Sunday, February 4, 2007

"wayward threads"

I’m giving a workshop next month on my “wayward threads”. These scarves & stoles are created using exotic yarns, lace, hand dyed silk yarns and ribbons, wool roving, hand dyed silk fabric strips and commercial fabrics all sewn with a variety of threads. I call them “wayward threads” because of the gypsy like quality that results from the torn fabric strips, the different shrinkage of yarns, and the wool roving that felts.

Process: yarns and fabrics are laid on a water soluble stabilizer fabric, Then a grid is sewn using a sewing machine. When washed the stabilizer dissolves leaving an open weave- like structure

I have a technique article on this in the March/April 2006 issue of Belle Armoire and I have a feature of one in the Somerset Studio Wedding 3 issue that is just out on the newsstands.

I was surprised to receive an email the other day titled “incredible shrinking wayward thread”. A woman writes to tell me that after washing hers it shrunk from 10” x 72” to 9” x 15”. YIKES! I have made so many of these and never encountered this. Yes they do shrink some but not to this extent. After she told me what yarns she used I have a suspicion that the yarns are worsted and somewhat stretchy. They probably stretched when she was laying them out but after the stabilizer dissolved the yarns relaxed and caused the shrinkage. This is the only problem I’ve heard of. The only issue I’ve had was one particular yarn, a fat cotton chenille, that fell apart when washed. It didn’t make much difference as I had only two strands of it in the finished piece and it was just like deleting something.

I’m developing a kit for the classes but have been approached by yarn shops to sell them in stores. These would include everything you need to make either a 12” x 72” long scarf or two 6” x 72” ones (except for sewing machine thread). I would put together all the yarns in different colors ways. I’m curious how many people would be interested. If you think this would be of interest I'd love for you to leave a comment saying so. Thanks!

You can see more “wayward threads” at my website.

My class is going to be:
March 13th
at the Communknity in Santa Clara, CA
from 12:30 – 4:30
cost is $95.00 and includes kit and materials

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