Saturday, January 10, 2015

Unchain My Heart

Not so long ago, I swore I wouldn't make new warp chains until I used up all I've made already. Well, that didn't last long.

Wednesday afternoon I made balls out of skeins from the wool I brought downstairs, all the while gazing at the cones on the shelf, thinking and not thinking. I reached the conclusion I would make warp chains with merino/mohair mixes.

I don't like mohair; I can't wear it, and it's itchy and sneezey to work with; I need antihistamines and still work through itchy eyes, face and arms. And when used with my favorite 18/2 merino warps, the m/m is skinnier and takes longer to weave. But the m/m works wonderfully with merino in creating that lovely shine/dull contrast, and I had far more m/m than merino, ergo the warp chains.
I made wide black, wide white, narrow purple variegated with black stripes, and narrow and short blue variegated merino/mohair warps, plus a blue variegated possum/merino/silk one. All but the blue m/m are my usual "8 meter" warps. I don't have much 18/2 merino left, so I'll also use other wool, possum/merino/silk, merino bouclé, perhaps knitting angora, and who knows, maybe even silk.

There were only two small cones of the blue m/m, so I wanted a black warp with blue stripes towards the sides, i.e. narrow black/narrow blue/wide black middle bit/narrow blue/narrow black. But I didn't want very skinny stripes so I made the warp just long enough for one piece, and hoped to figure out how many blue ends I could get, and then work out the rest. This being a short warp, I was going to tie it on to the purple warp.

Except I ended up with more ends than in the purple warp, of which I have perhaps 80cm left. So I needed extra black ends to go in as narrow strips in the purple warp. You may laugh.
There was one more cone I wanted to use up, but decided against it. This cone came instead of variegated 100% merino I ordered, and when I inquired, I was told it was a discontinued yarn, "more expensive than the one you ordered". ??? It's very harsh, I hated their response, and I stuck it in the bottom back corner of the big wool box perhaps a decade ago; it only dawned on me yesterday this is worsted.

In fact, half the yarns I turned into warp were expensive "mistakes" from the two sources from whom I used to buy not small amounts regularly, whose products I promoted every chance I had. I'd forgotten, but dug up with the wool, these memories, but it's been good exposing myself to yarns I have, to take immediate action, an exorcizing of sorts. (I also got a whole bunch of some of the best weaving yarns in New Zealand from them, to be sure.)   

Though I still don't know what to do with the worsted.  

And while making the chains, I wondered if I could rework the lovely Lament draft using only black and white in the warp. Stripes aren't appealing on paper, (well, the screen.) Half-and-half, maybe, if I have a weft in the right gray. Or something else.
I've also been besotted by this color combo, (to which no photos can do justice, believe me, I've been trying,) but I don't have a concrete idea beyond loving the yellow-green Japanese silk with the red alpaca/silk, (slightly bluer, neutral red,) nor if I need the "support" burgundy merino for added interest. The lovely alpaca/silk was gifted to me by Judy a while back

The fun never ends. Especially with Old Joe keeping me company.

5 comments:

  1. I love having warps already wound and waiting for an empty loom. And yay for stash busting! :)

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  2. Love to see your photos Meg, even though I'm in complete ignorance about what you are doing. You'd think after all these years I'd have learned something from you... Must be a slow learner. Just admiring the sampler you gave me - I may not understand how you do it but I do appreciate the beauty in your colours and designs.

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  3. Laura, yes, at the speed of extra-extra-slow with a side of fries AND mashed potatoes. Carol, one of the problems with weaving, or bookbinding, is the jargon, although a surprising number of weaving jargon has made it into common parlance. I am constantly surprised. But in the end, if the cloth isn't good, then, pfffffft. Right?

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  4. Thanks for the link to Joe Cocker. We (the world) will miss him.

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  5. For sure and this looks rather recent, although we still like "You can Keep Your Hat On" the best.

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