I'll christen this blog with a project that I started in January of this year, inspired by the gorgeous samples in Sharon Alderman's 'Mastering Weave Structures'. I had the 12H Woolhouse Carolyn available for a new warp, and one of my favorite fibers to weave with is Infinity (Soy) Silk. I envisioned a plain weave scarf with doubled ends at each inch repeat in a contrasting color and mirrored in the weft. Because I didn't want the unsightly and glaring woven in ends of the doubled contrasting weft shots, I sent this photo to my dear friend and fellow weaver, Ellen, and said: 'Ellen! Heaven help me! But I think I'm going to have to do something other than weave in these ends....maybe some kind of small bead'? Ellen most enthusiastically wrote back: 'Oh yes!!! Can't you just see pearls at those ends'?
I went through so many needles (the eye would eventually fall apart after maybe 6 or 7 bead threadings) and threaders (I think they're just simply not made very well) because of the sheer number of threadings required for each bead. I've tried to capture the process; I hope I can get it all in order:
First, I would clip / trim the ends of each doubled weft shot...
..next thread both onto the needle, followed by stringing a single pearl (Swarovski pearl beads come in a variety of beautiful colors!!)
|In order to ensure that the bead did not later pull off, I tied two square knots after making sure that the bead was not pulling into the woven fabric....|
|...at that point, each of the two threads were re-threaded and brought back through the bead.....|
I have to say that although it took as many hours to bead this scarf as it did to set up and weave (a total of about 35 hours altogether), I *so* love how it turned out! And truth be known, I found all of that time spent beading to be very relaxing and enjoyable. So I will certainly be doing this again, given how much I love the finished product.
When it then came to fringing, I tried a few fringes using the hemstitched bouts of 6 threads; however, it was just too anemic a fringe for my liking. I borrowed from the inspiration of Susan Harvey's gorgeous finishings and decided to combine two hemstitched bouts per twist. While I prefer a 3-ply fringe for its balance, which I did on the first side, what ended up happening was that the side that was divided in two in order to create the three sections had an obvious 2 sections in the area nearest the scarf which creates the little triangle. I decided to slap my OCD thoughts aside on the second edge and try two ply fringes, which made the little triangular sections nearest the scarf edge much nicer. I know now that I need to spend more time in the planning for how the fringes are going to be worked, including the size of the hemstitched bout that I need as well as the requirements of each fringe in order to have it come out just as I like.
And now I realize that in wrestling with the photos and captions, I became frustrated and just stopped before finishing...which is what I do....
...but in closing, this is 'our scarf', as Ellen and I have referred to it for the past 6 months. It took 6 months to finally finish (mostly because I detest shopping. so would have long stretches inbetween when my needle supply was exhausted)....and many hours of joy. I thank you, Ellen, for your great vision and ongoing encouragement!!
Until next time.......