Wednesday, April 27, 2011


On the Jack loom at the moment is a warp of handspun Gotland from Hamish Black's fleeces in a herringbone twill. The warp is set at 12DPI since the yarns have a little more 'character' than their commercial counterpart. These were relatively fine fleeces which I drum carded first.
I set the 12 selvage threads double through the reed each side which aids tidy edges. I'm using an end-feed shuttle which also helps too. Although this fabric is going to be cut into and sewn it's a lot easier to weave if the edges stay neat and tidy. The warp stripes are random. The weft yarn was a light blending of dark and light grey fleece so shades of the colours appear across the weft.One of Hamish's beautiful ewes borrowed from Hamish's website. More of his sheep photos here.

A while ago I dyed some carded batts and decided to blend the fibres recently into a tweed yarn by breaking up the batts and thoroughly blending them as above.

The first trip through the carder still left the batt quite streaky.
See lines of colour, which would still make an interesting yarn when spun. But an evenly tweedy yarn needs at least one more card, or possibly more.
Second batts show a more even spread of colour. The Pat Green carder cards more efficiently than my other drumcarder which would require extra trips through to reach this stage.

Some of the finished yarns, the photo doesn't truly reflect the seperate colours in the yarns.
The third skein from the left is spun after one carding.
To avoid muddy colours which are easy to achieve with blending but usually not desirable, I started with bright saturated colours and toned down where necessary with a small quantity of natural brown or black fleece.

Monday, April 4, 2011

L is for Llamas

Last month I spent a weekend at Ann Thompson's Watford Grange Llamas in Christchurch teaching fibre courses. The only photos I've taken are of the lovely llamas in the sunshine.
These suggested I might like to use their fleeces. Note the additional decoration.

Llamas come in array of patterns and colours. Most are multicoloured with spots, patches and pinto/appaloosa markings.
It was so nice to stand amongst them as they went about their daily business.
This little guy is called 'the statesman', he has a wonderful presence. Curious like all babies, but also well....'stately' and bold. Those stunning markings help too.
It was a well attended weekend despite being so close in time to the major earthquake.
People were glad to talk about their animals and fibre, although I know a couple had lost belongings and even their homes.