Monday, 29 June 2009

Carding a rainbow

I've been so busy I've not had a chance to go near the weaving loom for at least a week. I think it's starting to sulk, and do feel guilty for neglecting it.

I did, at the expense of weaving time, spend a good bit of my weekend carding, and also cheating slightly. The point of this is a challenge to blend primary colours into colours for a project, but the colours supplied were the bright sherbet colours in my previous post, with white roving to make them paler, but nothing to make them darker. I don't really do sherbet pastels, so the application of a little dark garnet, dark blue and black dye to strategic pieces of the roving made me much happier. I have dark red, red/pink/orange, red/orange, yellow, green, mid blue, dark blue and purple.

Now for the next bit: to spin it all up.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Carding a rainbow

With a few spare hours to myself last night, I busied myself with this:

These aren't complete, but they're the beginnings of some colour experiments. I'd done the initial trials with hand carders and wasn't happy with the result. Having only used the drum carder to process raw fleeces rather than blending before, I've concluded that the drum carder really does make blending easier, faster and more effective.

I won't be continuing with this tonight, as I'll spend the evening travelling up to a hotel in preparation for a seminar up north tomorrow. So instead, I'll take my trusty Little Gem wheel, and this:

It looks grey in the photo, but this is coal black-dyed silk cap.

What else do you do with an evening alone in a hotel, other than spin?

No decisions on the further training ideas as yet. The ideas are still spinning in my head. I want to do something because I'm always keen to have a qualification in my interests, but I've not yet fopund something that's a firm fit.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Bradford HNC

So for several years now, I've been prevaricating about maybe possibly applying for the Bradford HNC in weaving. It's seemed a sensible way to go about making myself think more about design in what I do. But the nature of my job, and (as always) the thought of spending all that money have prevented me from doing so.

But this post from Jane has convinced me that maybe I need to apply and commence this year, before it disappears completely from its present format. So, despite the fact that I'll be overseas for three months over the winter, I've just made an on-the-spot 'panic' application.

Can anyone give me any reasons why this would be a bad idea?

EDIT: talking further with Jane informs me that the current crop of students are the last to attend the course in the existing format anyway. But the idea is in the head...

Monday, 1 June 2009

Reversible pleated scarves

When not on holiday (or wishing my holidays hadn't come to an end), I've still been having fun with pleats. After the last round, I decided to see whether I could make areversible pleated scarf, in two colours.

By making each 3/1, 1/3 twill block an alternating shade of light and dark blue, I created a scarf that is dominated by the light blue warp and the weft on one side, and the dak blue warp and the weft on the other side. Of course there's nothing new under the sun - I wove this a while ago now, and was sure I'd come up with something unusual and interesting, only to have the latest issue of Handwoven arrive the next day with an article about two-tone pleated scarves!

This scarf was made using rayon for the warp and various bits of blue silks (some commercial, some variegated hand-dyed and spun silk cap). I wasn't sure the rayon would pleat up as well as wool because it's so slippery, but it rolled up a treat when washed.

I did this to test the idea, before committing my precious handspun silk to the same treatment. I did, and am really pleased with the result, of which more later. In the meantime, the drape on the rayon is so lovely and I'm enjoying this exploration so much, this weekend I've warped up a long warp of black and beige rayon, to make a more scarves: