This is post of links to interesting and or useful sites around the web.
This is post of links to interesting and or useful sites around the web.
Spinners who participate at demonstrations hear this question all the time. After washing, dyeing, carding/combing then spinning the most delicious yarn in the world, we have to do more? Isn’t this enough? Apparently there is an expectation that all our lovely yarn has to be used for something else. For years that wasn’t my problem; that was left to the devices of much more talented weavers, knitters, felters and other fiber artists. This was when we had fiber festivals and gathers of like minded people who could touch yarn and evaluate the grist for their next project. To my great surprise, I can spin a lot of yarn in a year.
During one of the relaxed periods of lock-down I was able to buy a lovely little loom. It was a Leclerc Mira, 27 inch, four harness, sectional beam. This little button came with all the bells and whistles – warping mill, bobbin rack with bobbins, electric bobbin winder, skein winder, shuttles, extra heddles, reeds, counter, the list keeps going and going. I was truly blessed to find this loom. It did come unassembled without instructions. That is a crucial bit of information. User manuals are easily found on-line with very good information. Kudo’s to Leclerc for providing customers throughout the ages all the information they need to maintain and care for these lovely machines.
Like most of the world we were in lock-down of one sort or another, but at one point both my son’s were allowed to be in my home as long as I wasn’t, so they took the opportunity to come and set up the little darling for me. Well, that was the intention. The reality ended up with an attempt to sort out the messy meccano set called a loom, define the parts, try to read instructions, etc. that ended with one of them saying “nuts to this, I’m going to start supper and clean the bathroom”. When I got home, supper was on the brew, the loo was clean and one son was struggling with a partially assembled machine. We finished it together. Pear is a shape, and it is not a good one when skittering around under a small loom. Skitter may not be an accurate description either, but you get the idea. I’m too old for this sort of activity.
Cotswold is one of my favourite breeds and I had a lovely selection available for my first try after a long break from weaving. Several decades ago my then sister in law coerced me into taking weaving and spinning at the local college. I loved it, she did not. Once coming to this area, I was competent enough to be hired as a production weaver for a local artisan. We used sectional beams for warping and I prefer them to using a reel. The only draw-back for a sectional beam is the need to have individual bobbins for each thread. So if you are weaving at 10 threads per inch you will need 10 bobbins with enough yardage for the length and width of your warp. I really needed to crack out my math skills again. Thankfully, all the Cotswold I had spun, had yardage marked on the skeins, so I was confident that I had enough to use. I was going to make scarves for my sons.
I measured and did math and wound bobbins, redid the math; worried that I hadn’t done the math properly, so redid it and finally took the plunge.
The weave pattern was a very basic twill. I just wanted to get back to learning how to do a full loom set-up again. The bonus would be having something useful to show for it at the end of the process. The idea of purchasing fiber to do this also seemed a little weird since my house was getting full of spun yarn.
Taking the plunge and using my own hand spun was a significant eye opening experience. The wool I chose was just too rough for the final product of scarves. My sons are kind and tell me the scarves are warm and snuggly and all sorts of appropriate compliments, but the material feels a bit like kevlar.
I am now more aware of producing fiber with an end purpose in mind, not necessarily for me, but for other people as well. If I design the yarn with intent for an end use, I can explain to someone else what it will be good for. Some hand spun is not as good for weaving as it is for knitting, and some hand spun should never be used for scarves!
Things are still very busy here with the bottle lambs. So there is not much time for felting.
I have managed to do some spinning. It all still needs plying.
This one I think will have to be plied with somthing else. I think that if I try to pull the yarn out of the middle as well as the outside it will get hopelessly tangled with all the curls.
Sunday I am picked up a new to me ( and Jan of the polar bear and bull frog). This is an upright tapestry loom. The loom has come all the way from Sudbury. It was transported down by a lady down to visit her daughter saving Jan or I from having to do the long drive up there. As you can see it is all in pieces in my van. I have to clear space for it. that will hopefully happen over the next moth or so as my husband builds his new space and I get to take over his old space. My plan is to make some fleece rugs. I think Jan is planning a Viking cloak.
This last weekend my guild did a Demo at the Carp Fair I went on the Sunday. I took a blending board to make some more rollags. I had some hand cards with me and I had a spindle I was spinning a rollag on so I could explain it all. It was very popular with the visitors to the fair. .
Bernadette was spinning Rambouillet on her wheel. In this picture she is Chain plying it.
Jan was working On the Edo Challenge. And Yes that is an octopus. I am hoping to get her to do a post about her progress. Here she is explaining it to some visitors.
Her fish was there on display and tried to eat a passing child.
Julie was weaving. She is doing shibori on the loom. She weaves the draw strings right into the scarf ready to be tightened up and then dyed. She has a finished sample onto of her loom.
And lastly 2 of the display tables.
I didn’t get any of the third table except Jan’s Fish. We had a great time chatting with people about spinning, weaving and felting. Have you been doing your crafts in public lately?
