Sunday, October 25, 2009

The long haul

Marshalling patience, I have begun the long slow process of weaving a 9 foot stair runner with a handspun weft. The loom, shown at top, is ready. This is my first project on this new-to-me loom and I’m using the 8/4 linen warp that happened to come with it set at 5 ends per inch. I’ve wound on the warp and have now threaded the heddles and sleighed the reed—which for you knitters, just think of the loom being as threaded and almost ready to go.
What I need now is weft, and that will be an entire process of its own and much more time consuming than putting the warp on. Over to the right you can see a bag of gray wool that has been picked and is ready for the carder. As I pick, I keep the fleece in old zippered bedding bags—they are great for this purpose.
To the right is a pot of wool being dyed deep green using my own dye recipe. I’ll need a lot more pots of green and all these dye lots will need to be blended to create a single consistently colored lot before I begin picking, carding and then spinning. The rug will be woven in three colors using alternating shuttles of light gray, a darker gray and dark green. Since all of this is to be handspun, I have a lot of work ahead of me before I can even start weaving. The whole project represents a long haul.
Knitting and spinning for knitting projects ought to fill in the cracks in time quite nicely. My last picture is the socks I just finished on sock blockers. I showed these socks in progress in a September blog and now they are done and ready to go to the wearer. They are a blend of gray Corriedale and a couple of ounces of Cotswold dyed deep blue and purple.
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