Thursday, August 30, 2007

7 Down & 2 To Go

I finished the 7th yarn in my shawl collection today: white 50% merino/30% silk/20% angora. I don’t have a photo yet because it’s still outside drying after my Torture Treatment. It’s only a small 96 yd/15 g skein but I have another few yards that I’d sampled several months ago if I run out early. It was spun on a spindle but is basically the same as the stuff I just spun up on Tori. Two more yarns to go, both blue. I have to say I’ve been enjoying spinning up these.

I don’t know if I mentioned that when I started spinning in earnest for this project, I tried spinning the Ashland Bay combed merino on Klaas, my Louet S-90 instead of Tori, the Louet Victoria. I’d forgotten how strong the draw-in is on Klaas! In order to avoid having the fine-spun yarn pulled out of my hands, I had to zigzag the yarn across several hooks to cause enough friction to slow it down. Klaas is bobbin-driven/flyer-braked. This wheel is great for more normal-sized yarns but for very fine ones that need more twist, he’s just too strong even with the brake tension off entirely. It makes my hands tired holding it back. When I switched back to Tori, things were much better. She is flyer-driven/bobbin-braked (aka Scotch tension) and it’s much easier to get almost no draw-in if necessary. I’m still waiting for the advent of a lace flyer that has been promised eventually. A higher ratio and smaller orifice would be helpful and would round out my wheel collection perfectly.

Well, I had a lovely day yesterday at my friend’s house with a total of 9 weavers, old and new. It was actually quite hot and sunny and we didn’t spend much time out on the back deck broiling our brains but repaired to the cool living room to chat. I was thinking of a word I heard recently used for the online knitting/blogging/podcasting community — a “subculture”. I think the weavers and spinners that were there, several of whom are not even computer owners far less online, must be a subculture of a subculture! But we all get along famously and have a great deal to talk about and mull over and share. As everyone wandered off home, the last 2 of us ended out in the hostess’s garage weaving studio for a demonstration of the computer-driven loom with fly shuttle and air-assisted lift. For the newest weaver there, it was quite an eye-opening experience and, heart in mouth, she got a chance to weave for a few moments on the monster! Fun stuff. And I got to take home a lovely rejected almost-scarf length, rescuing it from the scrap drawer. My friend has a way with colour and texture in weaving that I just can’t emulate. And she sells her scarves, shawls and jackets in high-end shops so you know she’s prolific as well as good. This piece wasn’t up to her high sales standards but it sure is pretty:

Soft rayon chenille and some cotton and novelties in the warp with a mercerised cotton weft, woven in a 2/2 twill that is threaded with the occasional reverse in direction. I might make something out of it eventually or just finish it off as a scarf. T-Man admired it for himself but it needs the fringes twisted and some loose ends worked in. Maybe I’ll do that since he rarely covets something like this and he likes scarves short and wide whereas I like mine just the opposite, long and skinny. OK, I’ve officially added it to The Queue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great score on the scarf. I will look forward to your shawl and the different colour changes.