Tag Archives: yarn

Another week, another lesson, and success

Rice paper-Who knew they had an attractive weaverly design.

Rice paper-Who knew they had an attractive weaverly design.

Things did not go as planned last week, except for improving my diet. Success in that area, well except for one meal. Tasted good, but not pretty to look at. I made the shrimp summer rolls from Skinnytaste. It was the first time I have ever used rice paper, and I was not very successful. I think, because I reduced the servings for the recipe, I over stuffed the rolls, so a knife and fork was necessary. One of the things I’m trying to accomplish with this healthier food project, is to be able to put some things in the freezer. That way, when it comes to dinner time, and I don’t feel like cooking, I can grab something homemade from my freezer. It’s definitely a work in progress.

The plan had been to dye every day, thus finishing up all the yarn needed for the upcoming project. But before I moved forward with that, I decided to test some yarns on the warp I’m using. Lone Star Loom Room has Mobelatta, a very tightly twisted 2-ply wool yarn with a nice sheen. I really like the way it wove up; my only complaint is that the ties on the skeins are too tight for dyeing, so first up was to redo all the ties. I plan to use three strands at once, so I decided to combine the Mobelatta with a singles of the type of yarn I use all the time (2-ply Crown Colony). That meant I had to use the skein winder because all the yarn of this type is on a huge cone from R&M Yarn. They don’t have it on the website currently, so I hope it will be available again. But that huge cone leads to the next step.

Yarns clipped to arm

Yarns clipped to arm. Notice the curves on the arms to “hold” each skein?

So to backtrack a bit–In 2010 I bought an electric skein winder from Crazy Monkey Creations. My fuzzy mind seems to remember that there was a wobble when I tried it out, then life got in the way, and I didn’t get it out again until a couple of weeks ago. This was THE week to use it! I balled up some of the yarn, because this thing can make three skeins at once! My third skein was coming from the huge cone on the floor. Notice those clips for the ends of the yarn? The guides to place them in the correct part of the arms? A thoughtfully designed machine. The operator, however, was not so clever. Singles yarn kinks. Coming out of those center-pull balls did not mean there was smooth sailing of unkinked yarn. It just kind of went back on itself until there would be a clump of yarn finding its way to the skein.

Counter works now

Counter works now

Then there was the next problem: the counter didn’t work. I had no way to know how big my skeins were in terms of weight for dyeing. So I contacted Benjamin, the genius behind this machine. He suggested that a new battery was necessary. I carefully laid the thing back and removed the counter, took out the battery, and went to town for a new one. Glory hallelujah! The counter worked! I then took one of those disastrous balls of yarn and wound it onto a spool and made a skein electrically. The conclusion is that when the arms are set for a two yard skein, 250 revolutions will produce a 100 g skein. Perfect! Now I just have to warp the loom. Not a problem, right?

So, all in all, a good week. Didn’t get everything done, but learned a couple of things, and I’m back on track with dyeing and warping. And I love this skein winder! By the way, the design for it looks to have changed a bit since I got mine, along with the price.

What’s going on in your world? Accomplishments? Lessons learned?


Testing, testing

Sampling Now that I’ve put a new warp on the loom at a different sett, I’m testing weft yarns. You can see the testing above. I put string labels on the different bits so that I could remember what the yarns are later. Starting from the right is my regular Crown Colony from Henry’s Attic, far right is 2 strands used together, then 1 strand next to it on the left. I’m testing some Wilde Yarn double roving, Harrisville singles, my own mohair, some cottons, Mobelatta, and and another that I don’t remember what it’s called. After I finish with these samples, I am going to go ahead and start weaving–after I make a couple of warp adjustments.

Good and bad, bad and good

Yarn-mystery I went out to what I euphemistically call my dye studio the other day and saw a big mess. Two long shelves that held several boxes of yarn/weaving stuff had fallen to the floor. This was stuff that I didn’t want to get rid of, but also did not want it taking room up in the house. Way back from the days when I used to sew, there is a box of wool fabrics that I though I would cut up and over dye to have harmonious colors together. Like that was going to happen! There was also a box of yarns, which I opened, beautiful yarns ready to be dyed. I have a very, very dim remembrance of having those yarns spun at some time in the distant past. These yarns look exactly like what I’ve had in my head that I want to weave with now. I took a couple of them inside the house to find out how many yarns per pound they had. And I would have done that, except that my McMorran yarn balance has disappeared. Not wanting to waste anymore time looking for it, I balled up the yarn and then skeined it again, counting as I went along. Turns out that the yarn has about 825 ypp. Each skein weighs in at about 1/2 pound. Since I also really don’t like the warp I’m using, I will wait to use them after re-warping the loom with linen.

Now, what about the rest of that mess out there? A different kind of shelving is definitely a must. Really don’t want something else that will pull our of the wall.

Stalking the wild yarn store, danger ahead

Turquoise button

Red/orange buttons

It seems that I haven’t been writing much about weaving lately. Hmmm…..maybe because there’s really not much weaving going on? I did start with the warping process today. I was going to tie on to the old warp, but decided that probably wouldn’t be a good idea since I re-sleyed that warp from 4 epi to 6 epi. So, fresh start it is.

I went to the yarn store on Friday, always a dangerous thing to do. Of course, I only went because they were having a trunk show, not of yarns, but closings. I’m a sucker for buttons! I’ve got a collection of them from various travel locations and don’t have a clue what I’ll do with them. Probably nothing. The closings are from a local studio called Crone Art. You gotta love a name like that.

The Jennings Street Yarns is on one of the oldest streets in Fort Worth. If you go to their website, there is a picture of the current store and the street as it used to be. Scroll down to see other comparisons of a few streets in the city. I love those old buildings. Oh, about the yarns…yes, I bought some. After all anything with green was 25% off, everything else 20%. Yarn stores are dangerous!

The Great Yarn Hunt

Order from Henry’s Attic

I’ve been using Henry’s Attic Crown Colony 2-ply yarns for ages and buy it in huge quantities. And I like them. But I want to change the sett of my warp, which kind of requires a new yarn. Therein lies the dilemma. I want a single-ply yarn that I can use 3 strands as one. Blending gradations is so much better with three strands rather than two. I have found a few that might work, but at two or three times the cost! Yuck! Maybe I’ll have to spin my own, a way to while away and evening in front of the TV, I guess. Not sure I really want to do that. I did buy some silver mohair recently from Kai Mohair. She has beautiful angora goats on her place in the vicinity of Austin.You can see a picture of Persephone’s mohair here. I love it when you buy wool or mohair from the growers name their animals.

By the way, as I’ve said before, Henry’s Attic is the only company I know of that does not have a website, nor do they accept credit cards. Actually that’s not quite true. They have a one-page website with their contact info on it. But I love doing business with them. Very nice folks.

Also, I sent out my newsletter on Sunday. In looking at my records, the last newsletter I sent was a year ago. And this one was short with lots of pictures. If you want to sign up, there’s a form here on my website. I am hoping to have another newsletter out in about a month. Then there will be a hiatus again.