Posts tagged ‘warping’

I have banished the evil baby yarn from my life. I shall only think uplifting thoughts of fine silk and handspun wool.

All of that to re-sley and it still looked horrible. The closer sett seemed to make no difference on how the weft packed in and I’m not going to sit there and slowly ease each and every pick of a six meter warp into place. I’ve cut handspun warps off the loom when they weren’t behaving, I’m not going to let this one intimidate me into weaving it off.

Now I just have to decide what to do next. I think it will be more of the 8/2 cotton, but I can’t warp it right now because I need to leave the loom folded until Holiday Party Season is over. I know better to leave something around where 35 guests can all go “oooh” and “ahhh” and stick fingers or drop cookies in it. Our friends are nice people, but that’s just tempting fate. I could start measuring, however.

Last week I bought a bunch of silk fabric, so now I get to play with it. I wet out a piece of organza and sorta madly crinkle-pleated it into a bundle and dumped blue and purple dye all over it. I know I used far, far too much dye because organza weighs nothing, but it was what it took to get the fabric good and squishy damp. We’ll see how it comes out after it sits for three hours in the steamer. The one downside of all this clearance silk dye I bought. If I get really ambitious, I’ll stitch some gathering threads into it (by machine, thank you) and try some shibori the next time we do an indigo party somewhere.

This morning I just sat down and finished sleying the nasty acrylic warp. It really didn’t take all that long, but I really didn’t want to do it. It’s been a while since I’ve had a weaving project I hated this much before I even get started. I think it will be better with the closer sett and will I end up with some functional fabric. I could just cut it all off and put on those holiday gift dish towels I’ve been meaning to get to but I don’t hate it that much quite yet. This is the hard part, once I get to the point I can actually weave it will go quickly.

It doesn’t help at all that I really don’t know what I want to do with this when I’m done. The entire thing was practice in warping back to front (which I’m not likely to do again unless I have to.) I have this vague idea that it will be a small blanket of some kind but if I’m not wanting to finish warping it I’m surely going to find some reason to put off seaming three panels together to finish a blanket. There are so many other things that sound more interesting, like making the new work clothes I need or washing the dishes. Yes, washing the dishes is more interesting than re-sleying a warp I don’t like. If it’s still ugly when I start weaving, off to the trash can it goes and I’ll start measuring some nice friendly 8/2 cotton.

I’ve been thinking about textiles, how about that? I started to re-sley the acrylic baby yarn on the loom because I wasn’t happy with the fabric I was getting at 12 ends per inch. That’s what I measured from the relaxed yarn, but as weft it insists on packing in way more than I want (like almost twice the number of weft picks as warp ends.) I’m going to change it to 16 and see if I like it any better then. If it’s going to come out like cardboard then at least cardboard in both warp and weft directions is a more useful fabric. It’s annoying to do however, one of those things that makes housework suddenly very interesting.

In the spinning department, I’ve been re-organizing the studio so I can bring the bicycle over finally. Yes, bicycle. A friend has an exercise bike with disembodied Ashford parts bolted to it that she would really, really like gone from her basement. It’s rumored to work, and if I can get it going well enough I’ll use it. Finally I could combine fiber and exercise at the same time. (A Woolee Winder is going to be high on the list for next equipment purchase. Spin for hours, never having to stop to change hooks!)

Note: I’ll be doing an OS upgrade and some filesystem housekeeping for the webserver soon, so you may find the site off-line for a few hours sometime in the next week or so.

I haven’t thrown away the Coopworth yet, but I’m trying something different. I took some of the batt and combed it, and that gave something spinnable. The result still has some problems but most of the junk comes out and the yarn is strong enough for warp. It’s tedious, so we’ll see how long this lasts.

Today was hang out and do fiber at Casa Feorlen. Some friends came, we ate artichokes and chocolate, measured out a huge skein to dye self-striping sock yarn, made rope, wove little bands and warped the big loom. A friend of mine showed me how to warp back to front, a different way from how I usually do it and necessary for the bead leno gauze I want to experiment with. There was much confusion about this and that but eventually we got the warp beamed and I started threading. We’ll see how it goes after I finish. She also brought over a fancy fine fiber drum carder and left it behind for me to experiment with.

It’s a Pat Green Deb’s Delicate Deluxe, and I’ve got some serious equipment lust going on. I do usually like the result of combing, but using a carder is so much faster. I haven’t been able to experiment with the piles of Merino around here because the usual carder (borrowed from a different friend) can’t do fine fiber. With this I actually managed to blend Merino and Suri alpaca and the alpaca even mostly stayed in one place. The fine wool cards quite nicely, there are some neps but at least it actually forms a batt. On the other one it will hardly stick to the drum. I’ve been thinking about what to do with the gift alpaca and blending it with wool is high on the list. When I get a few minutes I’ll spin some of this blended batt and maybe I’ll do that while I have the spiffy carder.

In the weaving department, the back to front test project is some acrylic baby yarn. Slightly less nasty than Red Heart but still something I won’t be afraid to cut off if the experiment turns out to be a nightmare. It’s not designed to be weaving yarn, so you have to plan carefully to make sure you get what you are expecting. Since it’s so elastic, if the fabric looks good on the loom it will be like cardboard when you get it off and the warp relaxes. I’ll have to experiment with the tension to be sure I don’t beat it too firmly. I’ve had an offer for yet more baby yarn, as much as I hate acrylic knitting yarn I’ve been collecting sport weight or finer when I can find it cheap and/or free. It’s always good for something, just as long as that something isn’t knitting. It’s great for trying out new patterns or as waste yarn.

I cleaned up the kitchen enough to set up the sewing machine. It involved disassembling and hauling off to storage two large shelves that have been sitting in the middle of the floor since we moved in. One day they will be actually used, but the space for them has been “not ready” for months now. Sigh.

Sewing machine good. I haven’t made any new clothes in about a year and all my pants have holes in them. Now I have two new pairs, a dress that only needs to be hemmed and a bunch of new utility rags from some old clothes. Those old flannel dresses I made years ago make great hankies. While I was at it, I made a baby play mat from flannel and a vinyl tablecloth remnant I found. I have no interest in babies of my own, but baby stuff is fast and easy to sew and uses up odds and ends of fabric. Your new parent friends love you for it, too.

Now that sewing is happening again, this means I want to get all the fabric in one place. There is still some in storage so I’m not done yet, but I have two new shelves in the textile closet and a whole pile of stuff that is now in there instead of elsewhere. It’s so much easier to manage when things aren’t all piled on the floor. I’m still using the bed as a cutting table, but now there’s actually enough light to see what I’m doing. Amazing.

So, with all of this the thing that hasn’t gotten done is measuring warp for the next set of towels. I wound a ball so I could measure two ends at once, but it’s been sitting on top of the loom for weeks. I did at least do some fiber prep so I could get on with spinning more dark brown 3-ply. November is heading this way and I’m going to want those legwarmers when it starts raining.

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