Friday, December 16, 2016

I love progress!

It is amazing how much one can get done by committing an hour a day to doing something! Then of course insomnia helps because you can spend more than an hour doing something.

I plied the two yarns I spun over the past few weeks. I finished - skeined, washed, dried all the yarns I've finished in the past few months. How's that for progress? There is a bit more photography and math to do to calculate yardage on the last 3 skeins and to document the grist in my usual way. I measure it on a quarter :-)

 Like this. This is a skein I had finished a while back but had not photographed with the quarter.
 This is one of the skeins I finished earlier this week. It is the first of the Gotland skeins. The wool and the beaded thread aren't sticking to each other so the wool singles is sliding around on the thread. I may have to go back and ply it with a binder thread. But I'll try to use it before I do that. It is a little over-plied because I didn't add some counteracting twist to the beaded thread so it could take the plying twist and be balanced. Not a big issue and one that will be corrected if I have to ply with a binder thread.
 This was the sample fiber that came with the Hansen Pro. Abstract Fibers as a reminder. It is very nice.
 This is the second skein of the Gotland hanging to dry. You can see the plying twist causing the skein to twist to the left at the bottom. It isn't much which is why I don't think it will be a problem.
These are the two skeins from Maine Top Mill. I am thrilled with how these turned out. They are soft and yet I think I have enough twist to hold the short fibers in place. The twist is nice and even and the fibers bloomed beautifully.

I also started weaving the first scarf. This was the result of the insomnia. I had an issue with the warping so I was putting off starting till I figured out what to do.

This is the warp beam with the rolled up warp. I got a wide roll of brown paper but I wasn't very good at cutting it. It was 24" wide and my loom is 20" wide. So there are a few spots where it is narrower than 20 and so warp threads in the last hole and slot on this side were longer because they were over the paper on some turns and not on it for some turns. I knew this would come back to bite me. I also didn't want to put too much stress on the threads. So I ended up taking some scrap yarn and making a loop with a weighted pill bottle. I had this from fixing the broken warp thread on the towel.  The abrasion on the warp thread is not much as it is a soft yarn that is holding the pill bottle in place. and I am advancing the warp frequently so the weight isn't in one place for long.

Now the tension is right and I have had no problems weaving. Eventually that extra length will match up with the rest of the warp as we get to the turns where the paper is more even. I am going to buy a roll of 20" wide paper.

After that I wove some scrap yarn to spread the warp and started weaving. But I forgot to leave a length of thread to hem stitch! I had only woven 3 picks of the weft so I thought I could unweave it. Well, I had loaded my shuttle with a lot of yarn so it kept getting caught in the warp and I had to untangle the weft from the warp a few times. But I did it, restarted with enough length to hem stitch, did the hemstitching, put in some contrasting yarn for a border, and have started weaving in earnest. I will do some random stripes of the border yarn in the body if the weaving starts looking too boring.
 That is the hemstitching on the bottom and the border. The weft yarn is the dark one and the border is the textured yarn that looks lighter in the photo. This photo is to document what I did on this end so I can replicate it on the other. I found that invaluable in working the towels. I can count the picks and match it up.
This is what the body of the shawl looks like . Right now the warp is a gray color. Then it will move through white, gray, black, gray, white, and gray before going back to black at the other end.

I am looking forward to weaving some more tonight. I will probably start another spinning project over the weekend but tonight I will make progress on the shawl. 

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