Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Playing with wool

Last week, at the weaver's guild Christmas potluck, Kai brought a huge packet of fortune cookies.  We all had to take a cookie, open it and read out our fortune as it pertained to weaving.  Mine said something about starting a project with a bang, which pretty much suggested to me that for weaving, I should probably put a project on the loom.  I'd been dithering over a project for ages.  Being preoccupied with spinning, it was easy to not make a decision on what to weave.  I've been considering a fairly big project like some yardage or a blanket, but being that it was a week and a half before Christmas, I decided on a scarf project.  I dug up a bunch of handspun : small, sample balls which had been kicking around for ages and added two mill ends of wool/ silk blend which have also been kicking around for ages.   I wound off a warp for 5 scarves but ended up cutting off the last bit of warp before it was wound on as some of the handspun was getting a bit tangled and frayed in the process of dressing the loom.   I figured I had enough for 4 scarves, which was one more than I needed for gifts.

The first scarf was a sample.  I wasn't sure of my sett and doing a bit of twill, it made me a little more unsure.  I unwove the twill, and did the 1st scarf in tabby.  I didn't like the results - I just don't like most of the tabby weave that I've ever done and it didn't have a nice drape, so the next 3 were done in a 2/2 twill.  Scarves are a pretty easy weave.  Sometimes having a fast and fun project to just whip off is a way to get back to being productive.  Since that poor loom has been a cat climber for the past few months, weaving off the scarves felt really good.   The blue one is with a handspun, woad dyed weft.  the two grey ones, I'm not sure about.  The weft was an unlabelled ball of wool singles, which could have been handspun or a bit unevenly spun commercial yarn.  I lightly plied it before weaving with it.   I am going to have to get better about labeling!   All 3 of these will end up being Christmas presents.

Then I started a pair of mittens.  This is commercial yarn that I dyed with walnuts.  I think it's Patons Classic wool which is soft, thick and easy to work with.  It's a 3 ply and fairly chunky so it works up quickly.  Someone can always use a warm pair of mittens.

On the wheel? - commercially processed cotton sliver.  While I can spin the cotton fairly easily now, I'm still working on consistency.  It's awfully easy to get these micro thin spots in an otherwise decent yarn.

Lesson of the week - it's way easier to start and finish a project when you actually decide what to do!

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