Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Faux Basketweave

This might not be a faux basket weave so much as a simple one.  My sister-in-law requested a silver belt.  I wanted to make it interesting but I was limited to yarns that included metallic silver strands.  So I decided to try doubling some of the warps.  I'm really happy with the results.  It's a subtle addition to a simple belt.  It gives the piece a more sophisticated feel.

The texture was difficult to photograph.  You'll mostly have to take my word for it.  I played with Photoshop a little and got a posterized photo which might help you see the detail better.  Or it might be worse.  dunno.  Guess you'll just have to weave your own?

The middle section is the basket weave.  The darker grey borders are a plain weave.  For the middle, I doubled every third warp.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Variegate Surprise

How quickly a variegate changes color impacts the final pattern a lot.  It can also matter how long your warp set up is as this will change where the colors lie next to each other from one warp to the next.  (this assumes a continuous warp)

Often I just let the colors do what they will.  Sometimes I don't like the results.  Other times it's great.

and sometimes it's bacon.
Blue bacon this time, so I called it Smurf bacon.  Then I realized that would be copy right infringement and I changed the description to just mentioning Smurfs.  hope that's allowable

The yarn for this was Peaches and Cream in a cone size.  I don't have the label anymore so I don't know the exact color.  The length of my warp was about probably 19 to 20 feet.  I made three 6 foot straps.  Each strap would need a couple extra inches for hems and there would have been shrinkage and waste.  The warp might have been as long as 25 feet.  I don't know anymore unfortunately.

For another strap I decided to line up the colors.  Every warp I cut the yarn and tied it back at roughly the same point in the color pattern.  I probably could have adjusted the warp length so the colors would line up, but, well, I didn't.

The length of the color change worked really well for the intended products.  It was a fluke that it turned out this way but I hope I can recreate it.  The warp was the same length as the blue one above.  The yarn was Sugar 'n Cream Naturals.  I called these ombre since that seems to be a thing now.

This last one is an example of when it didn't turn out so well.  I didn't realize at first the grey had a bit of color change to it.  I tried to rearrange the warps to lessen the white/black division but I still don't like it.  In the future I would want two separate balls and I would alter between them.  With long distance tone changes like this one you also have to be concerned with maintaining symmetry.  It's not awful but it does add work.

The grey yarn is Special Twirl dK by Stylecraft.  color - Slate 1655

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Turquoise and Brown

I like how the colors worked on this pattern.  I was expecting them to blend well, but was still surprised.  The green somehow blends when seen from a distance almost creating an illusion that the turquoise flowers are glowing.  (not sure anyone else calls them that but I think of the plus sign formation of dots as flowers)

 T T B B G G G T G G B B B B B G G T G G G B B T T 

T = Turquoise
G = Pea or Olive Green
B = Chocolate Brown

weft = Turquoise

This material is worsted weight cotton.  The turquoise is Bernat.  The brown and green are Sugar 'n Cream.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dream Catchers for Special Olympics

The August project for Artist's Helping Hands was to make dream catchers that will be given out as prizes at the Special Olympics.  http://www.etsy.com/teams/12039/artists-helping-hands/discuss/10641888/

I had a lot of fun making these, but it took much longer than I thought it would.  I should be better prepared if we do it again next year.

The first thing I learned was that wetting the branches didn't really help.  Just getting them bent into loops as soon as possible was best.  Leaving them outside in Texas heat while cutting more branches is not good.  So cut, bend, cut, etc.

The tutorial I was vaguely following showed to dip the yarn into watered-down glue as you wrap.  I would not recommend this.  It was so messy.  I was splashing glue all over myself and the couch.  After not too long, I just wrapped the yarn and then put the glue on.

I quickly realized that the yarn held itself pretty well.  Halfway around the first one I stopped applying glue at all until it was entirely wrapped.

After it dried, I decided I really didn't like the look of the wrapping.  I don't know if you can see in this picture, but to me it looked like a cast.  For all the rest, I only applied glue to the inside and I like how they turned out much more.

With glue covering all the yarn

With glue only on the inside

The beads donated by Gwen really brought these dream catchers together.  Some were wonderfully glazed a bright blue with silver writing and/or glitter.  Others were left unglazed which made them safer to be handled by younger children. 

I played around with several different yarns.  My favorite for my own style preferences was the brown fuzzy yarn.  I really like how the fibers blended with the cotton thread of the webbing, making it even more web-like.  It also looked very natural (as in, from nature) to me while still being glittery and fun.

Here they all are hanging to dry after I applied some glue to make sure the knots would hold and the wrapping would stay in place.