Thursday, January 17, 2013

Messing Around with the Stash

Yesterday, I was able to put in a few hours in the Studio.  I have several narrow 100yd, 12/3 white warps, and I have settled on Swedish lace as one of the best ways to use it.  I double the width since they are so narrow, and I get a great size to do both Hand Towels and Napkins.  As weft, I have used the same 12/3 yarn as the warp, that I have on many cones, and I have used 8/4 cotton in navy, tan, and red, all with great success.

I have on the shelves right beside this wonderful, durable 8/4 cotton yarn, cone upon cone of cotton flake, that I once used unwittingly in a very small amount in a warp.  Never again!  It was terrible, even in that very small amount, it continually broke without the slightest provocation, and I as yet, had not used it again in any of my projects.  I had heard of several weavers that use it in hand towels, and that has encouraged me to try it on this project.

A couple of weeks ago, I put on a really short warp, only about 5 yards or so, as I needed to get a small order done very quickly.  I wove off those towels using a color called Currant.  They were beautiful!  (Sorry for the blurry photo, it was the only one I could find!)

Once that order was done,  I had enough left on the loom for a couple more towels, and with that I mind I selected a cone of red from the cotton flake and began to wind the pirns to my end feed shuttle.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like how the flake looked, I didn't even know if it would feed off of the pirn and thru the tension device on the shuttle, so I only wound one pirn.

It wound onto the pirn without a hitch.  I loaded up the shuttle and tested the drag on the yarn, it seemed good.  I then sat down and began to weave a sample.  The yarn came off of the pirn wonderfully, and I kind of liked the funky unevenness I was seeing in the sample.  I took a deep breath and plunged ahead.

I wove 3 inches for a hem, then a foundation pattern, Block A that puts these cool lace blocks on the end of the towel, then I weave 20.5 inches of an alternating lace pattern between Block A and Block B, I then repeat the foundation Block A, then a 3 inch hem again, and it is done!  I wove both towels in just a few hours, and I am thrilled with the results!  I will definitely be using the cotton flake in some of my Hand Towels in the future!  I have many colors to choose from, and they were just sitting there!

It will probably be tomorrow before I cut them off the loom and wash them, I will wash the samples first, before I wash the towels.  I think I will take a page out of Daryl Lancaster's book and split the sample in three pieces.  I will keep one as a straight off the loom sample, hand wash one piece and machine wash the third.

At the very end of the warp, I squeaked out a sample of a little idea I had for a napkin.  It is a lace detail for just a border near the hem, and the rest plain weave, just to add some variety.  I will do further sampling when I load on the next batch, a much longer warp, just about as much as I can load on that back beam!  Last time it was close to 40 yards I think!  Then I ran out of sticks!  I am going to leave the old warp thru the heddles this time, and try my hand at tying on the new one.  I haven't done that yet, but it makes sense and it is worth  a try.  I think I will tie on after I have wound on though, that warp is really fine and for some reason sticky, it is bad enough to pull it through the raddle and lease sticks!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

1 comment:

  1. Linda uses a lot of flake in her is really thirsty, and gives a wonderful texture to the towels. Stash bustin'....that's the way to go!