Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Alpaca and Hand Spun Wool Shawl

It has been quite some time that the Alpaca and wool shawl has been on the loom.  It might be because it isn't a production piece, but something I was weaving for myself.   The last week or so, I have been weaving on it in 15-20 minute spurts.  You know, a little here and a there, and before you know it, it was time to hem stitch.

I started hemstitching last night, and if the truth be told, I had to unwind the cloth beam to see how I had hemmed the first edge!  I stopped about half way through, when it was time for us to meet some friends for dinner.

This morning, after I had walked the dogs and fed all the animals, I took some time and cleaned out all the winter bedding first from the chickens, (though I don't leave that all winter! Yuck! )  The chicken bedding has it's own pile, that I will add to all summer.   In the fall, when the garden is done, I will spread this nitrogen rich compost over the whole garden, where it can rest all winter, and be ready for the plants come spring.

I  then started on the goat stalls.  The first layer of mostly dry waste hay went to a pile in the garden.  I will use that as a final mulch in the garden around the tomato plants.  The next layer in the stalls, was a little more composted, that went to a second pile that will be used before that final mulch after the plants are in the ground, around the plants.  And finally there was the black gold, compost!  I spread this all over the garden, and we will dig that in just a little bit.  Lou Ann had asked me for a little of that wonderful stuff, so I saved her a 5 gallon buckets worth.

After all that grunt work, I hit the shower, and I was ready to finish up that shawl!  I finished the hemstitching, and cut it off the loom.  I tied the fringe in big knots to protect the ends, and set to work on a little needle weaving.  There wasn't too much, just a couple of skipped threads here and there, but you really have to look closely to see them sometimes, and don't forget to look on the other side too!

Lou Ann showed up right about then, and got to see and feel the shawl, pre wash.  I had woven to 100 inches in length, since I did not know how much shrinkage I was going to get with the alpaca.  I figured I could easily shorten it if I needed to.

I set up a bath of hot water and Euclan, and unceremoniously plunged the shawl in, and let it soak while I took Lou Ann on a tour of the clean barn!  She had a good visit with the goats Mopsie and her daughter, Snickers, and with Captain Marshmallow the Great Pyr LGD. 

Lou Ann headed for home after we loaded her bucket full of black gold in the back of her van, and I headed to the kitchen to work on the shawl.  I emptied the water into the sink and squeezed out as much water as I could.  Then I took my two thirstiest towels and one after the other, I rolled the shawl in them, until it was still just a little more than damp.

Then I set to work, I gathered it up and slammed it down on the counter.  I worked on it for about 20 minutes.  I did this because I want it to full a little bit, and become a cohesive fabric, rather than the separate strands of yarn criss crossing.  

 It worked to some degree.  I lost 2 inches in the width and 2 inches in the length.  I would have thought that I would have lost more in the length, but there you have it!  (I may have to shorten it a bit, but I will wait on that!)

I haven't decided how I am going to treat the fringes, I really liked how they looked in their protective knot for the washing.  I will have to play with that a little to see what looks best.

You know I did not notice the darker stripe down the center of the shawl until I looked thru the view finder to take this picture!  That is not the first time something like that has happened to me. ( Take a picture and get a new perspective!)

Once it is dry, I will rough it up a little more, to loosen it up, and play with the fringes.  I will be bringing it to the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center next Tuesday, for the show and tell segment of our day.  It has been a little while since I had something new to bring!

Now back to my regularly scheduled day!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

1 comment:

  1. I know how soft it was before it was wet it still SO soft???? I would have bet that it would have shrunk more than it did! Please bring it on Tuesday!