Thursday, March 20, 2014

A New Project with High Twist Yarn

My sample...yes I sampled!
 The minute I saw this black and white yarn I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  But more on that later...

I began with the thought this would be a fairly simple project; just eight feet of yardage woven in plain weave.  Straight and lovely edges would be a must. The final size would be critical since I would be creating a frame for another piece of art.

The yarn is a high twist yarn...a very high twist fact this is the yarn with the biggest twist I have every seen in my life.  Without any tension it simply curls around itself or around anything nearby.  That makes doing anything with it a battle.  Even turning the skein into a ball of yarn was a chore.  Measuring out the warp was a nightmare with all the ends continuously twisting around itself.  Warping was another formidable battle but once on the loom under tension all seemed well.  All the things I knew about weaving didn't seem to work well with this yarn.  But I adapted and am happy with the initial results.

This is the first time I will be weaving across the entire weaving width of my Gilmore loom.  It's 32 inches wide.  The only way I have found to make it work is to stand up and weave.  My arms are just long enough to throw my biggest boat shuttle across the warp and catch it on the other side.  A couple more inches in arm length would be quite useful.  

I have always cuffed up my sleeves of my shirts and jackets and never thought twice about it until I went to golf school where I learned I had shorter than average arms for a woman. I was being custom fit for a set of golf clubs by a couple of golf pros (men of course) who were having the toughest time getting my golf swing to work with any of the women's clubs.  They kept telling me to stop bending over so much...I kept saying I couldn't hit the ball unless I bent over...  Finally one of them suggested longer clubs.  The other argued it was my stance...  When they finally swapped me over to those longer men's clubs it was a miracle... my posture improved and the golf balls went twice as a far.  Great clubs....but I gave up golf entirely once I retired from the corporate world.  Now I weave.

I wove the first bobbin worth of weft today on the new warp.  I have to check every shed before beating to make sure there is no twisting of the yarn so its a bit of a slow go.  I was able to get 7 inches of material from one's the longest bobbin I have - 10 inches.   So at that rate if I weave one bobbin a day, it will be done in two weeks.  Not bad!  

So now I have three things to do every day... weave on my Gilmore, weave on my big Shannock and work on refinishing my counterbalance loom.   Lot's of stuff happening this month!

Day one:  the first seven inches...

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