August 4, 2012

Sample, sample, sample

Maybe I'm finally learning from my mistakes. Maybe. I two plied (I really want to write plyed, but spell checker keeps insisting that is wrong. Even if it looks right.) pretty much all the singles I've been spinning for the Cover That Armchair project. The Devon long wool and the Leicester long wool have been sitting around waiting. I got the Shetland and the Romney plied. And, because there were odd bits left over, some of the Leicester was plied with Romney or Shetland.

I warped the loom, using some of each yarn so I could see how they behave. And whether or not I'd done a good job with my spinning. Spinning for weaving is different than spinning for knitting, I think. I decided to make the samples on the rigid heddle loom, since I don't really yet know what I'm doing with Betty the Mac loom.

Right off the bat (funny, I want to type batt) I made a mistake, I started warping using the warping peg, so I warped right thru the heddle that was already sitting on the loom. That heddle is 7.5 dpi, pretty much too big for most of the yarns I spun. This didn't occur to me until I'd pretty much gotten the loom warped and all the ends tied on to the cloth beam. Believing that one should maximize the learning potential from non-life or limb threatening mistakes, I left the warp as it was and started weaving. I figured that later I could cut the warp and re-thread through the 10 dpi heddle.

Hmmm. Well,  I didn't like the Devon too much while spinning, and this held true with the weaving. I spun it too heavy, and didn't put in enough twist or ply. Plus, it smells funny, from whatever oils were used during processing. I think its too hairy, and it's not holding up to the tension on the warp. I only bought 4 oz. of top (so called), there's not an entire fleece sitting around waiting to be used up.

The Leicester is weak in some places, but so lustrous and soft. I'll spin the next batch a bit tighter. I love this fiber and want to include it in this project. I think its also looks really nice plied with either the Romney or the Shetland.

The Romney and the Shetland are both a bit over-spun. A bit twisty. And spun finer than the other samples. But, they both hold up very well as warp. Especially the Romney. I think I'll use the Romney as my primary warp yarn. The Shetland will work for warp or weft. I could try lightly cabling the Romney 2-ply I have left to see what it does...

I wove until, well, I got tired of playing around, and cut the warp and re-threaded using the 10dpi heddle. Then I wove some more. Until I was bored. I cut the next sample off the loom, and tied fringe on all the samples and got them ready for washing.

This morning I photographed and measured, and then tossed the samples in the sink with hot water and dish detergent.

Here are the before pictures.
7.5 dpi
10 dpi
And the after pictures.
7.5 dpi
10 dpi
Both samples shrank a bit, as expected. And both got this interesting texture, at least in certain areas. Maybe because of the extra twist in the yarn? I don't really know. But in this case, I like the result.

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