April 11, 2012

FO = Start

Finished Objects. The satisfaction of making something with my own two hands. The delight of having a pleasing and functional result from my efforts. The relief of finishing a gift on time. The magic of transformation. And, the space to start something new. The excitement of planning the next project. Okay, sometimes its not excitement, its anxiety. Can't hop into the car without a project to take along. What if we get stranded? What to do, next? Start.

One of my next projects, and I know I've talked about this before, is to make a slipcover for an armchair. I've been thinking about this off and on for a few years, and this year is when the project gets underway. At first, my plan was to knit a cover. I wasn't sure what yarn to use, so I let things percolate. Maybe I'll use more bits of felted or fulled fabrics. Maybe I'll chicken out on the whole project.

When I added weaving to my addiction hobby mix, more possibilities cropped up. I could weave and sew, I could weave, full and sew. Weaving being faster than knitting, its less daunting for me to consider weaving some fabric and fulling it. I might do all of the former, and add knitting as well.

Before deciding construction methods, I want to decide construction materials. I'll hand spin the yarn, but my fleece stash is currently geared toward next to skin softness, not furniture durability. Oh drat, I guess that mean I'll need some different fleece. (heheeheee) But how much stronger does my yarn need to be? I bought the Finn/Dorset?Targhee to try out. Lovely fleece with gorgeous luster, spins like a dream. Softer than I thought it would be. Will it be strong enough?

The only way to know is to weave a sample. And I only wanted a little sample, so I made a little card-loom. I think I should've made more ends-per-inch for the warp, but didn't think the cardboard would hold up. The yarn is a finer gauge than what I'd plan, and could use more twist, but it worked.

I made my little sample, and then fulled it in soapy water. Note to self: this wool can felt. Here is the itty bitty sample, looks like a dollhouse area rug. Too cute. The jury is still out on whether this will work for a furniture cover. It might, especially if its paired with something stronger. Meanwhile, I still have enough yarn to knit a little sample, so I can see how it feels that way.

I've thought about procuring some long wool type fleeces. Lincoln, Romney, Wensleydale, Coopworth, Teeswater and so on. World of Wool carries some top made of long wool fleece, so I ordered 100 grams of White Devon top. Right now it looks more cream than white, but maybe that will wash out.
The staple of this is very long.
After spinning a little some of the top, I've found that there are shorter lengths and some fuzzy bits. Here is how it looks so far.
I'm going to run some of this fiber through the wool combs and see how that spins up.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I'm looking forward to hearing about the results of your experiments - I know that I really enjoyed my sample spin of Lincoln (and have been trying to come up with a project that "needs" Lincoln ever since).