With all of my weaving efforts and energy focused on my new Glimakra 8 shaft countermarche loom, my little Schacht Mighty Wolf 4 shaft loom has stood forgotten and neglected for quite awhile. I had been in the enthusiastic midst of my summer and winter explorations when I found the ad for the Glimakra during the first week of June this year. Every thing else got set aside after that.
Eventually I realized that I would have to finish up that project and get it off the loom, so here is what I was working on and what I've done with it since then.
I first started exploring summer and winter last March, because I participated in an Online Guild summer and winter weaving workshop. Between March and June, I wove samplers, dishtowels, and rugs, focusing quite a bit on Fibonacci stripes. One thing I began to wonder is whether I could use variegated, space dyed type yarns with summer and winter. I had two cones of Peaches and Creme 4-ply cotton yarn, so I decided to experiment and see what I could come up with. In the back of my mind I was thinking about place mats.....
.... but I did some samples as mug rugs first. I experimented with different colors for both pattern weft and tabby weft. I was fairly satisfied with these, so I warped the loom for a series of 6 place mats. However, once I started weaving, I really wasn't happy with them.
Here is one and a half place mats, and it was at about this point that I decided that the space dyed areas and the summer and winter areas didn't compliment one another the way I had hoped. So I decided to just weave the rest of it off in plain weave with an 8/2 cotton weft, like so ........
I have long been intrigued by the space dyed look. Marie does this quite a bit, but she dyes her own yarns. Since my space is very limited at the moment, I've been looking for ways to fake this technique. Hence the use of these yarns. This experiment involved cutting each length of warp separately and tying it on. I did this in an attempt to tie on each warp end at the same spot in the yarn's color sequence. I wasn't particularly careful about it however, so the effect I like got lost. I did discover that they color sequence on the yarns was a little irregular, so that didn't help either.
Oh well. It was an experiment after all. When I gave up on the summer and winter, I also gave up on the place mat idea, as it was weaving up narrower than I'd wanted. However, after staring at the fabric for awhile, I did use some of it to make this diddy bag for my Dad for his birthday. The drawstring is an i-cord knitted from the blue. He was happy with it. I also have an idea to make either a purse or a sock knitting bag for myself as well.
Of course, going back to this project gave me with some new ideas regarding using space dyed yarns. Even with the temporary interruption of learning my new loom, I hope to get back to this. Better yet, I hope to someday be able to do my own dying, which I'm sure will yield better results. Happily, I recently found out that Kaz will be doing an ikat workshop next year for the Online Guild. If you are interested in this type of weaving, then I encourage you to join the OLG! For more information, click on the above link, and then on "Subscription Information."