Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back to Normal

I got my lap blanket underway, using Shetland that I had already spun and not yet fulled. I had read somewhere that if you're going to weave with hand spun yarns, you really should not full them before weaving, so the action can take place when you finish your cloth. I see the logic, but on top of loom waste, the shrinkable was significant.
It's finished and disappointingly smaller than I had planned. Alexia is delighted because it's just her size. I had bought a Schact fringe twister and this was my first time to try it out. I decided it was more trouble than it was worth and twisted by hand - much quicker. I hated the alligator clips - they kept slipping.

This is some of my Shetland yarn that I used for the blanket. I can see why you would want to spin specifically for warp - after mending a couple of broken ones. I think fulling would have helped that too.
I've had these skeins for several years, wondering what to do with them. I originally thought I'd like to spin enough for a wool rug, but who am I kidding? I need washable rugs here, so they've just taken up space - until now! Both the white and gray are from Lincoln cross sheep. The staple length on the white is over 6" - warp! I bought that fleece over a dozen years ago at Black Sheep Gathering and split it with my friend Lisa. It was a 12 pound fleece at $12 a pound. I had Moro Fleeceworks process my half - just haven't had the right project. I hope this is it.
I got the new warp on, fixed a threading problem and was weaving by lunch - in between loads of laundry. This yarn is fulled and I'm weaving much looser, hoping for a softer, more drapey result and less take-up. I still love this pattern.
This is the same bag of skeins, minus the project. I really hope that the lap blankets work for me because I might be able to put a small dent in my fleece stash. I mean, we're already thinking about spring shearing and that means more fleece. I'm crossing my fingers but not holding my breath.

Oops - I accident-
ally loaded this picture and decided to leave it, because I took this a week ago Sunday. Click for big to see how many quail crowd under our bird feeders. We ended up with 4" of snow and of course, it's back to spring now. That's the high desert for you.
After throwing herself into weaving for two days, Alexia lost interest and went back to being a seven-year-old girl. She is able to entertain herself and play for hours, with lots of singing and role-play dialogue. But the weaving seeds have been sewn.

I picked up my library hold on Tuesday for Gail Simmons book, Talking with My Mouth Full: My life as a professional eater. I finished it the next day, and while I am an admitted Top Chef junkie, I thought the book stood on its own. But then that's probably not the most objective review I've ever given.

I've also come across an unusual suspense author - every so often I need a little romp. Josh Bazell was well reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle for his book Wild Thing so I ended up getting it from the library - quick read, unusual premise. He had a first book, so I put that on hold, but didn't realize that I had placed it for an ebook. I got my hold notification a couple days ago, downloaded to my Kindle and I'm half way finished. The first is best, but I'd definitely read him again. I have since learned that Bazell is a San Francisco resident and physician at UCSF. That might not have been the most objective review the Chron has ever given :)


LA said...

Alexia has had a wonderful week: weaving and getting to see all the baby animals. Not many kids these days get to see the process from fiber to blanket! I think she'll always have these fun memories of her Spring Break.

Valerie said... of the problems of weaving with handspun is that it just feels too precious to sample with. And therein lies the surprises.

Your blankets look so inviting!! I hope the second one meets your expectations.

What a fun week w/ Lexia. I chuckled at the photo with the toys laid out....that girl is an organizer and sorter. Made me think of the website Things Organized Neatly

Nina said...

The blanket is lovely despite being smaller than expected. That loose sett might have contributed to that as well, allowing for more fulling in the wet finishing or yarn with more stretch to bounce back when finally off the loom. Handspun can be an interesting beast to work with but it's a finished product which you can truly say is all your own!

Laura said...

What is the pattern? Can you send it to me, now that you're such a techie?

It is beautiful - I have some yarn I'm thinking about using for something like that. It's not hand spun, but I designed the blend, and had it custom spun. I have almost 7.5 pounds of it, over 12,000 yards...

I love the shot with all the cups, etc. all over the floor. What a delight that she can amuse herself so well!