Category Archives: wool-washing

The Results Are In

I've Got the Blues.
I’ve Got the Blues.

Earlier in the month I had few more pieces ready for the indigo dyepots, and the results are in.  I finally took photos today and was quite pleased with this trio of scarves.  There is another still needing its fringe done.

Starting to hand-twist the fringe.
Starting to hand-twist the fringe.

I had rinsed, washed and rinsed again, and pressed the pieces, and finally sat down to hand-twist the fringe.  Today, while looking for something in the studio, I found a gallon bag with another one or two samples and some silk thread I need to dye.  I’m about to finally wind a new warp so I can get back to weaving.  It’s been a busy month.

Transitions woven shibori scarf.
Transitions woven shibori scarf.

While finishing up the last warp I sat wondering if it would be possible to have a bit of control over the indigo dyed areas by which sheds were used and by the number of plain weave rows in-between.  My idea was to use treadles that had long floats at the beginning and end sections, and work in from both ends toward a lighter mid-section.  It worked, somewhat, but I’m not entirely happy with it as I was looking for a bit more gradual transition.  I’ll be trying this again.

"Memories of Norway, 1."
“Memories of Norway, 1.”
"Memories of Norway, 2."
“Memories of Norway, 2.”

Years ago I suddenly decided to try tapestry weaving, even though I had no knowledge of tapestry or how to even begin.  I made sketches, simplified to basic cartoons, and the results were the two tapestries above.  Woven on a Schacht table tapestry loom, using Navajo wool warp, and my handspun yarns for weft.  I was pleased with them at the time.

On Facebook, I follow several tapestry weavers.  Tapestry weaving is something I have wanted to try for many years, and the new large tapestry loom is glaring at me from the corner, asking why I’m not using it yet.  I’d been reading about several weavers who work on a tapestry diary throughout the year, and I thought that would be an interesting project and it would get me to sit down and weave on it each day.  I checked to see what warp they were using, sett, and try to get an idea of the weft to use.

Glimakra "Sara" upright tapestry loom.
Glimakra “Sara” upright tapestry loom.’

Several years ago I purchased the “Sara” loom and I thought it would work for this daily tapestry diary project.  This loom can be warped at 6 epi or 10 epi, so I chose 10 epi.  I warped it with seine twine, and had 13 colors of Bockens 2 ply tapestry yarn.  It was warped in two sections, six months vertically on each half. I sat down to weave, and found the yarn, used double, was too much and would not cover the warp, but single yarn would.  The problem was, I wanted to be able to blend colors, use two colors at once, and short of un-plying the yarn, it would not work.  What to do?  Re-warp to 6 epi?  Order all new weft yarn?  Or, change the project?  I chose the latter.

Tapestry sampler at very beginning.
Tapestry sampler at very beginning.

Plan B became weaving tapestry samplers, which meant more sketching, and now I must make a cartoon.  I have a number of tapestry books, and it is time to begin learning tapestry techniques, use of color, and so much more.  A new adventure!

Fleece washing area on the lakeside porch.
Fleece washing area on the lakeside porch.

On one of the two nice days we had during the month of April, we went out to clean up and rearrange the lakeside porch.  I took that opportunity to set up an area for washing fleece.  Now, if the weather would just cooperate!

Working in the Outdoor Studio

I’ve been seeing a hummingbird visiting the fuchsia frequently so thought I’d get a few photos of the blooms before they fade. While taking these pics, to my amazement, I was buzzed all the way around by the hummer! Ah,… I’m wearing a bright red shirt working out here today!

The blooms are just amazing!

My dwarf apple tree has a few apples on it this year. I don’t recall the variety, but it is one bred to survive the subzero temps of Zone 4. I’ve yet to eat an apple off this tree, the kids always got to them first. They like green apples so they were eaten before I considered them ripe. This year, they were “warned” to leave the apples alone! I’m hoping there will be enough for an Apple Pie or a pan of Apple Crisp.

While out on the porch this afternoon, I thought I’d get some wool soaking. Oh No! I’d forgotten everything on my “outdoor studio,” (lakeside porch, just outside my weaving studio door) was covered with tree pollen. Then thinking about the predictions for rain, decided I’d clean-up today and wash wool tomorrow. After wiping down the plastic sheeting on the table, and washing some of my enamel pots (canners) and enamel basins, the sun was peaking out, so decided I’d set wool to soak in two pots, a manageable amount as it was late afternoon.

Nicely crimped wool, possibly Romney, from Humble Hills Farm (McMurray).

Drying racks are set up and standing by.

It’s been a multi-tasking afternoon. A little photography, threading a loom, cleaning up part of the porch and washing wool, several sheets washed, dried, and waiting to be “sliced & diced” for a rug, and updating my blog.

Right now, back to the outdoor studio to rinse wool and lay it out to dry.