Saturday, 9 September 2017


I mentioned back in May that I had been working on scarves for the Geelong Scarf Festival but that they had to stay under wraps for a while.  Once I sent the 3 scarves off, life got busy and I forgot about them until I went to the post office this morning and found a nice cheque from the Festival as all three had sold.  It seems as though my work appeals to the patrons of this Festival as I’ve sold  10 of the 11 scarves I’ve entered over the past 3 years.

I documented this year’s scarves as I made them but wanted to share some of the details here.  This year’s theme was ‘Galaxies’ and I’ve just heard that the theme for 2018 is ‘Life on the Land’, thank goodness they choose nice broad themes that can be interpreted many ways.

First up was a chenille number.  I’d had a skein of random dyed mock chenille for years and I could just see a brilliant milky way under a velvety black outback sky.  I planned the warp carefully as I only had one cone of the black chenille.  I wanted to space the contrast threads further out at the edges and more densely in the middle.  I calculated very carefully and ended up with 20 threads more than I had planned.  I threaded it according to my plan and realised that if you warp alternate dark and light threads – you get stripes, not stars.  I had to undo what I’d done and put the lease sticks back in.  That’s actually harder than you might think if there’s no-one round to help, but with heavy books on the treadles I managed to get the lease sticks back in and threaded it again, this time with an even number of dark threads between the light ones to give offset dots and some illusion of stars rather than the previously mentioned stripes. 

I was sure that the warp was 4.5 meters long, enough for 2 scarves 2 meters long and some loom waste.  I was a little surprised when I got to the end of the second scarf and still had a meter of warp left.  Maybe it stretched, although it was the right length when wet finished, or maybe the 4.5 meter guide string for the warping mill was actually a longer one in disguise.  I was pleased with the end result,

the colours worked eventually and it had that great rayon chenille silky hand.  I hope the purchaser is enjoying it.

For my next effort I decided to recycle some silk fabric from a window display at work.  At first glance it appeared to be an all over print and even as I seamed the edges together so it would hang well as a backdrop, I failed to notice that it was actually a border print.  Sitting at the front desk, contemplating  the join on the back of it one day, I realised that it was in fact a border print. 

I had to think about it for a while to get the best from the design but I cut the fabric in half crossways and started to cut narrow strips from the darker side with the overlocker, unthreaded and with no needles, using the mark I'd put on the machine last time I needed narrow strips.

 I threaded a needle with a length of hairy wool yarn

so that the strips of silk wouldn’t slide off too easily and threaded each strip on, in order, as I cut it and slipped each one off the other end of the piece of yarn as I needed to weave it being very careful to weave with them in the correct order. 

When I was about half way, I measured how much I had used, cut a similar length off the other piece of fabric and started cutting from the lighter side. I find that it's not too hard to cut the strips straight with the overlocker and this was what was left as I cut the last full strip.

I’m pleased to say that it worked so that the colour in my scarf was lighter in the middle and matched at the ends.  Up close it looked like some sort of digital code so it was named 'Messages from afar'

and I hope the purchaser is enjoying this one also.

On other fronts there has been good progress with the small shirts and I've turned the heel on the second of the Catalina socks so it's been a reasonably productive week


1 comment:

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