Wet Finishing – Photos

I love the way the lambswool felted up after being wet washed and the softness of the material.

Cloak Sample

You can see here how closely the lambswool fibers felted, leaving no gaps from the weave.

Cloak Sample - close up

Here we are starting to see some of the puckering caused by the green worsted weight wool I used.

Cloak Sample

Cloak Sample - pucker this is why samples are a good idea, the green wool didn’t felt nearly as much as the taupe and caused the finished product to pucker. The green wool was a lot thinner and more brittle then the taupe. It was 100% merino worsted weight with a 110/2 count. The taupe was 100% lambswool with the same count. The two differences then are that one was lambswool and one merino, I don’t think this was the problem, I think it was that the green was worsted weight.

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I don’t think wet finishing this shawl actually made any difference to it. The fibers didn’t seem to felt much at all and the cloth feels no different. But considering my cat had decided that the shawl was his it required a bit of a wash anyway.

Shawl

Shawl

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Successes & disasters

I have cleared one particular area of garden beside the common house of all it’s weeds and it is now ready to compost and plant into again. I removed all of the old sprouting broccoli except two as they need to cross pollinate and I’d like harvest the seeds from these guys as they really did well. I’ve also left the lettuces as they were also really good producers and are just about ready to “bolt” (go to seed). I pulled up a golden beetroot without remembering what it was so I’m going to attempt to “can” it or preserve it like I would a red beetroot and see what happens. There are still bunching leeks, a few bunching onions and some spring onions coming up in that area so it will be interesting to see how they go. Now that the warmer weather will be starting up I’ll need to start watering that area again once I plant it out.

Now, the disaster.

I have had to scrap the cloak I had on the loom as it just became a hideous mess of tangle and bad tension.

Cloak

I did attempt to fix the tension which just made the tangle worse and in the end I decided it wasn’t worth it and will start all over again. This time I’m going to try using a warping board (perhaps my inkle loom) and attempt a few techniques from my new weaving book and see how that turns out. I will however salvage the 30cm or so of weaving I did manage to achieve and start up a physical diary of my weaving. I’ll attempt to wash some of that weaving and see how it looks – it’s not finished unless it’s wet finished – apparently. I also need to wet finish my shawl and table runner, it will be interesting to see how they turn out too. First I need to acquire soap flakes.

Cloak – Part 2

Cloak – Part 1 here

I have finished warping up the loom, in total it took me around 9 hours to warp the entire thing and then about half an hour to wind on the weft thread to the shuttle. I had to wind a second “cone” of wool so that I could wind the weft thread double onto the shuttle which was just tedious. Some pictures:

I started to weave in some weft threads to get things started, these will be cut off when I finish.

I’m finding this wool is not a pleasure to work with in my rigid heddle loom, it has a tendency to catch on the reed.

Something I noticed when doing the shawl and now again with this cloak is that it’s hard to keep the tension nice and taught at the back of the loom. I have to readjust the back break between every weft.

No time to do anymore today as I’m off to the common house kitchen to start cooking a stir fry for 50 odd people.