Wandering at the Shadows' Edge

exploring potential and possibility

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Words from the Shadows

Since this blog is a map of my wanderings at the shadows’ edge, I’m finding I need to start including a few things I hadn’t planned on. One of those things is what I read.

Now, I read a lot. Blame my step dad, who taught me how to speed read when I was in third grade. And I have feeling its only going to get worse because I just got a Kindle Touch for my birthday.

I can’t afford to buy books as fast as I read them, so very few of the books I post about here will probably be new – unless I can get advanced reader copies. Many of the books will be old friends that I return to when I want something I know will entertain me. Some of the books will be those that I use to research the various projects that I’m working on. So I may be posting about books from sci-fi and fantasy to the history of a particular period or how to make or do something.

I will start posting these reviews within the next week or so although I don’t know how often I’ll post them. I certainly won’t be posting about everything I read – just what I enjoy or find useful.

Weaving Embellishments from the Shadows

I’ve already posted some of my experiments with inkle weaving.  Having done those, I decided to try my hand at embellishing my weaving.   There are methods I wanted to try – brocading and pickup weaving.  For some reason, I decided to try the brocading first.

Method

Brocading involves the use of a second weft thread or threads.  Generally  you want that thread to be double or triple the weight/size of your warp threads. This cuts down on the amount of warp that shows between your rows.   The brocade weft is woven through the warp in a pre-determined pattern, which usually looks like a cross-stitch pattern. Basically, the brocade weft sit above the warp where you want it to show and below the warp where you don’t want it to show.  The regular weft thread is woven normally, with no adjustments.

experimental brocade pattern

A celtic knotwork cross-stitch pattern that I used to try brocading my inkle weaving.

This is

The Pattern

This is the pattern I decided to start with.

I probably should have started out with something a bit simpler.  Celtic knotwork really isn’t the easiest pattern to work with at first.

The advantage?

I realized I was doing something wrong with my first try pretty quickly.

The disadvantage?

It seemed like it took forever to get through one repetition of the pattern!

 

 

 

The Results

brocading 1st try

This is the first try at brocading. Obviously something went wront.

The First Attempt

This is my first attempt.  The bottom is the celtic knotwork – not even recognizable for what it is!

Not understanding what was going wrong, I decided to try a simple diamond pattern .

The result was a bit better – at least the diamond is recognizable!  But it’s not anywhere close to solid like it should be.

I went back to my instructions and re-read them, assuming that I had missed something when I read them the first time.

As it turned out, it wasn’t so much that I missed something as that I mis-read part of the instructions.  Having figured out what went wrong, I decided to try again on the same band of weaving.

 

 

Brocading 2nd try

The second attempt at brocading. The technique is right, but only uses a single brocade thread.

 

The Second Attempt

This is the second attempt.

This time I got the technique right.  the knotwork is more or less recognizable and the diamond is definitely recognizable.

The only problem I had with this one is the amount of the warp showing through.  Obviously a single brocade thread  isn’t enough to make a fairly solid pattern.

 

 

 

The Third Attempt

brocading 3rd try

The third attempt at brocading – the brocading weft is doubled

This is the third and final attempt at brocading my inkle-weaving.  The only difference between this one and the second one is that I doubled the brocade thread.  The patterns are both more recognizable for what they are and less of the warp is showing.  I think that in the future I will either triple the brocade thread or use a thread that is the equivalent of a triple weft.

Thoughts

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome.  I feel like I have a solid understanding of how the process of brocading inkle weave works now and I think I can also apply it to card/tablet weaving in the future.  I wouldn’t want to stop weaving in the middle of a pattern repetition – I’d be afraid I’d forget where I stopped. That being the case, I would want to keep my patterns small or make sure that I only wove when I had a good solid block of time.

What do you think?

A Gift of Simple Knots

I’ve had an interesting year at work so far. One of the admin assistants has been of particular help over the last couple of months, so I decided to make her a small gift to say thank you.

Having sat at her desk for two weeks, I knew her favorite color was purple and I knew that I had some purple yarn in my collection.

 

crocheted cowboy boot

undecorated crocheted cowboy boot, about 3 inches tall

Every year, my work place has a theme for our peak season. This year the theme was a country-western one. After a bit a searching, I found a pattern for a small crocheted cowboy boot and decided that it would make a good thank you.

The pattern looks a little more like an actual cowboy boot if you use two different colors and add the suggested decorations, but I only had one color of purple, so I just did the whole thing in that color.

Overall I was pretty happy with how quickly it worked up and how it turned out.  And the lady I was gifting it two was very happy with the addition to her collection of purple decorations!

I would certainly do this pattern again for other occasions.  It was relatively simple and quick and the outcome was close enough to the picture on the pattern to make me happy.

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