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Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Spring" Project

From April through the end of September, the Erickson Center for the Arts in Curtis is running an exhibit called "Americana Medley" which features metal working, basket weaving, quilting, spinning, metal and textile weaving. I offered to house my Harrisville floor loom there for the exhibit and to weave on it throughout the summer.

This means I needed to come up with a project. I was originally thinking lace woven table runners but when push came to shove I hadn't ordered the materials in time to get the loom up and going. I remembered I had 3.25 pounds of Polwarth wool and silk sport weight yarn so decided to weave a couple of shawls.

But what colors? When in doubt, choose your favorites! I hand dyed seven skeins of yarn- five in varying shades of green and two in shades of blue and purple. My original idea was to use the green as the warp and then weave one shawl with green also as the weft and one shawl using the blue and purple as the weft. The day I dyed was a sunny, albeit cold, day so the first drying leg was on the deck.

Since I am a beginning weaver (though I've owned this loom for about five years!), I still need help in the mysterious ritual of warping. My friend Jane, who is a remarkable woman on many fronts, came over to help wind the warp and to dress the loom. We managed to wind the warp on and only break three ends! We took turns threading the heddles (and fixing a buggered up patch of mis-threading which meant adding 14 temporary heddles-thank the gods you can cheat!) and the warp is all wound on.

I'm excited about the looks like fine strands of kelp when looking at it in the right light. I'm not so sure about using the purple and blue yarn as weft sounded good at first with all the jewel tones but I can't imagine what it will really look like so I will weave a sample. If I don't like it I just need to dye one more skein of the green in order to weave two shawls in the "solid" green shade.

The pattern is going to be a Bronson Lace, so it will be a light open weave. I'm excited to get going on it!

Yesterday I had breakfast at the Sweetwater Cafe in Marquette after an overnight meeting. This was the first time I'd eaten there and I arrived a half an hour earlier than the rest of the party. I'm normally not someone who is comfortable sitting alone in a restaurant but I had my knitting, needed caffeine, and I hate hotel rooms so I headed over. I was DELIGHTED I had done this because I was able to savor the decor without distraction for a whole half hour sipping tea. The cafe features a revolving weaving exhibit every six months from the local Marquette Yarnwinders Fiber Guild. I love the peace flags and it would be a great project using weaving samples.


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