Monday, August 9, 2010

Where There's a Weave, There's a Way

I tried dyeing some unidentified roving that I've had in my stash for a while now. I have no idea what kind of wool it is, so I decided to experiment on it rather than some I've designated to dye for this year's SAFF gathering. My mom graciously invited me to use her workshop at her house, usually used for basketmaking. She also had a two-burner propane stove to double the production. I learned a valuable lesson that day - don't overcook your wool! We mixed purple Jacquard dye and a lovely gold color (ECU colors) from Jacquard bright yellow and a pinch of dark brown. HOWEVER, we let the dye bath get too hot and then my mom told me she didn't know how to control the burners very well. Well, I'm not accustomed to any kind of gas heat and kind of get the willies when using it. Long story short, I had fairly felted wool when we got through. I took the wool home and hung it in my attic for a couple of days, then took it out to assess the damage. I was disappointed, but determined to find something to do with this wool. I wasn't about to let a pound of wool go to waste. I pulled small amounts off both bags and felted a small cat ball for my cats to play with. They were interested for about two minutes, unless I was dropping it from the top of the stairs for one of them to run after.
Okay, next idea...I pulled the strands apart carefully and it didn't seem so bad. It may be saved after all. I sat down at my wheel and began to spin what I had drafted. It seemed to be coming in thick/thin pieces. Art yarn? Who am I kidding?
Still determined, I warped my Cricket loom with some black crochet thread. I decided to try to weave the individual strands of roving I was managing to pull off. When finished, the pieces will be sewn together for a purse. It's a little thick, but I think I may have found the solution. I'm using the hook that goes with my 32-inch rigid heddle loom because it's longer and works better at reaching through the shed to grab onto the fiber. So far, so good. I'll post when it's finished.

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