All I can report on this experiment is that the avocado skins and stones failed to colour my clean, undyed wool.
We had fun, had a good chat and had lunch.
We tried reheating and adding vinegar.
We giggled over whether we should pee in a pot and add that. (We didn’t)
Good thing my friend had brought her commercial dyes from Ashford.
The shrinkage was massive after all those interventions.
Posted in craft
The two rag rugs I completed this week were closer to the kind of result I have been aiming for but had not quite achieved. The rugs used a double thickness of weft, made up of old business shirts and old sheets cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm strips) sewn together. The two weft strips were of different fabrics in the yellow toned rug and I am very pleased with the variation in tone that this achieved.
Folded hems extend the life of the rug
Use of a temple keeps the edges even and prevents draw in
Close up of the rug and the rose path border
I chose to make folded hems as it’s likely they’ll end up as bath mats and experience has taught me that a fringed finish is like a magnet for fluff. Also I expect a folded hem to wear very well.
The new pro-tip from this project was serging (overlocking) the ends of the rug when they came off the loom. This gave me a tidy finish and secure ends.
Sett was 10 dpi in a 10 dent reed, threading was rosepath over 8. Warp 8/4 cotton in blue.
This gentleman’s robe is made in a robust flannel and is based on Butterick Classics pattern 6968.
I made a few modifications as the pattern I purchased from my local thrift store was a Medium and my beloved would typically wear a size L or XL, depending on cut. He also wanted a shogun-style robe which to him meant belt loops over the hips and no patch pockets. Patch pockets would be a risk – one bad interaction with a door handle and the patch pocket would be but a shadow of its former self.
- added belt loops. You don’t want your belt dropping in unguarded moments.
- the belt has an inner core of calico for strength and to increase longevity.
- pieced front band. The band is not matched. I don’t care and nor does my beloved. This was a design choice.
- no cuffs on the sleeves. Cuffs on a robe just get in the way, in my experience. Unless you have domestic servants. We don’t. We have to do our own dishes and then cuffs definitely get in the way.
- added 1 inch of width from shoulder to hem for increased coverage and comfort.
This year I joined the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria summer school workshop impressively titled Sheer Delight- Transparent Weave Inlay Techniques.
We warped our looms with a fine linen and learned how to use inlays in different colours and textures to make pictures or room dividers.
I’m generally more of a weaver of household items and I enjoyed being taken to a new place with my weaving. It’s probably not a technique I’ll use again soon but I’m happy to have a new technique in my repertoire.
Here’s a little throwback to the good old days of quality workmanship and pride in your product, in the form of cotton bias binding. I bought it at my local thrift store.
Bias binding is something I look out for in thrift stores as it’s generally a polyester cotton blend when I buy it new and that is not my preference. The older bindings also tend to be better more stable, either due to starch or simply a tighter weave.
Love these stripes
The binding is made by WM. E. Wright Co in Massachusetts. This company stood by their product.
This material is fast colour and perfect in workmanship. Should it be faulty in any way, making the article on which it is applied unusable, we will reimburse you for the reasonable cost of your labor and all materials used in making the article.
A quick picture of a project I completed in 2017. In Australia little people need a library bag when they head off to school. From what I hear this isn’t a requirement in the US but I may have started a tradition by gifting it to a lovely little girl who lives in California. I hope its useful for her and her parents.
It was a fun project, using a Spotlight remnant licensed fabric for the outer layer and a fleecy cotton for the inside layer.
Who doesn’t love The Cat in the Hat?
I have now completed the six hand towels and while they aren’t without their treadling faults, I’m pretty happy.
They were dented at 2-2 in a 10 dpi reed and the sett was 20 epi. The 6/2 cotton was sourced from Lunatic Fringe Yarns. Now they’ve been washed and pressed, the slightly funny selvages have come good and I’m happy that I made what I planned to and that my calculations were all OK. I was able to play with a number of twill patterns and that was great fun, as well as being part of the original project plan.
I did try a different, thicker weft yarn in plain weave with the small amount of warp left over on my Dorset loom after I completed the towels. I sampled using a pale yellow cotton weft yarn that’s a little thicker than 8/4 cotton. I can’t say too much more about that yarn as it was part of a yarn de-stash I purchased from a former loom owner who had a clean up over the holidays.
After washing the plain weave sample it’s looking like a winning combination for some future tea towels (dish towels) as the cloth is very stable, looks attractive and will have good absorbency.
True to form, I have the next project in mind already but putting that warp on the loom will have to wait until after Weaving Summer School at the Guild.