When I took up weaving a few years ago, the thing that most attracted me was the thought of making something useful - and beautiful - with very simple materials. Throughout this year, I've been inching this idea forward, beginning some projects with even simpler materials: natural yarns and various dye stuff. I've been dipping my toe into yarn dyeing, trying new techniques with various fibers and experimenting with ways in which these yarns may be employed in weaving.
Recently, I've had the great pleasure of taking an online course in dyeing taught by one of my favorite indie yarn dyers - Brenda Lavell of Phydeaux Designs & Fiber. I turned an unused patio off the kitchen into a "messy art space" and outdoor studio and slowly have been stocking it with the necessary equipment. I have spent a couple days each week laboring over the stove and practicing the art of choosing and applying color to yarn. After learning the essentials about Brenda's process and dyeing many pre-planned colorways, in our final week we were set free to develop our own. I took it as an opportunity to dye something specifically for the loom!
For this project, I picked a lovely silk/linen blend yarn. I chose it for it's beautiful luster and softness as well as for the unique way it dyes up. The silk accepts the color graciously while the linen resists the dye, resulting in a wonderful play of color seen as though through frosted glass. It spoke of winter to me. It also gave me confidence to experiment with a riot of color knowing that the yarn would literally help to tone it down. I dyed the yarn in small batches over several days, developing 5 complimentary colorways.
All the yarn together...
...and wound into cakes!
Winding this one on the loom was fun!
Even the loom waste was mesmerizing.
Some views of the warp.
The yarn has been wound, threaded and sleyed at 24 ends per inch. With this yarn and sett, I would expect the finished wrap to be fairly lightweight. I would estimate it to end up in the range of 240-250 gsm with the use of an 8/2 cotton weft or equivalent. Sampling with the selected weft will give us a better idea.
For the weave, I chose a draft by G.H. Oelsner from A Handbook of Weaves (Germany, 1915). I just love bringing historic weaving drafts back to life! I found this 16-shaft draft on handweaving.net (#34042). It brought to mind icicles or a windswept landscape. It has a lovely balanced quality between the warp and weft that I find soothing. It is shown below with a white Pima cotton weft.
A view from above.
This is a short warp - with just about 9 yards to work with. I'm opening this up to a drawing for one semi-custom wrap - minimum length of 4.2 meters. There is no maximum length but we are limited to the length of the warp minus any length needed for weft sampling. If all proceeds smoothly, there will likely be some warp left over, which I may offer as a finished piece when complete. Pricing will start at $120/meter for a cotton weft. We can discuss pricing of alternative fibers, as well as dyeing of the weft. To get a rough idea of the options that may be available to you and the costs associated, you may view the Escapade semi-custom page for details. Please note that pricing will start on this warp $15 higher as the yarn is more expensive and hand-dyed. Please also note that the list is not exhaustive - if you have something in mind that is not listed, we can work on exploring it together.
To enter the drawing, please complete the form below. Entries are non-transferable - please only enter for the piece you wish to have made. I will randomly select one entry on Sunday, December 11th at 9:00 PM Pacific. If your entry is chosen, I will contact you to discuss your weft preferences. If emails or tagging (in the Facebook chatter group, Wonder Woven Love) do not result in reply within 24 hours, I will draw a new entry. A non-refundable deposit in the amount of 10% of the cost of your wrap will be due before I begin work on your piece. The balance is due upon completion, which I expect will be within 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of weft you would like. I am so looking forward to working on this. I hope to have it finished quickly so it can keep you and your little one cozy in the months ahead!
-THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED-
And for anybody who got this far in reading this post and is as excited about these things as I am, make sure to keep an eye on the chatter page! I will be wanting to put these new dyeing skills to work and may be looking for some color inspiration....