Saturday, December 9, 2023

Making Merry and Meeting the Challenge

This month we are making merry.  We are also celebrating our good fortune to belong to this group of generous and inspiring people.  What better way to celebrate than sharing food at a pot luck luncheon.  Sorry no pictures of the buffet.

the kitchen is always the best gathering place

  Earlier this year, we had set ourselves a challenge that was to be completed by our December event.  Those who took up the challenge received a container of mystery yarns donated by an unknown member.  The challenge was to use those yarns in a hand crafted creation. It was up to the person receiving the yarns to determine how to use them.  You can imagine the result.  Some of us found ourselves with a type of yarn we would never have chosen to work with and most of us found ourselves with colours that we tend of avoid.  So what to do with colours you abhor, yarn that is unfamiliar or yarn that is not suitable for the items you like to make?  Well, take a look.

dyed to death bag
This bag started life as a coarse cotton yarn in blah colours.  So the first step was to dye the yarn. This was a partial success.  So it was dyed again and finally dyed yet again as the finished product.

endless purple scarf
Then we have the endless scarf in very fuzzy yarn which is always a challenge to weave.  Great colour if you are a fan of purple and this scarf you can wrap around and around and around.

What to do with orange?

Orange is a difficult colour to work with but, if you can use it as an accent in small amounts then it can make a design pop.  This is the border on a lovely linen bread bag.
Orange sock yarn

More orange.  This time sock yarn.  The knitted head band illustrates how the yarn would look in a sock.  But it has also been used in asymmetrical stripes in the warp and the weft for a light scarf.  The bands of sock yarn are separated by wide areas of a deep golden "yak" yarn that lightens the piece and dilutes the effect of the sock yarn 


Anchors in summer&winter
Pink is another colour that is difficult to deal with but here is is used against a beige back ground.  The pink almost beomes neutral.  The thick mercerized cotton is ideal for a tied weave structure like summer and winter.  You might have guessed the weaver is a sailor.

textured table runner
Sometimes the yarn just fits perfectly. The weave structure in this table runner shows off the thick variegated weft yarns and gives the entire piece a strongly textured effect.  The colours are great for highlighting a wooden table top.

If your mystery yarn package wasn't enough to do what you planned then a little clever sewing and the addition of a matching blue tassel can turn a deficit into a winner.

Or, you can have plenty and make yardage.  The lovely warp in the teal piece was handspun wool too scratchy for a scarf.  The weft was an unloved coarse wool and together, with some deliberate felting, they made great yardage for a lined top.  You just have to imagine that the top has been finished but that in itself could be another challenge.

The final piece is a lovely scarf made from hand-spun 3 ply yarn that had been dyed so that it gradually changes from warm to cool colours.  It failed to work as a knitted garment but as a plain weave scarf, the colour gradient is spectacular.  The only problem is that the hand-spun yarn is scratchy.  The weaver used a very soft weft in a neutral colour to counteract the coarse warp.

dyed wool scarf

Merry Christmas towel

Just had to find a place for the picture of this lovely little towel from our Elegant Threads sale.  We are off now until January, busy finishing up presents, baking or enjoying more festivities.  Our next events will be Jan 5th (textile tour of Scotland) and a Member's Only sale on the 6th.  

Watch for our web site launch in January.
More information at your finger tips.  You can use it to join the guild, book workshops and find out about guild events.