Lavender Fields

Another reflective scarf finished! This one’s complex pattern took me a lot longer than any of my recent creations. I also planned it out with a completely different color scheme, but once I got a few inches in changed my mind. Yarns might look amazing together when you line up the spools next to each other, but somehow everything changes once you actually start weaving them.

This overshot leaves pattern demands enough contrast that the complexity of the shapes actually stand out. Sometimes a change of plans can end up surprising you, and though it might not be what I was going for, this scarf is still beautiful.

I think I’m also finally getting the hang of capturing the reflective threads in photography too. Either that, or I just got incredibly lucky with this one. I’m okay with that, haha. There’s about 30 magical minutes when the sun isn’t quite down, but its dark enough that the flash doesn’t wash everything out, but its light enough that my camera can actually find a point to focus on, and the moon is in the right phase, and you turn around thrice widdershins, and and and…

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You can also sometimes get lucky before that though, when the sun is at a low enough angle sometimes it hits just right and you get dramatic sunset lighting AND the reflective moment. I’m particularly pleased with myself for the above transition gif.

Yarn Intimidation

I received some of the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen as a gift about a year ago, and I’ve been too intimated to do anything with it. Yes, I can utterly be intimidated by yarn. But I know I’m not alone. We’ve all had that moment where we’ve found a material so wonderful, and so perfect, we’re afraid to screw it up. Afraid to make that first cut of fabric. Afraid to unspool that yarn. Afraid to take the first step that you can’t undo, that means it’s begun and you better do it right.

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One thing that’s been holding me back is that the yarn is a wool/silk blend. It is spun slightly loose to make it light and fluffy and so so soft. But that means I’m a little afraid to risk it as warp threads, which take a fair amount of abuse from the heddles and the reeds. Its a great weft fabric, but it means I need something equally amazing as a warp fabric.

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I think I’ve found it. This is a super fine spun mulberry silk thread, dyed it a lovely dusty rose color. It is so smooth, and very very fine, but silk is super strong. And the color is subtle enough that I hope it will allow the dyed blend to really pop and be the star of the show.

Now, I just have to work up the courage to begin.

Autumn Colors

I’ve made a couple of these scarves at this point, it seems to be one of the most popular color combinations. Its one of my personal favorites, so I can understand why. It’s also the perfect time of year for them. This scarf just sold on Etsy, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take some photos of it on this glorious fall day. It matches the leaves around me perfectly.

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Blue for Houndstooth

This was another commission scarf for a friend, and again it turned out even better than I planned. Commissions are fun! They get me out of my own point of view and give me an excuse to play with something new. She loves blues, greens and purples and liked the thought of houndstooth pattern. She wanted a scarf to keep her warm and safe when she is out cycling at night, so I increased the ratio of reflective strips and did one every half inch. And that certainly did make a difference, this scarf lights up incredibly well.

The colors turned out perfect. It is actually the exact same yarns I used in the Peacock Scarf, but the impression this scarf leaves is so different! Its one of the things I find most fascinating about weaving, its not just the color of the yarn that matters, its the color of the yarn next to it as well, and the one next to that.

Okay, who wants a scarf next?

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Dyed Warp Scarves – A study in teal

These are two scarves I did much earlier in this year. A fellow crafter and I worked out a deal for trading commissioned art objects. I wanted a carved hair pin, and she wanted a woven scarf. This is the hairpin I ended up with, which is amazing and perfect and exactly what I was hoping for. I love that it stares at you. 13221208_944075643278_2196960803119822986_o

When talking about what she wanted in a scarf, she has a favorite shade of blue-teal-gray-silver that she loves. Of course, finding the exact right shade was going to be impossible, so I decided to play with dyeing my own yarn.

The base yarn was my ever favorites Earth Guild Dragon Tales boucle yarn. Its a rayon fiber, so easy to dye. And the boucle structure means it catches light well, is somewhat shiny, super absorbent, and simply easy and fun to weave.

I think its always interesting to see how colors play with each other when weaving, its not like any other art I’ve played with. Both of these scarves use teal yarn from the same dye lot in their warp. But because of the other yarns they are paired with, you end up with dramatically different scarves.

Both scarves use the same tie-up, a broken twill design that creates interesting diamond shapes. The one on the left uses Dragon Tales “taupe” color for the weft that lightens the effect and gives it an excellent gold shimmer. The one on the right uses the same dyed teal in the warp and the weft, but also their “autumn spice” variegated yarn as stripes down the warp, and to create an color transition effect at each end of the scarf.

In the end, neither scarf was the exact shade my friend was looking for. But she said this gold-ish one “called to her heart,” so I consider it and overwhelming success.

The one I call “circus colors” is still available (etsy link), if you feel like falling in love with it…

Halloween Fun

I was a little worried about Halloween this year. What with life being so busy, and spending all of September in Berlin, I hadn’t had time to come up with another brilliant amazing idea (if I do say so myself), much less SEW it. But it all turned out well in the end, even if I did cheat a little bit.

If you remember, I sewed a pretty amazing pickle dress for the Science of Sour event. It was such a beautiful dress, it needed to get worn again. So, I decided to be a pickle fairy!

What’s a pickle fairy, you ask? Its an excuse to wear a pickle dress with pickle themed jewelry and wave around a pickle fork as a wand, and hand out sour pickles to people at parties which are usually devoted solely to consuming as many overly sweet things as possible. With glitter. And yes, that is dill in my hair, with a tiny cocktail fork.

The pickle fork was actually the trickiest part of this costume. Who would have thought that such a specifically useless piece of flatware would be so difficult to find? Luckily there’s a place nearby called Replacements, Ltd whose purpose in life is to supply you with an exact match for that teacup you broke from your grandmother’s teaset, or the silver fork that got lost, etc etc. If you’re ever in central North Carolina you need to go find this place. It is part gigantic warehouse of old plates and forks and cups, all documented and findable, and part MUSEUM OF THINGS. Like collectable teacup sets with Elvis Presley on them, or strange porcelain people, or fantastically expensive wedgwood things. Anyways, go there.

They also had pickle forks, thank goodness. I couldn’t decide between two forks, so I got both. One from 1910, one from 1900, both silver plate, and long, and shiny, and curvy. Perfect for wands.

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My favorite part of this costume turned out to be the jewelry. The best part about working at such a creative place are the trades. Yes, I will absolutely trade you a woven scarf for a pretty hand carved hair piece. I’m looking for some pickle jewelry, of course I’ll do some sewing for you… So yes, I got to commission some hand made themed jewelry on the spot. And oh did they ever turn out PERFECT.

Yes, she printed out tiny vintage pickle labels. And yes, she molded each individual tiny pickle. And yes, the jars have real liquid in them and the pickles move around a bit when you turn them. I can not imagine more perfect and beautiful jewelry. I mean look how tiny they are, that is my THUMBNAIL in the picture, compared to the jar for this earring.

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