There are more than a few things that I love about Ravelry but one of the most important features is the ability to keep a working journal of my projects and yarns. The platform gives me the opportunity to keep my notes as detailed or simple as I would like from project-to-project. A few months ago, I took a few moments to look back at a project I’d spun in April 2016 for SweetGeorgia Yarns’ Fibre Club (now discontinued). It is timely that I am re-visiting this yarn exactly 3 years later!
Originally, I had spun the BFL+Silk blend on my new-to-me at the time Turtlemade 3D-printed Turkish Spindle while following two toddlers around the park. The days were long but the weeks were short during that time in my life. Norah was barely 2 years old and James was 3.5 years old. Part of me wished for kindergarten to come soon, while the other part of me treasured those simple days when school influences weren’t coming into our home just yet (although, I think we’ve been really lucky thus far).
The instructions for that month were simple: Spin the braid and ply from a centre-pull ball. I know there is a lot of controversy about centre-pull balls but at that stage in life, it was a simple method to ply that helped me get the yarn finished quickly enough to blog about it that same month. I carried my spindle around with me everywhere that month to spin this yarn. It is still one of my most-favourite spins to date.
After the yarn was finished, I knew it was destined for something special but what? I put in my fibre bin of handspun yarn and waited until the right time.
I have learned in my years of making that it is really important not to push a project when I do not have a good idea for a finished item – I end up regretting pushing the project and feel afterwards a sense of remorse for working with materials before I am ready. So I waited.
Recently, I was in a LYS that I love and while I was chatting with the shop owner, I saw a cone of Henry’s Attic Mohair, Silk, Nylon & Sparkle blend. The cone itself was really expensive but I thought it might not be too bad if I only used a small amount from it. Easily, I could justify the cost for the yarn I had in mind at home. In the end, it cost about $17CAD for the small amount I used! Totally worthwhile!
Weaving Pattern: 2/2 Twill
Sett: 10EPI, 10-12PPI
Warp: SweetGeorgia Yarns BFL+Silk, colourway ‘Eden’ (discontinued), 2-ply, spindle spun & plied
Weft: Henry’s Attic Mohair, Silk, Nylon & Sparkle, 2-ply
Dimensions: 13″ x 63″, 7″ fringe (post washing); 14.25″ x 69″ (pre-washing)
The Henry’s Attic yarn wove up in a really interesting way because it was so loosely spun that the singles almost separated when weaving. The singles lay next to each other in the weaving itself, as well as looped at the edge. The halo from the Mohair and BFL is lovely so the overall effect of the fabric just works. While very soft, I was unable to break the Mohair/Silk by hand and had to use scissors. I think this will add to the wearability of this stole long term since the BFL+Silk is very softly spun in comparison. Due to the softly spun nature of the yarn, though, it fulled beautifully and created an amazing fabric in the end.
And the best part? I had virtually no loom waste! I wound a 3-yard warp to begin with and wove from start to finish.
At the moment, I am weaving on a friend’s borrowed Louet Jane loom. It came with a stand and I’ve been enjoying my weaving adventures to date. Overall, it is an incredibly straightforward loom to use, which makes the entry into multi-shaft weaving easier to manage. While I would not buy since I am saving up for a floor loom, it has been amazing to be able to make some of these smaller projects. It has also helped me not only understand how the shafts and harnesses work, but to also give me an idea of whether I want to pursue weaving on a larger loom. A floor loom is a big investment (even if bought second-hand) in both finances and footprint!
Warping the loom was very straightforward, although I worried about warp threads breaking due to the tension but I made sure not to pull too tightly and it was a breeze to warp.
After washing, which entailed leaving it to soak in a warm gentle-soap (I used Eucalan) wool wash for over an hour, I rolled it gently in a towel. After that, I stood in front of the dryer while it fulled for 2 minutes. I checked and repeated. In total, it went in 3 times for about 2-3 minutes each. I love the results! I left it to completely dry on our drying rack for the night.
Using my rotary cutter and board, I trimmed the fringe to 7″ on both ends and decided not to twist my fringes. They may become ratty over time but for now? They are beautiful and showcase the handspun.
What kind of loom do you weave on? Do you have a dream loom in mind? I’d love to hear in the comments!
I absolutely love this stole and hearing the story behind its spinning makes it even more special 🙂
“really important not to push a project when I do not have a good idea for a finished item” – Yes! Amen sister!
Pushing yourself to make something when you are not ready in your mind to use the materials almost always leads to regret in my experience.
I love the look of the twill with that fine white running across the purples. It looks amazing!
Thank you Becca! Yes I think the disasters I’ve had in my making have always been when I’ve been pushing forward on something that I wasn’t recognizing.