Missing the Studio,… I’m Back!

Woven shibori, fresh off the loom.
Woven shibori, fresh off the loom.

Last Thursday or so, another woven shibori scarf finally came off the loom.  I also found another, in a plastic bag, which had a pattern row treadling error.   The offending thread was removed, and a new plain weave row was needle-woven in.  Thank goodness for my Ott floor lamp with magnifier!  Cataracts are making themselves known and without the magnifier, I would not have been able to see well enough to replace that row.  Both were now ready for the next step in the woven shibori process.

The start of gathering pattern threads on first long edge of scarf.
The start of gathering pattern threads on first long edge of scarf.

Before dyeing, the pattern threads (green threads, above in pic) were gathered along one long edge, then the loops on that edge are clipped and tied into tight knots.

Gahters made, now tying knots.
Gathers made, now tying knots.

When one side was completed the same was done along the other long edge, making sure both gathers and knots were very tight, as that is the “resist” to keep the dye from penetrating through.  This warp is 10″ wide at the reed, but when ready to dye was less than 1″ wide.

Saturday morning, a new indigo vat was mixed.  It was made with warm water, causing it to produce a great amount of “flower” which I had to continually be removing.  In the video above, made tonight, there is less flower as the temperature has gone down, both outside and inside my home/studio.  I’m stirring it twice daily and it continues to have both flower and the green color that  you want in the vat.

Air-drying (with help of fan) after indigo dye vat.
Dyed scarves and squares air-drying (with help of fan) after indigo dye vat.

After giving it time to work, I tested color with four squares of PFD cotton, followed by two woven shibori scarves.  I’m keeping those squares, setting them aside for a future, but as yet unknown, project.

Right after clipping knots on one edge, pulling pattern threads out from other side, revealing the pattern.
Right after clipping knots on one edge, pulling pattern threads out from other side, revealing the pattern.

When the woven shibori scarves were almost completely dry, they were opened to reveal the pattern. They are about to be washed, well-rinsed, then air-dry again, followed by pressing and finishing.  I am hoping one will be a scarf with fringe, the other will be a cowl.

I had let guild members know I would be dyeing that morning, and Deb and Liz dropped by to watch the indigo dye process, and Louise (friend and guild member) was here to also indigo dye a few pieces.

There is still a bit of warp left on the loom, which I am weaving off in plain weave for pieces to hand-stitch designs on, along the lines of dragonflies, bamboo, done previously.

Meanwhile, I am deciding on the new warp,… more scarves? Less width for narrower scarves?  Or a few inches wider for a first garment?  I’ve been collecting a few patterns, and researching width needed for panels, and decisions on design, and pattern(s), in other words, threading and tie-up, need to be made.

White phlox growing near the apple tree.
White phlox growing near the apple tree.

Meanwhile, outside the studio, it has been a fairly rainy summer and early fall.  The phlox were better than usual this year, their beauty and fragrance take me immediately back to my childhood, and the phlox my mother had in a flowerbed.

Toadstool, early autumn.  Poisonous I was warned.
Toadstool, early autumn. Poisonous I was warned.

Another result of these rainy weeks has been more than the usual number of toadstools this year.  I posted this photo on Facebook, and at least a couple people warned me it was poisonous.  I never pick fungi of any kind, not being a fan (except for  dyeing in future), and leave them for the wildlife that can safely eat them.

Speaking of wildlife, Wild Instincts called me last Friday evening, could I pick up (and possibly catch) a seagull with a fishing lure through its beak.  Certainly, and off I went.  Before arriving, a call came to let me know the gull had been caught.  Thankfully, Mark N., rehabber, was able to quickly cut the small curved end of the lure, pull the larger part out of the beak.  The gull was only slightly underweight, and it was placed in a cage and put in a quiet space to recover and be cared for.

And where have I been since February?  I was emptying cupboards, drawers, closets, boxes, going through endless amounts of “stuff,” over 35 years worth,… giving some away, tossing quite a bit, and packing boxes.  Two family members moved out in early June so then I had the adjustment to make of living alone, again.  I am not done going through everything, summer flew by, and the year is nearing its end.  The new plan is over the winter, finish going through things, packing, finishing up work on the house, and do my best to be ready to list the house by May 1st, 2017.

With all this, very little weaving was getting done, which was expected.  I had been missing weaving and dyeing, and will be making it a priority again.  I’ve joined ArtizanMade and will also be part of the ArtizanMade Market  so I’m looking forward to a more time in the studio.

And not is it autumn!  There is a woodburning range in my kitchen, providing about 60% of my heat from mid-to-late October through mid-April, except there is no firewood ready!  I had someone here last week to cut the 8′ lengths of wood (3-4 loggers cords) for me. Now it is my turn to spend a lot of time outdoors at the log splitter, and stacking wood in racks in my garage, and then the woodshed.  A year ago, our first light snow was October 16th!  That gives me very little time to get a big job done.

I’ll be back in a day or two with photos of the finished scarves, and the tiny bit of recent progress with the Regina loom.  See you then!

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