Sunday, February 5, 2012

Waiting for Plyday

Somehow this post I wrote more than a week ago ended up in the "Draft" folder, so this is a bit out of sequence.  (And I'm embarrassed to note that I was so tired on Friday night that I completely forgot I had some plying to do!!  Next Firday/Plyday)


This afternoon I finished spinning the merino/bamboo/silk from Fiber Fancy.  I'll let it rest before plying it on Friday--or, Plyday, in the #spindown2010 challenge from @BelleoftheBall. (It's going to just look like a Christmas candy cane--I can hardly wait!)

I'm almost sad to say goodbye to spinning this, it felt so good to spin!  I seldom believe it when someone says something spins like butter or cuts like butter, or whatever like butter--but this does.
I'll get to work with it twice more--plying, and knitting or weaving.

Finally off the loom!

Yesterday I took a woven piece off the loom.   I started it because I wanted to just see what happen if I used self-striping sock yarn as both warp and weft.

The warp was problematic--perhaps it wouldn't have been for a more experienced weaver, but there you have it!   It was too stretchy/elastic for me to feel that I had managed an even, good tension and the abrasion of the metal heddles caused raveling. 

The raveling was especially frustrating, though once I wove past the parts of the yarn that had the most stress on them from the warping process, it was less of a problem.  In the meantime, however, I tried to just keep twisting the frayed strands back around the intact core each time I beat.  That worked--sort if--for awhile but in the end I just got a small dab of white glue and stroked it over the frayed fiber, then let it dry.   I'm not sure that's the most "professional" or proper way to repair it, but it worked.  I figure that even if the piece is washed at some point and the glue dissolves, the frayed ends are still caught in the weaving and the integrity of the piece won't suffer from the use of the glue.

Toward the end of the warp, the tension on the right side of the warp was considerably lower than the left side which, of course, made the fell line uneven--and more so with each pick.  Too many warp threads were involved to make it practical to hang weights on them, so I just wedged 3 extra lease sticks (I wrap the warp on the back beam around sticks, rather than paper) between the beam and the warp threads on that side.  It meant that I had to re-place the extra sticks each time I advanced the warp, but it worked!

As this was a learning experience for me, after I had woven about 3 feet in tabby, I tried doing a section in twill and did not like it at all with this yarn.  Frankly, it was ugly.  :-)   So I wove another, shorter section in tabby (when I experience the warp tension problem) and then an even shorter section that I want to try using for a fiber art piece with some felting, stitching, beading, etc.  We'll see how that goes, and I'll report back.

So, this piece was for learning, and I learned quite a bit!  And I have a piece that looks decent enough to use as a spring table runner.  Verdict=success.