Filed Under (Dyeing, Weaving) by jennyk on 14-05-2004

Tomorrow is the Annual General Meeting of one of my guilds, and also judging day for the annual Challenge. This year, the challenge is to make something with the two largest dimensions between 9″ and 15″ (in other words, the smallest thing you can enter would be a flat object 9″ square and the largest would be a 15″ cube).

I decided quite early on that one of my entries (as it turns out, my only entry) would be a cushion cover, as my other guild has that as its June challenge (a convenient coincidence). I couldn’t decide which technique to use until about a month ago when I saw an article in the then-latest Handwoven (March/April) about a black Tencel-and-metallic eyelash evening jacket (Sara Nordling’s Evening Star Jacket). The structure interested me, so I adapted it for 10/2 nm (metric count, slightly thinner than #5 pearl cotton) unbleached mercerised cotton.

I dyed some of the yarn in two shades of pale brown (which turned out pinkier than intended) to add variety to the warp and for the pattern weft, and wove it on my Louet Kombo table loom as I have another project on my floor loom. I sampled some variations on the structure but ended up with the same one as in the article. I took the fabric off the loom yesterday, washed and dried it, and this morning I sewed the cushion cover. I’m quite pleased with it.

tufted cushion.jpg

Here is a closeup of the fabric:

tufted cushion - closeup.jpg

The back is just plain weave, so it shows the warp colour sequence better:

tufted cushion - back.jpg

Filed Under (Dyeing, Weaving) by jennyk on 25-01-2004

Well, here are the results of a week’s dyeing:


The skeins in the middle row are the ones for the actual sample warps, along with some commercially dyed yarn (not shown). There are 153 skeins in all, ranging from 10 yds to 200 yds each. The yarns are a 6/2 weaving cotton and a 10/3 crochet cotton in white and various starting colours and a 5/2 unbleached weaving cotton.

I used a total of about 70 dye combinations, using Procion MX dyes and the ‘polythene bag’ method. For this, the skeins were dipped into a small amount of the dye mixture, not even enough to cover them, and squidged around to push the dye through the skein. The dye was then squeezed out and the skeins put into a polythene bag to sit for at least an hour before rinsing out and washing in the washing machine, then drying in a tumble drier. At first, we were putting the skeins into pillow cases and net lingerie bags for the washing and drying, but we found that we could put the loose skeins into the dryer without tangling problems, and that speeded up the drying.

The source pictures (cut from magazines) which I am using as inspiration are these purple flowers, which I think may be encased in ice, and this seascape. Originally, I was trying to use these leaves, with or without the rose, but as you can see, my attempts at subtle grey-greens kept turning out sludgy olives, so I turned back to the seascape. I’m more likely to base a real project on the purple flowers, though.

[You need to close the pop-up window between pictures, or it shows them all in the same size window, which crops some of them.]

DH’s sources (much brighter than mine) are these orange wallflowers(?) and purple tulips and this underwater scene.

Oh, I’ve just realised I haven’t mentioned that the tutor was Janet Phillips and it was her Colour in Fabrics workshop. I’ll post pics of the sample warps eventually.