Monday, September 17, 2007

So what have I been working on? Well, the lace charting didn't go exactly as planned, so you can't see that yet. It started out as an edging for Kiri, but I'm not sure it fits that design, so it may morph into a completely different original project. Plus I'm not sure the body of Kiri is big enough yet. I did a test-stretch this afternoon, with blocking wires, and I only got about 28" down the middle. Now I'm debating whether to keep on with the main pattern for a while, or call it good and edge it. I have a feeling that I would rather this be a shawl, not a "shawlette" (what a horrible word) or scarf, so I'll probably keep on. Which means that I'll probably run out of yarn during the edging. Which means that I'll probably have to buy another skein. Which means that I'll probably end up with another mostly full skein of this so-very-not-me color when the project is done. Again. Sigh. I'm doomed to never be rid of this yarn.

Warping the loom, however, went swimmingly. It's three yards of Jaggerspun Zephyr, sleyed at 25 epi, 574 ends, 23" wide. And the weft- remember this? The Amethyst merino/silk roving that I dyed myself, spun, then couldn't decide what to do with the bobbin full of singles? Well, look what it became when it grew up!

I'm using the singles as weft, unplyed, and I really really like the way it looks in the fabric. The streaky roving became subtly variegated singles, and when it's woven the different shades of purple blend and streak and give the fabric wonderful interest and depth. The singles are slightly thinner than the Zephyr, much thinner in places, and it gives a nice textural contrast as well. This picture doesn't do it justice AT ALL. The shimmer of the silk doesn't come through, in either the warp or the weft, and it looks less streaky and more shaded in person. It sparkles in the sun. I love the way it's working up, and hope it doesn't change too much when it's wet finished.

The pattern is "Triple Draught Bird's Eye" from A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison, page 21, a draft originally published by John Murphy in 1824. It's a four harness, four treadle pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I've ever woven a four-harness pattern. I've woven plain weave on the rigid heddle and the Baby Wolf, and eight-harness patterns on the Baby Wolf. Never four. Talk about jumping right in as a newbie. It's kind of nice to only have to keep track of four treadles.

The weaving has been greatly facilitated by my recent acquisition of this:

The bobbin winder to end all bobbin winders. I love Ebay. I got this for 1/3 the price of new ($150 for a bobbin winder? I think not), and it's in perfect condition. Not only is it quieter and smoother than the old one that came with my loom, it's a double-ended dealie, and can accommodate almost any size bobbin. Certainly all the ones I have. I can rewind spinning bobbins now, without jury-rigging the bobbin winder or resorting to using my spinning wheel. Using the wheel is doable, but not ideal when rewinding a bobbin of laceweight, because the wheel pulls too hard and breaks fragile yarn. Now I'm all set. Wah-hey!


Leigh said...

Oooo, I've got that exact bobbin winder. I love mine. I was interested that you had to switch gears to weave a 4 shaft pattern. I am finding the same thing switching from 4 ot 8. Always something new to learn! The weaving looks spectacular, even from a lowly photo. I'm going to have to try that draft as well.

The Purloined Letter said...

Your weaving is gorgeous! You're going to have to teach me how to do that!

Nice to be back at your blog. I've dropped off the face of the planet for the last few months and I'm glad to be back visiting old favorites.

CrazyFiberLady said...

that weaving is inspirational. I might just have to get my loom out of storage one of these days!