Off the Loom, a Lesson in the Properties of the Cloth

DSCN1023So, I had certain plans for this cloth. It is fresh off the loom, wet finished in hot soapy water, and then subjected to the dryer. There was about 25% shrinkage in width, but not so much in length, which was interesting. Initially, I thought this would be an article of clothing, maybe a kimono style jacket or a simple tunic. I don’t sew much but as I said last post, straight seams are becoming more acceptable all the time with practise. I had to reconsider though, when I took a closer  look at the cloth. The wet finishing made the open weave close up a bit, but being all cotton it remains a fairly drapey, open material. For it not to sag and grow, it would have to be lined and even then, the weight of the fabric might just be too much. Strangely, although it is very soft, it consistently feels cool to the hand. Not something to keep one warm then. It is a very pretty “tweedy” cloth as the weft was a hand painted yarn but the strong brown stripes would have to be arranged vertically to avoid any garment making the wearer look a bit like a semi trailer truck. I guess maybe not a garment after all. Marination time! Something will come of this, it just takes a bit of time to sort out. It was very enjoyable to weave, and to try to learn to look clearly at the properties of the result and come up with (hopefully) a good use for this.

To freshen the palate I started knitting up some of the hand spun I did this winter. The fibre is a souvenir from one of our trips and was a mystery roving. I do know it was processed beautifully, had a long staple, was a light and dark gray combed together in some way, and was local to where we were visiting in Idaho. The yarn is a worsted firmly twisted three-ply, about aran weight. It was a joy to spin and the resulting yarn is bouncy and lively. The flash kept consistently flattening out the cables in the photos of this vest, but in person the three-ply makes the cables pop rather nicely. Fun, fun, fun.

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From the park near our house. Things love to grow here!

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3 thoughts on “Off the Loom, a Lesson in the Properties of the Cloth

  1. starproms January 14, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    Interesting first picture. I know nothing about weaving so I enjoyed looking at the pic. Your basket of knitting is beautiful and ambitious. I had a good look at that, admiring the cables and noticing that you are knitting on the round. Obviously you don’t need to be distracted while you are working on that project! Well done. Don’t forget to come back to us with it so we can see how you’re getting on, please.

    • warpandwoofknitting January 14, 2013 / 8:54 pm

      Thank you for this. I am learning an enormous amount just from fiddling around with the rigid heddle and the yarn I happen upon. It is helping me to look a bit closer at textiles, and maybe appreciate them more deeply. And definitely the cable project is best for quiet times. It is snowing here today so it is indeed a quiet day! I heard that England has had enormous rains – also good weather for indoor creative pursuits I imagine!

      • starproms January 15, 2013 / 9:00 am

        Yes indeed, we have a looong winter. I don’t mind too much because I love reading, knitting, watching TV etc. Yesterday and today we have snow and ice and it’s bitterly cold, so I shall be doing more spinning, knitting and sewing!

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