Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Progress (and photos)

It turned out that my cold was actually a sinus infection (and probably caused by some sort of allergy that I never knew I had...). The result of all this was two weeks of being sick and not getting enough sleep, and therefore not getting much done. I've finally managed to get under way with not-quite-so-mindless stuff again, which is nice.

The madder dyeing was finally finished last Sunday. I'm not sure how much it was affected by the big delays between mordanting and batches of dyeing, but there is definitely some colour difference. In all three batches the first few are clearly lighter and then it gets rather hard to pick the order.
I think more time may have made more difference at the higher percentages of mordant, or possibly more madder (only used 50% of the dry wool weight).

I will get better photos when I have actually sorted them and twisted them into neat little skeinlets again.

I made the first modification to my loom in the weekend - I added a quick release cord so I can wind it on without having to get up. (It also means I can actually wind it on by just winding the cloth beam rather than having to unwind the warp beam by some arbitrary amount first).
It's the cord travelling from the back, and up to the top of the castle to avoid the beater. I did put an eye on the front too, but then I had to take it out again when I warped the loom (the raddle fits over the front of the loom). It seems to work reasonably well - it's an improvement on not having it, at least.

And I got a warp set up again. This time it's a wool/rayon blend (2 ply, one of each), set up in a rosepath pattern so I can just do pattern samples. I was foolish though, and went from memory in working out the width and sett and originally had it at 12 epi. After getting it all tied on and doing a bit of weaving I decided that it really was too loose. I then rechecked the wpi of the yarn, and discovered that I should have done it at 15 epi (which would have been easier to start with, since I have a 7.5 dpi reed). I resleyed, which took it down to around 7" wide, which I think is still wide enough for a couple of scarves although not as wide as I wanted it. And because I can't count I have one floating selvedge wound with the rest of the warp and the other one hanging off the back of the loom (conveniently tied to one of the weights from my warp weighted loom)

And here's a picture with it sett at 12 epi (just to prove that I really have done something)
I've now woven about 20cm of the first sampler - some of the patterns I made up didn't work so well, but it's all a learning experience (I think they really need a tabby to help them hold their shape)

The other problem I had with my entirely slapdash method of loom dressing was that I didn't actually measure the length, I just guessed that crossing the warping board once was close enough to a metre (it's a sampler, I didn't need a specific length). This has turned around to bite me in that I used up nearly all of the yarn I had (about 20m left), so I will need to order more if I want to use any as weft. And since I had planned to dye some with various types of dye to see what effects I could get from the wool/rayon difference I guess I will be getting more (maybe I'll do some small experiments first though). It's not really a problem, I think I wanted more anyway, and I have been very tempted by some of the other yarns from the same place...


Cherri said...

The madder looks great, and is that table loom one of your own making? The ratchets and dogs on the outside of the frame is a great idea.
Glad you are on the mend.

Meg in Nelson said...

Sorry to hear about being sick. I've felt like this winter I've had one long, mild cold the whole season, and still have it. Not sure which part of the country you live in, but Auckland was annoyingly sunny and warm and nice, and I felt great for the five days we were there. I'm back and feeling yucky again.

Great that you're making progress regardless!!

Sonya said...

Thank you. I'm pretty sure the loom is a home-made one, but not made by me. It has a few quirks, but there are things I like about it too (I particularly like the levers). And since I only paid about $20 for it, I can't really complain...

I'm in Christchurch, but I grew up in Hamilton - I think part of my allergy (or whatever) thing isn't helped by the fact that it's so much drier here. But the days are getting longer again (and therefore I actually get to get up after dawn and get home from work before sunset), which always makes me more cheerful. The illness saga isn't quite over, I've just had to visit the doctor again to deal with a side effect of the last prescription, but I'm hoping that's the last time I get to see him for a long long while.