For Christmas, I wanted to make something special for someone who loves orange. Orange is one of those colors that creates a visceral reaction - most people either love it or hate it. Having done time in a blaze orange velour mini-cubicle, I tend towards the hate it camp.
So what to do?
I put on a warp of one of my favorite hand-dyed colorways, "Bursting Berries,"* in a merino/silk blend. It's a most decidedly pink/purple color, with a few hints of orangey red. But still not orange. I threaded my loom in a simple point twill (1-2-3-4-3-2-1), set at 15 ends per inch, and got ready to experiment.
I had dyed some orange yarn in the same merino/silk blend, and wove it in three different ways. First, I did a 2/2 twill, which came out looking like this:
As I'd predicted, it came out mostly orange with just a few hints of warm purples and reds. A 2/2 twill looks pretty much the same on both sides.
Next, I wove lots of plain weave, and got what you see in the top picture. I liked this even better, since the orange was toned down some more.
For the last bit of orange, I wove a 1/3 twill. This type of twill is different on each side of the fabric. While I was weaving it, it looked very, very orange (left image below), but I fell in love with the "back" side of the fabric (right image below).
I ran out of weft yarn before I ran out of warp, so I decided to experiment with another color. I had just a little bit of purple sock yarn left over from a previous project (Tough Love Sock in "Grape Jelly"), so decided to use that up. I wove this one in a 1/3 twill. The results:
I loved the very pink/purple combination most of all, but unfortunately, there wasn't enough fabric to make anything out of it. Of course, the whole point of sampling new ideas at the end of your warp is to get an idea for next time, and I definitely have a few new ideas percolating around in my mind!
I wet-finished the fabric once it came off the loom. The wool felted a bit, as expected, and the silk didn't shrink, creating an interesting boucle effect. The superwash sock yarn weft in the purple sample didn't shrink at all, but the warp did, and I ended up liking this fabric best of all.
I ended up using the different orange fabrics to make a trio of project/notions bags, one of which made its way to someone else's Christmas tree before I could photograph it. The contrasting fabric is felted wool fabric (store bought).
Even though I loved the 1/3 twills the most, they were the hardest to sew with. Like stockinette stitch in knitting, 1/3 twills tend to curl, and this was difficult to work with in the sewing up. And the fabric itself was thicker, making turned loops harder to make.
It was really fun to see all the different possibilities I could create with different colors and textures in just one warp. I can definitely see more color experiments in my future!
*Not the same yarn base as the link, but the same color. And yes, that's my Etsy shop!
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