I mentioned in my last post that I liked the effect of the plain green fabric so much I altered another piece I laid out. I can’t even remember what my original plan was, but I made a flat piece with various greens. I added some strips of the green fabric which looks like a chiffon (I haven’t tested to see if it’s silk, yet), and strips of cotton gauze and scrim. I overlapped the strips in places. This is how it turned out:
I took a couple of my pencil roving mats, and some pencil roving waste, to the Well Being centre a couple of weeks ago. We were talking about plaid and checks, and I’d mentioned the pencil roving waste and how great it is for making patterns. This is one I took in, I’m not sure if I’ve posted it before, but it does look similar to others I’ve shown.
A couple of the group members tried out the roving and made mats, and for last week, I made some little cardboard looms, so everyone who wanted to could make a woven pencil roving mat. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised how quick it was to make a small weaving. I don’t have photos because they were all still wet. But just doing that little bit of weaving gave me the taste again, so I finished off a piece I started ages ago with my first wheel-spun yarn.
And I started another with my second wheel spun yarn, which had baffled me a bit because my first one wasn’t too bad considering I’d used my own blended texturey batts, but this was very weird. I realised later why, it was that weird stuff I got in the botany lap waste which is still an unknown fibre. I made a nice weaving with some of the better stuff last year, but I thought I’d start something with the uneven pieces, maybe add something else to it at a later date.
Last month I showed you my yarn experiment. I had woven some yarns then felted them. Many of them were synthetic. If you hadn’t seen the post, here it is:
Then I mounted it on a canvas frame. Her it’s laying on the counter.
But when I hung it on the wall, it creeped me out. So, I removed the marbles and needlefelting. Sorry about the dark pic, it’s been raining and snowing here all day.
What do you think?
I still had a bagful of yarns left over from my Wild Table Runner so I decided to do a little weaving with some odds and ends. It was a mixture of synthetic, wool and wool blends.
I used a black metallic acrylic yarn as the warp. It was a bit stretchy but I intended to felt it when finished so I wasn’t concerned.
Here it is still on the loom.
I went back and forth on what to use as the background. Finally I decided I wanted to keep the colors from getting lost and chose a white prefelt covered loosely with a white merino batt.
Here it is after felting. As you can see even the white merino is more beige than the white bamboo.
Its kind of wild, but fun. There is a lot of dimension since some of the warp and that crazy eyelash yarn are sticking up. Most everything else including the wide orange and purple synthetics felted in nicely.
From the side:
If you missed my Caribbean Inspiration you can see it here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/01/30/some-inspiration-and-fun-from-the-caribbean/
It seems lately everyone is into weaving. This past summer I was shopping with my daughter in law at Joann’s and this mini loom caught my eye. I actually thought it might be something to do with the grandsons.
The last time I wove anything was on one of those metal looms using loops to make pot holders. Yeah, I’m showing my age.
I forgot about the loom when I got home then when I was gathering all my scraps for the 4th Quarter challenge I found it under a pile. Ok, let’s see how this works and what all the hoopla is about. Looks easy enough.
I have a tubful of yarn so that’s where I started. I thought an autumn theme would be nice. The black acrylic/wool combo also has a little silver bling, the pink ball is mohair and the multi colored yarn is thick and thin with a little blue and white thin threads. I also added some polyester and silk scraps and hand dyed boucle. The ball of yarn under the string is the alpaca I used to make my Ginkgo leaves a while back. Not pictured is hand dyed green pencil roving.
They don’t sell the warp so I decided to just use string. Besides I didn’t want to invest in anything if it was something that I wasn’t going to do a lot of.
I didn’t like using the shuttle, so I just used my fingers. Here it is on the loom:
The instructions were not helpful so I ended up finding a video online. I used the alpaca as fringe. I wasn’t following a particular pattern just kind of winging it.
Of course, I had to hide the ends which was a lot more fiddly than I like. But I like the overall look. I decided to make it a wall hanging and cut a piece of bamboo to tie it to. You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s hanging on a light gold wall. Sorry about the shadow .
It took me a lot longer than anticipated. But I’m happy with the results. I may try another to felt. But I don’t see myself investing any larger looms. I admire those of you who have the patience to dress a loom and weave away.
At my guild, Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ we have a large formal meeting with a program on the first Monday of the month and on all the other Mondays we have a casual social night. bring your wheel or knitting or what ever you like and just have fun with like minded people.
This Monday we there was lots going on. There were spinners and knitters.
Jan brought in some Sheep for the Demo boxes. they came back to the guild a short time ago from being used in a school program. they needed a little hair dressing and now they will go out for demos.
Some people were trying to fix the brake on a loom.
Elizabeth was teaching some one how to make a warp using the cool little paddle to speed things up .
and this is Judy carding cotton into punies ( probably spelled really wrong)
and this is a link( or maybe it will show. to Judy’s YouTube video of spinning cotton on a Lego charkha.