Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lots of dyeing

Lots more yarns rewound and labelled for the shop. Some of them are even repeatable (up to a point) as colourways. I actually wrote them down as I dyed the colours. The 'retail' ready skeins take ages to prepare so I can understand dyers choosing not to do this additional step in the process.
So to clear the palate I'm weaving lots of cream alpaca for a commission. a 2ply alpaca yarn that is very soft and gorgeous.
And.... some one colour, semi solid dyeing. This is more time consuming than the multicolour skeins strangely enough as I'm trying to get the colour fairly flat and saturated and not too streaky.
The red is balled up ready to go, two box loads of this colour amounting to about 19 kilos in just the red. The colour is actually darker than the photo suggests. No wonder my arms are tired. All handspun (not mine), just dyeing this load was enough work for me. Next stop is off to a weaver in the North Island.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My first projects on the Dobby loom

Did I say I love this loom.
It has taken me a little while and with some assistance to get this loom into full functioning mood.
A learning curve as I've had to learn what the different mechanisms do without the written instructions. But with a few adjustments, it is up and weaving. So I took a dyed skein of alpaca and wound a warp for two shawls on my warping wheel.The AVL warping wheel is a piece of equipment that makes warping a real pleasure. A while ago I converted the back beam on the Ashford Jack loom to a sectional warp beam so that warping by myself would be easier. The wheel allows you to wind the warp from only one cone or more as desired and you can design the warp as you go which appeals to me.
Although the Dobby loom has an ordinary back beam it was still nice to wind the warp chains on the wheel, they stayed very tidy and all the same tension and length.As my first foray into eight shafts, I threaded a straight eight shaft twill.
The first shawl is woven with a cream weft and I chose a variation on a straight twill lift for the dobby lags.
The warp is a hand painted skein which I call 'Glacier' as I leave a third of it cream when I dye it, and the blue reminds me of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on the West coast.
The dobby mechanism has a neat little box useful for hiding tools inside, like threaders.

And look.... nothing by the weaver's feet but two neat pedals, and a roll of woven fabric.

The second shawl weft is a handyed blue. The shawls are nearly done and I'm very happy with how this loom works. Can't wait to put a new warp on.
The loom was made by Jim Mecchia in 1983, sturdy, functional and beautiful.