Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One Finished, New One Started

Last Thursday I finished weaving this throw made from the organic wool. The first photo is before washing and you can see that the pattern is still loose and the fabric is stiff.

This second photo is after washing and fulling and the throw is soft and cozy, the pattern has come together and it is a very cuddly blanket. This yarn is fabulous! I never thought that I would find any commercial yarn that had the same feel as my handspun but because Becky is just so careful every step of the way, the yarn turns out wonderfully. There is enough lanolin in the yarn so that it still has that alive feeling that is missing in most mill spun yarn. The border of natural dyed madder pulls the whole thing together nicely and I'm really pleased with this throw.

I don't have photos of the new blanket yet but this one is from some various yarns that I have accumulated recently. It is lots of navy, some of that is Siberian midnight from Peace Fleece. There is also a deep green and some grays and just a little bit of a deep red. It will be larger than this throw and I'm weaving it doublewidth on my 40" loom and the warp is 4 yards long. The warp is through the reed and next is the heddles since I always warp front to back. The sort of weaving I do, I've never had a reason to do it any other way. I'll have photos next time I post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Weaving Frenzy

These last couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of weaving of all sorts. Last week I wove a large sampler for a saddle blanket that I might do for someone. I've never done this sort of weaving before so had to figure out what it even was. Of course I started with the harder way to weave a more complex boundweave but worked my way back to a straight twill tie up and a large sett and got what I was looking for by playing with color and weave patterns. It ended up to be fun and I hope I get to do the finished project. Wow, does it ever use up a lot of yarn! I used over a pound of handspun odds and ends just for the sample. We estimated the finished blanket would need around 6 pounds of yarn but it turns out to be nearly an inch thick so that is where all the yarn goes.

On Friday I went to get some yarn at Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool Co.
which is right near here outside of Belgrade. Becky Weed has a beautiful farm near the mountains where she raises certified organic sheep which she sells both for meat and also has a small mill where she processes fiber and spins yarn. The farm is also certified predator friendly so no native animals are killed to protect the sheep. They use guard animals and other means to protect them so no wolves, coyotes, etc are ever injured or killed there. Her fibers and yarns are wonderful and I got some yarn to make a throw. I am pretty sure that this is the only organic sheep farm in the country that also uses natural dyes on their wool. These are the colors that I chose and the brick color is madder.

Here is the warp all ready for the loom. The pattern is log cabin in narrow and larger blocks and there are 2 stripes along each selvedge edge and three at the other 2 ends. It is 6 epi and I will full it a little when it is woven.

Woolen weaving is not much to look at on the loom and really looks thin and sleazy until it is finished and then the fabric closes up and gets soft and wonderful. But I wanted to show the pattern so you can see what I am doing and also how lightly the beat has to be for this type of weaving. If I made it look good on the loom, it would be more of a rug than a nice drapey blanket when it was finished. It changes a lot in finishing and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Also I am working on some bands for another bag and this is the first one of three. I have been weaving on the blanket by day and the inkle loom at night so I can have a change of scenery in the evening.

We got our first snowfall yesterday but it is all melted off today. It was so beautiful and the mountains are still gorgeous.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Embers is the most recent purse that I have been weaving and working on the last week. It isn't a very complex concept but just what I needed to get back into working again after being away on vacation for a week. It is pleasant weaving and turns into a very useful size and shape bag. These are the yarns that I have used for the panels of the purse. They are my usual tapestry singles handspun tapestry yarn.

I made two panels on the small Good Wood frame loom. They are similar but I don't make any attempt for them to match each other except for colors and style of weaving. This shows a close up of the second panel on the loom and the finished one is above with the yarns. This loom only has the sett of 4 epi if you want to use the magic heddle which comes with it. I pack down the wefts very tightly so it makes a thick and firm fabric at this sett.

Now I'm working on the strap which is also the gusset around the whole purse. These are fine 2 ply handspun wools on my Gilmore inkle loom.


I think these are authentic Turkish socks knit of handspun. Or at least they are from that general area. If anyone knows more about them, please let me know. I got them for $1 so it was a special find for me. The yarn appears to be handspun and is very hairy and coarse. It is hard to imagine wearing these on bare feet!

This is a close up of the top cuff of the sock and the braided edging around the edge.

The photo I had of the heel won't upload but it is red and black stripe garter stitch. It would be fun to know more about them if anyone has any thoughts.