Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wonderful, but Not Great

The two-ply merino yarns I spun and plied a while back were washed/sized/finished(?) some weeks ago and sat on the living room floor. They look better than I expected, feel angelically soft, but for my liking, they are too dry, as in devoid of any grease I associate with sheep's wool. And because they are fluffy, I fear I've wet-finished the living daylight out of these fibers already.

What does this mean? I think/hope it's OK to knit or crochet with these. But there is a chance the weft will remain thus and only the warp will be transformed in the wet-finishing, so I need to choose my warp carefully. In my stash, I have only the merino with scales.

I'm all out of the lovely two orange, pale pink and peach colored sliver, and I can't imagine continuing to spin without those colors. (As a matter of fact, I did some, and they came out oh! so! drab!) While I'm itching to experiment with spinning some more and making yarns with which to weave, particularly that last part of ... sizing???, I feel I best concentrate on my other projects for now.

We'll see.


  1. Meg these are gorgeous. I know nothing about wet finishing a weaving piece. Fill me in? These yarns are just to die for. I really loved spinning when I did it, but I seem unable to keep at knitting long enough to get good at it. Bores me silly and my stitches keep falling off the end of the needles. I'm just not coordinated enough for anything that small in scale. Otherwise, I'd be begging some of that orangey/pinkish yarn off you. ;)

  2. I am so glad to see that I was not the only weaver who was not clued in to the wet finish process.

    Perhaps a little fabric softener in the rinse?

  3. Wet finish is the very first time you wash your textile after you've taken it off the loom. This is when the netty unattractive stuff becomes a wonderful piece of cloth super-dreamy-magically.

    One does not "wash" fabric in the normal sense, but I dunk wool and wool mixes, for example, in the hottest tap water, agitate, coldest tap water, agitate, and repeat this process. I even felt my cloth a little depending on the usage and design and yarn combinations.

    Wool yarns fluff up and attach itself to one another so the cloth becomes spongier.

    Then the cloth is dried in different ways - some weavers pin it on boards to shape it, some on these drum things, (I can't remember the real name for it, but I have a giant one in my basement which I haven't tried out yet because it's so big!). And after it's dry, the cloth is officially "finished" - it become a cloth and no longer the mess from the loom.

    I'm trying not to get worked up, certainly not by you two, but the fact that even some weaving books (How To's for beginners) don't mention wet finishing certainly does!

    Laura Fry's book is the only one I know of that specifically addresses wet finishing.

    Her blog:
    Her website:


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