Beware the Pomegranate Popsicles

It's hot here in Tucson. I mean, really hot (though not nearly as hot as it's going to get in a few weeks, yay). So, M and I have taken to filling the freezer with Dreyer's (Edy's for those of you East of the Mississippi) Fruit Bars as a healthier alternative to ice cream. And now they come in all these healthy-sounding flavors like blueberry-acai and pomegranate. And they are tasty, but I need to warn everyone to be careful with the pomegranate ones -- they bite. Remember the light post scene in A Christmas Story? Well, these popsicles won't stick to your tongue, but they do have a nasty habit of grabbing onto your inner lip and not letting go. Ouch!

Don't say I didn't warn you! Now, on to the fiber....

Taking it slow so I don't overwhelm the blog or myself, I think I'll start with something a bit different, a weaving project.

A few months ago, M came home and said that someone at church had suggested that we get our interim minister a nice handmade stole as a going away present. M, of course, piped up and said that I could probably make him one. It would have to be something that would remind him of the southwest and his time with us, perhaps a bit over the top, and it should be makeable primarily with yarn from the stash.

And why not learn something along the way? After I pretty much decided that I wanted motifs of a saguaro cactus and our church's unique twisted cross, I figured I needed to learn inlay, specifically Theo Moorman inlay. I searched, and I read articles, and I desperately wished my public library had a better selection of weaving books, and I read some more. I even put in a call to Sandra Briney (whose work makes me drool) who agreed to let me watch her weave to see how it's done (though we never were able to actually connect). But eventually, you just have to dress the loom and play with it, right?

So I did. The test warp was two reddish shades of Valley Cotton 5/2 and some burgundy sewing thread. The cotton (sett: 16 epi) was threaded for plain weave on shafts 1 & 2; the thread (sett: 8 epi) was threaded for plain weave on shafts 3 & 4; order of the threads was 2 cotton/1 thread across the warp with four ends of cotton on either side. Winding the warp was fun (NOT!). I used the warping paddle, but the thread was so fine that it tangled terribly and made things difficult -- though I'm convinced not as tedious as winding one end at a time would have been.

Moorman Inlay Saguaro Test

Here it is -- my first ever attempt at weaving inlay. The process is fairly simple, and the possibilities with this technique are just about endless. I was hooked.

Moorman Inlay Cross

Since there was a bunch of warp left after I finished testing both of the cartoons for the stole, I decided to play. I kinda like this cross (supplemental weft is some leftover ArtYarns Ultramerino 4).

Then it was time to get down to business. I decided (to avoid having to do either of the motifs upside down, as well as to avoid tension issues caused by the difference in takeup between the ground warp and the inlay warp) to do the two sides of the stole as separate pieces and seam at the top.

The "Front" of Jeff's Stole

Here are the two pieces after washing, but before stole assembly. If I had it to do again, I would make the saguaro narrower to balance it a bit better with the cross, but all-in-all I was very pleased.

But the stole needed a back, for two reasons: 1) it was a bit light with just the single layer of cotton; and 2) how many times, really, is one going to wear a stole with a saguaro on it in Minnesota? A green stole (the color for ordinary time, which is the majority of the liturgical year) should be a bit more universal than that.

So a back it got. The original plan was for a plain green field with some doubleweave blocks of white in an offset stripe, so I wound a warp with the same greens I'd used for the front of the stole with a secondary warp of natural 1.5" wide 1.5" in from one side. But the blocks weren't to be because when I wove the doubleweave section in a twill to join the two warps I liked the look of twill so well I never looked back.

Twill Detail

Backing fabric woven, all that was left was assembly and fringing, and a stole was born.

Jeff's Gifts

Here it is on the altar, flanked by the two gorgeous stained glass plates handmade by another member as part of Jeff's going away gift (no one can say we don't treat our pastors, even the interims, well on the way out).

Jeff With HIs Stole

And here it is on Jeff. I feel so short -- this stole hangs all the way to my ankles, and on him it comes to just below the knees.

Project Details (Front)

Warp: Valley Cotton 5/2 #5934 and 5398
Inlay Warp: Polyester machine embroidery thread in dark sage
Weft: Valley Cotton 5/2 #5934
Inlay Weft: Louisa Harding Jasmine #6
Sett: 16 epi (cotton)/8 epi (thread)

Project Details (Back)
Warp: Valley Cotton 5/2 #5934 and 5398
Secondary Warp: Valley Cotton 5/2 #8176
Weft: Valley Cotton 5/2 #5934
Sett: 16 epi (32 epi in the doubleweave section)
Doubleweave twill section: 1.5" wide set 1.5" in from the edge

1 comment:

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks so much for giving me your double weave thoughts on my blog....and for introducing me to your blog that way!

My October deadline involves a Theo Moorman project, so I'm really glad to see some one with experience with the technique!! I signed up for a class in it, and was really surprised by how much I like the technique. But there are 4 other projects ahead of it in my I haven't thought about it much yet!