Woven Shibori Scarves – Well, Finally! (Originally Published 8/2/16)

I was preparing to list these Woven Shibori scarves in my Etsy shop (see button on the right!). As I sometimes do, I got out my trusty weaving notebook to refresh my memory about the details of these scarves. Turns out I started this project in December of 2015. What??? Could that be true?

I started the planning in December. Somehow, during the holidays, I got the warp wound and on the loom and started weaving. I blogged about the weaving on January 2016. And I blogged about the scarves again on March 12. This picture accompanied that post, so clearly I had been working. Off and on.

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It’s all a blur now. There was so much going on at the time with the house sale and all the work that was going on regarding that. I’m surprised I got this much done. Still, it’s shocking how long it all took.

My notebook contains only the bare bones of the project. Warp: 2000 ypp white rayon chenille sett at 20 epi. Advancing twill threading with a 48 end repeat and a total of 192 warp ends. Plus two floating warps that were really unnecessary. I have a printout of a drawdown. And I have three treadling order printouts for the pattern shots. Five scarves. Three printouts. I must have used two of them twice. Who remembers?

And that’s all she wrote. I thought I would have recorded my dye colors. But no. This one is probably melon and overdyed with deep purple. [Ed. note: turns out I did mention dye colors in the previous post. ;-)]

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This one is blue, overdyed with indigo. I do remember the indigo dyepot. Vividly.

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The next two are indigo on white.

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And this one is burgundy, overdyed with black.

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That’s it. That’s all I can remember. Eight months is way too long between weaving projects. I need to get busy, and I do plan for some dishtowels very soon. And there will be notes.

I have the yarn in a bin somewhere or other…

Very Slow Cloth (Originally Published 3/12/16)

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Just realized it’s been almost two months since the last post. Much is happening Chez iowaweaver and much more is going to be happening very soon. We are still getting the house ready to sell, and it is a hard slog, but we are getting there. I had surgery a week ago Monday (planned, not an emergency, but definitely putting a crimp in my style). But, I have scarves to show off!

I am done weaving until after the move. All the yarn, except for some skeins of sock yarn for knitting, is in storage. My last warp was for a batch of Woven Shibori Scarves (see my previous post). I ended up with five scarves, quite a lot for me, as I am not really a production weaver.

I used a threading from the book Woven Shibori by Catherine Ellis. It’s an advancing twill on 8 harnesses, and for each scarf I did something different in the treadling to minimize the boredom factor (see my previous post). So, when dyed, each one has a slightly different look.

Technical details: I used 2000 yards per pound rayon chenille sett at 20 epi. The pattern threads (see my previous post) were 6 ply DMC embroidery floss that I bought on the cone at Walmo online. FYI, embroidery floss works really well here. It’s strong, cause you need that for gathering the scarves and tieing them for dyeing.

I used an indigo dye kit by Jacquard for three of the scarves. If you haven’t tried this dye method yet, I highly recommend it. It’s super easy if you follow the directions. The kit makes a ton of dye, and you can pretty much go crazy with it until it’s finally used up. Fair warning: it smells…. earthy…  And you’ll need a five gallon bucket with a lid to keep it in.

Indigo is considered a vat dye, where the goods to be dyed are submerged in the dye pot. So, after drawing up the pattern threads very tightly and tieing them on each scarf, you dip them in the dye bucket and kind of swirl them around for about a minute or two. It doesn’t take long! The scarf on the left had been dye-painted with a light blue fiber reactive dye for a base. The other two were left completely white.

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The other two scarves were dye-painted in other colors with fiber reactive dyes. One was dusty rose, the other coral pink. When it came to the shibori dyeing faze, I again painted the dye on, On dusty rose I used black dye, which rinsed and dried to a dark dark burgundy. On coral pink I used purple.

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After rinsing and drying well, the scarves kind of sat around for a long time until I felt well enough to start cutting the embroidery floss threads and revealing the underlying patterns. I then machine washed the scarves to get the pleats out and get a real look at all of them.

Next step will be to wash them (again) and dry them in a dryer so I can finally pull out the headers and twist the fringes.

Slow? Yeah.

 

Boooooooring! (Origially Published 1/15/16)

It’s been a while since I tried my hand at Woven Shibori. I looked back to my previous blog posts and I was astonished at just how long it’s been. My first one was in 2010. Yikes.

So, there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t necessarily call Woven Shibori my favorite technique. You’ve got an all white rayon chenille warp and weft, broken up by the occasional shot of aqua embroidery floss. And there are yards and yards and yards of it.
Still, it has its attractions. The real reward comes with the big reveal after all the dyeing.
But, the title of this post pretty much sums it up.

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Reasons for this warp there are:
1. We are packing to sell the house and move. I have very little yarn left that is isn’t in storage. But I did have a huge cone of white 2000 ypp rayon chenille.
2. I still haven’t packed my dye stash, and expect to paint a bit more yarn before that happens, so dyeing is still something I can do quite readily. And this project should use up a lot of dye.
3. I have an indigo dye kit that I purchased a few months ago that would be nice to use.
So, I put in my time every day at the loom until my neck tells me to stop. I’m weaving about one third of a scarf per day. I could be done sometime next week. Then it will be time to fold up the loom.