Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Log Cabin

I couldn't decide what I wanted to do today.  Specifically, I couldn't decide if I wanted to put on a two-color cashmere warp, threading undecided, or Ben's Happi warp, not sellable, on the big loom.  I looked at my four-shaft Jack.  The poor thing has been neglected for much too long; I don't have a record, but I put on a black-and-gray alpaca warp in log cabin sometime between October last year and February this year.

I'm not a fan of alpaca; my face and arms itch, ergo the long neglect; there's no "expression" on the yarns; I imagine this is what it's like to weave nylon cords or horse hair.  And there is absolutely no joy of wet finishing alpaca, and the small problem of absolutely no disguising bad selvedge.  Still, I don't want to take off another  partially woven warp off the loom, only to have to resurrect it again, so I continued to weave a small scarf I started on April 8. This year. 

I'm still skeptical about this piece as a scarf, to be worn around the neck and face, (certainly not by me,) but color & weave fascinates me.  It's plain weave, but it looks three-dimensional.  At first I kept making treadling mistakes because I was lost in the maze of the vertical and horizontal stripes.

After a while the treadling became automatic; because of the massive size of the yarns, the weaving is super fast, and I was enjoying myself quite a bit.  Plain weave, though with two wefts, and this result.  Log cabin is one of the most energy efficient weave "structure", yes?


  1. I've been going to try log cabin for so long - it has so much dimension.

  2. It actually does, Shipbuilding! Amazingly. And so quick to weave.

  3. Alpaca generally does not shrink when washed, but it relaxes nicely and brushes to a beautiful buttery-soft gently fluffy scarf. I brush in all four directions while the scarf is still damp from that first wash. Brushing also helps to block the piece.
    My alpaca yarn worked well in differential shrinkage in appropriate structures with merino wool in the shrinking area.
    Log cabin is very easy to design with weaving software.

  4. ...and the truth is, alpaca feels really good on a cold day! I love log cabin in baby blankets, because it goes quickly and has such a nice texture.

  5. Bonnie, so far my experiences has been embarrassing and discouraging but there is a weaver, Win Currie, who mixes fine alpacas with silk to great effect. Your comment also reminds me that although I planted teasel this year, nothing is coming out yet. Maybe I need another packet of seeds.

    Margery, never thought of baby blankets in alpaca. That's really nice. I have been thinking, though, of a series of kitchen towels because it's not hard to rethread every two towels or so...

  6. Glad to know that I am not the only one partial to doing black and grey colour-n-weave!
    It looks beautiful!


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