Monday, February 24, 2014

Differential Shrinkage Shawl is finished

The shawl is finished and I shall put it in the post tomorrow. Not bad, even though I say it myself.

Lessons learnt? Don't panic and trust the fulling.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quills and Twisters

In a previous post I related how I was having problems with the spools in my new shuttle. I had some very pertinent and welcome comments from Maliz who gave me details and advice about the the benefits of winding a quill of the appropriate size. I have tried it and it works very nicely as the photos show.  

I have finished the weaving the shawl and it is off the loom and it looks shocking which is what one would expect for something woven at half the plain weave epi/ppi.   
I have started on the fringes which is fairly time consuming even with my twister. Thank goodness for audio books (Bleak House).

I still have to full the scarf so I am afraid that I am going to miss my Friday birthday deadline. I hope  that the recipient will understand!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Red dots on the beater bar

I have had a lovely day listening to music and weaving with the occasional foray into the garden between showers. If I focus tomorrow I may well get the weaving of this shawl finished.

I have put a couple of red dots on the beater bar. These are to guide my thumbs to the correct position so that I hold the beater in the middle. I noticed a tendency for slight slope in the last pick at the fell; one side was nearer to the previous pick than the other side. I put this down to either the fact that I wasn't aligning the temple parallel to the fell or that it was because of my habit of grasping the beater off centre - hence the red dots.

I am taking care with the temple and centering my hand on the beater and the problem has gone away. Successful problem resolution is always very satisfying.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The picks are all right, but the selvedges; Oh my!

The warp is on for the DS Scarf #2 and I have started weaving the first sample which where I check that everything is in order, the tension is right, the warp advances smoothly, the threading and sleying is correct (alas, three cross overs) that the ppi is correct and the selvedges are behaving. After a while I got the beat where it should be (12ppi) but the selvedges were decidedly wonky.

I determined that the reason was that I was using a new shuttle. Normally when drawing a boat shuttle out of the shed I move it forward (to create the weft angle), stop the spool from letting out any more yarn by putting my thumb on it so that I am pulling the selvedge on the opposite side in just a little bit before I close the shed, release the tension on the weft and beat.

I have bought a new Glimakra shuttle, one with wheels. I wanted a shuttle that was light and well spread out so that it didn't go crashing through the floor of the shed. At only 6 ends per inch of 20/2 yarn the shed floor is not that robust. The shuttle trundles through the shed very nicely but because it is quite long the spool can shift from end to end which meant that I was missing the spool with my thumb and therefore not applying any tension to the selvedge. I have resolved the problem by cutting bits of another spool and using them as wide washers. Picture #4 above shows a marked improvement on the last dozen picks (though the beat looks to be a bit variable!

 I shall weave another 9" of sample before I start to weave the scarf proper - that should be enough to get everything bedded in.

PS. It has just occurred to me that what I am calling spools should in fact be called quills - I shall have to check.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Warping Mill

When I was on my recent workshop in Mittagong I used a warping mill for the first time. I liked it so I have just bought one. I find it very easy to use and I think that for shorter warps it is easier than using a warping wheel and sectional warping.

Normally when I am winding a warp with different yarns I wind the warp chains following the warp order as it is in the threading.  So for this deferential shrinkage scarf  (see previous post) previously I would have wound 30 ends of yarn A followed by 30 ends of yarn B, followed by 30 ends of yarn A and so on.

In this instance I wound all of yarn A on one chain and all of B on another. All went well and it was a speedy process. The pictures below show Yarn A spread in the raddle leaving spaces for yarn B.

I shan't be doing it again! The time saved in winding the warp was lost because I had to mess about with two rods attached to the back apron rod and two sets of lease sticks. Still, you have to try these things otherwise you could miss out on some cunning improvements!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yarn shopping

I have been yarn shopping.

The cones are of 20/2 NM Merino which hasn't been treated so it shrinks and felts very nicely as shown here and here. I bought it from Yarn Barn, West Coburg, Victoria.

I bought the skeins from Glenora Weaving and Wool which is based in Gerringong, New South Wales. I took a train down from Sydney so that I could have a browse before buying. I bought some more Mora 20/2, Alpaca Silk 28/2 and variegated 20/2 Silk. All are destined to be combined with the 20/2 Merino in various ways.

The first project will be a differential shrinkage shawl, similar to the scarf that I wove just before Christmas. I will be using analogous shades of blue. The blue 20/2 merino (almost a Royal Blue) is to be partnered with some 28/2 Alpaca Silk (Peacock). The colours are not quite as close together as the photo below would suggest. The peacock yarn is, well, peacock!

I have completed my project plan and shall start putting on the warp tomorrow. My deadline for this shawl is the 21st February - delivered!

The Monks Belt that I was working on is trimmed and washed. Here it is in a couple of cushion mock ups.