Saturday, October 04, 2008

Weaving, spinning, knitting plans

Today I laid out my new cloth on the table for a closer look.

It's interesting to see the distinct learning curve in the fabric.

At the start, according to Betty Linn Davenport (the author of the book I referenced yesterday, Rigid Heddle Weaving), you are to weave 6 rows of waste yarn. I wanted to be sure that it contrasted well so that I could see what I was doing, thus the pink. Once I'd started, however, I decided to use up all that I'd wound onto my shuttle, because using such a high contrast was very helpful in figuring out exactly what I was doing.

You can see in the multi-green that at first, my fabric was very...drapey, shall we say. This IS a technique, although not the one I was aiming for yesterday.

Once I'd gotten a little more adjusted to what I was doing, I switched from the multi-green weft to a solid cream, and decided to experiment with a pick-up stick for a few stripes of a float pattern.

By the end, I had determined that, to make a fabric that I was happiest with, I needed to beat the heddle forward at an angle towards me, which packed things in nice and neat.

I also learned how to work in ends as I wove. Since the yarn is a firm cotton, I untwisted the plies, put the end into the next available shed, and then pulled out a few of the ends. After those were snipped off, it wasn't visible where I'd changed yarn.

I'm sure that wet finishing it would take out at least a little bit of the wobbly bits, but I'm not concerned with this piece. I'll worry about that more with future projects, but for right now, I'm considering this cloth done. Sparky, Max and Daisy are now the delighted owners of their very own handwoven blanket for their teddy bears. With little guys in the house, nothing has to go to waste!

The children and I went through my stash together, and they picked each picked out wool for this season's hat and mitten sets.

(In the column of three: Max, Daisy, Sparky)

As you can see, I've started on Daisy's today: 2 of the 8oz of Celebration (Spunky Club Shetland from 2007).

Not to overload you with pictures (wait, do I ever worry about that?), here are two skeins of handspun that I completely forgot to tell you about that I finished up this week:

This was the Bluegrass Franquemont Fibers batt that I posted about a few days ago.

2-ply, 142 yards, 1 oz, sport/fingering.

And then another Franquemont Fibers batt that started out like this:

And turned into this:

2-ply, 328 yards, 1.7 oz, laceweight/fingering.

I didn't realize that cream yarn could even be interesting, but this fiber blend is so perfectly creamy, complete with subtle glimmers of sparkling firestar, and the cashmere...and the silk...mmmmmm

Seriously, if you've never tried a Franquemont Fibers batt, you are missing out, my friend.

Tomorrow, I'll show you what I'm doing with the Bluegrass.
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