Aah, Simplicity

After my early travails with my baby wrap warp, I decided to do something I've been meaning to for a very long time - weave with my hand spun.  I have several yarns available, (and many, many more bumps of fiber), but I've always put off weaving with some because I was afraid it wouldn't hold up to weaving.  Being self taught, I'm never fully confident in my finished yarn, so I've knit with it, knowing that I can easily correct a problem encountered while knitting, while also acknowledging that knitting does not put a strain on the yarn like weaving under tension does.  But I was desperate!  I needed something simple, yet beautiful; something to lift my soul quickly and easily.  So I took the plunge.

I chose 4 ounces of a merino/silk blend that was a Christmas gift one year from my hubby, and my first spin on my Matchless.  One of the main reasons I chose to try my first handwoven with this particular hand spun was the color - a beautiful turquoise, with small flecks of yellow and white.


It spun up into this yarn, a 2 ply lace weight totalling 723 yards, a first for me!



I used a reference from a weaving magazine to determine the sett (or density on the loom) - wraps per inch divided by 2.  That magic number was 12 ends per inch, though once on the loom it seemed quite open.  This presented a new problem, er, learning opportunity once I started weaving.  After spreading the warp, I began to weave, happily beating the weft, until I realized that if I continued on this path, I would end up with A) a very weft-faced cloth, which would keep it from being drape-y, and B) an extremely short weft-faced cloth, since I would run out of yarn very very soon.  It's not like I could run to the store and get more, either.



So I spent the next inch or so adjusting my beat, until it was no more than placing the weft carefully with each pick.  You can see in the photo above that I went from a very tightly woven material to something much more open and loose. Another lesson learned with this project was learning to weave with a very stretchy yarn, since cotton and tencel, my two standbys, don't stretch at all.

As loose as the weave was, I figured I could tighten it up a bit in the washing/drying phase, so I continued on in that matter, ending up with a 74" X 7.5" scarf with an additional 5" twisted fringe.  It also became incredibly soft during fulling, which was very gratifying given how soft the original fiber was.


And a close up to show the subtle color variations;


I'm sure the silk really helps with the softness and sheen.


The project took me parts of two days, not counting the spinning.  It was just what I needed to feel good about weaving again.  This scarf, along with most of my other projects, can be found in my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreadbareDesigns).  Unfortunately, it's back to the beast of a project for me for now, but I'm planning on some 8 shaft goodness to commence soon!

My website is another non-starter, at least for now.  I've managed to insert some banner photos and text, but only in the most rudimentary way.  I fear that is how it will stay, given my time and knowledge limitations.  Maybe not the best thought out plan...

Comments

  1. Really lovely fibre! it's made a beautiful looking scarf! Do you know where your hubby got the fibre from? I want some! :) I'm planning on knitting a cardigan and it's the perfect colour!

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    Replies
    1. I believe he bought it at Halcyon Yarn. I think it's from Ashland Bay, so hopefully you can find some!

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