Monday, March 28, 2011

The end is nigh!

Well, the end of this hood project anyway!  It's morphed into experiments with the actual Greenland twill, which makes for a more interesting project.

Anyway, the hood itself is done.  Yay!  It turns out the hood I had decided to reproduce (largely because of all the weaving mistakes, it made me feel better) was child-sized, so I've decided to make an actual-sized hood as well out of commercial fabric as a point of size comparison.  That will be easy enough as the whole thing is only 14 1/2 inches high, which just leaves the sample weaving to finish.

I went over to my laurel's house (and boy does it sound strange to say "my laurel" still!) yesterday to get the sample weaving set up and learned how to set up a warp weighted loom, which was lots of fun.  The tablet woven starting band process is remarkably efficient and spaced the my handspun warps perfectly without even thinking about it.  We wound the warp on to a bead loom which I had had floating around for ages and I was brought it home and started needle weaving, only to discover that the warp was wound on unevenly enough to be a major problem.  When I went to fix it, the loom broke.  Gah.  I can fix the loom, but not in time to get the weaving done.  So now I have the whole thing tied onto my floor loom in a sort of modified warp-weighted setup, only the middle section got all messed up when I thought I was being clever by trying to put it through the heddles the make the weaving go faster.   Luckily the piece is wider than I needed and I'm able to work with a half width and still get a workable sample, which is all I need, off the intact section of warp.  I'm working on tying it to the heddle frames with string heddles to get some kind of shed then I can get going with the weaving.  It's been frusterating to say the least, but I think I have a workable plan and this should work.

Next time I'm working with handspun singles, I will find a way to block and size the yarn before I warp.  Serious sizing.  Lots and lots of sizing.  Sticky wool with over-twist is a major PITA.

Edited to add that the string heddles aren't working terribly well, I think because they need to be anchored top AND bottom (duh, but now I know), and because the wool is uber-sticky.  However, I discovered that a pointy stick wroks wonders, as I can weave the pattern and the  turn it to create a nice shed I can pass a small bobbin through so I am on way to the craft store to a bone folder.  The little hole at the end of my stick shuttle/beater combo is getting in the way of the weaving process so the folder should be perfect.  I will not be defeated!!

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