Friday, October 26, 2007

Spinning for Weaving

Woven Yesterday: 4"
Total Woven To Date: 1 yd 6.5"

I love to spin. Spinning is probably the most relaxing therapeutic fiber thing I do. Last year I wove a shawl and later a scarf with some fiber I had spun. Having heard all the negative problems about warping with handspun, I was terrified. I had spun the fiber for both articles woolen style and quite softly. I did ply it. I imagined warp ends breaking all over the place.I tied them on to a dummy warps so as not to waste any of this precious stuff. And then I wove. There was no breakage in either warp whatsoever. But the most amazing thing were the woven pieces themselves. After washing and pressing, they were incredibly soft. I was hooked on weaving with handspun.

What I especially enjoyed about weaving with this stuff is the total contrast with what I do with fine silks. In fact, the stuff wove so quickly I wanted to cry. The loom just seemed to inhale the yarn. Sob.

The problem is, I really don't like spinning yards and yards and yards of the same color. Another problem is that I live in South Carolina. Ahh, but I have a daughter and a son, one living in the wilds of Manhattan, the other in the true wilds of Idaho. Scarves! And I could do them in color and weave effects as well. That would mean spinning two or even three colors.

So I have finally figured out a reason (excuse?!) to spin. At the rate I weave my silk, and at the rate I spin, however, my children will be lucky to get one scarf a year. I doubt that they will be overwhelmed with scarves. But I foresee a lot of fun for myself.


Leigh said...

I love posts like this as they encourage me toward using my handspun for weaving. I am still a little hesitant to do this, though I was pleased with my lap robe, even though I wasted quite a bit of the handspun. This is something to challenge myself with in the future.

Dorothy said...

Hi Peg, I haven't got around to using my handspun in weaving yet, so reading about your experience is most encouraging. Did you use singles or plied yarn?

Dad_Who_Spins said...

Hi Peg,
I'm a spinner (~6 years) who is slowly getting into weaving. Reading your post "Spinning for Weaving", I was wondering what type of fiber you were spinning and weaving, wool or perhaps a wool blend?
I too, would like to one day weave with my handspun yarn. I enjoy being a perpetual sampler when spinning, but can force myself to spin larger amounts if I have a definite project in mind.
I ran across your blog when searching the Internet for opinions on Bluster Bay end-feed shuttles. I thought the tension adjustment described on those shuttles sounded easier compared to using the small wrench for some of the others. Do you prefer the Bluster Bay end-feed shuttles over others?
~Donald in SC