Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wooly Shawl

In my quest to get as many things woven for the County Fair as possible, coupled with a desire to use up stash yarn, I wove a woolen shawl using Mountain Colors yarns http://www.mountaincolors.com.  The warp yarns were purchased as a knitted shawl kit many years ago.  The yarns included Mountain Goat (worsted), Merino Ribbon, Wooly Feathers, and Mohair in the Sierra Colorway. (I chose not to use the Moguls yarn, also included in the kit.  It had very large bumps that didn't seem to lend themselves to this project.) For the weft, I used another Mountain Goat yarn in the Yellowstone colorway.

Warp Yarns

Weft Yarns

The warp yarns were wound in "stripes of texture".  Some sections used all four types of yarn or just two or in a few cases, just one - depending on how much yarn was left as I wound the warp.  It was sett at 10 epi, which seemed to be a good compromise for the sett of all of the different yarns.  The warp was threaded to a straight threading on 8-shafts.

Since the colors were so close in value and color - even the weft versus the warp, I decided to keep the structure relatively simple.  I wanted to use a twill in order to increase the drape of the final shawl.  So I used my standard 3-2-1-1-1 tie-up and wove it as threaded.


The weaving turned out to be slow and somewhat painful.  The mohair was a slight problem, getting twisted with the yarns on each side.  (Neither the mohair nor the feathery yarns were adjacent to each other or themselves.)  The Wooly Feathers yarn was so attracted to it's neighboring yarns that it took about 10 minutes to weave each inch.  I had to clear each shed before I could throw the shuttle.  I'm pretty sure that I am not going to use this type of yarn in a warp again.

I twisted the fringe before wet finishing it.  This proved to take a fair amount of time too.

The final shawl did turn out to be very nice.  Although nervous about the wet finishing, I washed it in my front-loader washing machine on the handwash setting and lay it flat to dry. The yarn got cosy with itself rather than actually fulling.  

I'm pleased with the result and I hope to weave more shawls with wool yarns in the future.

Yuba River Scarf Plus One

Another Fair category in the Wool Division is Nevada County Inspired. This category is for entries that have been produce with some aspect of our County in mine.  I think it replaced "Fair Theme Inspired" several years go.  I love to enter this category - to keep the numbers up for it since it is an interesting category, and {truthfully} since it is one of the few categories with a cash prize.  :-) )  

This year I was a bit busy and not particularly inspired.  I have been looking through my yarn stash with the idea of doing projects that are relatively quick and can use up some of the yarn I have.  I purchased a fair amount of sock yarn to weaving into scarves.  I found several skeins of blue-green variegated sock yarn in two slightly different shades.  They looked a lot like the Yuba River that runs through the County and I got inspired to make a couple of scarves.  

Yuba River
This was the first time I've warped two scarves together.  Normally, I either have one skein with enough for one scarf - warp and weft or I felt safer just warping one at a time.  I did have to use a little of the yarn color I was planning to use for weft in the warp.  It is about an inch at one of the selvedges.

I used an extended point twill threading.  I like how this threading can result in large diamonds or other geometric shapes.  The warp (Knit One crochet two's Crock-O-Dye) was sett at 12 epi.  The tie-up is my standard 3-2-1-1-1 that I have been using for towels.  (Again, see the previous post about not wanting to get under the loom to re-chain.)  

The Yuba Inspired Scarf was woven as threaded - i.e., with large extended point threading. The second scarf was threadled in a small point.

Yuba Inspired Scarf

Second Scarf
Two Scarves Together

This yarn is variegated and creates a plaid effect by using it in the warp and weft.  The pattern is very subtle but in the detail pictures, the design can be seen.  It may not seem worth it to weave anything other than plain weave with this yarn but I like the extra texture that it creates.

Yuba Inspired Scarf Detail

Second Scarf Detail

I like the resulting scarves.  The Yuba River is a very inspiring landmark.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Handspun Yarn Project

The County Fair is right around the corner so it is the season to work on entries.  There is an underrepresented category in the Woven with Handspun Division called Collaborative Spinner/Maker.  The entries for this category are produced by two or more people with a woven item make from at least 50% handspun yarn.  Not being a spinner myself, I was able to get yarn for this purpose from my friend Beryl (http://bannermountaintextiles.blogspot.com).

I don't often work with wool, but I thought about a scarf with two of the yarns Beryl offered.  Her yarn was the green and dark brown ones pictured below.  The strand of yarn pictured below was a handspun I had but can't remember where I got it.  It was labeled Hummingbird Handspun and might be Hummingbird Moon Handspun.

I am trying to use some new weave structures, so I thought I might try an advancing twill. This one is pretty basic on 8-shafts.  I did decide to use the tie-up I have on my Cranbrook loom (to keep me from having to get under it and rechain).  This is the same 3-2-1-1-1 tie up that I use with towels.  I calculated that I wouldn't have enough green for the entire warp.  I thought about alternating the green and brown but realized it would hide the pattern.  So, I used the green for the majority of the warp with stripes of brown on the selvedges.  I used the Hummingbird for the weft.

The warp was sett at 8 epi.  This might have been a bit dense for this warp and the weft I chose for a scarf, but it feels perfect for a table runner.  

The project wove fine without any difficulties.  The weft yarn was brown overall but had bits of the green and other complementary colors.  It seemed ideal.

It is really a lovely table runner.