Monday, 10 November 2008

Weaving, weaving and garden update

Winter is setting in and the garden has been put to bed for the season. I've pulled more junk out than I expected, transplanted a few things to a friend's farm and ended up digging up all the madder. I had hoped to transplant it at the farm as well but an ill fated wind blew through the night I'd dug it up. Despite leaving the roots heavy with soil, most of them had started to dry. They ended up drying out in the barn instead.

I've been told that if I want to keep the "loom room" looking presentable, I have to keep a project on the loom at all times because without it, the room and loom look ugly. Oh Alas! The trials of trying to sell a house in a slow market! So I had two choices, either keep a project on the loom for decoration, or just try to keep weaving. Guess what I chose?

Here are the finished wicklebander! They took a lot longer to weave than I expected. They are really pretty, soft and quite light in weight. They were finished for hubby's birthday. He seemed happy. I mean what man doesn't want a set of handwoven wicklebander for a birthday pressie?

The linen thread singles that I'd spun a while ago were beckoning me. I had some cotolin thread which I used as a warp. Once again I was told that weaving with linen singles, even for just the weft would be a trial and extremely difficult to work with. Well these singles were strong. I had to use scissors to cut them. Once I realized that, I didn't worry. I did weave with them wet. Everything I read said to soak the bobbins overnight and keep the room at 50% humidty or mist the warp occasionally. Even with the cotolin, I misted. The linen singles did work much better if I soaked them for a few minutes and then let them set for an hour before using.
I was told linen was really hard to work with and difficult to weave with. I found it non of the above, providing I kept it damp. When it dried, it was slightly more fussy. The one concession I did make was with weave structure. I had wanted to play with huck weaves. Unfortunately they were a bit more fussy to thread. We had an open house and some viewings right about the time I needed to get the project on the loom. Instead I went with a straight twill threading and did 4 different structures; tabby, 2/2 twill, basket weave, 1/2 basket weave. The tabby, 2/2 twill and one basket weave cloth had handspun linen weft, the remaining basket weave and 1/2 basket weave used cotolin weft - cotton linen blend. It shrinkage rate was quite different between the two fibres. They aren't gorgeously pretty due to the natural linen colours, but they will work well camping in the summer, for covering food and drying dishes.


Karen said...

I'm so jealous of the time you have to devote to your projects that it really isn't funny at all.

Lovely work!

Helen said...

I have tagged you -see my blog for more detail