eklectikfish by kateepie

Monday, 24 January 2011

exciting news! (and a plea for help)

I had a quick look at my folksy hit count earlier this morning, and couldn't quite believe my eyes as one of my items (my tweedy phone holder) had jumped considerably.  I scratched my head, and had a look at the folksy featured items section (just in case) and there it was!  I'm so excited as to me it means my business has finally taken off and achieved some 'recognition' if that makes any sense.

The only problemo I have is that I have run out of the tweed and the place it came from no longer sells it - can anybody help?  Its a lightweight wool tweed with a very narrow pattern repeat, and has little yellow and orange flecks in it.  I'm obviously very keen to get my hands on some more so I can start making them again, so if you know of any, or can sell me some, I would be soooo very grateful!

Katie x

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

weaving projects

Since going on my weaving course I have been busy experimenting with my small four-shaft table loom (with varying degrees of success).  Almost as soon as I got back,  I got my first warp properly wound and beamed on - a white herdwick wool and started playing with some luxury yarns - bamboo, recycled silk, and tweedy wool.

My first warp (3.5m) produced enough to make 2 or 3 cushions and an iphone holder (which has now sold, woo hoo!) though it took some nerve to actually cut it up to make something out of it!

Here is one of my cushions - currently for sale over at folksy

My next warp, I wanted to be charcoal grey, and to be used to make Christmas presents.  I struggled to find a yarn that was strong enough, so had the bright idea of using sock wool, which has nylon in it to make it more durable.  £20 later, I had some that looked the business.... wound it and attempted to get it onto the loom.

BIG mistake...

The wool was IMPOSSIBLE - after spending hours getting it into the raddle etc, beaming it on turned into a complete nightmare - the yarn had a lot of static in it, and worse still, the fibres rubbing together as they ran through the cross sticks made them stick together in big clumps.  After the second attempt I abandoned it, and turned my attention to another project.  I will go back to my original idea, but will probably use a mercerised cotton for the warp instead.

My latest project was to make a scarf using the tencel I bought earlier last year.  I got it all warped up - it moves through the cross sticks really easily - but again I had problems.  This time I had got one section of the warp tighter than the other, so the pattern took more easily in that section - but I got a 'sticky shed' (where the shed doesn't clear properly as the threads aren't tight enough).  I quickly abandoned my first twill pattern as this was happening underneath:

This is a mixed twill of 2/2, 1/3 and 3/1 and it was having difficulty with the 3/1 twill. 

So I decided to go for a broken 2/2 twill instead and got this pattern, which I rather like

This was fine, apart from the fact that the threads in the tightest part of the warp then began to snap... one by one.  Argh!

So, I decided to cut these two bits off and keep them as samples, and I am hoping that I can keep the warp on the loom, but just rewind it so that it has an even tension all the way across.  

I wet finished the samples and the cloth feels lovely - drapey and soft - so all being well I will one day be able to weave a lovely scarf out of it :-)

They both got a bit creased in my bag, but you get the general idea!

Next step is to get myself a better loom - I have my eye on an Ashford 8 shaft table loom, so I think I will wait until I get that to do my next warp.  Here's hoping!

Katie x


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