Thursday, October 15, 2015

Upping the Ante

With my health issues taking most of my time and energy lately, I confess my weaving has been...well, I had enough challenges on my plate.  So I stuck to the tried and true, the stuff I didn't have to think about much, that was pretty well ingrained in my thought processes.   Sticking to what was easy for me meant that weaving was mostly about the therapy, not about the intellectual challenge.

Re-visiting rayon chenille scarves, I felt I needed to be more challenged.  I had kind of burned out of doing the 'usual' and started thinking about options, if only to make them more interesting to me.

Since I want to weave the stash down, the first challenge was to see what I could do with what I have on hand.  Since some colours are low enough there might not be enough for weft, the first decision was to use some 2/16 cotton for weft.  This would do two things...the rayon chenille would only be used for warp and the cotton would make a lighter weight cloth.

The initial prototype scarves were acceptable but a bit predictable.  As I started weaving the warps, surface attention was given to the weaving allowing my little grey cells to mull over other options and I came up with a further modification to the stripe sequence I had designed.  

This option isn't easy, in fact it takes quite a lot of concentration to wind.  But I was able to do it, which tells me I am continuing on the healing journey since my addled brain was able to not only come up with something decidedly different AND accomplish my objective.  

I am not back to where I was, yet, but feel that I am making progress.  Thank you for your support and encouragement.  It is very much appreciated.  

Currently reading Murder Road by Stephen Booth


steelwool said...

Love the idea of weaving with what you have on hand. Relatively inexperienced weaver here and I would love it if you could distill your knowledge of how to use leftovers, (or partial cones repurposed from other weavers) and get something useable. Would have loved it when I started weaving and bought a shuttle only to discover that length of bobbin was not the only variable. Ebay is not always your friend. Was just gifted with 4 partial cones of cotton yarn. I think it is what is called flake cotton. Can I use this as weft for dishtowels? No labels....sigh.

Laura Fry said...

Cotton flake can make good weft for towels depending on how thick it is. Combined with a finer cotton for warp and the flake for weft, the resulting cloth should be thirsty if not too thick to function as a towel. Of course it could be a hand or bath towel rather than a 'tea' towel...

Teena Tuenge said...

I've been weaving with a bit of chenille lately making pleated garments and scarves.
I set the 1450 yards per pound rayon chenille at 20 epi and weave with 20/2 rayon as weft. (or if you have access to a singles or something that does some shrinking, it works about the same. The regular chenille weft pleats, also, though not quite as dramatically.
Doing 3/1 and 1/3 stripes about 8-12 ends wide. ( I have some flexibility on size of the two twill areas because I'm threading 24 shafts in a straight draw.) Makes nice supple pleated scarves after wet finishing. With a flared hem area, though I also serge that with some 10/2 cotton in my upper and lower looper.
If this interests you, I could send more details or pics. Am at an art fair until Sunday evening, but could correspond more after that.
Teena Tuenge

Laura Fry said...

Thanks Teena, your cloth sounds lovely. :) And gives me more ideas to pursue. I have a fairly fine rayon with a tiny bit of a slub that might do. Will have to experiment after the new year. In the meantime I'm continuing with my plain weave for now. Have run out of time to prototype more designs before the sales start. :)


Margaret Copeland said...

I have done lots of scarves and shawls with rayon as warp. I used to be able to get smoothly plied rayon at about a 10/2's but rayon thick and thin 8/2s works very well. It makes a very nice twisted fringe, not smart for production, but also a neat under turned hem. If you want to use up the stash, if you have any rayon besides chenille, they love each other. Also .... cotton flake 3200 + ypd loves rayon chenille. It makes for super easy weaving and the chenille still retains its qualities. A 10/2s cotton merc is also a candidate.