Archive for the ‘weaving’ Category

I thought I had posted this picture already, but no. I’m almost done with the first half of the wool/silk, I’ve decided to make a 2-ply weaving yarn. I’ve got plenty of the natural color wool to go with it. The silk has some noils in it and I didn’t want to try to use it as warp without plying, so I’ll just do all of it the same.

blue/brown wool-silk blend

I’m picking out some of the larger lumps from the silk, but mostly just spinning. Normally I want perfectly smooth yarn but the haphazardly dyed silk just isn’t going to let that happen and I have to get over it. I split the batts into strips and pulled each into a long roving. After all that I wonder if it really is faster to drum card than comb, but I would have never gotten the same color blend that way.

I thought I was terribly rambling and had way, way more things that I could have said, but the talk this week went really well. It was a small group so we encouraged questions along the way and passed around stuff to look at. I brought samples and equipment and books and all sorts of things. Everyone liked the loom and really really liked Alfred’s antique spinning wheel. The two of us could talk about historic textiles for days.

It’s official, we are finally on the updated calendar page. And I’ve even got the loom ready! Now to pull out the books and samples.

I’m making a model of a warp weighted loom for an upcoming talk. It’s hardly pretty, what with my carpentry skills and all, but it’s functional. This is the loom of classical antiquity and the Viking era. I recall a comment in an archaeology book how at many sites you can’t go more than a few meters without finding a loom weight. (Mine are bags of gravel.) One of the interesting things about vertical looms is that several weavers can work at one wide loom, passing bundles of weft along as they go. This can be found in fragments that have crossed wefts, jumping from shed to shed throughout the fabric.

I have a few more adjustments to make it really usable, my intention is to have it for demos and let people try it out. It’s portable (sorta) and not easily damaged. I can’t weave much because I can’t hold my arms up for more than a few minutes, but I can show people what to do with it.

Here’s a picture of mine. Much more information can be found from my friend Carolyn Priest-Dorman on her Warp-Weight Loom page.

vertical warp weighted loom

With the sample spinning finished I went looking for some more fiber in the closet to work on. I pulled out something that has been sitting around a while to try to at least get all the fiber spun. I originally bought two packages of the Ashland Bay multicolor merino with the intent to make a scarf, woven of singles. I spun the first about three years ago and then it got put aside.

purple merino singles

I kept the little reference sample I was using, but in getting back to it I had a hard time keeping the same size. So the new skein turned out a little finer. This isn’t a disaster, I can measure the two ends together so they are mixed in the warp and evenly distributed. But still not exactly what I was after. I’ve had other yarns where one skein ended up very different from the others and sometimes there just isn’t much you can do about it but decide you were going to make a different project. My usual practice of spinning way too much yarn generally saves me but isn’t exactly the most efficient. Better is to work more on matching the existing yarn, or just finish all the spinning at once in the first place.

With that dubious success over with, I picked up another long-abandoned project and started spinning more of the merino from the county fair yarn. I have one full bobbin, two partial and tons of fiber. I figure I can at least get through the stuff already combed that has been sitting in a box for over a year. I’m doing better on matching the existing yarn, as I still can compare how it looks on the bobbin along with my reference sample. Plus this was intended to be a 3-ply, which hides a multitude of sins.

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