This week has been a fierce juggling exercise, but the Handwoven article is done, the entries for Fiber Celebration 2014 have been juried, and (hooray!) I even had a little time to play with my own fiber projects. I’m feeling pretty accomplished, especially since I’m also in the midst of some rather intense stuff at work. It’s good stuff, all of it, and I’m glad it’s going on – but it does soak up time and energy.
(Speaking of work, some images from our recently-launched satellite were published in the NY Times last week – high resolution satellite imagery of the conflict in Kiev. We are providing valuable imagery in real time! This is super exciting.)
Alas, in the midst of all this, I’ve come down with another cold. Bother! But it’s not as bad as the last one, so I am persevering.
So what have I done?
Well, Mike and I put my new-to-me Fireside rolling temples onto Emmy today:
I’ve wanted rolling temples for quite awhile, and tried (unsuccessfully) to install them on my Workshop Dobby Loom. A weaving pal was selling a used set of Fireside rolling temples, and since the shed on Emmy is much larger than the WDL’s was, I bought them and put them on. They seem to be working quite well, though it’s hard to tell since on this narrow warp there were few selvage issues anyway.
Second, I wove up some samples on the inaugural warp. Mostly, I was testing out a new kid mohair/silk yarn, similar to Kidsilk Haze. I had bought two kilos of it at the Artfibers closing sale because it was so luscious, and because the mohair halo might produce a fiery aura around a piece woven with the mohair.
Here is the sample before it was dyed. There are three sections of brushed mohair: a randomly generated 40-shaft twill, the pomegranate pattern I devised for my friend Alfred, and a textured 8-shaft pattern from Handweaving.net (Ralph Griswold’s Classical Weaving Patterns Vol I).
And here it is after scrunch-dyeing with Sun Yellow, Deep Red, and Mustard Lanaset dyes. Click to view the big image; it’s hard to make out details in the smaller ones.
On the whole my favorite is the top sample (the 8-shaft draft from Handweaving.net) on the front side – it has magnificent textural interest that does not conflict with the dye job. It also has nice halo. The twill came out okay, but the severe diagonals in the twill don’t mesh well with the organic shapes from the dye. And the pomegranates are basically illegible under the dye job and the halo.
(If you are wondering why I’m using so many less-than-40-shaft drafts on my new 40-shaft loom, it’s because I haven’t been working with 40 shafts for very long! On 24 shafts I have a nice little “stable” of previously created drafts that I can haul out for sampling. But I don’t have any on 40 shafts. And Handweaving.net has virtually no 40-shaft drafts, so I can’t use prefab drafts. It’s okay; I just need to build up a draft library. That will take time!)
I also wove up a very small sample using a precious handspun yarn that a friend gifted to me a few years back:
It’s a marl yarn, I think tussah silk with a brown wool or alpaca. It’s gorgeous.
And here is what it looks like woven with a white 30/2 silk warp, in the pomegranate pattern:
The patterning with the marl yarn reminds me of a certain kitten I know:
So I think I’ll draft and weave a tabby-striped pattern, satin alternating with plain weave (or should I call that “tabby”? 🙂 ). If I have enough yarn, I’ll weave a scarf and call it “Tigress”.
Speaking of which, in the continuing saga of the Adventures of Tigress, today’s story is about The Conquest of the Top Shelf:
It started innocently enough, with a kitten climbing the window screen:
But then, the intrepid explorer realized there were blinds to be conquered:
And what’s that? A ledge! Perfect for walking across:
And, finally, the brave little kitten reached the Promised Land: the top shelf!
And she looked on the world, and saw that it was good.
Of course, her brother had to try to join her, but without her knowledge of the Secret Path, not even Superkitten could conquer those shelves. He made a good attempt, though, which you can see in the video below.
And that’s all for today!