Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lemonade

Handspun, handwoven, green and brown scarf

This was an exercise in making lemonade from lemons!

I had some grey Coopworth combed top, which I handpainted. Unfortunately, I was (and am) still pretty new to dyeing, and the fiber got somewhat felted.

So I pulled it apart into color chunks, and combed the different sections to produce a very little bit of combed top which was lovely to spin up into a small quantity of semi-worsted 3-ply using a spindle.

Because the fiber had been felted, there was a lot of combing waste. I needed something to practice wheel spinning with (because I had some fiber I wanted to spin on a wheel for the Tour de Fleece), so I drum carded the waste, knowing full well that I'd end up with lumpy-bumpy thick and thin yarn. Which I did, and then I plied it with some very thin bouclé that my friend had. I liked it, but it was bulkier than I usually like to use, and besides, it wasn't really quite my style.

two very different yarns

So I decided that the two yarns put together would make a project, and bethought myself of using a backstrap loom for the purpose. Now, I've put together another backstrap, but haven't finished the project. Also, it's been over 20 years since I did any serious weaving.

I am therefore pretty damn pleased with the result! It's a fairly consistent width and the selvedges are not too blobby.

4 comments:

lisa said...

Hurrah! That looks great! Congrats!

Naomi said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Tracy said...

Cool! Can we see the backstrap in progress?

Naomi said...

I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't.

I used random dowels for the sticks and a rag with knots on the end for the belt - I tied string from that to the loom. We have some hooks on our mantle which I attached the far end of the loom to - I tied a long string to the back part, one end of the string for each end of the dowel. I found I got the most stability if I hooked the giant loop over two hooks; if I just used one hook, the loom tended to rotate.

The rigid heddle I bought for the purpose.

I found that the best seating arrangement for me was one of these camping chairs. It let me sit on the floor and rock forward and back, without my back hurting.