Trying New Things

I’ve been trying new weaving patterns and experiments lately. There are an infinite number of patterns to try and the list just keeps growing and growing.

The first was a spaced and crammed point twill pattern using hand spun yarn, a light turquoise warp and orange/yellow/red weft.

 

 

I think I’ll make it into a cowl, it’s very soft.

The next technique I tried was spacing the warp out. I used a fine commercial tartan yarn at 30 threads per inch, then a 1″ gap and another 30 threads, etc… I was really pleased with the results.

Lastly, I tried Huck lace for a table runner in 8/2 cotton at 16 threads per inch. My test was in grey then the final in gold, for a client.

I’m currently warping another 16/2, 30 threads per inch project, this time deflected double weave where you have 2 or more separate layers (depending on the number of shafts on your loom) intertwined.

Weaving has an infinite number of possibilities and never gets boring!

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Chanel Update and a lot More Weaving

After ogling all the gorgeous Chanel fabrics (from Maison Lesage) on Pinterest, I thoughtfully created my warp and chose beads, buttons, silk ribbons, cotton lace and hand spun wool yarn for the weft, it took me almost a week to weave this mixed media scarf (modeled by my good friend, SewTara).  I have another warp waiting it’s turn.

Swinging in the completely opposite direction, I chose to weave a classic pattern, herringbone, with hits of contrasting colour.

This is a lighter, spring scarf from 100% cotton.

Needing some vibrancy, I warped the loom yet again with bright gem tone hand spun wool yarns.

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I barely got it off the loom and it sold immediately when posted on Facebook!

Currently on my loom is more herringbone. The yarn was spun from Canadian Shetland (black), Est de Laine & Polypay (white). My plan is to  felt the fabric and make a bag, I have 3 yards warped so lots of fabric for straps as well.

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Chanel Tweed

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I grabbed a bunch of hand spun yarns, warped the loom and just wove. The result was this scarf which is reminiscent of Chanel’s 1950’s era wool woven suits.

I absolutely love the seemingly randomness of the weaving though I’m sure it was carefully planned out.

 

Chanel Suite CU

The above suit is from the 90’s, the one below left is from the 50’s and the one on the right is from 2015.

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Felting

 

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This month I thought I’d give felting a try. I made a number of vessels, but what do I do with them all?

 

Then I took the leap into making slippers after watching a number of YouTube videos. I made my husband’s first, he loves them so much, the only time he takes them off is to go outside or to work!

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He convinced me that I had to make a pair for myself and I have to agree, they’re neither too hot nor cold, light and comfortable.  I purchased the non skid felted soles on Etsy from Joe’s Toes. Also, they’re faster to make than either knitting or crocheting!

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I really enjoy felting, I’m always on Pinterest looking for more ideas on what to make next. Any ideas?

Still Spinning!

Wow, time flies! Especially when you’re spinning… and now dying.

I’ve been using Wilton’s icing colouring with terrific results (IMO). The above roving I dyed in reds, blues and yellows then overdyed the roving in royal blue and black.

This one was almost pure colour, golden yellow, teal and royal blue, my favorite so far!

Also played with blue, I think this will be a really good colour to tone down the yellow and blue skein. I’m still looking for a pattern to use with these. Any suggestions?

But all was certainly not perfect.

IMG_20170323_151430I tried Christmas red which turned hot pink then added another red which got worse. Added yellow then teal and when wet, looked like mud. After rinsing and drying, the result was something akin to clown puke.

There are aspects that I like but I have no idea what will happen when I spin it. Thankfully it’s less than 100g, I’ll keep you posted when I finally do something with it.

On another note, I’ve started a poncho with all the natural colours I spun in the first two weeks, no pictures yet but it reminds me of something from the 70’s. I know I’ll wear it when done and it’ll be warm and cosy.

Anyone else dye and spin or just spin?

Real Wool

What have I been doing? Walking dogs and knitting.

I’ve knitted many things in the past two years, shawls, socks, hats & scarves, dishcloths and softies. I’ve also crocheted amigurumi, doilies and dishcloths.  FYI,  I’m TabathaKnits on Ravelry (I haven’t posted everything I’ve made).

wmauMy goal for 2017 is to learn how to spin and one day, hope to own my own wheel, but they’re not cheap! They range in price from $600+ to $1,600 new, and some sure don’t look like the ones our ancestors spun with. They also come in compact sizes which are very portable. Hopefully I can find a used wheel for a fraction of the price.

The one pictured here is out of my price range but I love it, it’s a Majacraft Aura Spinning Wheel and retails for CAD$1,510.

In the meantime, I may have to be content with a drop spindle.

Something else I’ve learned in my knitting journeys, is how toxic the process is to make super wash wool. To the best of my knowledge and from everything I’ve read, it is only done in China. The wool is exposed to chlorine gas which strips the hair of its barbs, then coated in plastic, also known as a polymer resin or Hercosett 215. This is why some super wash wool feels really slippery.  Super wash wool just isn’t wool anymore (IMO). Instead of shrinking after washing, super wash “wool” stretches. All the amazing properties of real wool are eliminated from the fibre.

Before Christmas, I made my sister a hat with super wash (not knowing any better). After I soaked it for blocking, it stretched out to an enormous size, I had to throw it in the dryer but even then it was still too big. Then I made socks and again, they were slouchy, wouldn’t stay up and twisted on the foot.

I have made a pledge to myself, only purchase pure, untreated wool, from local vendors and from mostly Canadian sheep. Of course Yak, alpaca and other natural, untreated fibres are also welcome.

Acrylic yarn almost completely destroyed the wool industry when it came out in the 80’s. I’ll be purging and sending that plastic string off to my local charity shop.

I hope that I’ve helped educate you a little, so the next time you’re in the big box craft store, you’ll think twice before grabbing that acrylic or super wash “wool”. Remember, if the processes to produce super wash wool are so toxic that it can only be performed in China, do you want to have it against your skin or the skin of your baby?

There are many online shops all over the world which offer natural fibres. I have found that real, untreated wool can be in the same price range as synthetics or super wash and are far more environmentally safe.

Look for this symbol when sourcing real, untreated wool.

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