Friday, February 25, 2011

Farm Friends Friday - A Sample For My Very First Farm Friend

Now that all the Punkin yarn has been spun and I've stewed and stewed on what to make with it, I've settled on a weaving project. A small throw. I toyed with adding in some gray Jacob stripes to pad my yardage a bit - sort of tying in the old with the new - but realized Punkin didn't really like any of the new sheep when they moved in (because he obviously wasn't a sheep... ;-) and therefore probably wouldn't like to share me with them even in a blanket.

Just as in knitting, you should sample in weaving as well. Especially when it's an irreplaceable yarn. I didn't have any Punkin yarn to spare, so I dug through my stash and found something very similar - some beautiful Shetland I'd spun from a roving sample from Michelle at Boulderneigh. My main concern was how I'd like a white on white pattern. This would be perfect.



My favorite pattern book is the classic A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Davison, commonly refered to as "the Davison book". I picked this pattern - one I'm always drawn to when I'm turning pages.



Because I think it's fun, I did a short draw down - marking the pattern as it would weave off using graph paper. This later came in handy as I started weaving because as the pattern changed, I ended up with a unusual float (one warp yarn traveling over several weft yarns) that I thought could not be right, but sure enough when I checked the draw down, it was correct.



The best part of weaving is watching the pattern start to develop.



Here is the finished sample, just off the loom. I wove this on my Baby Mac, but the Punkin throw will be woven on the big Macomber loom, which sadly has not been used one time since moving to the wool house. What?!?



If you look back at the just off the loom shot, you can probably tell that the fabric is sort of stiff, not something you'd want to drape around your shoulders. That's because even more than a knitted piece isn't truly finished until it's been properly blocked, woven fabric isn't finished until it's been fulled.

In this case, I took my tiny sample and soaked it in a pitcher of hot, soapy water. After it soaked for awhile I added a lid and shook the container to agitate, sort of like a washing machine. I stopped every 30 seconds to check my progress - you can always add 30 more seconds, but you can't take them away if you go too far. I ended up shaking a total of 2 minutes.

I was worried if it shrank down and fuzzed up too much that the pattern would lose it's soft definition, so I stopped maybe just a little short. Maybe not. I've got the sample sitting on the kitchen counter and I play with study it almost every time I walk past.



I love the subtle pattern. Sometimes you can barely see it, from other angles, dead obvious.



I also used two different fringe options. I think I like the messy loose fringe best. What would you choose?

For more Farm Friends Friday stories...

21 comments:

Christine said...

No. I'm not going to take up another hobby. I'm not going to take up another hobby. I'm not..

I like the loose fringe.

Alice said...

What a beautiful pattern you have chosen to weave, and a stunning execution on your loom! Punkin would be quite proud to be a part a throw like that. I like the loose fringe because Punkin did not have dreadlocks like Wooliam and it appears to be more cuddly.

Peacecat said...

Nice choice, beautifully woven. I remember you recommending that book to me when we met at the Earth Guild. As a matter of fact, I bought it there! I think the throw will be stunning.
I like the twisted fringe better. Let chance of catching dust bunnies, pet hair, dirt, etc. But the loose fringe is gorgeous, no doubt!

Nancy K. said...

It's beautiful! I have to admit, I'm totally intimidated by weaving and have no desire to even attempt to learn it. That doesn't stop me from admiring other's work and talent. I can't wait to see the finished throw!

I think the twisted fringe gives a more formal, finished effect and the loose fringe looks more homey-comfortable ~ inviting. Either way it will be a stunning tribute to Punkin...

Loco Lindy said...

That is going to be such a beautiful piece!!!!

va_grown said...

I KNEW there was a reason we decided to stick with wool sheep! One day... :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm looking forward to taking time to absorb everything you have here. Wool has not been our forefront interest with our sheep, but we're going to get there.

I like the loose fringe.

Lori Skoog said...

I vote with you. You sure do beautiful work Sara.

Did you have any of the flooding they are talking about on the news?

Jenny Glen said...

Loose messy fringe. It looks more cozy.

KC said...

This throw will be priceless. What a wonderful thought to wrap yourself up in wonderful memories. If I was to choose the fringe I would consider whether Punkin was "loose" or "twisted". I think it would be best to fit his personality.

lisa said...

Very nice! I am in the process of doing what is right and what I prefer as far as weaving saddle blankets and I have decided that I will go with what I prefer! I am having fun experimenting though! I am doing it on a countermarche loom and it is working pretty good.

Linda said...

I have a throw that an aunt made for us that is very similar in pattern. I didn't know a thing about the fulling process though.

kenleighacres.com said...

I like the pattern you chose. I was going to vote for the twisted fringe, but I like the idea of matching it to Punkin's personality.

Gayle said...

I find that just amazing. Does it take a long time? I'm not a fringe person so I'd go without them both.

Michelle said...

Oh, how fun! Was that roving from Dinah or Braveheart? I would love to be able to FEEL it! Can't wait to see Punkin all woven up; I think a throw is an excellent call. And personally, I like the look of the twisted fringe better.

Leah said...

Well, that is gorgeous. I love how it softened up after it's jiggly bath.

I like the loose fringe aesthetically, but I am very aware that it is harder to maintain than the twisted fringe. Also the twisted fringe holds the warp strands in better.

Also,...What Christine said.

Buttons said...

Wow that is beautiful I love your loom you do very nice work. B

Robin said...

This is JUST lovely. I'm not a big white-on-white fan, but this is great! Fulling it a little made all the difference in the world. The full size one will be amazing. Either type fringe would look fine, I think. Personal choice. Was Punkin more a wild child, or a "with it" sort of sheep?

Teresa said...

That is amazing! I am so impressed at how people can take something simple and turn it into such a beautiful pattern. Lovely.

Verde Farm said...

I am so in awe of your weaving. I can’t imagine knowing how to do that--it’s just the coolest thing. I know Punkin’s wool is so precious and I am so glad you are doing a throw with it. I love the white on white and the pattern is wonderful. It’s the perfect choice. Can’t wait to see how it comes out. As for me--I love the loose, messy fringe :)Thanks for sharing this great post with FFF!

tonya said...

Just last night i was tossing around the thought of weaving, and like Christine said "i'm not going to take up another hobby.. I'm not.." then here you have such an inspiring post on weaving. Just beautiful! I didn't realize that you needed to full the woven projects. It turned out beautiful.. love the loose fringe too.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how to tie on the front beam using the shoe string method? It uses much less warp, and since Punkin's wool is limited, you might want to try it. I can send you information if you don't know how.

The sample looks great. After fulling, I'd cut the fringe to about 2 1/2 - 3". But, I'd protect the fringe during the fulling process - maybe by weaving in a synthetic weft so that the fringe doesn't felt to itself or wool weft.

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