Monday, 12 December 2016

More Cotton yarn, plus Design class

 I've finished up the naturally green cotton.  Both skeins have been simmered.  The instructions and method we used in the Master Spinner classes, had us wind the skeins of a piece of PVC pipe with holes drilled in it, and boil that whole thing.  I did a comparison and didn't really notice much of a difference between using the pipe and just tossing the skein in the pot.  Once it's cooled, rinsed and you've snapped it between your hands, it all evens out in the end.  As much as I thought the second skein was more difficult and uneven to spin, the two skeins look pretty much the same.  The bottom one is the second skein; the one I thought would be lumpier and bumpier.  It's not.

I've started on some more naturally brown cotton.  The bump of sliver is easy-spin cotton that I picked up when I was in Olds.  The sliver is buttery to spin and has a bit of crimp left in it during processing, which I think is why it spins so nicely.  The bump of sliver is the new brown, which isn't labeled except as cotton.  The skein beside it, is the skein simmered in water for about an hour-ish or so.   The last skein is the cinnamon brown cotton sliver I picked up at Gemini Fibres.  Some lovely differences in colour.

I think I'm going to switch to white for a while.

Why does this matter? I'm taking a design course through our guild.  When I signed up for it, I was pretty sure it was going to have some decent content but since we are meeting only 4 times in a year, before the final projects are due, I wasn't sure what to expect.  When we all signed up, it was with the expectations that we will complete all the homework.

There are 8 of us in the class.   Our first class was not a whole weekend, but just 3 hours on a Saturday morning.   We finished early - which was probably a good thing, because we covered so much information about drafting.  This didn't cover draw downs - we should know that by now, but how to set up a design, read it for threading and lift patterns, and then how to change that to a tie up.  We also covered sett and had a whole whack load of homework.

We have sett samples to make, 6 for each type of yarn - 3 in tabby and 3 in twill.  It was suggested that I use my handspun for some of these, because I can actually replicate yarns that I spin.   I quickly thought that I didn't want to waste my handspun but it really was my mouth spitting out words that didn't explain what I meant.  The coloured cotton is harder for me to come by, so I didn't want to use it.   White cotton is easier to find, so if I start spinning now, I might be able to get it done in time for the  next class in March.  I will also see what else I have on hand.   The samples should start at about 12 inches wide, but I think if I'm using handspun cotton, they will be a little narrower.  That is a fair bit of cotton to spin, though if I use a dummy warp, it might be a bit easier.

Then we have pattern gamps to create - 2 of them - eek.....
And we're to start thinking about our final project, using a book to keep ideas in.  I think this freaked out more of our class than anything else.

Now to start looking for equipment to use -

  I'm looking for an 8 harness or more  loom than needs a new home - and a table loom,

though it turns out the guild will rent me one for a reasonable price, so that is where I'll probably start.  We'll need it to drag to classes and for some of our homework, as apparently it is much easier to just flip switches on a lift plan than to tie up treadles.

But - I wonder if a direct tie -up would work to do the gamp on a floor loom?
Now to get the stupid scarves that I don't like off the loom, and get started.


1 comment:

Woolly Bits said...

I have no idea about your weaving concerns - but I do love the finished cotton yarns! pity that there is so little cotton fibre from european suppliers available - not even the basics, never mind special qualities:( I am sure it would take off more here if there were better options to buy!
I hope you'll get on with that course - sounds quite labour intensive to me?
enjoy the days before christmas!

Bettina