Monday, 25 November 2013
It took a while to twist those fringes. Even with my handy little fringe twisting device, my fingers were a little roughed up from it but I guess it's an occupational hazard for fringed items. I have to admit that fringes on a throw type blanket make it look nice. I don't really like them for practicality though. When you pull a fringed blanket up to your chin, the fringes get in the way and tickle your nose!
I tossed it in the washer with cold water and agitated it on and off for a few minutes, checking every minute until it was perfect. It took just a couple of minutes for the yarn to get clean, fuzz up, soften and fill in the weave structure. It's soft, drapey and yummy. If it hadn't been slated for a gift, I'd keep it myself.
Same with blanket number 2 which is on the loom right now. I love the wide bands of colours. The weft is a dark grey. If I had a lighter grey, it would have been my preference, but the dark grey does look really nice. I'd forgotten that I'd switched the direction of the twill every colour change for the plaid, so the pattern on the wide stripes is interesting. It doesn't detract from the look though, so I'm going to leave it. I don't want to have to re-thread the heddles unless I get an virulent attack of inspiration.
This blanket won't have fringes. I'll just hem the ends for a clean and useful finish. That change brought up a major problem with my math. I forgot to remove the amount I'd allotted for fringes and when I subtracted the excess loom waste, I manged to wind on a longer warp than for the checky blanket. I'm thinking I might have enough extra (about 3/4 yard or maybe more) to have a couple of matching pillows or a bag of some sort. What was I thinking?
I'm not that fond of tying on warps but I'll have to admit that it's really fast and effective for multiples in large projects. I wouldn't be comfortable about winding on more than one of these blankets at a time because they are pretty bulky and I'd worry about keeping my tension even with that much on the loom. Since the piecing of the two halves, the fringe twisting and all the other finishing bits and pieces takes as long as it does to weave off the fabric, not having to re-thread heddles and re-sley the reed speeds up the process immensely.
Monday, 18 November 2013
It's superwash and has some added nylon for strength. It's 3 ply worsted and there are unfortunately only 275 yards of it, so I'll have to spin up a bit more for security. I like my socks with longer cuffs. I'd weighed and divided the rovings into equal portions before spinning. It worked a treat as I had only 1 yard left on the second bobbin and only 3 leftover on the 3rd bobbin after plying. Sometimes my scales are a little off and it doesn't work quite so well at making equal amounts of string on each bobbin with little waste.
I've got a new project on the loom - finally. This is wool and was quite to wind the warp thanks to finally finding a place to mount my warping board on an unused wall. A bunch of us have used this yarn in our guild so I was able to query a friend as to the correct sett. However I'm going to resley and rethread the heddles. I have a stupid 4 thread float which I don't like. It's my own fault for not bothering with a draw down, as I usually do. However this is a blanket and a float that long will just catch and be a nuisance.
My back up sewing machine has been making an awful squealing noise. The last time I took it in to be serviced, the guy didn't even bother to look at it. It had the same lint and the same problems that I'd asked to be fixed so I'm a little leary about some of the repair people out there. Being so far out of warranty, I opened it up and found this huge wad of lint hidden on one of the gears. I got it back together but it's still making noise. It's coming from the gear/belt area though. I am pretty sure I can change the belts but I'm not sure about changing the gear if that's what it needs.
Monday, 11 November 2013
It's starting to feel like I'm making progress on this year's Fall socks. For some reason I always find that if I actually spend a few minutes here and there actually knitting the socks, they get finished much more quickly than if they sit there in the project bag, ignored. I love the pink and decided to do the toe in the opposite colour, just to tie the two together. The blue one will have a pink toe. Then they will definitely be a pair and not two lost socks finding their way together.
Projects on the go - the loom is about to be dressed with a couple of projects, blankets and scarves I think...
I'm also about to start on a new coat for wearing at the bake oven. The costume department calls it a Sacque coat, but online info suggests that Paletot might be another name for it. Regardless of the name, I have a nice bit of wool, which is really a tad too lightweight for a coat, but it's in the stash so I don't have to purchase new yardage for the project. It will make a nice coat if I line it properly. It will be perfect for wearing at the bake oven in December. Last winter I found wearing a cape just too awkward to be actually working in. Sleeves will make a huge difference in being able to work and keep warm!
Thursday, 7 November 2013
|Kevin, looking cute despite being a holy terror.|
Finally, I felt energetic enough to start my homework. After the fiasco of the 3 ply spiral attempt, I set to spinning Cashmere. My first assignment was 100% cashmere, which turned out nicely, despite my not really liking it much. It's soft, fluffy and lovely, but not something I'd really use much of as it's way too expensive to use for weaving, too expensive to make into mittens for the wool sensitive menfolk around here and too frou frou for anything I'd use such a fine yarn for. However I washed it up and it turned out even better than I expected. I set it to dry.
|100% Cashmere yarn with lots of Kevin chewed ends|
When I went to set the packets of wool locks to dry, this is what I found. The darned cat chewed up my 100% Cashmere yarn. Don't tell me they don't have some sort of miserable thought processes which seek revenge or try to make a point. I'm going to have to spin a whole new 100% cashmere skein. I hope I have enough fibre left.
|Polwarth/Cashmere yarn which is delicious.|