Thursday, November 09, 2006

Woven Tote Bags, my happy accident.
This past spring I was playing around with double weave twill. I actually was working on a fabric not shown in the above picture, but that fabric led to the tote bags that you see. First I planned on making a lap throw. Fine. I was using the direct warp method, and was just about finished when I realized that on two of the 8 shafts, I had run out of heddles. Fine, I could start at the other end and add the 3" additional warp. Wouldn't you know it, I was short heddles on 2 of the other shafts on that side! Undaunted, I figured a wrap would probably be better yet. I wove the double weave twill, most times unweaving more than I actually wove. Fine. Then I got to the end of my weaving, feeling a bit uneasy that despite all the weaving that I had woven and unwoven, that it seemed a bit short. It was. Hmm. So I cut it off the loom, studied the fabric and realized that despite my best efforts, my fold was just dreadful, very holey , not nice at all. Well maybe once I finished it the holes and uneveness at the fold would work itself out. I threw it into the wash, and I lightly fulled the fabric. The fold was still awful. I also realized at this point that my fabric was going to be too short for a wrap, even with me and my short arms.
Even a shrug was out of the question. FINE. I would just felt the whole piece and figure out what to do with the fabric. Well the felting worked just great. It was a lovely soft woolen fabric. I kept thinking of all the time that went into a piece of fabric that could have more easily been woven flat on 4 shafts rather than double on 8 shafts. Well I did learn alot about double weave, although the fold still bothers me. I had woven a plain weave double woven piece, and was quite proud of that fold. What is it said about pride, it comes before the fall? Point taken.
Well I couldn't stop fooling around with the fabric, it really was quite nice, and by now the holes at the fold were totally gone. I folded the fabric this way and that, and suddenly there it was, the tote. I had left the fringes, which actually made the whole thing fall into place. So my fabric evolved from lap blanket, to wrap, to shrug, to felted fabric, to bag. Fine.

Handpun Crocheted Poncho

Handspun Hand Crocheted Poncho

Beth Ann stopped by the Wool Connection, the knitting store where I work, and was wearing this wonderful poncho that she spun and crocheted. As Beth Ann told me, the poncho was a happy accident, she couldn't find the rest of the cashmere she worked in the top, so had to work other yarns in to blend in and finish it with. She used shades of a silk blend for the rust/green colours, and finished it off with a yummy alpaca. Ellyn my co worker couldn't keep her hands off it, it was so soft. Of course Beth Ann found the rest of her cashmere when she was done!