm on the 9th chapter, Decorations in half stitch. 

I've just finished a group she has labeled Escalator. The name comes from a section made up of a row of half stitches that are worked uphill. 
In this example, you work the section above the line all the way to the end and then use the pair at the base of the line to work half stitch to the point at the top of the line. Now you're ready to work the section below the line. And you get this one in the middle. 
Each of these samples uses this escalator technique, although in different ways. 

My absolute favorite of this trio is the edging at the right. It has some of my favorite techniques like the spider ground and the Scotch broom trails. I would have carried on with it but I'm anxious to get moving on. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Two experiments

My sample warp is finally finished, off the loom, and washed. My main objective was to get a feel for the materials (the tencel yarn) but it ended up becoming a wider learning experience. 
  1. I learned how to beat the weft to give the balanced look I'm going to want when I make my tartan-patterned scarf. I tested how an ultra light beat made it look messy. Maybe if I had fewer ends per inch (I warped at 24 epi) the lighter beat would have seemed more airy but not so much with this. I knew I didn't want a weft-faced fabric (which would have happened with a heavy beat. So a light squished of the beater seemed to produce the best way forward.    
  2. I learned that I may want a slightly less dense fabric so I'll warp to 20 epi instead of 24. I think that will make a nicer scarf fabric.  
  3. I am working on a table loom which means you don't have to go far until you have to advance the warp. The mistake I was making was advancing it too far so that I got weird wiggly bits in my fabric. Once I figured that out and started leaving a couple of inches in front of the front beam, hey, presto, I got a much more even fabric.   
  4. I learned that it all feels different after a good wash. I guess that's why teachers are always talking about washing your samples. Good call, teach! 
  5. I learned that using a spare variegated skein of hand spun works fabulously with the base color of the warp.  
I'm going to use some of this strip to make a coin purse and part of it is going to be used to make phone holders. Here's the type I mean. 
I was given a similar holder that has microfiber on the bottom to clean the screen. In trying to work it out, I tried all sorts of gyrations. That is until I realized that a simple tube of fabric seamed on one end and the closed at the other end in the opposite direction would do the same thing. 
Now I'm experimenting with filler so that it has enough weight to be steady without going nuts. I'm thinking that it could double as a pin cushion depending on the filler used. 

Again with the pin cushions?!?