raynerweave

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The rag rug is the first of two rag rugs I wove a couple of years ago. Both are in my upstairs bathroom. I wove this rug using 25 years worth of purple and blue sewing fabric scraps, a mixture of lightweight and medium weight cottons and rayons. I save all of my fabric scraps. The warp is blue 8/4 cotton rug warp.

I found the machine knitted fair isle cotton socks for only 99 cents this week at a thrift store. Actually, I also bought a second pair that is similar, but has more turquoise than purple. Are these Lisa socks or what??? The fact that they match the rug so well is a clue.

After weaving the rag rugs I went on to weave the rep weave rag kimono sakiori jacket. The jacket post provides details on how I prepare rag strips for weaving using bias tape makers.

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Studio Three, a wonderful weaving, spinning and knitting shop in Prescott, Arizona, one of two such shops in Prescott. I haven’t been to a weaving/spinning supply store in several years. Flagstaff’s local yarn store is mostly for knitters and sells no weaving yarn on cones. Walking around in Studio Three was heaven! I highly recommend stopping there if you’re passing by Rt. 89A on I-40 or otherwise traveling in the area. More to come on the other Prescott yarn store and my yarn and spinning fiber purchases.

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My finished mermaid scarf. I have it draped over my floor loom right now. I want to hang it up where it won’t get direct sunlight. It is so beautiful that it deserves to be displayed on its own, rather than thrown over my purple, blue and green handwoven shawl and scarf rack next to the sofa. The left panel is the “back” while the right panel shows the “front.”

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My magenta shawl wins a first place blue ribbon at the Coconino County Fair

Judges comments: “Fabulous work and use of color and fiber finish. Excellent execution of pattern. Design is outstanding. Spinning and weaving excellent. Gorgeous.”

I included an information sheet explaining how two of the warp yarns were handspun and dyed in cochineal by me, as well as how the weft is unraveled thrift store sweater yarn. I figured the judges would notice the Philippine edges and four strand braided fringe on their own.

Compared to the numerous categories in the knitting and crochet sections, there are a paltry number of weaving sections: clothing (any), personal accessories, and home accessories. Because my red ruana and kimono vest were entered in the personal accessories and clothing categories, I entered the shawl in home accessories, hoping that it’s cozy thickness made it passable as a “lap blanket.” Apparently, it worked. I complained last year that there were too few weaving and handspun categories. I think the entire needle and fiber arts division needs a category makeover.

See posts about earlier stages of this project here, here and here.

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Dyed cotton sliver for spinning into weft yarn

After I received my package of dyed combed cotton sliver from Latvia, I pulled out cotton weaving yarns from my stash to see what yarns go best with each color of sliver. I have weaving project ideas for each color, enough to keep me busy spinning and weaving for more than a year:

First photo: This is the deep red sliver I will spin as the weft yarn for my red huipil I am currently warping with the 20/2 Garnet cotton yarn pictured. The weft will be spun on my book charkha.

Second photo: I purchased the mint-colored sliver more than a month ago. As previously mentioned, my plan is to tie on the pictured mix of pastel-colored 20/2 yarns to the red huipil warp when I am finished weaving that fabric. I will use a different treadling pattern to make butterflies motifs in place of the hearts.

Third photo: One idea for the royal blue sliver is to spin it into a 2-ply yarn and use it with the pictured thicker cotton yarns in violet, blue, turquoise and aquamarine hues to weave a flowing water-themed shawl using a networked twill pattern; networked twills are especially good for creating curving, rounded and wavy patterns. More information is coming soon; I will start spinning the yarn soon on my upright charkha because it will take a while to accumulate enough singles for plying.

Fourth photo: Another idea for the royal blue sliver is to use it as weft with this cone of blue and green tencel. The mint sliver would also work well with the tencel.

Fifth photo: I am planning on tying on some of the yarn from my last cone of 20/2 UKI lavender yarn to the purple blouse warp. Instead of spinning the deep purple cotton sliver I’ll spin the lavender sliver and use a different treadling pattern to create a “rose” pattern instead of a “star” pattern.

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While in Sedona, I naturally had to visit their local yarn store, Sedona Knit Wits. Unlike Studio Three and Fiber Creek in Prescott, they mostly cater to knitters. However, they specialize in carrying locally dyed yarns. And could a yarn store be located in a more beautiful setting? I took the lower landscape picture from across the street. Those are some of the famous red rocks of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to the north of the shopping center.

Of course, I had to buy a couple of skeins (bottom photo). Both are fingering weight, jewel-toned wool yarns. I plan to knit socks with the Mary Gavan Yarns aqua/turquoise sock yarn (Hoodoo 100% superwash merino in the Tropical colorway). Gavan is a Sedona resident. I haven’t decided if I will use the other skein in bi pride colors for knitting or weaving. It’s a singles yarn similar to the rainbow sock yarn I used as the pattern weft for my mermaid scarf.

