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Monday, November 15, 2010

Weaving With Handspun - Continued Adventures

Here is my second weaving project made entirely with handspun yarn.  It was also my first attempt at overshot weaving.   It is a wool table runner, 13 inches wide and 48 inches long, excluding 4 inches of fringe at each end.  It fits exactly on top of a walnut radiator cabinet in our guest bedroom.  The colors do NOT match the decor, but TOO BAD.

I started with leftovers from previous projects.  The burgundy is a fine Romney single and the multi is a merino single made from a multi-dyed roving.  I had a lot of this and wanted to weave with it, but needed a stronger yarn for warp.

I spun 3.5 ounces of Romney very fine, with a high twist, and plied it at high twist also.  I got 800 yds of 2-ply from 3.5 ounces.

I measured the warp and then sized it with rabbit skin glue.  Eeeew.  Gooey.  I let it dry to a nice, crusty stiff as pipe cleaners hand, then warped the Wolf Pup LT.

I had to decide which yarn I would use for the overshot pattern, and which to use for the background tabby.  You can see what I decided here.  The stripes are the merino multi, in tabby.  The weaving was 14 inches in the reed, 12 ends per inch.  The yarn was fine enough for 15 epi, but I wanted to avoid breakage so I gave it extra room.  That had consequences.

 Using a less-dense sett meant the weft was more easily packed into a weft-faced cloth.  I hardly beat it at all, just pressed it into place, but I ended up with almost no warp showing at all.  This also made the pattern squished down and spread out.  But here is the good part.

NO BROKEN WARPS.  And very little wool fuzz under the loom.  This means that the ends were not being abraded (and weakened) during weaving.  I give myself a point for this.

This will not win any prizes but I learned a lot.  If I were to do it again I would switch the two weft yarns - make the solid color the background tabby and the multi the overshot pattern.  It would be a completely different look, more unified, I think.  I didn't have enough warp yarn for sampling....naughty naughty me.  Had I sampled I would have discovered my preference.

And finally, I STILL have leftover weft yarn, enough for at least a scarf! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Schacht Ordering Deadlines - Get it by Christmas!

Want it by Christmas?  I need to have your order in by the following dates:

November 11             Last day to order a Matchless
November 18             Last day to order a Ladybug, Floor Loom or Wolf Loom
November 30             Last day to order Accessories and Small Looms

ALL Schacht Looms and spinning wheels (including Matchless) are 10% off retail prices if ordered this month.  Let me know!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Open House on Saturday, Nov. 6th.

If you are in the area on Saturday, stop by for my Fall Fiber Open House!  Wool, wool, WOOL!  Wheels, looms, and a fire in the fireplace.  I'll be open from 1-6 pm.  Email me for directions!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Tiny Adventure in Ikat.

One of the things we used to see along the mountain roads in Guatemala was long lengths of warp threads drying in the sun, held up off the ground on forked sticks.  The warps were cotton and had been tie-dyed and then dyed indigo or black.  In Guatemala this technique is called jaspe.  In the world of weaving it is also called Ikat, which is Japanese.

I decided to try a little ikat at home.  I measured out a couple of yards of silk warp and then tied it up and down. 

Then I dyed it dark green.  When I took off the ties there were little white areas.

Here is how it looked on the loom.

Here is how it looked woven.

There was only one really big surprise here.  I wove the silk at 24 epi and it was so tight the resulting cloth felt like cardboard, or at best, upholstery fabric and was barely shiny at all.  The little white streaks were interesting but I realized I'd have to go back to the drawing board and experiment more with the sett before designing a complete project.

Once again, I am GLAD I made a sample!