Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Differential Shrinkage Scarf - Postscript #2

I have finished the sample that I wrote about in my previous post and it has worked out very well. The combination of an open sett and a more restrained fulling process has produced the the effect that I was hoping for. The secret of success for this look is to get the shrinkage with just enough felting to hold the scarf together but no more.

As I have said before this was a lovely project to work on and I have learned enough to enable me to produce similar scarves in the future.

So, what's next?

Off the loom before fulling

After fulling

The model

Fulling Table

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Differential Shrinkage Scarf - Postscript #1

I have a little bit of warp left for the differential scarf so I have re-sleyed to 10 epi and shall weave a sample at 10ppi. I shall full very lightly so as to just shrink the merino a little bit; I want to try for something light and lacy.

I have just done a little bit and it is not easy. Weaving with such an open sett means that the slightest nudge will displace a weft thread; I am having to be very careful and gentle and have to confess that I am finding it a bit of a challenge.

This has been an interesting project which took a little longer that I planned but which was nethertheless very satisfying and great fun.

Now that the project is nearly over I have written up all my notes and calculations. I keep a manual notebook but I also find using a spreadsheet invaluable - here are some of the tables that I use;

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stephanie's Scarf

The differential shrinkage scarf is finished and here is Stephanie wearing it! It was touch and go to get it finished and I actually had to take the scarf back after I had given it to her so that I could trim a few loose threads.

It is unlikely that it will be worn  for a few months. It is quite hot here in Australia at the moment.

These pictures show how the fabric turned out after fulling.

And here I am trying to be all arty!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Differential Shrinkage Scarf - Fulling the sample

I have been having fun today felting the sample. We are having a little heatwave at the moment so it was very hot in the laundry whilst I was doing all this.

Sample as woven

This is the sample before I started the fulling process. It is 18" long and 16.7" wide. I twisted the fringe at one end and just left the other hem.

Washing up bowl and milk thermometer
Agitating the sample
First fulling

I used a washing up bowl to do the fulling and I borrowed my wife's milk thermometer to assist in temperature control.

The technique that I used was 5 minutes gentle agitation in hot water followed by 5 minutes agitation in cold water (from the cold tap which is 60F today).

This is the degree of fulling after three hot/cold cycles with hot at 120 F.

There is a nice bit of movement. The sample length has reduced to 14" (22% shrinkage) and the width has shrunk to 13" which is about the same percentage.

Second fulling
After the second fulling which was two more cycles at 14 F the sample was 13" long and 11.5" wide which is a 28% reduction in length and a 32% reduction in width.

Second fulling
This is another picture of the sample after the second fulling. I think that I want to achieve something between the two around 25% shrinkage.


Here one can see how much the merino has felted. Again, I think that this is a little bit too much. So, I shall repeat the process to get myself to stage one and then do little increments of temperature to get to the ideal 25%

This is all very exciting. It is too warm to do any more messing around with hot water so I shall  wait until tomorrow to start on the scarf. Time for a nice cup of tea and a bit of gentle fringe twisting

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Differential Shrinkage Scarf - Weaving finished

I have finished the weaving. As I have a bit of warp left I put in a stick heading before I cut the scarf off. It is now gently resting until I get to work on it tomorrow. I have to say that it looks extremely sleazy but I suppose it should at this stage.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Differential Shrinkage Scarf - Progress

We are having a very nice summer and what with camping, gardening and messing about in boats I have spent a lot of time Not Weaving. Momentum has picked up now, mainly because the scarf is intended as a Christmas present.

Sleying the reed
In a my last post I wrote about how I cleaned the reed. It ended up a nice dark grey colour which unfortunately was an almost exact match with the dark grey of one of my weft yarns. Needless to say I had a couple of sleying errors and they were close to the centre of the reed.

In the past I have balanced the reed on boxes when sleying; silly, it is much easier to hang it from the superstructure.

Open sett means see through cloth
When I started the weaving I had a problem because I found it difficult  to see the fell clearly and judge my beat. The set is very open (12 ppi for the Mora and 16 ppi for the Merino) so the cloth is see through with lots of visual distraction coming through from below.

Three lights at the front of the loom
I put extra lighting onto the loom. The little clip on lights that I have put onto the beater uprights are invaluable - I use them all the time and move them around as needed

Light behind the beater
The sample

In addition to the three lights shown above there is a neon light (turned off in the photo) attached to the back of the top beater bar. This shines down and through the red giving a good view of the fell.

This is the sample. I have made it larger than I normally do because it will be needed for determining the amount of finishing that I will need to do to get the right degree of shrinkage and pucker.

Measuring 14 ppi 
 In theory I should be beating the red Mora wool to 12 ppi and the grey Merino to 16 ppi. Swapping every 2"proved too much for me so I have settled for 14 ppi throughout. I could probably have set the whole warp at 14 ppi.
Washers (nuts) in the boat shuttle

I normally use end feed shuttles but because this CB loom beater does not have a shuttle race on the bottom batten I decided to use lighter boat shuttles. I had a problem with the spools catching and snagging but a couple of nuts serving as washers has fixed the problem.

I am now well into the actual scarf having woven about 2' today in a couple of gentle sessions. I should make it for Christmas!