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Handwoven items from Uganda. One of our fiber arts group members just returned from a two week African vacation. Naturally, being a weaver, she stopped at a weaving cooperative and bought a number of items. She bought two purses and a wallet made out of dyed bark cloth. Bark cloth is made by pounding the inner bark of various tree species until it is soft and felt-like. It always amazes me how people learn to transform available natural materials into usable fabric. The green placemats were woven with a dyed raffia weft for strength and durability; raffia fibers come from the raffia palm. The bottom photos are of a handwoven cotton rag rug.

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I stopped in at Animas Trading Company to look at the embroidered rayon ribbons from India that Lauren told me about at January’s fiber arts gathering and used for her handwoven bag straps. This one is my favorite. I love the colors and the sequins. Unfortunately there was only a little over two feet left, so I bought all of it. I should have checked out the ribbons last month when I first learned about them. I don’t know what I will make with the ribbon. For now I’ve hung it up for decoration in my fiber arts studio corner so I can look at it and envision the possibilities.

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Some of my handspun, hand knitted, handwoven and hand dyed winter accessories. Another winter storm system is moving in. We could receive
up to 18 inches of snow.

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Here are the finished weaving patterns I have designed for:

  • the fuchsia huck lace huipil that I will weave on my table loom as soon as I finish weaving the red heart huipil. The warp will be tied on to the existing warp and pulled through the heddles. The picture shows the threading (bottom row) and the liftplan (vertical right side row).
  • the Sunna rigid heddle band trim for the red heart huipil. The band pattern shows only the 17 pick up pattern warps and the warp-faced plain weave in between, but there will also be plain warp-faced edges on both sides of the trim. I used a free online color knitting chart program to design this pattern. I have 10/2 UKI Garnet red and 8/2 dark red tencel that I will use for this project, but I have not yet decided which yarn will be the pattern yarn and which will be the background yarn; the pattern yarn will be used doubled.

I will probably weave a longer trim band than I need for the red heart huipil because I have future plants for a long sleeve shirt using 10/2 UKI Garnet as the warp. The bottom photo shows unraveled lace weight silk and cashmere yarn I bought from an Etsy store; sometimes other people find the good stuff. The diameter of the yarn will make it a good weft for the 10/2 cotton warp.

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The February Flagstaff fiber arts gathering

We had another fun gathering this month.

  • In the first three photos you can see some reddish-pink and orange rep weave placemats woven by rep weave expert Joanne Tallarovic (sitting on the far right in the first photo and on the far left in the second photo). Joanne used 8/4 carpet warp as the thicker yarn and sewing thread as the thinner yarn for the project. In the closeup photo you can see the reddish-pink block and orange block design. Joanne pointed out that washing the placemats caused tracking to form on the surface; sometimes plain weave fabrics develop diagonal “tracks” after washing.
  • The fourth photo shows that I brought my mermaid scarf and wore my magenta fingerless mitts while my friend Lauren brought her mostly-finished handwoven bags that she also brought to last month’s gathering for finishing advice. The embroidered rayon ribbon that she used for the bag strap came from a downtown store called Animas Trading Company. Lauren says there are several other ribbons available; I need to stop in and take a look to see if there are ribbons in my colors that I want to buy.
  • In the fifth photo Zuni Ishikawa is examining a pale blue hand knit sweater made by Tasha. You can see Tasha wearing the sweater in the second photo; she’s sitting in the middle wearing a green scarf. The sweater includes a lot of lace areas. Tasha stabilized the inside of the neckline with grosgrain ribbon to keep the ribbing from stretching too far.

One member had just returned from Africa and showed us a bunch of Ugandan textiles that I will show you tomorrow. We also had a yarn swap. Everything I got was in my sister’s colors. I have already mailed the yarns I got for her. I also got some beautiful gray and teal wool fibers for spinning that I will spin for her.

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I’m sleying the reed with the 20/2 cotton for my purple blouse project. Both of the cats had to sniff the chained warp as soon as I tied the choke to the front beam. I’m hoping to accumulate several spindles of charkha-spun cotton yarn before I start weaving.

Some notes about this project:

  • I have 914 warp ends to sley through the reed and thread the heddles.
  • There are three warp ends per reed dent for 36 ends per inch (e.p.i.).
  • The warp will be 25.4 inches wide on the loom.
  • It’s a 3.67 yard-long warp.
  • There will be 8 overlapping repeats of the advancing twill star pattern (bottom right picture).

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My favorite vest that I have woven. UKI 10/2 mercerized cotton in the colors Ruby Glint and Magenta. I like what happens when the two colors are mixed together, one in the warp and one in the weft. The weave structure is a four shaft huck lace pattern.

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