Monday, March 9, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

On Friday, I got things ready to dye the warp for the silk crackle scarf/sample. To read some about this project go to this post, Crackle Shawl: Initial Thoughts on Design. Also this post: Words of Wisdom. I planned to use one of the 100-gram skeins of yarn I purchased from Treenway for the warp. Because this is a lot of yarn to dye, I had decided not to use dye stock solutions to mix for the color I wanted. Instead I chose to weigh and mix the dye powders directly into the water.

I had worked out the weight of powder I would need for each color. Now I had to get ready to do the mixing. This happens in the garage.

I covered the counter in the garage with newspaper. I gathered the equipment and supplies i needed, put them on a tray and brought the tray out to the garage. I got my box of Lanaset dye powders and brought them to the garage. Then I got out the colors I needed. No violet. I took every jar of powder of the box. No violet. I came inside and checked the storage area to see if I had put the jar away on the shelf without putting it in the box. No. No violet.

This was so unexpected. I try very hard to order a new jar of dye powder when I see a color running low. I still think I have misplaced it. Nevertheless, I ordered more from ProChem Now I have to wait till I receive it.

But I did put the dyeing time on Friday to good use. I worked out the formulas for the weft colors I plan to use. But I could work out only the percentages. I had to make and then weigh the skeins first before I could flesh out the percentages with actual amounts of dye stock solutions.

So today, ready to start working with weft yarns, I went to get my cone of 60/2 silk. I simply cannot find it. I know there wasn’t much left on it, but it is so much easier to use cones to make small skeins from. So I ordered a cone from Webs.

Eager, however, to get to work on this, I decided to try to unwind one of the Treenway 100-gram skeins. It is tied with figure-of-eight ties in four places, each tie covering four groups. My assumption was that, after I had the skein on the skein winder correctly, I could slip my fingers through the spaces between groups, working my way around the skein until all the groups were nicely aligned. I had not tried this before. But I do this with my own skeins, so why not Treenway’s? I couldn’t get it to happen. I struggled and struggled and struggled. I just couldn’t.

Winding skein to skein So I went to work unwinding. The photo on the left shows a corner of my very messy sewing and yarn-handling room. It also shows my skein winding setup. In the lower left corner is my Goko skein winder with the Treenway silk skein on it. The yarn goes from their through the yardage counter attached to my little table in the center. I need that so that I unwind only the amount I need for each skein. And from there the yarn goes onto my LeClerc skein winder which has just a bit of yarn wound on it from the Goko.

Getting the yarn off the skein for the first time around was really difficult. It was very tangled and twisted with neighboring and not-so-neighboring threads. It was awful. The second round was a little easier. Now it seems to be working the way it should, though it still sticks too badly to be able to simply unwind it. I have to pull it off the skein winder as I turn it for a couple of turns. Then I wind the loosened yarn onto the skein winder I am using to make the small skein. I am hoping this changes so that the silk feeds off the skein winder easily. But I’m not counting on it.

One of the things I am watching is where in the skein the yarn feeds from. The first time through, it came from both the first and second group of yarns on the skein. But now it is coming only from the first group. I can tell because, though I have removed the ties, I can still see the separations at the places where the ties were. If this continues, I will know that I was on the right track with my earlier struggles and will persevere at it with the next skein.

Related Post:
Skeins to Cones
Skeining Photos
Tying Skeins
Skein Making

Disappointment” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on March 9, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

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