Sunday, 27 January 2013

All dressed and no place to go....

I finally had enough yardage for the warp spun.  It was time to dress the loom.   I rechecked my WPI and decided to re-sley the reed at a slightly closer sett.  It really is a fairly quick process and only too half an hour or so.  Then I started winding the warp.  I needed 360 ends and over the afternoon I wound off a bout here and there, chained them up and stuck them on the loom.  I got 4 bouts wound off and realized I would be short enough yardage  to cause a problem.  So back to the wheel I went and spun, spun, spun  for several days until I got not only a charlie horse in my left calf but enough yardage to finish the warp and allow for broken threads.  I'm not expecting any threads to break unless I do something stupid, since I've needed scissors to cut most of them.

Kitten protection for the warp chains.
In between spinning sessions, I started tying on the warp threads.  It was here that I realized that I had a huge problem.  Those warp chains hanging from the front beam were giving the kitten a lot of excitement and me a lot of worry, as I had visions of chewed yarn.    I ended up tucking each warp chain in a plastic bag and tying it on the beam, tightly I might add to protect the warp.  Thankfully the kitten ignored the bags.    I will mention that tying on to the existing warp is somewhat tedious, but at least it's fairly quick tedium.
Sadly, a dressed loom but no weft dry enough to weave with!

I finished winding the last warp chain yesterday, tied it on and beamed the warp.  Despite my complaints about the tedious bit of tying on the new warp, the whole buisiness of dressing the loom seemed to pretty much sail along.  Once I got the knots through the reed, the rest of the process was pretty effortless.  I untied the cord which had been turned into a kitten toy - that was a good 10 minutes of fun - so that I could lash on the warp, thus saving a bit more of my handspun yarn.  

Then I started test weaving - fixing two crossed threads.  I test wove a couple of inches and was horrified.  It looked awful!   The grey of the warp and the beige colour of the weft were lifeless.  I even asked hubby to check it out, hoping he'd just say something about the light and make me feel better but his comment was "Gak, can you dye it"...  something I hadn't really wanted to do.  I'd spun up a pretty borderline amount of weft, not wanting to have yards of it left over.  Dyeing it means either spinning more or dyeing extra fibre.

Awesome, awesome, awesome, dark blue from an Indigo vat.
Today, I made up an Indigo vat and dyed away, knowing that I'd have to dye up a bunch of  sliver to have on hand for when I run out with 4 inches left to weave!   I got a perfect soft, denim blue on the skeins and the sliver.  I put in 100 grams of white merino mill ends to play with later.  When I fished them out, I also found a small skein of spun weft, which had sunk to the bottom and had been missed.  It was dark blue!  Luckily, I'd put only half the stock solution in to start with, so revamped the vat and redyed all my skeins and sliver.  I had enough dye left to do another batch of Merino.  I was trying to decide whether to worry about totally exhausting the dye vat, when I noticed the kitten playing with something... a skein of my weft, which had mysteriously "fallen" off the shelf.   I rescued it, quickly soaked it and dumped it into the Indigo, hoping that there was enough dye left to get it even close to the dark blue of the rest.   I was lucky.  Very, very lucky, especially since it was one of the larger skeins I'd spun.   So the blue is darker than I'd really wanted when I started with, but it's an awesome blue.  I'll have more than enough contrast and depth for the pattern and 200 grams of Merino in that awesome blue as a bonus!

Now I'm drying the yarn in front of the fire, in hopes of getting a little bit of weaving done. 

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Kitten proofed! Very nice. :)