Monday, March 11, 2013
Tomorrow morning Sarah, Pam, and I are off to the Hudson Valley for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. We are driving down Friday in the hopes of avoiding the traffic jam at the bridge crossing the Hudson River. Every year we sit for an hour waiting to go the last two miles. We will cross the river and spend the night in Hudson NY, then drive to Rhinebeck early in the morning. Keeping our fingers crossed that this will work out better, and looking forward to exploring Hudson. Sarah says there is a good Mexican Restaurant there, and that always sounds good to me.
Upon completing the threading for this project I couldn't wait to get started weaving. I started with with the dark green chenille, but it just didn't look right. I emailed Madelyn Van Der Hoogt who had designed the blanket and published it in Handwoven in 1995, and she gave me some advice. The dark green chenille contrasted too sharply with the natural cotton warp. It just wasn't visually pleasing with all those white threads laying over the chenille weft. Searching online, I finally found some of the heavyweight natural color cotton chenille at I Love Yarn. http://www.iloveyarn.com/ The owner said he would be able to send it in about a week, which turned into three weeks, but I was so relieved to find the right stuff, waiting was fine. So after some fits, lots of cutting out and starting over, the blanket is finally underway. There have been some problems with loose warp threads and broken warps on the right edge, but with almost 2000 ends, I expected some problems. There was one (yes, only 1) threading error and 1 sleying error. I finally found some instructions on-line to make a simple temple here http://www.woolgatherers.com/id105.htm and that seems to have solved the fraying problem. The weaving is a little slow, four weft colors, and the chenille between each color means changing shuttles often. As a short person, weaving a wide piece can take longer because all the leaning from side to side is tiring. The first pic shows the blanket in progress with the little paperclip temple in the lower left corner, the other picture shows the first attempt that didn't work.
This is Marie's original design so I won't be making any of these to sell, but I have a nice piece to wear and enjoy, and learned a lot in the process. We did ombre coloration which was new to me, and layed the felt out in an overlapping X pattern instead of the shingling I have always done. It made a thin yet structurally sound piece of felted cloth. Marie had pre-dyed all the silk gauze that we used in the class, and had serged all the edges with cotton so the stitching matched the silk. There was a big bin of merino roving and novelty yarns to chose from and each of the classmates came up with a unique and beautiful piece. We each made a little flower pin for a closure but they weren't finished in class, because the shaping had to dry.
I just looked at the Website for the Weavers Guild of Rochester and found out that the Overshot Throw I had put in the 65th Anniversary Guild Exhibit won the People's Choice Award. I was so surprised to find out. I am still in AZ and had someone pick up my pieces for me when they took the show down. The guild is also printing a book of the exhibit which will include a photo of my throw as well as the draft, if I ever get it written down correctly. Here is a link to the page on the guild website. The first piece pictured on this page is a huge overshot bedspread by Helen Jarvis, my teacher and the woman who literally wrote the book on Overshot. http://www.amazon.com/Weaving-Traditional-Coverlet-How-Book/dp/0934026432
The second piece on the page is mine. You can see pictures of the overshot weaving in progress in earlier posts on my blog.