Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Let Me Complain about Lack of Access to Good New Zealand Weaving Merino Again

I wove the sample on the left yesterday, tweaked the draft, and wove the pink today. The difference is hard to see, but see the tiny green piece of paper? I extended the bump. As much ask I enjoyed sampling, I hope this is the last to be worked on Klick; easy to dress and mighty sturdy for a tiny loom, but when using more than four or six shafts, it's hard on the back of a short weaver as I'm too short to sit and weave, and have to bend over to reach the far shafts standing for each shed. Anyway, these critters are much larger than I expected at first, (I had in mind each elephant fitting in a huge postage stamp,) I like the proportion and the short, fat look which says "baby" elephants to me. Next up, considering the warp stripes, overall composition, and investigating attractive ways of connecting two skinnier pieces to make one blanket. Making two pieces into one is a first for me.

This sampling process felt long and tried my patience. Weaving on Klick notwithstanding, it was mainly because I was flying blind and was never sure where I was going, what quality I could squeeze out of the yarns I have, and had to try out many setts and combinations in figuring out the warp/weft proportion. All this because I'm trying out new yarns, and that's because I don't have a trusty default merino any more.

I'm geeky and when I get my hands on new yarns with a potential to becoming a stable/default, I sample a half (5 meter) warp, changing setts, auditioning a bunch of wefts, washing/fulling differently, etc, until I really get to know the yarn. I love this process, but more importantly, it educates me on how to make the most of the yarn, and gives me parameters within which to work, eliminating shot-in-the-dark kind of sampling. This project was interrupted by my trip to Japan, and had an approximate deadline from the start, so I had to combine this intro phase with project-specific sampling. (This yarn in the warp is new to me as I've only used it in the weft until now.)

Sad, isn't it? I live in New Zealand and even though there are far fewer sheep compared to when we came here, re are still plenty, yet it's hard to find good and affordable merino weaving yarn, especially the formerly standard 110/2, (roughly 2/17 - this is why I get so confused with yarn sizes!) with our without scale. From my limited experience, it's also hard to find merino knitting yarns without possum mixed in, also. What's ironic is, some of the previously second-tier yarns which disappointed in comparison to what I used to use now feel really good. Mind you  they are not bad yarns, they are good yarns, just not as stupendous as... you get the gist. There's enough for a few years of weaving at this rate.

I'm having lunch with Rosie and Esther tomorrow; first social outing since I've come back. Wait, no, I had a lovely dinner on Sunday. I'll tell you about it in another post.

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