Sunday, September 21, 2014

Straight to the dye pot

BFL/Wensleydale cross
Not much weaving was accomplished since my feat of lightening warping last weekend. The project is on hold for a bit as things get busy. I did manage to get to a fiber fair this weekend--my first in a long time--and despite Fiber in the Park being very small, I managed to find two fleeces. Shown above is a BFL Wensleydale cross grown by Kathy McClure, a talented dyer as well as excellent shepherd. She washes her sheep before she sheers them, which is why this fleece looks so absolutely gorgeous. It was also why I was able to bring it directly home and drop all 2.25 pounds in the dyepot.
Green fiber drying.
Now it is drying away--it dyed a bit unevenly but that will all be taken care of when I card.  It should give the yarn some depth.  I plan to knit a sweater from the resulting yarn. I also purchased a natural colored Romney fleece, but haven't had a chance to take photos.

Just so you know, life is getting busy and I won't be playing with fiber nor be blogging for the next several weeks. I will be getting back to it all soon though!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Warper

A different way to warp
Warping can take me weeks--I'm a slow weaver. Not this time. It started over coffee Saturday morning when I did  the calculations.  After breakfast I started winding and had half of the warp on the loom before it was time to do some errands. The Fanny has a sectional warp beam, so I've been developing a hybrid warping method that takes advantage of the sectional beam without having to buy all the expensive equipment. Essentially, I warp five inches at a time right off the warping board. I have this heavy metal comb I use to help keep the threads straight. It is heavy, so it also provides nice even tension while I wind the warp onto the loom.

Cross-free warping
Warp gremlins are active in my home, and they love messing with my cross. Not only does my cross get flipped, but I've had twisting behind the cross. So I thought I would try cross free weaving by winding my warps in consecutive one inch bundles. Since this handspun yak scarf is just is just 9 dents per inch, and the warp only 8 feet long, this was the perfect project to experiment with.  So far so good, though next time I'm using duck tape to hold the one inch width of thread. This idea came from sectional warping--on the Leclerc video they show tape being used to keep the threads in order for threading.

Warp gremlins, by the way, is what I blame for my own lack of attention to what I am doing. All these processes are slow with plenty of time for my mind to wander. Despite my best efforts there are still a few mess-ups on this rather straightforward warp. Good thing I'm not a surgeon.
Weaving with handpun
 My favorite goose-eye treadling is being used for this scarf. Because the warp is under tension and stretched, despite it being 100% yak down, I am using a very light beat so I can get a nice even fabric with a good drape.  The weft, you may recognize, is the merino yak braid I purchased from Unwind Yarn Company back in February and spun up this summer. This has to be one of the fastest yarn to project conversions yet.  If I get this done in one week, I'll be breaking a personal record. But I doubt it. We will see next week.