Circular Art Yarn Weaving, And Some Spinning

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am all about trying new things.  When I first started spinning, I thought I would like to try tapestry weaving, but then when I looked into the different looms, I thought it would be limiting, so that is when I bought the Rigid Heddle Loom as you can do regular weaving and tapestry weaving on it.  However, I have been so busy on my loom with making scarves that I wanted to look at alternatives without spending big bucks.  Guess what?!  You can make a loom from cardboard.  I thought I would try a circular loom as I liked the idea of weaving a spiral.  I looked at YouTube and there are loads of videos on how to make a circle loom out of cardboard.  I had some cardboard boxes and made some large circles by drawing around a dinner plate.  I then found the center and made lines.  Initially, I made too many, but that was easily rectified.  I used some crochet cotton I got from the charity shop haul and warped my cardboard loom and just started weaving with some leftover yarn.  I started with a pink hand spun I made on the drop spindle.  It is a thick and thin single.  I then added some ribbon.  I am just tying everything to each other and letting the knots become a design feature.  This one is just going to be different shades of pink.  The weaving itself is very easy to do.  I am not going to try anything complicated here and will just go over and under with the tapestry needle until it is finished.  After that, I don’t know what I am going to do with it.  In any event, the ‘loom’ is reusable until it falls apart.  I decided I needed something small I can take away with me and that will fit in a carrier bag.  I actually got this idea from one of the ladies in my guild.  She uses anything and everything to weave with and was working on a small circle when we had our last guild meeting.   You can also make circular looms from embroidery frames.  If you want, you can already have your piece framed if you don’t want to remove it from the hoop.

As I mentioned, I finally got my wool order from Wingham Wool Work.  Here are the little bundles of merino and silk.

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Here they are spun into a single and wound on the wool winder ready for plying.

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The green on the left has no letter as it was a sample of some other mixed roving I purchased.  I was just testing it out and it spins to a lovely green.  There will be more about that in another post.  Here they are below all spun up and ready for weaving.

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All of these are really soft and bouncy even though I spin a twisty yarn.  They are almost coil spun but are not tight.  Because some of the balls had similar colors, like J&K and L&Q, I decided to ply them together.  There is not enough of any one of these to make any one thing, but there is enough to use in weaving.  It is difficult to know how a blend is going to spin.  I try not to get too technical about it.  However, by spinning a small amount, you can get an idea if you would like to order more.  I really like E, which is what I call the Christmas blend as it is just red, white and green.  I am not into Christmas clothes, but I would weave a Christmas scarf or neck cowl with this yarn and am seriously considering ordering a larger amount of this to spin and mixing it up with some solid red and green.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find these colors in a roving, so I may need to card up my own if I can’t find any over the next couple of months.  If anyone knows where I can score some Christmas blend in merino, let me know!

So, I posted on one of the ways I make my carded art batts for spinning.  I have now spun all three batts and managed to get the singles on one jumbo flyer!  Here is how they turned out.

Downloads3This is the darker green above.

Downloads1This one is the lighter green and a blend of both below.

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These are all lovely and soft with a lot of shine and a bit of sparkle.  The chunky thrums were akin to spinning with locks.  I really loved spinning with these batts as I didn’t know what was going to come out next.  This is one reason I don’t blend my batts on the drum carder or I should say why I don’t do it often.  I really love how they turned out and have been torn as to whether they should be used for warp, weft or both.  I think I may use it for both.  As these are loaded with the kitchen sink, I may card up another batt with a blend of the two colors and just some sari silk fibers and viscose only so that I have enough warp and weft for the shawl in the right green.  I am thinking that I might use all hand spun warp for my next scarf.  This means that I may have to use a 5 or 2.5 dent reed or use the varident.  We will see how it goes.