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Author Topic: Weaving - help!  (Read 3126 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Weaving - help!
« on: February 12, 2020, 11:41:25 am »
I have a certain amount of mixed-fibre coloured yarns which I have spun over the past couple of years.  They are too fine for my slow clumsy fingers to knit, so I thought they would make interesting light scarves, woven on my little Harp.  I have only woven samples before, quite a long time ago.
The help I need (first) is suggestions for the best warp to use.  Can I use my handspun for both warp and weft, or should I buy stronger thread for the warp?  If so, any suggestions?  The handspun is mostly blends of corriedale or merino with silk and various 'new' fibres to give shine and handle.  I don't want to add any itch.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 03:00:41 pm »
Is anything in your stash strong?  If so use that.  Maybe ply something with silk for added strength.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 03:40:55 pm »
I'm not the expert, but I do read a lot, so this is coming from "book-larning" and Ravelry rather than personal experience.

* don't mix yarns of different fibre types unless you know what you are doing as they will behave differently when the fabric is fulled
* warp yarns need to pass the "pop test" : does the yarn "snap" when you break it, or pull / drift apart very easily?
* rigid heddle puts less strain on the warp than a multi-shaft
* as well as tension, warp gets a lot of friction during dressing and weaving, so warp yarns should be able to withstand friction as well as tension
* warp yarns which cling to each other make it very difficult, especially for a novice, and especially if there is not an enormous amount of tension.  (So a pure Shetland jumper yarn as the warp on a rigid heddle might be a bit of a challenge, for instance)


So for me, unless your yarns don't pass the pop test, I'd be inclined to go to with using all handspun.  Otherwise, or to eke it out more, find commercial yarns of a similar constitution (fibre type and proportion) for the warp.

I know the temptation is to not sample because "it's a waste of my precious handspun" - but it's more of a waste to weave the whole thing then find the plain weave has swallowed all the vibrancy of the glorious weft  :'(  (I watched a friend discover this.  Heartbreaking  :'()

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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 04:49:04 pm »
Thanks both.  I'm a great one for sampling in my knitting (then I rip it down and use it in the main piece - can't do that with weaving) but I shall certainly sample before I launch into a project.  The yarn seems very smooth but I'll have a go at fingernail tests, pop tests and so on tonight when the piper is out at practice  :D   I can also see if I can pick out any colour combos which look good.
Is it ok that the yarns are a blend of different fibre types (as opposed to different fibre type yarns)?  I'm assuming that with blends, at least all the yarn will react the same way to finishing.
Should I try twill instead of plain weave to make the yarns show to their best?
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 09:11:03 pm »
Hi Fleecewife

I weave my yarns on an Ashford sampleit (rigid heddle) and I absolutely love it.  I make and sell colourful scarves and I think its one of the nicest methods of working with wool.
What works for me is to use a fine fairly tightly plied (2 ply) for the warp, I used to use singles but got fed up of all the breaks I had whilst weaving and then use all the assorted singles and artyarn that I have for the weft. Its all done with my shetland sheep's fleece and spun by me. But I would use anything for the weft if I had to or wanted and made sure that the warp wasn't too thick or loosely spun. You can mix and match the weft and in the spirit of Japanese Saori weaving (freeform) just go for it!
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 10:35:37 pm »
Hi Fleecewife

I weave my yarns on an Ashford sampleit (rigid heddle) and I absolutely love it.  I make and sell colourful scarves and I think its one of the nicest methods of working with wool.
What works for me is to use a fine fairly tightly plied (2 ply) for the warp, I used to use singles but got fed up of all the breaks I had whilst weaving and then use all the assorted singles and artyarn that I have for the weft. Its all done with my shetland sheep's fleece and spun by me. But I would use anything for the weft if I had to or wanted and made sure that the warp wasn't too thick or loosely spun. You can mix and match the weft and in the spirit of Japanese Saori weaving (freeform) just go for it!


I had a look at your scarves on your website - they are inspirational  :thumbsup: .  Really I only want to play around with the handspun I have for now, rather than launching out onto another project, as I'm just starting a Heb plus silk spin batch for a jumper for me.  Having hauled out my stash I see that using what I have together would be way too 'busy' for any scarf, and would just look like a jumble.  I would need to spin a whole lot of plain coloured yarn to make simpler scarves, using what I have already spun as accents.  Well, I know what I mean.  My hands have slowed down so much, and I was never a quick spinner or knitter, but I shall get round to it one day!
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 10:39:44 pm »
https://www.dalmore.org.uk/product/weaving-for-beginners-and-improvers/


Thanks Rosemary  :wave: .  I am tempted, but then I remembered that I bought an online course on Craftsy on rigid heddle weaving a while back, and I haven't finished it yet.  I'll see how I do with that, but I might yet turn up on your doorstep, Harp loom in hand!
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Weaving - help!
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 09:22:11 pm »
Thanks Fleecewife thats kind of you - and I do know what you mean about starting another project - I just can't help myself though and usually have several projects totally unrelated on the go - think I have a short attention span and get bored doing the same thing!
Regarding your 'stash' have you considered blending some colours, so muting or calming down the final effect. I often do that with my hand combs or drum carder then I wind of gradient rolags and spin from them - I get some gorgeous colour combinations like that.
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

 

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