Saturday, August 13, 2016

Each One Precious

Wee Swedish Coverlets for Baby by RepWeaver

Weaving Wee Coverlets takes time. Each one is a labor of love. And that is how it should be. Time spent weaving these is perfect for contemplation. For me it really, truly is about devotion. It is my way of adding color, texture and warmth to new lives. Most importantly, it is my expression of love for little ones. Babies are so very precious. May babies and children ever be wrapped in love; may they ever feel precious and cherished. That is my wish for every child wrapped in a Wee Coverlet.

When UKI discontinued 20/2 perle cotton in colors, I ordered several cones from The Georgia Yarn Company. Choices were limited and, without sample cards, color names were all I had. Maybe there was a thumbnail shot of each color, but screens vary. So when the yarn arrived I was surprised at the intensity of this green. The color name is “Kelly Green”. I’d imagined it would be darker. Here was a challenge.

Wee Swedish Coverlet by RepWeaver
Showing Front Side
The warp and Tabby are Kelly Green with purple and yellow stripes plus occasional variegated ends. This particular variegation wasn't as bright. It has teal green, yellow, purple and white and was a bit of a stretch. The two sides of each piece are very different from one another. Variegated ends show more on the underside.

Wee Swedish Coverlet by RepWeaver
Showing Reverse Side
Recently I showed these latest Wee Coverlets to a group of my weaving friends. One of them asked if I thought there were any bad color combinations. I took this as a compliment as it is an excellent question. After a moment’s thought I replied, “Yes”. My idea of a bad color combination is one in which color values are too similar. If value and intensity are too close, pattern and structure can be lost. Scale also plays a part. Equal parts of similarly valued colors compete equally for attention. It is better to use more of one or the other. The “bad colors” question is food for further thought. What a great question!

Weaving this warp of Wee Swedish Coverlets was pure joy. The brightness of the warp and frequent color changes in the included variegated ends added interest. I wish for these six little blankets to swaddle six precious infants well into childhood. Younger siblings may enjoy them, too. That is if the older isn’t a “Linus”, clinging to his blanket for security. Or perhaps a beautiful beloved blankie will be too treasured to relinquish.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Wee Swedish Coverlets by RepWeaver

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wee Swedish Coverlets, Continued

Wee Swedish Coverlets by RepWeaver

After lengthy procrastination, finally I have a few more photos of my Wee Swedish Coverlets. For the longest time they sat in a neat folded stack on my kitchen island. My camera sat atop the stack.

These blankets are crib sized but still large enough to challenge my photographing capabilities. Perhaps if I had a crib it would have been easier to stage them. These are not excuses so much as evidence of my lack of confidence. In any case, here is what I managed to capture today. Perhaps these photos will give you a better sense of my Wee Coverlets. Now I can email photos to my daughter so she will be able to choose one of these for our tiny grandchild.

Wee Swedish Coverlets showing both fronts and backs
Weaving progresses on the second color way of these coverlets. I am working on the fifth one on the bright green warp and chose a bright pink for the pattern weft. We’ll see how that combination works. Until it is finished and washed I will not know for sure.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Wee Swedish Coverlets

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Finishing Touches

Trimming ends with appliqué scissors

When I take cloth from my loom I hem or edge finish the pieces before I wash them. After that  they go right into the washing machine with warm water and regular detergent. Next they go into the dryer until nearly dry. After that I press them until dry. 

It isn't until then that I take a close final look at each piece. Next comes trimming off all the little loose ends left from refilling shuttles or changing colors. I think of it as akin to writing "The End" after the final chapter of a book, not that I have ever written a book. But the final step in a project is satisfying, a certain kind of fun.

Do you have one of these? This little appliqué scissors is made by Gingher. Its sharply pointed and curved blades make trimming ends neat and accurate.

Right now I am about half-way through weaving a second warp of Swedish Wee Coverlets. The color is eye-popping. Some tiny children are going to love these. Let's hope their Papas and their Mamas like them, too.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wee Swedish Coverlet

Wee Swedish Coverlets by RepWeaver
With the arrival of our newest grandchild I needed to weave another Wee Coverlet. Since the Swedish Kitchen draft has been a success, I thought it would be nice to try it as a baby blanket. Mom’s favorite colors are blue and yellow and our baby is a fair, blue-eyed bundle of joy.

Here is a photo of the stack of five Wee Coverlets from this warp. Now all that is left is for me to snap more photos. I’ll post those when they are available. After that my daughter will have to choose one Wee Coverlet from the bunch for her sweet baby girl.

Corner Block of Wee Swedish Coverlet

Nearly glow-in-the-dark warp
Since these are finished, I am working on the next color-way of this design. This one is going to be eye-popping bright. I had been pondering how to use this kelly green 20/2 Perle Cotton from UKI. Paired with a variegated yarn plus yellow and purple this ought to be a winning combination. This new warp is so bright it might just keep me awake at night. Let's hope it doesn't have the same effect on babies. It is going to be fun choosing pattern weft colors.

Warp on/Weave off,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Marled Madness

Already it is April but the whole "March Madness" hype still rings in these ears. So I decided to make my own version and changed it to "Marled Madness".

Swedish Kitchen Towels with Marled yarn warp ends
Do you remember my puzzlement over how to use marled yarn? What is marled yarn? It is yarn of two or more colors plied together. The tube I have consists of one ply of navy blue and one ply of white spun together.

While pondering this question I decided to try using marled yarn in my Swedish Kitchen towels. It is in the places where I previously used variegated ends. This warp was maddening to weave because it was difficult to see where I was when doing the border.

While on the loom these did not impress me at all. In fact, they were hard to weave because they did not excite me.

Fortunately, initial impressions are often mistaken as was the case here. The finished towels are nicer than anticipated. Doing these was a good experience and I like them very much now.

In two of these towels I added marled tabby ends throughout. Weaving with three shuttles was fussy but the result is nice. The red and gold towels were done this way.

Detail of Swedish Kitchen Towel using marled ends in warp and tabby weft

Swedish Kitchen Towel
I put another new idea to use on the hems. You can see a couple of marled weft shots in the photo. They are spaced in such a way to mark the fold lines. This worked very well for me and I like the way it looks. Having that marled end near the sewing line at the top of the hem helped keep my sewing in a nice straight line.

For my next warp I am looking at colors and drafts for another of my "Wee Coverlets". There is a precious new addition to our family. I want to swaddle her in my love even though she lives very far away.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Swedish Kitchen

Swedish Kitchen Towels, Warp #109 by RepWeaver

Here, at last, are additional photos of Warp #109 towels mentioned in the previous post. Choosing colors and watching them interact gives me great joy while weaving. Having a few variegated ends in the mix mulitplies the fun.

Once these come off the loom there are always "Aha" moments. Colors and combinations that appealed most to me while weaving aren't always my favorites when finished.

Nine Swedish Kitchen Towels, Warp #109 by RepWeaver

Red pattern weft washed out the effect of
red in the variegated warp ends.

Since the variegated ends in this warp were a combination of red, brown, gold and forest green I thought the brighter red pattern weft would be my favorite. But it turned out to compete too much and washed out the effect of red of the variegation. The darker maroon pattern weft was far better, causing the brighter red in the warp to zing.

Swedish Kitchen towel by RepWeaver
Two shades of green that did not seem happy together
Here you see both front and back sides of the towel 
The green towel below was my least favorite while weaving. Its blue green pattern weft seemed to fight the yellow green in the warp and tabby. Do clashing colors set your teeth on edge? That is what these greens did to me as I wove. But in the finished towel the colors worked. One of my weaving friends even said the green one was his favorite of the lot. Green pattern weft does a fantastic job of highlighting the red variegation in the warp.
The reverse side of Swedish Kitchen Towel with Maroon pattern weft
This color combination proved a favorite both on and off the loom

Warp #110 with marled (navy and white plied together) warp ends used where before there were variegated ends
This is the current warp on my loom, the one I wrote about in the last post. I tied it to my two previous warps. The marled warp ends don't seem to be working the way I'd have liked. Maybe this will be another case in which the finished product outshines the work in progress. Let's hope.

Knitted Shaker Dish Cloths
Here is a good way to spend time when away from the loom. These are knitted Shaker Dish Cloths. Leave it to me to find another way to incorporate variegated yarn! These work well and are fun to use. Knit some for yourself or to give as gifts. The pattern is available for free at Very Pink. Look for other great patterns there as well including "World's Best Kitchen Scrubbie", one of my favorites.

That's what I'm up to today. I wonder what will happen tomorrow? One can never be too sure.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Back in the Saddle (Or Back on the Loom Bench)

Hello, again!

Warp #109 - Swedish Kitchen Detail by RepWeaver
Swedish Kitchen, Detail
It has been a long, long time. For several weeks I have been away. I spent three weeks over Christmas in Washington, D.C. Then most of February I was with our daughter and son-in-law who just gave us our third grandchild. Their new little sweetheart joins an older sister and brother so they are a very busy family. Mine was a working visit but loads of love and fun.  Now I am home again and missing them, yet, home is the very best place. And I am back at my loom.

Here are a few quick shots of my latest towels. I will take more but first I need to iron that stack of towels. Here also is a shot of the third iteration of this design. I am going out on a limb here and using a plied yarn in place of the usual variegated ends. Time will tell if it works. I will be sure to let you know.
Warp #109 - Swedish Kitchen by RepWeaver
Swedish Kitchen Towels by RepWeaver

There are no travel plans in my immediate future but there will be visitors. Oh, and we will be having our siding replaced and the house painted. Neither of these will take me away from home but may limit weaving time. The excitement continues!

Warp on/Weave off,


Warp #110, Swedish Kitchen by RepWeaver
Warp #110